The overall objective of IOM's strategy is to support displaced persons and other affected populations in Mozambique to build resilience and progress towards sustainable solutions to displacement while ensuring a continuous response to critical humanitarian needs and rapid response capacities in case of a new disaster and crisis. Recovery and resilience in Mozambique will be facilitated through an effective and locally owned framework that addresses the lifesaving and longer-term needs of affected populations. Ultimately, the plan aims at establishing the basis for recovery and crisis prevention in communities and continuing being a key partner of the Government of Mozambique.
Mozambique is one of the most risk-prone countries in the world, ranking third among African countries most exposed to multiple weather-related hazards and the impact of climate change (SADC risk profile 2019 Global Risk Index). Mozambique is subject to environmental events including floods, droughts, cyclones, coastal erosion, rising water levels, and soil salinisation, which are becoming increasingly stronger and more frequent. The two Category 4 cyclones that hit Mozambique in March and April 2019, as well as recent floods in Cabo Delgado, Zambezia, Tete, Sofala and Manica Provinces in December 2019 and January 2020 with approximately 150,000 people affected, demonstrates the degree to which increasing climate variability is likely to worsen the frequency, severity, and spread of these disasters. Out of the 500 localities in Sofala, Manica, Zambesia and Tete Provinces, 86% of the localities are at risk of natural disasters and 56% are projected to be inaccessible in the event of an emergency. Mozambique is also one of the poorest countries, ranking 180 out of 189 in the Human Development Index 2018. More than 1.6 million people are severely food insecure, which is particularly pronounced in the central and southern region where the impacts of the cyclone have exacerbated drought-like conditions. The cyclones and floods have damaged or destroyed core infrastructure and many communities exposed to the effects of extreme weather events are impoverished and are primarily located in underserved rural and urban communities, with many already lacking access to essential health and social services.
When Cyclone Idai made landfall near the city of Beira in Sofala on 14 March and Cyclone Kenneth near Quiterajo in Cabo Delgado on 24 April, acute and pre-existing vulnerabilities were exposed. Over 2 million people were affected, 277,700 homes were reported damaged or destroyed and over 155,000 displaced immediately sought shelter in accommodations centres, open sites and private buildings. Close to one year after the disasters, 93,516 people remain in search of more durable solutions in 76 resettlement sites across the six provinces in Idai affected areas and 6,643 in 5 sites in Kenneth affected areas (DTM site assessments, December 2019).
Conjointly, ongoing violence in the Province of Cabo Delgado has displaced an estimated 100,000 individuals since 2017 (Humanitarian Response Plan 2019-2020). A peak of insecurity in late 2019 and early 2020 generated several movements of people, many of which were also affected by Cyclone Kenneth and have moved to areas still recovering from the impact of the cyclone. The conflict has pushed rural populations to move to urban areas and in host communities, largely overstretching resilience capacities. Many displaced people experienced multiple displacements due to the cyclone, the frequency of natural disasters and waves of insecurity, which contribute to increased vulnerabilities, traumatic experiences, and further compromises already diminishing coping capacities.
Communities living in areas at high risk of natural disasters or instability face difficult choices.
This requires IOM to apply a mobility lens to the resolution of displacement, to address the causes and root drivers and holistically reduce the vulnerability of displaced and affected populations while ensuring enough capacities to respond to the needs of affected populations in case of sudden disaster. Without the provision of tailored made solutions and integrated approaches, families who are displaced may return to high-risk locations where they can access basic services and livelihood opportunities despite safety concerns. Affected communities are facing significant challenges in accessing basic services, including health, mental health and psychosocial support and social protection. In some circumstances, individuals face multiple displacements, compounding vulnerability and eroding individual and community coping capacities. In this context, support for the people of Mozambique must holistically address the environmental, social and economic challenges they face to ensure that the country not only recovers from the recent disasters and conflict but also is able to prevent and prepare for further risks.