Mozambique Flash Update No. 2: Arrival of displaced people in Pemba (1 Nov 2020)

Situation Report
Originally published
View original



  • More than 11,200 displaced people have arrived in Pemba since 16 October, although the influx has slowed in recent days.

  • Nearly half of the arrivals are children and at least 25 boys and girls are unaccompanied or separated from their families.

  • The Government and humanitarian partners have providing life-saving assistance to more tnan 8,300 people arriving in Pemba, including food, water, hygiene, health and protection services.


From 16 to 29 October, at least 219 boats carrying 11,280 people arrived in Pemba, the provincial capital of Cabo Delgado. Almost half of the displaced people are children, of whom at least 25 boys and girls are unaccompanied or separated, according to IOM. More than 3,500 women, at least 19 of them pregnant, over 100 elderly, around 180 people in need of immediate medical assistance and 10 people living with disabilities are among the IDPs that have arrived into Pemba. Although the number of displaced people arriving has slowed in the past week, there have still been several hundred arrivals each day.

The new wave of displacement is reportedly coming mainly from Macomia (Mucojo); Quissanga (Mefunvo, Arimba, Nacoba, Napunda); Ibo (Matemo Island) and Metuge (Namavi, Situ) districts, according to IOM. A series of armed attacks have been reported in many of these districts in recent weeks, including in Macomia District, where at least two incidents were reported on 19 and 20 October in Koko, and another on 19 October in Olumbua, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED).

Displaced people arriving in Pemba are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, particularly clean water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH) and health services, due to the risk of diarrhoea and cholera, with more than 90 people already been treated for symptoms of acute watery diarrhoea. Food and protection services are also crucial, as most newly displaced people are fatigued and hungry and many have witnessed or endured violence.

The new arrivals in Pemba highlight the rapidly rising number of people displaced across Cabo Delgado due to the escalation of the conflict since the beginning of the year. More than 355,000 people are now estimated to be internally displaced in Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Niassa provinces, up from less than 90,000 at the end of 2019, according to preliminary data from IOM . Access to essential services in areas impacted by the conflict has also been impacted. The Minister of Health, Armindo Tiago, quoted by the media on 28 October, said that over 100 health workers left areas affected by the conflict had fled to Pemba, compromising access to health care across most of Cabo Delgado.


In support of the Government-led response, humanitarian organizations are providing emergency assistance to people arriving in Pemba. Response activities at the disembarkation area in Paquitequete include the registration of all displaced people to identify their most urgent needs, distribution of food, and WASH, health and protection services. At least 8,316 people received food and water since they arrrived in Pemba.

Protection partners are working to identifying the most vulnerable for referral to services and humanitarians are providing information in local languages on where displaced people can receive assistance and support.

To prevent diseases, including cholera and COVID-19, WASH partners have installed latrines, handwashing facilities, water tanks and containers and bins for rubbish in the arrival area. Partners are also carrying out awareness campaigns, including waste collection sensitization. In addition, health partners continue to distribute face masks and provide emergency medical assistance to displaced people in a temporary health facility established in the area. In recent days, partners have provided antenatal consultations for pregnant mothers and referrals to Pemba Provincial Hospital for skilled birth attendance. In total, at least 218 patients were assisted from 16 to 28 October, more than 90 of them with acute diarrhoea, 25 with malaria and 24 with other febrile syndromes.

For more information, please contact OCHA:
Saviano Abreu,
Guiomar Pau Sole,

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit