Intensification of conflict, drought, and indirect impacts of COVID-19 drive high assistance needs
Many central and northern areas continue to face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes persist in the drought-affected areas in southern and central Mozambique and conflict-affected areas in Cabo Delgado. With the start of the lean season in October, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to emerge in southern Tete and northern Manica provinces. In urban and peri-urban areas, many poor households are unable to engage in their basic livelihood activities due to the continuation of COVID-19 control measures. The most vulnerable poor urban households are likely in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
A new 30-day State of Emergency went into effect on August 8, enabling continued enforcement of COVID-19 control measures previously in place. A phased approach to resuming economic and social activities from August through October was also announced; however, this is not expected to improve income-earning opportunities for the growing number of unemployed or informal urban workers whose businesses remain closed as most of the phased activities are focused on the resumption of educational activities. On August 17, community transmission of COVID-19 was declared in Maputo city, the third city in which community transmission is ongoing following Pemba and Nampula.
In July, the Food Security Cluster (FSC) distributed humanitarian food assistance to approximately 390,000 people across Mozambique, including beneficiaries in southern drought-affected areas. Beneficiaries in southern Mozambique received roughly 60 percent of their food needs through in-kind and cash-based transfers. It is anticipated ongoing assistance is improving food security among beneficiaries; however, it is also expected that assistance needs in the country broadly exceed the distribution of assistance.
Maize grain prices in monitored markets increased by 7-13 percent in July compared to June 2020, 11-50 percent above last year’s prices, and 18-55 percent above the five-year average. Maize meal and rice prices had mixed trends when compared to last month and the five-year average, driven largely by temporary supply changes. Maize meal prices in monitored markets across Mozambique were 6-37 percent above their respective five-year averages while rice prices in July had mixed trends compared to the five-year average.