Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes persist in Cabo Delgado as households and IDPs lose access to their typical livelihood activities due to the ongoing conflict. In the semi-arid drought-affected areas of central and southern Mozambique, area-level Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes are present. Many poor households remain dependent on market purchases and continue engaging in coping strategies indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3), including reducing the quantity and frequency of meals. The tightening of COVID-19 restrictions has reduced daily income for many poor urban and peri-urban households, with the most affected households likely in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Some areas recovering from the impacts of Cyclone Idai, tropical storm Chalane, and tropical cyclone Eloise are likely facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes.
In January 2021, WFP announced it requires 10.5 million USD monthly to assist around 750,000 IDPs and host community members affected by the conflict in northern Mozambique. Currently, funding is secured through March 2021, but there remains a 108 million USD funding shortfall. WFP is planning to assist 1,428,065 people across Mozambique in January and up to 1,465,177 people in February. However, this plan is subject to changes, particularly as the impact of tropical cyclone Eloise is still being assessed. Humanitarian assistance is likely to be focused on food assistance, shelter, treatment of malnutrition, WASH activities, and educating communities on COVID-19 safety and treatment.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER), by the end of December 2020, about 90 percent of the planned area for the 2020/2021 agricultural season has been planted in the southern region. However, households in parts of the south attempted to stagger planting dates due to the poor temporal distribution of rainfall. In central and northern Mozambique, around 60 and 50 percent of the planned area has been planted, respectively. Households are likely to keep planting with ongoing rains. However, below-average rainfall in northeastern Mozambique will likely drive below-average planting rates. Most crops are in the vegetative stages, except for some areas of the southern region's interior where crops are in the reproductive stage.
In mid-January, South African authorities announced the closure of 20 land borders, including Ressano Garcia (Lebombo), the main border between Mozambique and South Africa, until February 15. Measures to control the spread of COVID-19 and illegal migration were also strengthened. The border closures are expected to negatively impact cross-border trade and reduce remittances for many poor households, particularly in the southern and central regions. The slowdown in informal food commodity trade across the border is expected to drive price increases of processed products from South Africa and further reduce household purchasing power in urban and peri-urban areas.
On January 23, tropical cyclone Eloise made landfall with its epicenter over the district of Búzi in Sofala province with winds of more than 120 kilometers per hour and over 200 mm of rainfall in 12 hours. The provinces of Sofala and Manica were the most affected, along with parts of Zambézia, Inhambane, and Gaza. According to preliminary information from the National Institute for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction (INGD), as of January 28, at least 314,000 people have been affected, with more than 20,000 people displaced. More than 29,000 houses have been destroyed, damaged, or flooded, mainly in Buzi, Dondo, Nhamatanda, Muanza, and Beira City, and more than 177,000 hectares of planted crops have been flooded.
As of January 28, 31 accommodation centers are providing temporary shelter to nearly 20,000 people impacted by Cyclone Eloise. IOM and INGD report that needs at the accommodation centers include food, tents, potable water, hygiene kits, COVID-19 prevention materials, mosquito nets, blankets, flashlights, tarps, health kits, and soap. Hundreds of other displaced households are sheltering in schools, government facilities, and religious buildings. Distribution of food and water from provincial authorities and INGD has begun. Additional needs include farming inputs and short-cycle seed stocks for households to replant following the recession of floodwaters.