Mozambique + 1 more

Mozambique Key Message Update: IDPs begin returning to their areas of origin, but needs remain high, May 2022

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Key Messages

  • Most poor and very poor households in Mozambique face None (IPC Phase 1) outcomes as the ongoing harvest gradually improves their access to food. However, in the areas most affected by shocks, including drought in the southern and parts of central zones and storms/cyclones/floods in parts of the central and northern zones, very poor households are likely Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and engaging in coping strategies to fill food gaps. From June onwards, households are likely to intensify using coping strategies indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3). In southern Mozambique and coastal Nampula, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely to emerge as household food stocks diminish, along with limited access to income for market purchases to fill food consumption gaps. In Cabo Delgado, IDPs are beginning to return to their homes following improvements in security; however, Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes persist as most households rely on emergency humanitarian assistance for food.

  • In mid-May, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER) reported that excessive rainfall, the overflow of rivers, storms/cyclones, irregular rainfall distribution, and long dry spells affected around 244,000 hectares of crops, especially maize, peanuts, and beans, around 4.6 percent of the total planted area. Around 189,000 farmers in 95 districts throughout the country were impacted. Excessive rainfall was reported to be the most damaging, affecting 184,000 hectares of crops and 117,000 producers in 81 districts. In the south, especially in Gaza and Inhambane provinces, irregular rainfall distribution and long dry spells affected around 72,000 producers and 60,000 hectares of crops, especially maize and beans, across 14 districts.

  • According to the weekly IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrices data, IDPs are beginning to return to their areas of origin. Between April 27 and May 17, 2022, over 7,800 people returned, around 70 percent of the people on the move reporting an intention to return. Most IDPs are returning to Muidumbe, Palma, and Macomia districts. Returning households are likely to continue to rely on humanitarian assistance to fill food consumption gaps until they begin engaging in typical food and income-earning opportunities. Own crop production is likely to begin in the 2022/2023 agricultural season if poor households have access to seeds, agricultural inputs, and tools.

  • Due to crop loss and a delayed 2021/2022 harvest, the availability of staple foods in local markets is still below normal, resulting in higher than typical maize grain prices in April and reduced household purchasing power. Available price data from SIMA indicates that maize grain prices in around 60 percent of monitored markets rose or remained stable from March to April when prices typically decline. In the Chókwe market, maize grain prices increased by 14 percent, followed by the Maputo market, where maize grain prices increased by 5 percent. Compared to last year, maize grain prices in April were mixed, with monitored markets registering prices either above or below last year. Around 60 percent of monitored markets in April also reported maize grain prices above the five-year average, while 40 percent of markets had prices lower than the five-year average. Rice and maize meal prices did not change significantly and were stable in almost all markets monitored by SIMA.

  • On May 24, 2022, the government increased cooking gas, gasoline, diesel, and paraffin prices by 6.3, 7.6, 11.3, and 42.5 percent, respectively, in response to price increases in the international market. In turn, the prices of some basic products and services, such as bread and transport, have been rising across the country. However, in early May, the government ruled out subsidizing the price of bread and fuel in the same way as before. The government is investigating ways to mitigate the high cost of living, particularly for very poor and poor households, which is likely to be exacerbated by the impact of the conflict in Ukraine on the global market and supply. In April 2022, annual inflation was 7.9 percent compared to April 2021, while accumulated inflation since January 2022 is 4.5 percent. The increase in inflation is likely reducing household purchasing power.