The violent insurgency that began in October 2017 in Cabo Delgado, the north-eastern province of Mozambique, has affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. More than 2,000 civilians have been killed and an estimated 355,000 people have been displaced from their homes and communities. The situation has intensified in recent months, with increased attacks by non-state armed groups claiming affiliation with the Islamic State, along with a scale-up of the Government’s military response.
UNHCR is deeply concerned by the violence and other acts committed against civilians, particularly against women and children, who account for most internally displaced people (IDPs) in the country.
IDPs have largely fled to urban areas within Cabo Delgado or to neighbouring provinces in northern Mozambique, namely Nampula, Niassa and Zambezia, where most stay with relatives and friends. Others have sought safety in the bush, while a significant number have remained in affected areas of Cabo Delgado due to vulnerabilities. This includes older people and people with physical disabilities who cannot travel, or those who do not have alternative places to stay or lack funds to move elsewhere. As the situation intensifies, UNHCR has stepped-up its response in Cabo Delgado and neighbouring provinces, with a focus on protection activities and distribution of relief items to the most vulnerable.