Mozambique: Urgent Humanitarian Priorities
Across Mozambique 2.5 million people are in urgent need of assistance following multiple and consecutive shocks—including drought, cyclones, floods and insecurity. Within this context, the revised Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) targets the priority life-saving and life-sustaining needs of the 2 million hardest-hit people.
Humanitarian partners have massively scaled-up operations in Mozambique in 2019, thanks to nearly US$300 million generously contributed by donors. At least 1.9 million people have received food assistance, more than 704,000 children have been screened for acute malnutrition and 406,000 people have received critical emergency livelihoods support. More than 765,000 households have received kits that support their access to clean water and sanitation, including dignity kits for women and girls, and 115,000 households have received shelter assistance. More than 464,000 children impacted by the disasters have been reached with education services, and 386,000 women and girls have been reached with programmes aimed at reducing gender-based violence and supporting survivors.
Critical gaps remain, however, and additional funding is urgently required as the country approaches the peak of the lean season and the annual cyclone period. Funding is needed to enable partners to rapidly scale up in hard-to-reach, at-risk and insecure areas, most notably in Sofala, Manica and Cabo Delgado provinces. The road to recovery and reconstruction has been long, and more than half a million people are still living in destroyed or damaged homes or makeshift shelters nine months after Cyclone Idai and eight months after Kenneth. Another nearly 92,500 people remain displaced across 71 resettlement sites in the central and northern regions of the country, in dire need of food, water, education, shelter/NFIs, WASH, health and protection services. From January to March (the peak of the lean season), severely food insecure people will face their greatest needs since the cyclones, while at least 65,000 people are estimated to have been affected and/or displaced by insecurity in Cabo Delgado. For the first time in many years, pellagra (a vitamin B-3 deficiency) has been reported in the country, with over 3,500 cases identified to date.
Mozambique, on average, is hit by 1.5 cyclones each year, and the 2019/2020 season is expected to bring at least one major storm. Humanitarians were able to respond to Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in 2019 in large part due to strategically pre-positioned stocks. However, emergency stocks in Mozambique have been exhausted due to the exceptional scale of the humanitarian response in 2019. Just over $597,100 is required immediately to replenish these supplies. Without this, humanitarians will be unable to respond rapidly and at scale should a major storm arrive in 2020.
Humanitarians have rigorously reviewed their programmes and funding and, out of the $405.3 million still required under the HRP, are prioritizing the mobilization of $119.3 million that is absolutely critical to save lives and alleviate suffering between now and May 2020. If this funding is not urgently received, hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need across the country will be unable to access life-saving and life-sustaining assistance.