UNICEF Humanitarian Action Update Mozambique 15 Nov 2007

Situation Report
Originally published



- UNICEF helped meet the basic needs of over 107,000 flood-affected people sheltered in accommodation centres along the Zambezi River Basin and some 35,000 people in the cyclone affected areas of Inhambane Province

- UNICEF continues to support the resettlement and recovery efforts of the Government and humanitarian Clusters through its regular country programme

- Results from the National Food Security Secretariat show that over 520,000 Mozambicans are at risk of food insecurity due to the current drought in the south of the country

- UNICEF urgently requires US$ 5.7 million for preparedness and response for the rainy season already underway


Mozambique is prone to a wide range of natural disasters, which regularly cause major damage and lead to persistent poverty and vulnerability in disaster affected areas. During the first months of 2007, Mozambique experienced two simultaneous natural disasters, the Zambezi River Basin Flood Emergency, which affected an estimated 285,000 people, and Cyclone Favio, which affected a further 133,670 people across the southern province of Inhambane. UNICEF Mozambique worked closely with the Government and other partners to meet the basic needs of over 107,000 flood-affected people sheltered in accommodation centres along the Zambezi River Basin, and supported over 35,000 people with shelter and access to restored basic services in the cyclone affected areas of Inhambane.

UNICEF continues to support recovery and resettlement efforts underway in the flood and cyclone affected areas and supported the Government to develop a Resettlement Plan prioritising the provision of basic services in resettlement zones. Furthermore, UNICEF and its Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion (WASH) Cluster partners are working with the National Water Directorate to establish water and sanitation facilities in resettlement areas and UNICEF is working with the Ministry of Health and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to address malnutrition in flood affected districts through the Nutrition Rehabilitation Programme. A €2 million recovery programme funded by the European Union is being carried out by UNICEF and the Government of Inhambane to rehabilitate schools and health centres partially and completely destroyed by Cyclone Favio across the province.

Food insecurity has become a threat to those resettling in the affected areas, in addition to droughtaffected districts in the south of the country. The Technical Secretariat for Food Security (SETSAN) estimates that 520,000 people are currently in need of food assistance due to the drought in the south, and the flood and cyclone affected families in parts of the Zambezi River Basin and in the Province of Vilanculos. Furthermore, SETSAN predicts that these populations will not have the capacity to recover from the shocks caused by the 2007 floods and cyclones and a total of 660,000 will require continued humanitarian assistance by early next year.

The 2007-2008 rainy season began in Mozambique in October and predictions for the period until March are that rainfall will be at normal to above-normal levels. Populations in districts vulnerable to flooding and cyclones face the constant threat of cholera outbreaks due to the poor availability of clean water and sanitation facilities. Diarrhoea resulting from water-borne diseases is still a major child killer, with a prevalence of 14 per cent among under-five children. Poor access to clean water affects women and girls directly as they are responsible for collecting most of the domestic water at the household level - leaving less time for school attendance and childcare. Nutritional problems are the underlying cause of almost 50 per cent of all child deaths in Mozambique: of an estimated 715,000 children born every year, about 89,000 will die before reaching age one and an additional 39,000 will die before reaching age five. Malaria is responsible for the majority of child deaths in the country.

In 2006, the number of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS was estimated at 380,000. This figure is expected to increase to 630,000 by the year 2010. Orphaned children are becoming more and more vulnerable as extended families are unable to meet their basic needs, particularly in areas where the worst humanitarian conditions prevail.