UNICEF Mozambique Humanitarian Situation Report No. 16: January to March 2020

News and Press Release
Originally published



  • Cholera outbreak was declared in two provinces in the northern region of the country namely in Cabo Delgado and Nampula total cumulative cases of 1,952 and death toll of 15;

  • Mozambique has 29 confirmed cases of COVID-19 which 21 are from local transmission. All cases currently concentrated in Maputo city, Pemba and Palma district in Cabo Delgado;

  • UNICEF continues providing WASH services and reached over 133,488 people in resettlement sites and communities affected by cyclones;

  • UNICEF provided education supplies in five provinces affected by heavy rains benefiting 32,000 children and 452 teachers;

  • A total of 149 staff from Government and NGOs have been equipped with knowledge and skills to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) in their different capacities

Situation in Numbers

1.3 million children in need of humanitarian assistance (based on people in need)

2.5 million people in need (OCHA, August 2019)

99,500 people displaced in cyclone affected areas (IOM, February 2020)

Funding Overview and Partnerships

In response to the cyclones IDAI and KENNETH, UNICEF appealed for US$ 83.6M to provide immediate life-saving services for women and children in Mozambique during the period of March 2019 – May 2020. UNICEF CO received US$ 48.9M which represents 58 per cent of the requirements and more than 50 per cent of this funding was channelled to WASH (38.5 per cent) and Health (23.4 per cent) sectors.

In 2020, the CO received US$ 389,000 for emergency response in Nutrition from Germany National Committee. In response to COVID-19, UNICEF developed a plan seeking US$ 13 million to support timely action of the Ministry of Health to contain the virus spread and prevent and address the secondary impact of the outbreak.

In 2019, the governments of Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the US (USAID) as well as the European Commission/ECHO and UNICEF National Committees of Andorra, Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States generously contributed to the UNICEF Mozambique humanitarian response. Funds were also received from UNOCHA’s Consolidated Emergency Response Fund, UNICEF’s Global Thematic Humanitarian fund as well as UNICEF Botswana and UNICEF Philippines country offices.

UNICEF expresses its sincere gratitude to all public and private donors for the contributions received. However, the 2019 HAC still has a funding gap of 42 per cent and without enough funding, over 200,000 people would not have access to safe water and adequate sanitation, and over 400,000 children would not be screened for acute malnutrition and receive vitamin A supplementation.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Since the onset of the rain season in October 2019 till February 2020, about 166,362 people were affected by strong winds and heavy rains recorded in the country with a cumulative death toll of 57 distributed across five provinces, being Zamézia and Sofala the most affected provinces. Zambézia province recorded the highest number of deaths caused mainly by lightning. The heavy rains and strong winds recorded destroyed completely about 5,575 houses,1,220 classrooms affecting 14,961 students and displaces temporarily at least 27,749 people in Zambezia and Sofala provinces. According to IOM, about 99,509 people are still displaced, living in more the 70 resetlement sites and 89 per cent of them in temporary shelters in cyclone IDAI and KENNETH affected provinces.

Between February and March 2020, cholera outbreak was declared in two provinces in the northern region of the country namely in Cabo Delgado and Nampula. As of 8th April 2020, there was a total cumulative cases of 1,952 and death toll of 15, being Nampula the most affected province with total of 1,444 cases in 10 districts. However in Cabo Delgado, the outbreak occurred in three districts but the death toll was higher (12) compared to Nampula (3). By the time of this report, the number of cases have reduced significantly and UNICEF is providing support to health authorities with supplies, technical assistance and community mobilisation/awareness on disease prevention.

The security situation in Cabo Delgado province deteriorated significantly in the week of 25 March. Within a week the insurgents attacked headquarters of two districts namely Mocimboa Praia and Quissanga, of which the prime target were military forces. According to ‘'Carta de Mocambique1 ’' the insurgents destroyed/burnt a number of Government assests and infrastructures (e.g: official house of district administrator, Mayor’s house, quarter, vehicles) as well as private sector property (three banks buildings). Many NGOs operating in these districts have withdrawn their staff due to volatile insecurity situation.

On 11 March 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Similarly to other countries in the world, Mozambique is also affected by this pandemic. As of 15th April there were 29 cases2 of COVID-19 detected in the country, 21 of which were local transmissions, specifically in Maputo city, Pemba and Palma district in Cabo Delgado. The Government of Mozambique has been taking measures to prevent further spread of the virus in the country, including requiring that all individuals entering the country must stay in home quarantine for at least 14 days and are to be monitored by health professionals. In addition, the Government closed schools and universities for a period of 30 days starting on 23rd of March, entry points such as borders, ports, airports, cancelled issueing new and existing visas, and restricted people reunion.