The UN and its partners on Friday demanded $ 254 million for emergency humanitarian aid in Mozambique, where more than a million people are threatened by violence in the province of Cabo Delgado (north) and its neighbors.
“The crisis in Cabo Delgado quickly grew in 2020, with attacks and fighting forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes every month,” said the UN in a statement.
“Nearly 530,000 people are now displaced in Cabo Delgado itself, but also in the provinces of Nampula and Niassa, almost 5 times more than the number recorded in March 2020,” added this press release.
“Humanitarian aid is vital to minimize suffering,” explained Myrta Kaulard, the humanitarian coordinator in Mozambique, explaining that these displaced people were forced to flee with just the clothes they were wearing on their backs.
“Women and girls risk being kidnapped as well as violence and exploitation because of their gender, boys themselves risk being killed or being forcibly recruited by armed actors,” Ms. Kaulard, indicating that she was particularly worried about people living in isolated places.
She also underlined the extent to which this violence and forcible displacement weighed on essential services already on the verge of collapse.
More than 90% of the displaced live with family or friends whose resources were already scarce.
To add to this bleak picture, the UN points out that many places hosting displaced people will be flooded during the next rainy season.
Local authorities and aid organizations are racing against time to set up camps to relocate these displaced people.
In total, 570,000 people fled the violence in the north of the country, said on Wednesday the Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, who said that the armed Islamists who have terrorized the strategic province for three years, because it is rich in gas from Cabo Delgado were led by Tanzanians, who had been working to radicalize the local population since 2012.
The conflict has left 2,400 dead, more than half of them civilians, according to the NGO ACLED, which also lists more than 700 attacks since October 2017.