The humanitarian situation in Mozambique has significantly deteriorated in 2020 due to insecurity and armed violence in its Northern province, Cabo Delgado. More than 300,000 people are now internally displaced, and it is estimated that at least 700,000 are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. This crisis is more concerning in a country which is already one of the poorest and most underdeveloped in the world. EU funding supports the internally displaced, disaster preparedness and food assistance.
Mozambique’s Northern Province, Cabo Delgado, has been affected by armed violence for almost 3 years. The situation has dramatically deteriorated in 2020, with a significant increase in the number and scope of the attacks of armed groups and the subsequent humanitarian impact. The total death toll of this armed violence, from 2017 to September 2020, is estimated at 1,982. Many areas affected by violence are still recovering from the devastation caused by cyclone Kenneth in April 2019.
Extreme weather events including floods, cyclones or drought regularly occur in Mozambique, more frequent and severe as a result of climate change. The southern African region is warming at about twice the global rate, and Mozambique is particularly hit. With the 3rd year consecutive drought, families are left grappling to find food, giving them little time to recover. Nearly 2 million people are threatened by food insecurity. For the first time in recorded history, 2 destructive tropical cyclones hit Mozambique in 2019, claiming more than 600 lives. Some families are still living in camps.
As most of the countries in the Southern Africa region, Mozambique has reported cases of coronavirus. EU partners are adapting their programs to provide Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), basic hygiene such as hand-washing facilities, awareness activities and respecting social distancing measures during aid distribution and while carrying out all components of their projects.
In July 2020, the EU made available an additional amount of €5 million to respond to the most urgent needs of conflict affected population in Northern Mozambique This includes multi-sector assistance with protection as an overarching sector or intervention: shelter; non-food items; water, sanitation and hygiene; humanitarian food assistance; health; coordination; information management; and monitoring of the humanitarian situations.
In 2020, a total amount of €14.6 million has been allocated to address the humanitarian needs in Mozambique. This includes the already mentioned €5 million for conflict-affected population in Northern Mozambique, €6.1 million for the disaster preparedness and education in emergencies, and €3.5 million in food assistance in drought-affected areas.
While the emergency response in the Northern country is becoming a humanitarian priority, the EU is keeping its commitments towards disaster preparedness in the country. Preparedness and prompt action can reduce the impact of natural hazards and help avert loss of life, livelihoods and property. To this end, the EU supports actions that step up the capacity of communities, and help local and national disaster management authorities prepare for and respond to disasters.
Several EU-funded projects use technology and innovative approaches, such as drones – used in the Idai response in Mozambique and Malawi - to map high-risk areas, or mobile text messages to warn communities of impending dangers. Increasing attention is given to disaster preparedness in schools through promotion of safe learning facilities, training of teachers in early warning and informing children on how to stay safe. Building on lessons learned during the 2019 floods, the European Commission also worked on strategic emergency stock prepositioning to make the response to natural hazards faster and logistically easier.