The World Food Programme (WFP) says it has provided up to 400,000 people in Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Niassa provinces in Mozambique with monthly food basket despite increased insecurity and limited funding.
But the humanitarian organisation says it may be forced to reduce or halt vital food aid to conflict-affected people in the provinces as its resources are stretched.
Development Diaries understands that thousands of people are at risk from serious hunger and malnutrition in Cabo Delgado as humanitarian operations face shortage of US $108 million and the number of people forced to leave their homes has risen to 565,000, according to the Government of Mozambique.
Cabo Delgado has been the site of an escalating insurgency led by militant group Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jammah (ASWJ), which has claimed the lives of thousands.
It was gathered that since March 2020, the few international aid groups working in Cabo Delgado have mostly pulled back to the province’s capital city, Pemba, leaving behind a growing number of internally displaced people with little support.
WFP is understood to have been assisting displaced persons by providing them with a monthly family food basket of 50 kilos of grain, five litres of vegetable oil, and 10 kilos of dried beans and lentils.
WFP also provides cash-based assistance where local markets are functioning, allowing families to choose which basic needs to meet (food items and hygiene kits) through redeeming value vouchers of 3600 MZN (equivalent to about US$50) per month.
‘Internally displaced persons are especially vulnerable to the spread of Covid-19 because they are crowded together in camps, host families’ backyards and outdoors with no or inadequate shelter, health services and access to clean water and sanitation’, said WFP Country Representative in Mozambique, Antonella D’Aprile.
‘Thousands of children and adolescents who lost their parents and close family need our protection and care’.
WFP says it requires US $10.5 million per month to provide food assistance to 750,000 people (500,000 IDPs and 250,000 from host communities) affected by the conflict in northern Mozambique.
‘To ensure humanitarian food assistance for the next 12 months, WFP needs $132.4 million, of which only $24.4 million have been secured as of late December 2020. Without sufficient funding, the food supply will be compromised’, it said.
Photo source: Eduardo Burmeister/UNHCR