Internal displacement of people by either violence or environmental disaster has left more than 1.3 million people in the northern provinces of Mozambique in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, according to UNFPA.
It is understood that many displaced persons cannot access clean drinking water and are exposed to malaria with barely any protection.
With women and girls living in overcrowded displacement camps and in host communities, UNFPA estimates that more than 3,200 displaced women may require urgent care in response to sexual violence.
According to the UN agency, over 669,000 people were internally displaced as of 10 February, including around 160,000 women of reproductive age.
‘Cabo Delgado is experiencing the perfect storm of conflict, cyclones, Covid-19, and cholera – and women and girls are bearing the brunt of these crises’, UNFPA Representative in Mozambique, Andrea Wojnar, said in a statement.
‘They continue to be on the move, with many having to flee their homes at a moment’s notice without any personal items or access to services to look after their health, hygiene or safety’.
UNFPA says it is working with local authorities and partners to increase the availability of, and access to, life-saving sexual and reproductive health services.
‘The agency is urging the international community to increase funding as women, girls, and young people face an increased risk of gender-based violence, and increasingly restricted access to life-saving sexual and reproductive health services’, the statement read.
In related development, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced in February plans to scale up humanitarian response in Cabo Delgado.
‘The people of Mozambique are today facing a triple humanitarian crisis with persistent threats due to climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic and armed conflict’, the ICRC President, Peter Maurer, said in a statement.
‘We remain at the side of Mozambique in these challenging times and will scale up our support’.
As part of its response, the ICRC said it will rehabilitate nine primary health facilities serving more than 175,400 patients in Pemba, and support hospitals in Montepuez and Pemba specialised in the treatment of trauma wounds.
Photo source: UN Mozambique/Helvisney Cardoso