Maputo: ABOUT 250 000 people have been displaced by violence linked to Islamist insurgents in northern Mozambique, aaccording to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The figures published by OCHA represent more than double the number of people displaced in March 2020 (over 110,000), and many people have been displaced multiple times.
At the same time, lack of access to clean water and sanitation facilities, compounded by floods and heavy rains in December 2019 and January 2020, have led to a cholera outbreak, with over 1,200 cases and 18 deaths reported in the province up to 1 July 2020., OCHA said.
Severe food insecurity has risen due to the combination of Cyclone Kenneth, floods and violence.
In addition to this scenario, Cabo Delgado has been a focus of Covid-19, concentrating roughly a quarter of the approximately 1,000 cases of new coronavirus infection recorded in the country.
Humanitarian needs are on the rise and the United Nations launched a $35 million (€30 million) appeal to the international community in early June for a Rapid Response Plan for Cabo Delgado to be implemented from May to December.
One month later, the response to the appeal is around 20% of the budget.
Adding to the impoverished host communities, it is estimated that there are 712,000 people in need of help and the plan aims to support 354,000, about half, by the end of the year.
The armed violence in Cabo Delgado has intensified since March but has been going on since 2017, causing the death of at least 700 people, in a movement whose origin is still under debate and to which the jihadist Islamic State group has been associated for a year, demanding various incursions.
The Mozambican Defence and Security Forces (FDS) are on the ground, but information about their activity is scarce, referring occasionally to some actions – at the end of May, they announced a counter-attack that added to others will have resulted in the slaughter of 150 rebels and some heads.