The combined effects of natural disasters, conflicts and the COVID-19 pandemic have left many people in Mozambique in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, with “many forced to leave their own lands and finding themselves in highly precarious conditions,” as stressed by the Holy Father when speaking on the Cabo Delgado region.
As of December 2021, over 744,000 individuals are internally displaced in the country due to an armed conflict that erupted in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province in 2017, while around 116,385 people have been displaced in Central Mozambique due to natural disasters. Mozambique also hosts more than 28,500 refugees and asylum seekers, of which around 9,500 reside in the Maratane settlement while the remaining 19,000 reside in urban areas. Around 52% of the overall IDP population are children.
Mozambique’s low-lying coast is prone to climate-induced disasters. Two years after Tropical Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth hit Mozambique in March 2019, the storm cycle continues, with frequent natural disasters causing damage and affecting the population. Although violence is now leading less to displacement, the situation remains volatile and needs for humanitarian food assistance remain high, with an estimated 1.3 million people currently in need – 14% of the total population.
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