Humanitarian situation in Mozambique - statistics & facts

Escalating violence and natural disasters have caused torment and created humanitarian needs in Mozambique. In 2021, nearly 700,000 Mozambicans were displaced from their homes. They fled, mostly from an ongoing conflict in Cabo Delgado, the country’s northernmost province, where attacks perpetrated by armed groups have intensified in the last years. In addition, thousands of people were internally displaced by natural disasters, the most recent being the Tropical Cyclone Eloise last January. Altogether, and intensified by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the disruptions led to around 1.3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Mozambique in 2021, a figure that almost doubled compared to 2020.

Escalating violence

At the beginning of 2021, a brutal massacre in Mozambique shocked the world. The city of Palma, located in the oil-rich province Cabo Delgado, was attacked by armed insurgents, accused of links to the Islamic State. The offensive represented a conflict taking place in the region since 2017, leaving a trail of arbitrary killings and detentions, rapes, human trafficking, and kidnapping. Between 2018 and 2021, over 1,400 deaths were registered in the country as a result of violence against civilians. As of March 2021, more than 630 thousand people had to leave their homes in Cabo Delgado to flee the increasing violence.

Natural disasters

Concurrent to the conflict in the north, climate shocks contribute to worsening the humanitarian situation in Mozambique. A high share of Mozambican localities is at risk of natural disasters. The country is regularly affected by events such as floods, cyclones, and droughts. From 2013 to 2020, at least 23 weather hazards were reported in Mozambique. In 2019, the devastating cyclones Idai and Kenneth hit the country consecutively, within a short interval of six weeks. More than 600 people died, while around two million were left in need of assistance.

Social and economic impact

Violent events and natural disasters in Mozambique have also been contributing to alarming food insecurity. Some 8.2 million people lack sufficient food for consumption, and around 40 percent of children aged under five face chronic malnutrition. Furthermore, the violence provokes an economic impact of three billion PPP U.S. dollars, and the insurgency in Cabo Delgado threatens natural gas projects conducted by multinationals. Lastly, Mozambique’s humanitarian crisis gained an extra component in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 70 thousand cases of the novel coronavirus were registered in the country since the outbreak started.

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