In August 2021, clashes between Government and foreign security forces and non-state armed groups (NSAGs) continued in Palma, Nangade and Mocimboa da Praia districts in Cabo Delgado, while attacks against civilians were recorded in Macomia and Quissanga districts. Joint security operations by the Mozambique Armed Defence Forces (FADM) and foreign forces resulted in the retaking of Palma and Mocimboa da Praia towns, as well as other areas in Nangade, Muidumbe, Macomia and Quissanga districts, as well as key road routes connecting major towns.
People continued to move throughout the province (and beyond) in search of safety and assistance. Of the 532 movements of displaced people recorded during August, 72 per cent were driven by fear of attacks and conflict, with lack of food (7 per cent), relocation (7 per cent) and humanitarian assistance (4 per cent) accounting for a smaller number of movements, according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). According to IOM’s Emergency Tracking Tool, most people who moved in August were previously displaced by the conflict, with close to 50 per cent being children and 30 per cent women.
Meanwhile, access by people to essential services remained highly constrained, with nearly half of Cabo Delgado’s health centres (43 out of 88) forcibly closed due to insecurity. In Mocimboa da Praia, for example, widespread destruction of infrastructure -including airports, hospitals, schools, water and electrical systems- was reported in areas that were retaken by security forces during the month. In other parts of the province, including Macomia, Muidumbe, Nangade, Palma and Quissanga, the delivery of essential services—especially healthcare—was hampered by the absence of key personnel and destruction or damage to facilities and equipment. Cabo Delgado has an estimated HIV prevalence of 11.4 per cent among adults aged 15 to 49 years old and people living with HIV have been uniquely impacted by disruptions to healthcare.
Humanitarian actors continued to expand their response in August, but some sectors faced significant challenges due to under-funding. More than 1.16 million people in northern Mozambique were assisted from January to August 2021, including around 861,000 people who received food assistance. However, in August, most food distributions were halted due to a pipeline break, and only around 49,900 people received food assistance. Some 527,000 people were assisted to access health services from January to August, with the number of women receiving modern contraceptives increasing to more than 63,300 by the end of August. The number of people assisted with access to adequate sanitation facilities and clean water and emergency shelter and/or non-food items increased significantly from July to August, up from 204,800 to 244,000, and 211,300 to 340,00 respectively. Nearly 170,000 people were reached with gender-based violence prevention activities by the end of August. Due to insecurity, however, there were no inter-agency missions during the month. In several accessible areas, humanitarians have reached more than the initially planned target due to the rise in internally displaced people arriving into these locations, as well as rising needs among host communities.
Only 38 per cent—US$ 95.3 million—of the requested funding had been received for humanitarian action in the northern provinces by the end of August. Despite an increase in funding recorded from June ($38.5 million) and July ($86.3 million), the gap in funding was still $158.7 million in August, and humanitarian organizations reported that they did not have sufficient resources to respond, causing a gap in life-saving operations, especially food assistance.