Attacks by non-state armed groups expanded geographically and increased in intensity in 2020, significantly heightening protection risks, especially for women and girls, people with disabilities, older persons and people living with HIV/AIDS.
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic presents a burden on a system that is already struggling to respond to pre-existing humanitarian needs and protection concerns resulting from the impact of climate shocks, insecurity and armed conflict.
People living in camps or camp-like settings or resettlement sites or within host communities, with limited access to services, are all at heightened risk during a disease outbreak as their right to information, access to healthcare and access to protection services are constrained.
Women are reportedly walking long distance to access food, water and services, exposing them to protection risks, particularly sexual and gender-based violence, according to a rapid assessment conducted by World Vision.
Children are particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the closure of schools and services. Most children living in accommodation sites in Sofala, Nampula and Cabo Delgado do not have access to gears to protect them from COVID-19. The lack of sufficient handwashing facilities hampers humanitarian’s ability to carry out activities with children.
More than 60 per cent of people displaced have reported lack of identification documents such as National ID card, birth certificate and parents are not able to access birth certificates for newborns in some areas.
A Child Friendly Space adapted methodology considering COVID-19 preventive measures, was prepared and is under approval by the Government. However, its implementation will not be effective without proper funding.
In Central Mozambique, at least four cases of gender-based violence (GBV) were referred in December, including three in Dondo and one in Buzi. This was carried out in collaboration with PLAN International.
In the same region, partners distributed at least 500 dignity kits and face masks to survivors of Cyclone Chalane in Sofala.
In Northern Mozambique, joint efforts between Government Social Welfare, ICRC and Save the Children resulted in the safe reunification of five of unaccompanied children and about 54 others were placed in safe foster care families, in December alone.
At least 581 children (287 male and 294 female) were registered for case management services, with the support of AVSI and Save the Children. Most of these children were either referred to health facilities or for birth registration services.
AVSI and Save the Children also provided psychosocial support to at least 795 children (423 male and 372 female).
Partners launched a birth registration campaign on 18 December in Metuge District, Cabo Delgado Province, and registered almost 4,000 children (1,976 males and 1,945 females).
A joint Government and UN team from Cabo Delgado distributed 300 dignity kits for displaced people in Niassa, who had fled the conflict in Cabo Delgado. The team also visited people displaced in Lichinga, Marrupa, Cuamba, Mecula, Metarica, Mandimba, Chimbunila and Administrative Post of Meponda.
At least 300 dignity kits were distributed to women and girls in N’koripo in Montepuez, while 917 people participated in GBV awareness campaigns in the same locality.
UNFPA reprinted 250 GBV Pocket Guides in Portuguese version and sent copies to Niassa and Nampula, while others will be distributed to partners as the need arises.
More than 1,630 women and girls had access to activities at the Women Friendly Spaces (WFS) in Cabo Delgado. At least 9 WFS are in operation in the province (3 in Metuge, 2 Montepuez, 2 Chiure, 1 Mecufi, 1 Ancuabe), with plans to establish 3 new WFS in Pemba, Metuge and Ancuabe.
COVID-19 sessions were held in different locations of Cabo Delgado with direct participation of Government authorities, health workers and locals. At least 2,555 people from Ancuabe, Chiure, Metuge, Montepuez and Pemba were reached with the messages.
A Clinical Management Training on Sexual Violation cases took place in Chiure for ten participants from Pemba, Metuge, Ancuabe, Chiúre and Montepuez. The objective was to increase capacity among health and social action technicians for the management and integrated care of survivors of GBV, mainly in the districts that have the greatest number of people displaced by the conflict in Cabo Delgado.
Gap in funding is affecting the possibility of Child Protection partners to extend their geographical coverage and address the needs of children affected by the armed conflict in Cabo Delgado. Partners have not received significant funds to respond to COVID-19 and this is evidenced in the lack of capacity to ensure proper preventive measures.
There are gaps in capacity to support the Provincial Directorate of Gender, Child, and Social Affairs (DPGCAS) to establish an Integrated Service Centre (CAI) and an Office for the Assistance of Family and Minor Victims of Violence (GAFMVV) in Pemba. UNFPA will be ready to equip the GAFMVV.
With limited access to Quissanga, Macomia, Mocimboa da Praia, remote and mobile case management to support GBV survivors or women at risk of violence is an important gap.
In some districts of Cabo Delgado, there is a lack of services to refer individuals in situation of vulnerability, particularly people with disabilities, and absence of state agents and NGOs responsible to provide the necessary follow up.
In Niassa, Lichinga, Marrupa and Cuamba localities, all hosting internally displaced people, lack women friendly spaces.