Mozambique: WFP Transitioning to Recovery Activity in Northern Mozambique

The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) on 23 December announced that it has started to gradually transition from life-saving food assistance to recovery and resilience activities in northern Mozambique.

In its latest country brief, WFP laments that nationally high malnutrition affects almost half of children under 5 years of age and that over 2.9 million people face severe acute food insecurity. It notes the negative economic effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and that nearly half of the population remain below the poverty line.

WFP adds that “Mozambique remains one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, with drought and pests affecting staple crops in much of the country while the central part has been affected by cyclones every year leading to agricultural losses, destruction of infrastructure, assets and livelihoods as well as internal displacement. Thus, significant challenges remain to achieve food and nutrition security. Mozambicans still cannot afford the cost of a nutritious diet”.

The situation is particularly dire in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, which has seen islamist terrorism wreak murderous havoc with people in many areas forced to flee from their homes and livelihoods. WFP notes that “after two decades of peace and stability, the intensification of violence in Cabo Delgado Province threatens socio-economic progress”.

Despite significant progress by the Mozambican defence and security forces, along with their allies from the Southern Africa Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) and Rwanda, in dislodging the terrorists and returning security to the affected areas, it will take many months before everyone returns to their homes and restart their lives.