Mozambique: WFP Warns Cabo Delgado Is Facing Hunger

The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) on 5 July warned that, without urgent funding, one of the world’s fasting growing displacement of people, in northern Mozambique, risks becoming a hunger emergency.

Over 730,000 people in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado have fled terrorist attacks and the WFP’s executive director, David Beasley, lamented that “the conflict has destroyed people’s jobs, lives and hopes for the future. Insurgents have ripped families apart, burning their homes, traumatising children, and killing people”.

Beasley, who recently visited the province, added that “these innocent communities are now completely reliant on WFP and our partners to provide them with life-saving food and help them get back on their feet. We must not fail them”.

Food security is a growing problem in the province. In March, around 228,000 people were highly food insecure, but this number is projected to grow to 363,000 during the lean season beginning in October. The worst affected are children, with recent data showing that 75,000 children under the age of five are suffering from acute malnutrition.

The WFP points out that the influx of internally displaced people into neighbouring districts has caused problems for local communities. It warns that “the added pressure on already scarce resources is impacting host communities struggling with rising food prices and loss of income due to Covid-19”.

WFP is urgently appealing for US$121 million to support 750,000 people until the end of the year. It warns of “the risk of having to reduce rations or even halt its food assistance to displaced people next month if no additional funds are received”.