Food & Society

Humanitarian crisis on the rise in Cabo Delgado – Mozambique

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There is a growing humanitarian crisis in Cabo Delgado province, in northern Mozambique.

According to the “Aid to the Church in Need” Foundation , cases of cholera and malaria are increasing among the more than 600 thousand displaced persons fleeing the armed attacks in the region. The camps have been abandoned and the drought makes the situation even more difficult.

Henriques Laba, Mute inhabitant:

“The situation is now getting worse because we are hungry and we have no support.”

The main road in the region is cut for security reasons and humanitarian aid has no way to reach several points in the province.

Ali Shabby, displaced from Lumbe says:

“We are not eating anything … we only eat vegetables.”

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that there are about 950,000 people “facing severe hunger” in northern Mozambique, a quarter of whom are children.

Armed groups, known locally as al-Shabab (“young people” in Arabic), have been sowing terror for more than three years in the strategic province of Cabo Delgado, which borders Tanzania and is an area that is rich in natural gas.

“In addition to the training, the US government provided medical and communications equipment,” the embassy said, adding that the American forces who will partake in the program called “Joint Combined Exchange Training” are already in Mozambique.

The move comes as the US designated rebel groups in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo as foreign terrorist organizations.

The conflict reached a symbolic turning point at the end of December with attacks carried out for the first time just a few kilometers from a multibillion-euro gas project operated by the French oil and gas company Total.

Attacks have reduced considerably in the last few months, which is attributed to increased military response.

But the NGO Amnesty International on March 2 accused the Mozambican forces and mercenaries of “war crimes” for indiscriminately killing civilians during their struggle against the jihadist group in Cabo Delgado.

The army refuted the accusations.

The conflict has left at least 2,600 dead, more than half of them civilians, according to the NGO ACLED.

More than 670,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, according to the United Nations.

“Civil protection, human rights and community involvement are at the heart of American cooperation and are essential to effectively combat ISIS in Mozambique,” the United States said in a press statement.

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