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Conflict in northern Mozambique is entering its seventh year. Since 2017, it has displaced over 1 million people (the International Organization for Migration, Displacement Tracking Matrix, November 2022). From July 2021, security forces from the Southern African Development Community and Rwanda were deployed to support Mozambique’s security forces. This enabled intermittent humanitarian access in districts such as Palma, Muidumbe and Quissanga. However, violence has intensified in 2022, with unprecedented attacks in districts close to its capital, Pemba, and in neighbouring Nampula province, forcing more people to flee their villages. Prolonged and new displacements disrupt livelihoods – including agricultural production –, limit access to basic social services, and exacerbate protection risks, particularly for women and girls. With growing and protracted needs, the World Food Programme (WFP) is conducting a vulnerability assessment to ensure assistance reaches those most in need in the context of limited resources. WFP is also scaling up resilience-building activities among vulnerable communities, targeting approximately 160.000 people in 2023 with a wide range of agricultural and income-generating activities in Cabo Delgado. Across all its programmes, WFP integrates malnutrition treatment and prevention work to improve diets and address the underlying causes of malnutrition and poor development in the country.

What the World Food Programme is doing to respond to the Northern Mozambique emergency

Emergency food assistance
WFP supplies food assistance to over 986,000 people in conflict-affected parts of Cabo Delgado, as well as in the provinces of Nampula and Niassa. Due to limited funding, WFP has been mostly distributing reduced rations since April 2022.
Immediate Response Rations (IRRs)
When people flee from violence, they need immediate life-saving assistance. WFP provides rations of rice, beans and oil to a family of five, which covers their needs for 15 days until they are included in WFP’s regular monthly food assistance. This work is often carried out jointly with UNICEF and IOM (Joint Response Programme), to provide beneficiaries with a comprehensive package that includes food, shelter, and water, sanitation and hygiene supplies.
General food distribution
After registration, internally displaced people receive either food or cash-based transfers from WFP. Monthly family food rations – including rice, beans and oil – have been halved due to funding shortages. WFP continues increase the share of cash assistance where market conditions permit, with more than 40 percent of beneficiaries now receiving assistance through value vouchers that can be redeemed for a choice of food items.
Resilience and livelihood projects are key components of WFP’s strategy to address the root causes of food insecurity, and reduce dependency on humanitarian assistance. WFP has been gradually complementing life-saving food assistance with recovery and resilience activities – especially in areas where people have access to land – supporting people through agricultural kits and activities to build or rehabilitate community assets.
WFP provides nutrtional support to children aged 6-59 months, and to pregnant and breastfeeding women. To prevent malnutrition, WFP added fortified cereal to the food basket for children 6-23 months, and works to promote better diets through activities in social and behavioral change.
Logistics and common services
With various transport restrictions and no commercial flights, the WFP-managed United Nations Humanitarian Air Services continues to transport people, food, and other essentials to communities in need. WFP also provides logistics services for humanitarian partners, including storage, transport and handling services, bridging any gaps in partners’ operations.

How you can help

WFP requires US$74 million to deliver humanitarian food assistance to conflict-affected people in northern Mozambique until September 2023.
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