The World Food Program (WFP) has resumed the delivery of full humanitarian food assistance to host families and displaced persons in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, its latest report on the humanitarian crisis reveals.
The aid packages delivered to each family had been reduced to 39% of daily energy needs since July, 2021, due to a lack of funds.
“Full rations are expected to be distributed from January to March,” announces the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS network), which is part of the WFP, in a document released on Monday and consulted today by Lusa.
However, the plan is subject to change according to the availability of additional resources and the redirection of priorities, the document adds.
During the month of January, WFP helped 980,000 people in Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Niassa.
A joint military intervention by Mozambique, Rwanda and countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is eliminating the armed insurgency and restoring security to the province, but “sporadic attacks by scattered groups of insurgents are reigniting fear” among the population.
This scenario “limits [the] active participation in the agricultural season” essential to satisfy hunger for most families, who have traditionally depended on subsistence agriculture.
Also according to the FEWS network, a new area of food ‘stress’ has emerged in Mecula, in Niassa province, due to attacks that forced the flight of 3,700 inhabitants, and which authorities have attributed to insurgents fleeing Cabo Delgado.
Concern for the impact of weather shocks and conflict on agricultural production
- Moderate Tropical Storm Ana made landfall in Nampula province on January 24, 2022, impacting the provinces of Nampula, Zambezia, Tete, and parts of Niassa, Manica, and Sofala. Windspeeds of 100-130 km/h and over 100 millimeters of rainfall over 24 hours resulted in widespread flooding. As of January 28, 2022, preliminary assessments by the INGD indicate over 126,000 people have been affected, along with the destruction of more than 5,700 homes, 543 classrooms, 30 health facilities, 45 roads, and the flooding of over 37,900 hectares of cropland. Over 10,800 people are receiving humanitarian assistance at 20 accommodation centers (15 in Zambézia, four in Tete, and one in Nampula). These preliminary estimates are likely to increase as assessments are carried out and information becomes available.
- Across Mozambique, most poor households are experiencing None (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, with area-level Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes persisting in areas impacted by natural shocks in recent years. In areas affected by Tropical Storm Ana, current and projected food security outcomes are expected to be worse than previously anticipated, and the analysis will be updated in FEWS NET’s February Food Security Outlook report. In Cabo Delgado, sporadic attacks by dispersed small groups of insurgents are occurring in remote areas, rekindling tension and fear among the local population, and limiting active participation in the ongoing 2021/22 agricultural season. Conflict-affected areas are likely facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3), with humanitarian food assistance (HFA) driving Stressed! (IPC Phase2!) in safer areas. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes have emerged in Mecula district, Niassa province, following recent attacks that have displaced more than 3,700 people. Increased conflict and displacement will likely drive the emergence of area-level Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in Mecula district if the conflict continues. In urban and peri-urban areas, most poor households remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to below-average economic activity from COVID-19 prevention measures.
- Heavy rainfall in South Africa and Eswatini has resulted in the opening of the dam gates and flood alert levels along the Maputo, Incomáti, and Umbelúzi rivers. River overflow, damage to access roads, and flooding over agricultural areas have been reported. Intermediate and rapid assessments suggest up to 15 percent of planted areas in the districts of Matutuíne, Boane, Marracuene, Magude, and Manhiça in Maputo province may have been impacted by the flooding. Households are likely to recover lost production in post-flood planting; however, very poor households may require additional seed to re-plant.
- International and regional forecasts indicate that La Niña conditions are likely to continue through March-May 2022. The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) will remain neutral through at least June 2022, while the Subtropical Indian Ocean Dipole (SIOD) is negative and forecast to be negative-to-neutral during the remainder of the rainfall season. Based on these climate drivers, rainfall for January to March 2022 is expected to be below average in southern and eastern Mozambique. However, the delayed start of rainfall in northern Mozambique will likely result in reduced harvests in localized areas due to the shortened crop growing window. An average number of cyclones are expected to be formed in the southwest Indian ocean through the remainder of the 2021/2022 rainfall season.
- In January 2022, WFP plans to provide humanitarian food assistance to around 980,000 beneficiaries in Cabo Delgado, Nampula, and Niassa. Full rations are expected to be distributed from January till March, with a potential pipeline break in April due to a lack of funds. However, this plan is subject to changes according to the availability of additional resources and the redirection of priorities. Other humanitarian organizations are focused on livelihood assistance, treatment of malnutrition, WASH activities, and educating communities on COVID-19 safety and treatment.
- From November to December 2021, maize grain prices had a mixed trend, with prices stable in Maputo, Manica, Montepuez, and Lichinga markets; however, maize prices increased 7-20 percent in Chókwe, Maxixe, Bárue markets, and declined by 6-41 percent in Mutarara, Massinga, and Mocuba. Typically, maize grain prices increase through the lean season; however, the stability and decline in maize grain prices are likely being driven by markets adjusting following high prices in 2019 and 2020 from the impact of cyclones and COVID-19. Maize grain prices in December 2021 were 10-54 percent lower than 2020, except in Montepuez, where maize grain price was 20 percent above last year. Compared to the five-year average, maize grain prices in most markets were 6-48 percent below average except in Maputo and Montepuez, where prices were 6 and 56 percent above average, respectively. Maize meal and rice prices remained stable from November to December 2021, with a mixed trend nationally compared to last year and the five-year average.
Source: Lusa % Fews Net