By Ajibola Abayomi

International Organization for Migration (IOM) Director General António Vitorino is on a three-day visit to Mozambique to assess and support the humanitarian response to ongoing displacement due to insecurity, as well as IOM’s interventions on recovery, community resilience and peacebuilding.  

The Director General has visited Metuge district, which hosts over 125,000 of the more than 732,000 individuals displaced since late 2017.  

“I urge the rapid expansion of humanitarian assistance to support the hundreds of thousands of individuals displaced by the continuing insecurity in Cabo Delgado,” said DG Vitorino, who wraps up his visit on Wednesday. 

“IOM has significantly scaled up operations to reach tens of thousands of families every month. Significant additional funding is required to cover life-saving humanitarian needs and work towards durable solutions, especially before the next rainy and cyclone season in December.” 

Families continue to be on the move, seeking shelter, humanitarian assistance and means of support while uprooted from home.

During the week of 28 July to 3 August, more than 9,200 displaced people were on the move, half of whom have experienced multiple displacements, according to IOM´s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). 

Between January and July 2021, IOM Mozambique has provided assistance to more than 600,000 people in Cabo Delgado, including shelter construction or reconstruction support, emergency shelters, retrofitting roof kits and non-food or household items.  

However, IOM operations are underfunded, especially in Camp Coordination and Camp Management, Shelter and Non-Food Items, Protection, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Health in Emergencies. Through these programmes, IOM provides vulnerable and conflict-affected individuals with essential support. This includes psychosocial assistance; assessing the mental health needs of displaced people, providing referrals and enhancing awareness within communities. 

“Our responses must also address the drivers of fragility and violence, and promote sustainable peace and recovery,” said DG Vitorino. “Critical support is needed for IOM’s peacebuilding programming; the need is more urgent than ever, considering the rapidly changing context in the northern districts of Cabo Delgado.” 

Since 2019 IOM’s Community Resilience and Peacebuilding portfolio has worked to strengthen community resilience to address the underlying causes of crisis in support of the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus.  

IOM Mozambique continues to operate in the south, centre and north of the country in cooperation with the Government and humanitarian, development and peacebuilding partners.  

In central Mozambique, there are still 73 resettlement sites hosting 93,000 people displaced by Cyclone Idai in 2019 and by more recent cyclones and major weather events. Enhanced access to durable solutions is much needed, as these displaced people remain vulnerable to future natural disasters.  

In 2021, IOM requires USD 58 million to support emergency and post-crisis efforts in Mozambique under the IOM Mozambique Crisis Response Plan, which includes USD 21.7 million to respond to immediate lifesaving  humanitarian needs in northern Mozambique through this year’s Humanitarian Response Plan, which remains underfunded.

Source: IOM Website

IOM Director General Antonio Vitorino speaks with Internally Displaced Persons while visiting a resettlement site in Cabo Delgado to oversee the humanitarian assistance. Photo: IOM (photo by IOM Team)

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