Humanitarian Action for Children
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal helps support the agency’s work as it
provides conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition,
education, health and protection services. Return to main appeal page.
- The humanitarian situation in Mozambique has deteriorated with the intensification of conflict in Cabo Delgado province. Some 425,000 people are displaced, and basic services have been severely disrupted. Over 135,000 people are food insecure and nearly 28,000 children are acutely malnourished.
- Conflict-related violence has intensified in Cabo Delgado, with reports of killings, maimings, abductions and sexual violence against civilians, including children. The rapidly evolving conflict dynamics call for robust approaches to secure humanitarian access, as it is becoming challenging to reach affected populations in some districts.
- UNICEF will provide immediate and multi-sector life-saving assistance to internally displaced persons, host families and affected populations, including by providing critical supplies; strengthening health, nutrition, education, child protection and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services; supporting awareness raising, behaviour change and capacity building; and prioritizing the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse.
- UNICEF is requesting US$52.8 million to meet the humanitarian needs of affected children, women and adolescents in Mozambique, contain the spread of COVID-19 and respond to food and nutrition insecurity and flooding in 2021.
Key planned results for 2021
8,000 children admitted for treatment for severe acute malnutrition
400,000 people reached with critical water, sanitation and hygiene supplies and services
179,899 children accessing educational services
1.4 million people reached with messages on access to services
Funding requirements for 2021
Country needs and strategy
In Mozambique, nearly half of the population (48 per cent) is living below the poverty line; nearly half of Mozambicans (49 per cent) lack access to safe water; and more than three quarters are not using improved sanitation facilities. In addition, 43 per cent of children under 5 years are severely or moderately stunted and the country is facing a severe shortage of health workers (4.5 workers per 10,000 people).
On top of these existing vulnerabilities, Mozambique is also facing complex humanitarian challenges. COVID-19 has spread throughout the country, with over 14,000 cases reported as of November, and 8 of 11 provinces at high risk. The number of COVID-19 cases is expected to reach 800,000 by June 2021. The pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on education, with school closures affecting 8.5 million students.
Mozambique is also facing recurring cholera outbreaks, with nearly 3,300 cases and 31 deaths reported in 2020. Measles and rubella outbreaks have also been reported, with over 1,100 suspected cases nationwide and new cases reported in Cabo Delgado. In addition, over 135,000 people are food insecure and need assistance, and nearly 28,000 children aged 6 to 59 months are acutely malnourished and require treatment.
The conflict in Cabo Delgado has displaced 425,000 people, including 191,000 children, the majority of whom are living in host communities. Basic services have been severely disrupted, with 138 schools and nearly 62,000 students affected; 175,800 people impacted by non-operational water systems; and 25 per cent of health facilities not functioning. Security incidents reported in central Mozambique have displaced over 5,500 people. Affected populations are in urgent need of shelter, food, protection and access to health care and safe drinking water, and the COVID-19-related economic slowdown has exacerbated these needs.
Child rights violations continue in Mozambique, with reports of killings, abductions and abuse of girls and women. Gender-based violence cases also continue to rise. Access to services remains limited, particularly for persons with disabilities who lack accessible facilities, services and assistive devices. Appropriate case management, violence prevention and response services and psychosocial support are badly needed.
To meet the existing and projected humanitarian needs in Mozambique, UNICEF will provide immediate and multi-sector life-saving assistance to affected children and women.
With the conflict continuing to undermine livelihoods and employment opportunities, UNICEF will support gender-responsive and child-sensitive social protection mechanisms to help displaced people, primarily female-headed households, and host families access food and basic services. This will ensure more dignity and choice and contribute to increasing the use and coordination of cash-based programming, in line with the Grand Bargain commitments. UNICEF will prioritize community-based approaches in areas affected by insecurity and communities hosting displaced people to ensure that humanitarian support is inclusive and addresses the needs of both displaced people and host families to prevent potential tensions. The Rapid Response Mechanism will be explored as an approach to ensuring timely assistance to sudden displacements, including to assist displaced people in hard-to-reach areas.
In contexts characterized by insecurity and COVID-19 containment measures, UNICEF will adapt its operations to ensure the implementation of COVID-19 prevention measures, and establish partnerships with government counterparts and organizations with the capacity to operate in hard-to-reach areas.
UNICEF will provide inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in resettlement sites and temporary accommodation centres and target interventions in host areas. Planning for these interventions will incorporate gender-sensitive approaches and adapted facilities for individuals living with disabilities.
Inclusive child-friendly spaces will be established with UNICEF support in resettlement sites, where case management and gender-based violence prevention and response services will be available and disability inclusion will be supported through capacity building. Child rights violations will be documented to strengthen the capacities of national and local actors to address them and to inform necessary interventions.
UNICEF will support access to disease prevention, strengthen referral systems and establish mobile health teams to deliver essential services and facilitate access to quality treatment for acute malnutrition and appropriate infant and young child feeding services and counselling for women and children.
UNICEF will also support inclusive youth-friendly spaces to enable affected young people, including those with disabilities, to congregate and safely access programmes and services and equip them as agents of positive change. The prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse will be prioritized across all programmes.
UNICEF will coordinate these interventions with the Government and through the cluster mechanism, and lead the WASH, education and nutrition clusters and the child protection area of responsibility. Capacity-building initiatives and efforts to strengthen service delivery will contribute to enhancing the linkages between humanitarian action and development programmes.
Humanitarian Action is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate to realize the rights of every child. This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children in Mozambique; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.