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 is critical, particularly in Cabo Delgado where nearly 856,000 people, including 414,272 children, have been displaced and are in need of humanitarian assistance. In addition, 363,000 people in the province are at risk of food insecurity (IPC crisis level 3 or above) and COVID-19 continues to deepen vulnerabilities of affected population, particularly in health, education and nutrition.
- UNICEF will provide multi-sector, life-saving assistance to vulnerable populations including children, women and people with disabilities. The response includes capacity building, system strengthening, reinforcement of community-based structures and provision of key supplies in Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Niassa, Sofala, Zambezia and Manica provinces. UNICEF will also strengthen its work in reporting, monitoring and responding to grave violations against children.
- UNICEF is requesting US$98.8 million to reach over 1 million people addressing the needs of the women, children and to prepare for the high risk of climatic events in the country.
Key planned results for 2022
283,160 children receiving vitamin A supplementation
700,000 people accessing a sufficient quantity of safe water
105,613 children / caregivers accessing mental health and psychosocial support
262,740 children accessing educational services
Funding requirements for 2022
Country needs and strategy
The humanitarian situation in Mozambique is worrisome, requiring a flexible approach to address the most immediate needs of children and communities, while engaging in mid- to long-term peacebuilding and development strategies. The country has faced cyclones, conflict and COVID-19 in the last two years, affecting hundreds of thousands of children and caregivers. UNICEF estimates that 46 per cent of children are multidimensionally poor, which exacerbates existing vulnerabilities, including gender and inclusion.
The ongoing conflict deteriorated significantly in 2021, resulting in the massive displacement of over 856,000 people (48 per cent children). About 83 per cent of internally displaced people (IDPs) live in host communities and 17 per cent live in IDP camps or resettlement sites. The situation in Cabo Delgado is a protection crisis, with children and women continuously exposed to grave violations including killings, abductions, recruitment by armed groups and gender-based violence. Family separation and mental health are also of concern. Protective learning environments require support with over 500,000 children and 2,000 teachers needing learning spaces and materials.
Conflict and other shocks have led to increased food insecurity, with more than 866,000 people likely to need assistance through June 2022. The July 2021 Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Acute Malnutrition analysis revealed that nearly 75,000 children aged 6 to 59 months are threatened by acute malnutrition, with nearly 27,400 at risk of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in 2022. Health reports reveal coverage of SAM services below 30 per cent due to limited health facility access and availability, and shortages of therapeutic products. The nutrition situation is likely to deteriorate if urgent prevention and response measures are not quickly implemented.
The country has also been seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with infection rates doubling in 2021 and hospitalizations increasing five times. In 2020, school closures due to COVID-19 affected 8.5 million children/youth. In 2021, closures affected 14 per cent of primary and 37 per cent of secondary school students. Mozambique also suffers from communicable disease outbreaks, including cholera, requiring a coordinated, multi-sector response.
Mozambique is 9th out of 191 countries on the INFORM Index due to conflict and climate change. As climatic shocks occur with more frequency and severity, preparing and responding to shocks is critical. The climatic risks, combined with the conflict in the north, have dramatically increased the needs of children and their families.
UNICEF is working, with the Government and implementing partners, to prioritize multisectorial, life-saving interventions, and to address urgent humanitarian needs. UNICEF will support displaced populations, including in remote areas where help is most needed. Given that 83 per cent of internally displaced people live in host communities, UNICEFwill address their combined needs through the expansion of existing basic services using a gender-sensitive and inclusive approach to health, nutrition, water and sanitation, child protection and education. In hard to reach areas, UNICEF will provide immediate assistance to people on the move through survival hygiene and water kits. UNICEF will also prepare and preposition for the foreseen climatic shocksand natural hazards.
UNICEF promotes child survival by preventing and responding to disease outbreaks through health education, reducing excesses mortality, capacity building of health professionals, and training of community health workers. UNICEF will prevent deterioration of the nutrition situation among women and children through scaling up proven high-impact prevention and treatment activities. UNICEF will support the Government and partners to expand coverage and quality of community-based services. Access to safe water, clean latrines with handwashing stations, and hygiene promotion counselling and supplies will enable children and caregivers, including people with disabilities and adolescent girls, to maintain dignity and significantly reduce risks of disease.
The return of children and adolescents to formal and non-formal learning will be prioritized by providing safe learning environments and key supplies. Out-of-school adolescents will be targeted with job training, literacy and numeracy skills. The Child Protection team will work together with stakeholders to ensure children can access structured support, protective learning environments and psychosocial support services. UNICEF is leading the monitoring, reporting and response to grave violations against child rights and advocacy on children in armed conflict.
Community engagement for behaviour change will support adoption of key life-saving practices through multiple communication channels and community platforms including specific messaging for women and girls. UNICEF will continue to support the Government's social protection cash grants for displaced people and families with children under two years.
The prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse will be prioritized across all programmes, including activities focused on community sensitization and the training of government counterparts, partners, and suppliers. UNICEF will also work to strengthen reporting mechanisms and coordination with the wider humanitarian network and the Government. UNICEF will further ensure cluster coordination for WASH, education, nutrition and child protection at national and sub-national levels.
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.