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Map of Mozambique
UNICEF photo: a group of children © UNICEF Mozambique/2016/JulioDengucho Children attend a mobile health clinic in Tchaque village, Massingir district, Gaza province, to receive health checks and learn about nutrition.


In 2016, UNICEF and partners plan for:

pregnant and lactating women reached with IYCF services


people provided with access to safe water (7.5-15L per person per day)


children under 5 with SAM admitted to nutrition rehabilitation treatment programmes

2016 Requirements: US$8,800,000

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Total affected population: 1,500,000
Total affected children: 850,000

Total people to be reached in 2016: 243,9601
Total children to be reached in 2016: 67,9202

El Niño conditions have resulted in Mozambique experiencing the worst drought in 30 years, severely impacting food security and agricultural production across the country. On 12 April 2016, the Government of Mozambique announced a Red Alert for 90 days due to the seriousness of the drought in the south and central regions. The provinces of Tete, Sofala and Zambezia in the central region and Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane in the south are most affected. Results from the food security and nutritional assessment released in March 20163, estimate that 1.5 million people are currently food insecure and 191,000 children are projected to be acutely malnourished over the next 12 months. Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates for children under 5 have reached emergency levels of 15 per cent in both Sofala and Tete provinces. Based on government estimates for 2016, 150,000 pregnant and lactating women will require support in Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) services; 500,000 people are in need of safe drinking water and 226,000 school children are in need of emergency school feeding. The continuation of the drought and the further deterioration of the situation has extreme implications for children, pregnant and lactating women and other vulnerable groups. In addition, security restrictions owing to military tensions add an additional layer of complexity for the implementation of sustained humanitarian assistance.

Humanitarian strategy

2016 Programme Targets


  • 27,500 children under 5 with SAM admitted to nutrition rehabilitation treatment programmes
  • 150,000 pregnant and lactating women reached with IYCF services


  • 120,000 people provided with access to safe water (7.5-15L per person per day)
  • 120,000 people benefiting from hygiene promotion activities including point-of-use water treatment safe practices

Complementing both Government and Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) interventions, UNICEF’s humanitarian response strategy focuses on two critical areas of intervention: water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and nutrition. UNICEF is also supporting the Food Security Cluster in the area of emergency school feeding. In the sectors of education, health and child protection, the needs of people are currently being met, however, UNICEF is monitoring the impact of the drought on children and women as well as scaling up its preparedness measures in these areas in case the situation deteriorates further. In WASH, UNICEF will focus on supporting sustained access to safe drinking water through water trucking to the most affected communities; rehabilitation and upgrading of existing community water points; distribution of chlorine water treatment products and through the drilling of new boreholes and hygiene promotion. In addition, UNICEF will support coordination and information management of the WASH sector response. In nutrition, UNICEF’s interventions are focused on identifying and treating severe acute malnutrition (SAM) among children under five, providing IYCF services to pregnant and lactating mothers as well as supporting information management. Further humanitarian needs assessments will be conducted in June 2016, which will give a more in-depth insight to specific needs of the affected population.

Funding requirements

UNICEF is requesting US$8,800,000 to meet the humanitarian needs of children and women in the most drought-affected communities in Mozambique in 2016. The significant WASH requirements are associated with investing in solutions to strengthen long term resilience through providing multi-purpose, deep boreholes and desalination options, as well as shorter-term solutions such as water trucking. To date, US$712,216 has been received. Without additional funding, UNICEF will be unable to effectively provide life-saving interventions in the nutrition and WASH sectors to reduce the impact of drought on the most vulnerable groups of people, including children and women.

1 This number was calculated based on UNICEF’s 2016 WASH programme target of 120,000 people and on an estimate of 56.6 per cent of children among the general population and UNICEF’s 2016 programme target of 150,000 pregnant and lactating women to be reached with IYCF services (67,920 children; 150,000 women; 26,040 men).
2 This number is based on an estimate of the number of children among the population (56.6 per cent) and UNICEF’s 2016 WASH programme target of 120,000 people.
3 Technical Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition (SETSAN), March 2016.