Amid escalating violence in Mozambique, 60,000 children displaced within a month

This is a summary of what was said by UNICEF Mozambique chief of communication, Guy Taylor, to whom quoted text may be attributed - at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

08 March 2024

Maputo, Mozambique, 8 March 2024In the past month, attacks and fear of attacks in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, have triggered the displacement of almost 100,000 people, including more than 60,000 children.  

“Children separated from their families are at risk of violence and exploitation, including recruitment and use by armed groups.

“More than 100 schools in Cabo Delgado and Nampula provinces have had to close due to insecurity, affecting the learning of over 50,000 children. Children and families are being cut off from essential services, including health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, and child protection services.

“And many of those forced to flee – more than 45,000 people – have fled to Erati district, in Nampula, the province immediately south of Cabo Delgado, an area that is experiencing a cholera outbreak, putting them at serious risk.

“In the chaos created by displacement, many children have become separated from their families. UNICEF has so far registered 182 cases of separated children since the latest attacks in Chiure district on February 24. Working with partners and the Government of Mozambique, we have managed to reunify 57 families and we are following up and providing care for those who have not yet been reunited with parents.

“Without access to nutrition services, displaced children experiencing severe acute malnutrition are at serious risk. The psychological impact on children and families is also tremendous. Our teams on the ground in Cabo Delgado report that children are traumatized and having difficulty coping with the hardships they are experiencing.

“UNICEF is working closely with UN and civil society partners in:

  • supporting the operation of cholera treatment centres;
  • deploying mobile health brigades to deliver immunization and other essential health services;
  • bringing clean water to those displaced through water trucking and provision of water treatment supplies;
  • constructing emergency latrines and sanitation infrastructure;
  • setting up child-friendly spaces where children can play and receive psychosocial support;
  • registering displaced school children, distributing teaching and learning materials and setting up temporary learning spaces;
  • and sharing information via megaphone, mobile media units, theatre groups, religious leaders and community radio.

“But the need is substantial. UNICEF estimates that US$5 million is urgently needed to meet the immediate needs of 90,000 people over the next 90 days. No additional resources have been mobilized so far, leaving the response under capacity and overstretched.”

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Media contacts

Guy Taylor
UNICEF Mozambique
Louis Vigneault-Dubois
UNICEF Africa Services Unit
Tel: +27 79 495 5938

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