News release

Mozambique: ICRC to scale up its humanitarian response in 2021

Today ICRC President Peter Maurer finalised his official visit to Mozambique by meeting with the President of the Republic of Mozambique, H.E. Felipe Jacinto Nyusi. To help respond to the humanitarian crisis in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, the ICRC will scale up its programmes in 2021 with a focus on assistance, health and training programs on the promotion of International Humanitarian Law for weapons bearers. The ICRC has been working in Mozambique for over 40 years, in close partnership with the Mozambican Red Cross (CVM), including during the civil war and the violence in the central provinces.

"The people of Mozambique are today facing a triple humanitarian crisis with persistent threats due to climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and armed conflict. We remain at the side of Mozambique in these challenging times and will scale up our support," said Peter Maurer, the ICRC's President.

More than 500,000 people have fled the upsurge of violence in the northern province of Cabo Delgado since the beginning of 2019. Most of them have fled to urban settings, such as Pemba, Montepuez and Metuge, putting additional strain on fragile communities and infrastructure, including medical services. "Health facilities and staff have been double victims of Cyclone Kenneth and the violence which has seen the flight of healthcare workers and the destruction of more facilities, including those rehabilitated post-cyclone," said President Maurer. According to an assessment made by ICRC health experts, 39 health facilities (71%) out of 55 in 9 conflict-affected Cabo Delgado districts (there are 17 districts in total) are non-operational. Moreover, 686 health professionals have fled their places of work due to insecurity. In Macomia in late May 2020, after an attack on the town, almost the entire population fled into the surrounding countryside and infrastructure, including a maternity hospital that had been repaired by the ICRC after Cyclone Kenneth, was destroyed; it was the only maternity facility for miles.

In 2021, the ICRC will rehabilitate nine primary health facilities serving more than 175,400 patients in Pemba, and support hospitals in Montepuez and Pemba specialized in the treatment of trauma wounds. It will also continue its support to the COVID-19 treatment center Décimo Congresso, in Pemba, rehabilitated in 2020, with donations of health and hygiene material. In parallel, the ICRC will continue helping displaced and host communities locate their missing loved ones or establish contact with them, as well as with essential household items, seeds, tools and fishing kits to help them rebuild their lives. Finally, it will support initiatives to ensure adequate conditions of detention and treatment of detainees.

The ICRC is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance.

For further information, please contact:

Daphné Lucas, ICRC Maputo, +49 176 77656857,
Simão Maia, ICRC Maputo, +258 845556466,