Norway will provide $1.6 million (€1.3 million) to support 300,000 vulnerable children in Mozambique, an initiative that will focus mainly on minors affected by armed violence in Cabo Delgado, an official statement said.
“The children of Cabo Delgado, on whom the project will focus, face a triple disaster: that of extreme violence, school closures and Covid-19. Norway will help these children at a particularly difficult time,” said Tom Eriksen, in charge of business at the Norwegian Embassy in Maputo, quoted in a statement from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which will implement the programmes.
In Cabo Delgado, attacks by armed groups, which broke out in 2017 in Mocímboa da Praia, have already caused at least 1,059 deaths, and some of the groups’ actions have been claimed by the ‘jihadist’ group Islamic State (EI).
According to the United Nations, armed violence in this northern province of Mozambique has forced 250,000 people to flee from insecure districts further north.
The provincial capital (Pemba) has been the main refuge for people seeking shelter and security in Cabo Delgado, but some prefer to flee to other places, including neighbouring Nampula province.
In addition to armed violence, UNICEF justifies the choice of Cabo Delgado for projects because the province has the worst socio-economic indicators in the country.
“This situation was exacerbated by cyclone Kenneth that hit the coast last year in April,” the communiqué said, pointing out that children living in centres for the displaced are among the priority groups.
In addition to material support to face the pandemic, children will also have access to psychosocial support.
Since the first state of emergency, decreed on April 1st and extended three times, classes have been given via television, radio and internet, but several Mozambican organizations warn of the limitations of this model, taking into account that most families in the country do not have access to these means, especially in rural areas.
“Children with pre-existing vulnerabilities, such as children living in settlements or similar places, children with underlying health conditions, children from single-parent families and child-headed families have an increased risk of dropping out of school due to prolonged class closures,” warned UNICEF.
With a total of 2,638 cases of Covid-19 and 19 deaths, Mozambique, which has been in a new state of emergency since August 8, still has no dates for the reopening of schools, and a plan is under way to create hygienic conditions for a safe restart in the face of the pandemic.
Source: Lusa via Club of Mozambique