The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) has granted 30 million crowns (about US$3.6M) to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to care for the food and nutritional needs of people affected by terrorist attacks in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.
“Sweden is deeply concerned with the escalation of the conflict in Cabo Delgado and its devastating effects on the food security and well-being of the local population”, said Swedish ambassador Mette Sunnergren, cited in a WFP release. “Through this humanitarian food aid, we hope to reach the most vulnerable communities in remote areas affected by the conflict”.
The WFP says it will be able to use this funding “to help reduce food insecurity for approximately 95,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) over the next two months in Northern Mozambique. It will also provide the WFP-managed UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) with the much-needed resources to transport emergency items and supplies for humanitarian assistance”.
The government estimates the number of people displaced from their homes in Cabo Delgado at around 565,000. The number increased fourfold since March, because of terrorist offensives in some of the central and northern districts of Cabo Delgado.
The displaced have sought refuge in the provincial capital, Pemba, in districts in the south of the province untouched by the conflict, and in other provinces, particularly Nampula, but also Zambezia, Niassa and Sofala.
The Swedish aid is arriving at a time when humanitarian assistance was running out. WFP warned that Cabo Delgado already has the highest rates of chronic malnutrition among children in Mozambique.
“This timely contribution by the Government of Sweden is an oxygen balloon, which ensures we continue to save lives, especially when WFP and the entire humanitarian community in the country is facing a shortage of funds”, said Antonella D’Aprile, WFP Country Representative in Mozambique. “We are deeply humbled and grateful to the People of Sweden for this generous gift to help the most vulnerable in Mozambique’’.
WFP says it requires US$9.75M every month to provide assistance to the displaced. That means US$117M is needed for the next 12 months. “In the absence of enough funding, food supplies will be compromised leading to a reduction in rations or potential suspension of food distributions”, the WFP release warned.
Source: AIM via Club of Mozambique