Cabo Delgado: Volatile security situation still persistent

“The security situation is still volatile in some districts of Cabo Delgado, and since September, there have been multiple attacks, leaving thousands newly displaced in the districts of Macomia, Mocimboa da Praia, and Muidumbe. Access remains challenging in some areas of these districts, which have been isolated and without support over the past few years.

It is premature to talk about stabilisation and life returning to normal in Cabo Delgado – over 600,000 people remain displaced, while 540,000 people previously displaced have returned to their areas of origin. Most have witnessed and experienced extreme violence and were forced to flee multiple times over the last few years. This had a significant impact on the mental health of most families in Cabo Delgado, with many still living in fear.

Fina, 19 years old, and her son Bernardo, three months old (both names changed), attend a monthly appointment at MSF’s clinic in Nanga, Macomia, with Clinic Officer Mussa Rahamane Waide. Fina returns to the clinic every month to collect Anti-retroviral treatment and monitor her and Bernardo’s health.  Fina is originally from Muidumbe district and has been displaced since 2020 due to violence and cannot return back home as it is still unsafe. Photographer: Martim Gray Pereira | Location: Cabo Delgado, Mozambique | Date: 30/10/2023
Fina, 19 years old, and her son Bernardo, three months old (both names changed), attend a monthly appointment at MSF’s clinic in Nanga, Macomia, with Clinic Officer Mussa Rahamane Waide. Fina returns to the clinic every month to collect Anti-retroviral treatment and monitor her and Bernardo’s health. ​ Fina is originally from Muidumbe district and has been displaced since 2020 due to violence and cannot return back home as it is still unsafe. Photographer: Martim Gray Pereira | Location: Cabo Delgado, Mozambique | Date: 30/10/2023

Although previously displaced families have been returning to areas of origin, it does not mean they are and feel safe. Even for those who returned to their areas of origin, many are being forced to flee again. Some 500 families (1,500 people) who had returned in June to their homes in the village of Novo Cabo in Macomia were forcibly displaced in November due to new attacks. They returned to the same displacement site where they had been living for over two years until they tried to return back home in June. MSF has supported them with Non-Food Items (NFIs), water and sanitation interventions, and health and mental health services.

Access to healthcare remains a challenge in areas of displacement and areas of return, as most infrastructure has been and remains destroyed. In Macomia and Mocimboa da Praia, out of 14 health centres, only five are working - one in Macomia and four in Mocimboa.

Francesca Zuccaro, Deputy Head of Mission of MSF (OCB) in Mozambique at Nanga Clinic, Macomia, Cabo Delgado. Before being Deputy Head of Mission, Francesca was twice Project Coordinator in Macomia. Photographer: Martim Gray Pereira | Location: Cabo Delgado, Mozambique | Date: 01/11/2023
Francesca Zuccaro, Deputy Head of Mission of MSF (OCB) in Mozambique at Nanga Clinic, Macomia, Cabo Delgado. Before being Deputy Head of Mission, Francesca was twice Project Coordinator in Macomia. Photographer: Martim Gray Pereira | Location: Cabo Delgado, Mozambique | Date: 01/11/2023

 

Displaced families and families returning to their villages often have the same needs, as they lost everything they had to this conflict. Most people are still struggling to access food, clean water, shelter, and basic services, including healthcare.

It is imperative to maintain and increase humanitarian assistance to address the immediate and basic needs of thousands of families that remain affected by the conflict in northern Mozambique. At the same time, it is critical to engage in development interventions in the longer term and rehabilitate the health infrastructure destroyed during the conflict.” - Francesa Zuccaro, Deputy Head of Mission in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique.


About Doctors Without Borders (MSF)

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is a global network of principled medical and other professionals who specialise in medical humanitarian work, driven by our common humanity and guided by medical ethics. We strive to bring emergency medical care to people caught in conflicts, crises, and disasters in more than 70 countries worldwide.

In South Africa, the organisation is recognised as one of the pioneers of providing Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) in the public sector and started the first HIV programmes in South Africa in 1999. Until today, the focus of MSF’s interventions in the country has primarily been on developing new testing and treatment strategies for HIV/AIDS and TB in Eshowe (Kwa-Zulu Natal) and Khayelitsha (Western Cape).

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Seipati Moloi
Seipati Moloi Head of Media and Digital Relations, Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
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