The World Food Programme (WFP) is assisting 33,000 displaced people who fled from villages attacked by unidentified armed groups in the province of Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, according to the WFP emergency coordinator.
“We are the only ones at this time to have access to the affected populations in Cabo Delgado,” Pedro Matos said.
“We are providing food support to 33,000 people who were forced to move due to violence,” he said, estimating that about 500 tonnes of food per month are being provided, through more than a hundred distribution points.
There are approximately 1,350 people in the insular district of Ibo, others fled to nearby villages and there are also those who took refuge in neighbouring Tanzania, he said.
There is not much information on the motivations and groups behinds the attacks, which have already killed about 200 people, and it is speculated that they are linked to Islamic extremists or sabotage against oil companies that explore resources in the region.
The Mozambican government reinforced military operations after the first attacks on targets linked to the US oil company Anadarko in February, “but the attacks have not decreased,” Matos said.
In a year of El Niño, a climatic phenomenon that includes the warming of waters and affects wind and rain patterns, the WFP is supporting 240,000 people in Gaza and Tete provinces and more than one million affected by Cyclone Idai last month.
Northern Mozambique is preparing for the arrival of a tropical storm, forming in the Indian Ocean, which is to bring strong winds and rain.