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|2020 year-end results|
|12,859||people of concern were reached through COVID-19 awareness raising campaigns and health services in Maratane refugee camp|
|5,119||IDP households and conflict-affected people received core relief items in Cabo Delgado province|
|390||refugees, asylum-seekers and IDPs benefitted from livelihoods support|
|42||refugees were supported to obtain naturalization|
|84%||(1,625 individuals) of primary school-aged refugee children were enrolled|
|2021 planning figures|
|32,000||IDP households will be supported with core relief items|
|22,000||individuals will be registered as part of the completion of the biometric verification exercise with Government of Mozambique to address the refugee status determination backlog|
|20,000||IDPs will receive emergency shelter|
|3,000||IDPs with disabilities will receive specific support|
|2,100||refugee and asylum-seeking children will be enrolled in UNHCR-supported schools|
People of Concern
Operational contextThe protection environment remained stable for refugees and asylum-seekers in Mozambique, however, COVID-19 impacted refugees severely, making their socio-economic integration particularly challenging. The pandemic also affected regular protection and assistance activities in the Maratane refugee camp, including camp monitoring visits and focused group discussions with people of concern.
Widespread violence by non-state armed groups in Cabo Delgado Province saw the number of displaced people increase significantly, leading to UNHCR’s internal Level 2 emergency declaration in August. UNHCR played a catalytic role in the inter-agency response by leading the Protection Cluster and was an active member of the CCCM and Shelter/NFI clusters. However, access restrictions due to ongoing violence hampered delivery of protection and assistance to IDPs.
Population trendsUNHCR’s population of concern in Mozambique more than tripled in 2020, increasing from 206,207 in 2019 to 695,238 by the end of the year. This was caused by a rapid escalation of the armed conflict in Cabo Delgado Province which displaced 487,500 people between March and December 2020. By year-end, a total of 668,038 IDPs were hosted mainly in Cabo Delgado Province but also in the neighboring provinces of Nampula and Niassa.
Refugee and asylum-seeker trends remained relatively steady, albeit with a slight increase. By the end of 2020, the total refugee (4,753) and asylum-seeker (22,447) population was 27,200 people, out of which 9,546 (36%) lived in Maratane refugee camp, and the remaining lived in urban areas, including in Nampula City, provinces of Tete, Cabo Delgado and Zambezia as well as in and around the capital city, Maputo.
- UNHCR engaged with the Government and partners to establish a Protection Cluster in Pemba to respond to the IDP crisis.
- UNHCR’s proactive protection response, in coordination with other actors in Cabo Delgado, resulted in an improved protection environment, a reduction in the risk of gender-based violence, and the provision of core relief items.
- UNHCR provided core relief items and shelter materials reaching a total of 5,119 households, mainly IDP and host communities in Cabo Delgado and Nampula.
- 12,859 people (5,029 refugees and 7,830 host community members) were reached through COVID-19 awareness raising campaigns and health services provided in Maratane refugee camp.
- Community-based protection monitoring was expanded to identify, mitigate and respond to protection risks of IDPs and empower affected communities to address their protection concerns, including preventing and responding to gender-based violence.
- 34 refugee students were enrolled in higher education with support from the DAFI tertiary scholarship programme.
- 87 refugees and asylum-seekers at heightened risk received in-kind assistance.
- Life-saving emergency support for vulnerable IDPs and host communities including shelter, core relief items and mental health and psychological support services were left largely unmet due to violence and insecurity.
- Gender-based violence assessment and monitoring to ensure that gaps and risks are identified, including prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, did not take place as planned due to insecurity.
Use of flexible funding (unearmarked or softly earmarked funding)
- UNHCR provided legal services to IDPs who lost their identity documents while fleeing from violence. In total over 3,000 IDPs obtained renewed identity documents.
- Flexible funding was also used to kick start the Cabo Delgado IDP emergency response.
- 13,547 refugees and asylum-seekers benefited from health and COVID-19 prevention activities. Specifically, UNHCR supported the Maratane Health Centre with stocks of essential medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as an isolation facility.
Working environmentMozambique is hosting approximately 39,000 refugees and asylum-seekers, mainly in Maratane Camp in Nampula Province. The working environment in Mozambique is expected to remain relatively stable in 2020. In August 2019, a final peace agreement was signed putting an end to the hostilities following the disputed 2014 elections. As a result, UNHCR expects that in 2020 there will be a return movement of some 8,000 Mozambicans from Zimbabwe. Nevertheless, insecurity is expected to continue in Cabo Delgado region in northern Mozambique.
In March 2019, Tropical Cyclone Idai destroyed over 111,000 houses and damaged an additional 240,000 houses. Approximately 1.85 million people were in need of assistance. While Mozambique was still recovering from Tropical Cyclone Idai, an even stronger Tropical Cyclone Kenneth made landfall in Cabo Delgado Province in April 2019 causing further loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure and housing. While the Maratane Refugee Camp was not affected, as part of the collective UN system response, UNHCR deployed emergency team, provided core relieve items and co-led the Protection Cluster. UNHCR will continue to have limited operational presence in Beira in Sofala Province until 30 June 2020 focusing on the Protection Cluster coordination, protection monitoring and community-based protection.
It is expected that the biometric verification and registration of people of concern, conducted jointly with the Government of Mozambique, should be completed by the beginning of 2020. The Government will continue to replace expired cards and issue documentation to newly arrived asylum-seekers. It is anticipated that the Government will reassume refugee status determination (RSD) after the finalization of the verification and registration exercise. There are currently nearly 22,000 asylum-seekers awaiting RSD decisions as no decisions have been taken since 2011.
UNHCR will advocate with the Government for the adoption of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) of the Global Compact on Refugees in 2020. The Government has allocated 2,000 hectares of land for both expansion of the camp as well as livelihoods activities. The basic services in Maratane Camp, such as health and education, have already been provided by line ministries since 2007. In 2020, the operation will also seek to enhance the strategic partnerships with development actors and the private sector.
Key prioritiesIn 2020, UNHCR will focus on:
- Improving access to education for both urban and camp-based refugee children, including access to secondary and tertiary education;
- Promoting access to citizenship for refugee and asylum-seeker children born in the country, and assisting recognized refugees in the naturalization process;
- Increasing support for livelihoods programs to encourage local integration;
- Strengthening support to communities hosting large populations of refugees and asylum-seekers. Mobilization of development actors will be key to this approach;
- Reducing the RSD backlog.