Mozambique hosts approximately 28,800 refugees and asylum-seekers, 33% (9,500 individuals) of whom live in Maratane settlement in Nampula province with the remaining 67% residing in urban areas. In 2021, UNHCR will continue to provide comprehensive and solutions-oriented support while advocating for the inclusion of refugees and stateless persons in national systems. In parallel, UNHCR will prioritize activities that improve self-reliance, livelihood capacities and contribute to a sustainable protection environment. UNHCR will continue to work closely with key government institutions including the National Institute for Refugee Assistance under the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Human Development and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Affairs.
In August 2020, UNHCR declared a Level-2 Emergency for Mozambique to scale up capacity and respond to the additional needs resulting from escalating violence in Cabo Delgado Province and the resulting internal displacement. The violent insurgency, which surfaced in October 2017, has affected more than 700,000 people and displaced 527,000 in Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa Provinces. The deteriorating humanitarian situation is compounded by chronic underdevelopment, consecutive climatic shocks and recurrent disease outbreaks.
UNHCR provides essential protection and material assistance to IDPs and host communities in displacement and relocation sites, in close coordination with local and international partners. UNHCR will continue to lead the protection cluster – which includes the work of the gender-based violence and child protection working groups – and will engage extensively with the shelter/non-food item cluster and camp coordination and camp management cluster. Activities to empower actors at the local and community level, and to strengthen protection mechanisms and referrals to specialized partners and services are at the centre of UNHCR’s protection response.
UNHCR has adapted its operations to the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to do so in 2021, staying and delivering protection and solutions to refugees and IDPs. This will include awareness-raising on prevention and preparedness measures in response to the ongoing pandemic, benefiting both urban and settlement-based people of concern.
In 2021, UNHCR will focus on ongoing support to refugees and asylum-seekers residing in Nampula Province and provide life-saving essential services to IDPs and host communities in Cabo Delgado and conflict-affected areas. Key priorities include:
- Supporting the Government with the refugee status determination backlog, documentation for asylum-seekers and refugees, as well as child protection activities.
- Identifying people at heightened risk of sexual exploitation and abuse and gender-based violence, and providing specific support to those identified.
- Facilitating peaceful co-existence of local and displaced communities through projects benefitting both.
- Improving access to education for both urban and camp-based refugee and asylum-seeker children, including access to secondary and tertiary education.
- Promoting access to citizenship for refugee and asylum-seeking children born in the country and assisting recognized refugees with the naturalization process.
- Providing essential core relief items and shelter materials to newly-displaced IDPs in Cabo Delgado and neighbouring provinces.