Caritas Mozambique says it remains committed to doing everything possible to aid persons displaced by the war in Cabo Delgado.
Mozambicans in Cabo Delgado Province: Displaced persons (ANSA)
BY HERMÍNIO JOSÉ
The campaign “Together for Cabo Delgado,” launched in 2020 by Caritas of the Diocese of Pemba, is gaining momentum as the race to help thousands of desperate, displaced families becomes ever more urgent.
According to Santos Gotine, Secretary-General of Caritas Mozambique, those affected by the insurgents’ attacks in Cabo Delgado need everyone’s support. Gotine urged the faithful and society, in general, to support the campaign by Caritas Pemba.
Mozambican Bishops appeal for more empathy
A spokesperson of the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique, Bishop of the Diocese of Chimoio, João Carlos Hatoa Nunes, appealed for a more empathetic response from those who can help to do so with a sense of urgency. He said alleviating the suffering of the people of Cabo Delgado calls for sacrifice. Families fleeing from the conflict areas were said to be in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
Caritas Mozambique is responsible for coordinating all donations made to support the people of Cabo Delgado. The national body, Caritas Mozambique, is working together with the local diocesan Caritas to alleviate suffering in the Diocese of Pemba.
New terrorist attacks and the destruction
Last week, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the international, independent medical humanitarian organisation, reported that a recent surge in violence in Cabo Delgado displaced thousands of people already affected by five years of conflict.
On top of that, many people in Cabo Delgado are now also vulnerable due to a lack of access to medical care. In the first week of February, MSF said, local authorities had confirmed more than 20 attacks on four villages, with 2 800 homes damaged or destroyed by fire.
The current crisis is concentrated in the centre of Cabo Delgado, particularly in Meluco and southern Macomia districts. Since late January 2022, more than 14 000 people have been forced to leave their homes due to the escalating conflict. They are now in search of safety and basic means of survival. This is the most significant wave of displacement witnessed in recent months.
Then came Tropical Storm Ana and Batsirai
At the same time, Mozambique is currently at significant risk of more extreme weather events, with an annual tropical storm cycle that has already caused deaths and massive destruction of homes and infrastructure. The people have had little time to recover between storms.
On 24 January, tropical storm Ana made landfall in Angoche district, Nampula Province, significantly affecting the provinces of Zambezia, Nampula, Tete, Niassa, Sofala, and Cabo Delgado.
According to Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Risk Management (INGD) data, 38 persons were killed and more than 207 others injured. Tropical Storm Ana affected 180 869 Mozambicans. About 12 000 houses, 26 health centres, 25 water supply systems, 138 power poles, and some 2 275 km of roads were damaged.
In addition to the impact of Tropical Storm Ana, concerns persist about the intense tropical cyclone Batsirai, which entered the Mozambique channel on 6 February.