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Highlights Last Updated: 10 Sep 2020

  • With the first COVID-19 case reported on 22 March, Mozambique has 4,557 confirmed cases in all the 11 provinces of the country and 27 deaths, as of 9 September.
  • Humanitarian situation in Cabo Delgado has significantly deteriorated in the last eight months due to insecurity & violence. As a result, over 250,000 people have been displaced.
  • Cholera and acute watery diarrhoea outbreaks are exacerbating the crisis in Cabo Delgado where 25 health facilities are closed and 596 health workers fled due to insecurity.
  • President Nyusi has declared a Situation of Public Calamity, with a red alert, the maximum level of warning decreed in the event of an imminent large-scale threat.
  • Humanitarian response is currently ongoing through the Flash Appeal for COVID-19 and the Cabo Delgado Rapid Response Plan which are at 19 and 58 per cent respectively funded.
Mozambique - Metuge
A woman washes her hands at shelter distribution for displaced families in Metuge district in Cabo Delgado. To prevent a possible spread of COVID-19, the distribution is carried out in a small group size, keeping social distancing and including handwashing facilities. Photo: IOM / Wolfe Murray


Country profile

One of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world, Mozambique is home to nearly 30 million people in the south-east of Africa, more than 70 per cent of them living un rural areas. The country holds one of the lowest Human Development Index (HDI) in the world, ranking 180 out of 189 countries and territories. More than 62 per cent of the population live below the international poverty line, and over 83 per cent of the jobs are vulnerable.

Extremely susceptible to climate shocks, Mozambique has been facing cyclical droughts and flooding over the last years, including two major cyclones in 2019, which compounds the high poverty levels and increase vulnerability across most of the country. In addition, increasing violence and insecurity, mainly in the north of the country, leads to displacements and protection concerns.

These consecutive crises and continued destruction of livelihoods cause widespread food insecurity–80 per cent of the population cannot afford an adequate diet­–, chronic malnutrition, with over 43 per cent of children under age 5 stunted and recurrent disease outbreaks. In a country with very weak coverage of public services, particularly health, education and access to clean water and sanitation, humanitarian assistance is crucial to support the most vulnerable.

[Updated in March 2020]



Cyclones Idai and Kenneth

Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall during the night of 14 to 15 March 2019 in central Mozambique, bringing torrential rains and winds to Sofala, Zambezia, Manica and Inhambane provinces. The cyclone caused loss of life and significant damage to infrastructure, leaving hundreds of thousands of people in need of assistance.

On the evening of 25 April, the country was hit again, this time by Tropical Cyclone Kenneth, affecting Cabo Delgado province. With wind gusts of up to 220km/h, Kenneth became the strongest cyclone to ever hit the African continent.

It was the first time in recorded history that two strong tropical cyclones hit Mozambique in the same season.