Skip to main content

Country analysis

Mozambique


Some areas of Mozambique are experiencing a humanitarian crisis as a result of the impact of multiple natural disasters and an armed insurgency that started in 2017 in the north of the country. Mozambique is particularly prone to natural hazards, such as floods, cyclones, and drought. In the last decade, five cyclones and two tropical storms have affected Mozambique, affecting a total of 3.8 million people.

The armed insurgency by Islamist armed groups, which began in Cabo Delgado province in 2017, has also spilled over to the neighboring provinces of Niassa since November 2021 and Nampula from June 2022. As at December 2022, 1.1 million people were severely food-insure, and 1,028,700 were internally displaced because of violence. The humanitarian crisis deteriorated in September 2022 when armed attacks by insurgents increased and Nampula province experienced its first attack, affecting an estimated 47,000 people and displacing 12,000.

The annual food inflation rate was 20% in November 2022, up from 10% during the same month in 2021. The high inflation rate is largely driven by the rise in global food and energy prices, as well as other variables, such as poor household incomes and active non-state armed group attacks in Cabo Delgado. The recurring landfall of cyclones, such as Freddy and Cheneso in early 2023, also affect people’s living conditions, driving displacement and needs across sectors.

(FAO 14/04/2022, ICG accessed 25/01/2023, IB 21/06/2022, FAO 09/01/2023, World Data accessed 25/01/2023)

Some areas of Mozambique are experiencing a humanitarian crisis as a result of the impact of multiple natural disasters and an armed insurgency that started in 2017 in the north of the country. Mozambique is particularly prone to natural hazards, such as floods, cyclones, and drought. In the last decade, five cyclones and two tropical storms have affected Mozambique, affecting a total of 3.8 million people.

The armed insurgency by Islamist armed groups, which began in Cabo Delgado province in 2017, has also spilled over to the neighboring provinces of Niassa since November 2021 and Nampula from June 2022. As at December 2022, 1.1 million people were severely food-insure, and 1,028,700 were internally displaced because of violence. The humanitarian crisis deteriorated in September 2022 when armed attacks by insurgents increased and Nampula province experienced its first attack, affecting an estimated 47,000 people and displacing 12,000.

The annual food inflation rate was 20% in November 2022, up from 10% during the same month in 2021. The high inflation rate is largely driven by the rise in global food and energy prices, as well as other variables, such as poor household incomes and active non-state armed group attacks in Cabo Delgado. The recurring landfall of cyclones, such as Freddy and Cheneso in early 2023, also affect people’s living conditions, driving displacement and needs across sectors.

(FAO 14/04/2022, ICG accessed 25/01/2023, IB 21/06/2022, FAO 09/01/2023, World Data accessed 25/01/2023)

Latest updates on country situation

12 September 2023

Between July–August 2023, IOM identified more than 850,000 IDPs and 571,000 returnees in 325 locations across northern and central Mozambique. Children under 18 years comprise 49% of those affected, women comprise 30%, and men 21%. Of the IDPs, 55% are living in host communities, while 45% are in 191 displacement sites. Priority needs include income sources, NFIs, shelter, health, food, and WASH services. (IOM 12/09/2023, IOM 11/09/2023)

10 July 2023

An estimated 834,304 IDPs, including 420,200 returnees, were recorded in April 2023 in 221 locations in northern Mozambique. The conflict has affected 1.6 million people who need critical assistance and protection services. The significant increase in returnees is further straining the already scarce resources, limiting access to basic services, natural resources, and humanitarian assistance.
(WFP 10/07/2023, UNHCR Accessed, IOM Accessed 12/07/2023)

19 June 2023

As at June 2023, over 9,000 people remained displaced as a result of the impact of Cyclone Freddy, which made landfall on 24 February. The displaced population is sheltering in various locations across different provinces, with four sites located in Niassa, two in Sofala, and six in Zambezia. Most displaced people in 8 of the 12 displacement sites were not willing to return to their homes because of a lack of food, damaged houses, and a lack of materials to build. Their needs include food, WASH, shelter, education, and NFIs. (IOM 19/06/2023, OCHA 24/02/2023)

12 May 2023

In 2023, northern Mozambique is facing a critical humanitarian situation, with at least two million people in Cabo Delgado, Nampula, and Niassa requiring life-saving and life-sustaining assistance and protection. These needs arise from the impact of armed conflict, violence, and insecurity in the area. The number of people in need has increased by 25% compared to 2022. More than half of those in need are children, and over 60% of affected adults are women. Nearly 1.7 million people are facing acute food insecurity because of violence and displacement. Those in need require protection, food, health services, education, WASH, shelter, and NFIs. (OCHA 12/05/2023, OCHA 24/02/2023, OCHA 01/06/2022)

10 April 2023

Cyclone Freddy struck Mozambique twice, making landfall on 24 February 2023 and then again on 21 March, affecting 8 out of the 11 provinces in the country. The cyclone affected an estimated 1.1 million people, caused extensive damage to infrastructure, and destroyed 391,000 hectares of cropland, resulting in the loss of livelihoods and 53 lives. As at 10 April, approximately 57,000 individuals out of the 184,000 people displaced by the cyclone still resided in 33 accommodation sites across Inhambane, Niassa, Sofala, Tete, and Zambezia provinces. The cyclone affected women and children the most (respectively 33% and 44% of these groups). Those affected are in urgent need of food, shelter, WASH, health, protection, and NFIs. (IOM 10/04/2023, AP 23/03/2023, PBS 11/03/2023)

04 April 2023

Mozambique is facing an alarming rise in food insecurity, with an estimated 3.15 million people experiencing severe acute food insecurity – i.e. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse levels – from November 2022 to March 2023. This includes 2.8 million people facing IPC 3 and 400,000 experiencing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels.


The situation has worsened by about 70% compared to the same period in 2022 mainly as a result of cyclones, crop loss increasing food prices, and escalating insecurity in northern Mozambique displacing people and leading to higher unemployment rates.


8 out of the 17 districts in Cabo Delgado province, considered to be among the most food-insecure, were not assessed because of the absence of data resulting from access constraints, which could reflect an even higher number of food-insecure people. There is an urgent need for food, health services, and protection for the people affected.
(IPC 29/03/2023, ECHO 03/04/2023, OCHA 30/03/2023)

29 March 2023

Mozambique is facing an alarming rise in food insecurity, with an estimated 3.15 million people experiencing severe acute food insecurity – i.e. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse levels – from November 2022 to March 2023. This includes 2.8 million people facing IPC 3 and 400,000 experiencing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels.


The situation has worsened by about 40% compared to the April–September 2022 period, mainly as a result of cyclones, crop loss increasing food prices, and escalating insecurity in northern Mozambique.
(IPC 29/03/2023, IPC 07/12/2021)

current crises
in Mozambique


These crises have been identified through the INFORM Severity Index, a tool for measuring and comparing the severity of humanitarian crises globally.

Read more about the Index

MOZ010 - Tropical Cyclone Freddy

Last updated 30/09/2023


Drivers

Cyclone

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

2.3 Medium

Access constraints

1.0

MOZ009 - Floods in Maputo province

Last updated 30/09/2023


Drivers

Floods

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

1.5 Low

Access constraints

1.0

MOZ001 - Multiple Crises

Last updated 30/09/2023


Drivers

Conflict
Displacement
Cyclone

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.5 High

Access constraints

3.0

MOZ004 - Violent Insurgency in Cabo Delgado

Last updated 30/09/2023


Drivers

Conflict
Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.4 High

Access constraints

3.0

Analysis products
on Mozambique

Mozambique: impact of the five-year conflict in Cabo Delgado

07 July 2023

Mozambique: impact of the five-year conflict in Cabo Delgado

DOCUMENT / PDF / 615 KB

In October 2017, violence erupted in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, when armed men occupied the city of Mocimboa da Praia for two days and attacked three police stations, killing 17 people. The report aims to analyse the drivers of conflict in northern Mozambique, particularly in Cabo Delgado province, and their humanitarian impact. The report also includes an overview of people’s coping mechanisms following the conflict.

Conflict and violence
Mozambique: Flooding in the central provinces

21 March 2023

Mozambique: Flooding in the central provinces

DOCUMENT / PDF / 318 KB

On 11 March 2023, Cyclone Freddy made its second landfall as a severe tropical cyclone on Mozambique’s Zambezia province. It brought heavy rains across Manica, Niassa, Sofala, Tete, and Zambezia provinces, affecting more than 250,000 people.

Natural hazards
Mozambique: flooding in Maputo province and city

23 February 2023

Mozambique: flooding in Maputo province and city

DOCUMENT / PDF / 1 MB

Heavy rains between 7–11 February 2023 resulted in large-scale flooding across the southern region of Mozambique, particularly Maputo province and city. As at 18 February, more than 43,000 people were affected, including over 16,500 displaced people and ten recorded deaths. 

Natural hazards
Ripple effects of the conflict in Ukraine: truths and myths

22 December 2022

Ripple effects of the conflict in Ukraine: truths and myths

DOCUMENT / PDF / 4 MB

This report provides a commentary on relevant datasets as it examines trends related to the economic effects of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine on selected countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. 

Conflict and violenceEconomy
Mozambique: Tropical cyclone Gombe

24 March 2022

Mozambique: Tropical cyclone Gombe

DOCUMENT / PDF / 191 KB

As at 22 March 2022, the cyclone had affected over 488,000 people and displaced around 23,400. The number of those affected will likely increase to 580,000 in five provinces: Manica, Nampula, Tete, Sofala, and Zambezia. The main needs are livelihood and education.

Natural hazards
View more

Related content

Cabo Delgado: health facilities under siege

Mozambique

Cabo Delgado: health facilities under siege


In December 2022, the majority of health facilities in northern Cabo Delgado remained either partially or fully damaged, with the…