from ARMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – BESET by a shortage of funds, the World Food Programme (WFP) could next month halt its food assistance to thousands displaced by the insurgency in northern Mozambique.
The organisation warned the risk if reducing food rations was also high as it battles to secure US$121 million until the end of 2021 to support the 750 000 civilians in the terror-prone Cabo Delgado.
The United Nations’ foods agency warned that with families completely reliant on humanitarian support, a break in food assistance had the potential to set the crisis spiralling out of control.
This is emerging as one of the world’s fastest-growing displacement crises.
“The conflict has destroyed people’s jobs, lives and hopes for the future,” lamented WFP’s Executive Director David Beasley.
He recently visited Cabo Delgado and met affected families.
The envoy denounced that insurgents had ripped families apart, burning their homes, traumatising children and killing people.
“These innocent communities are now completely reliant on WFP and our partners to provide them with lifesaving food and help them get back on their feet. We must not fail them,” Beasley reiterated.
The oil and gas-rich province of Cabo Delgado has been experiencing a surge of attacks by non-state armed groups since 2017.
An estimated 3 000 people have been killed during the conflict that has intensified over the past year, with seven times more people displaced in 2021, compared to the previous year.
Leaders of the Southern African Development Community endorsed the deployment of a stand-by force to fellow member Mozambique but details are sketchy.
– CAJ News