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2018-2019 Mozambique Humanitarian Response Plan (November 2018 - June 2019) - Revised following Cyclone Idai, March 2019


On 14 March 2019, Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall near Beira City, leaving devastating loss of life and large-scale destruction of assets and infrastructure in its wake. In the following days, entire villages were submerged underwater as floodwaters rose. Thousands of people were stranded on roofs and trees. Entire swathes of crops were damaged – with nearly 500,000 hectares flooded – and severe loss of livestock is expected, exacerbating food insecurity across the central region of the country. Many families were separated as they fled the rising flood waters, while others were trapped on high ground, unable to access basic goods and services for days. Tens of thousands of people were displaced, many having to flee with nothing as the waters rose rapidly. Children, the elderly and people with disabilities who are less mobile are likely to have been left behind or stranded, while women are expected to have borne the brunt of the storm, as they strove to save their households and livelihoods. Overall, it is estimated that 1.85 million people are in need of urgent assistance.

In March 2019, the Cyclone Idai weather system brought destruction and damage to Sofala, Manica, Zambezia, Tete and Inhambane provinces, killing at least 416 people as of 24 March, injuring more than 1,500 and leaving an estimated 1.85 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. Although the death toll has yet to be disaggregated, women are more likely to die in natural disasters than men. The weather system’s impact was particularly devastating as it came in three waves: in early March, the low pressure system caused flooding in Zambezia and Tete in early March, displacing more than 140,000 people; on 14 March, Cyclone Idai made landfall near the port City of Beira – home to 500,000 people – tearing roofs off homes and buildings and leaving death and destruction in its wake; finally, over the weekend of 16-17 March, the weather system carried torrential rains across multiple areas, causing rivers to overflow and a dam in Buzi district to burst, sweeping away entire buildings and leaving people stranded on trees and houses. As flood waters reportedly rapidly rose to above six metres, it is anticipated that many children, elderly and people with disabilities will have been unable to flee to safety. Protection partners estimate that more than half of the affected people are children, while the Government has registered more than 6,500 vulnerable people at the accommodation sites.

While the full extent of Cyclone Ida’s impact is still being assessed, early reports indicate significant damage to infrastructure and livelihoods, with an estimated 3,000km2 of land submerged. Preliminary government reports as of 24 March indicate that more than 58,600 houses have been damaged, including 36,747 totally destroyed, 19,733 partially destroyed and 2,184 flooded. More than 500,000 hectares of crops have been damaged, which is expected to significantly increase food insecurity given that the flooding has coincided with the annual harvest season. More than 3,100 schools have been damaged, along with at least 45 health centres.
Nearly 110,000 people remained displaced in more than 130 accommodation centres – mostly schools and other public buildings – in Sofala (90), Manica (26), Zambezia (10) and Tete (4), where humanitarian needs are acute and both the risk of communicable disease outbreaks and protection risks – particularly for women and girls – are high.

Cyclone Idai’s wreckage came on top of an already serious food insecurity situation in Mozambique. From September to December 2018, an estimated 1.78 million people (IPC phase 3 and above) were severely food insecure in the country, according to the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) analysis and the food security and nutrition assessment conducted by the Technical Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition (SETSAN) in October 2018. Of these, an estimated 814,700 severely food insecure people in five provinces – Cabo Delgado, Gaza, Inhambane, Sofala and Tete - across the country were prioritized as being in most urgent need of assistance, with the most affected provinces being Tete (more than 359,300 people) and Gaza (more than 318,200 people).

Operacione(s)/Espacio(s) web: 
Oficina de Coordinación de Asuntos Humanitarios de las Naciones Unidas
Fecha de publicación original: 
26 Mar 2019
Tipo de documento: 
Plan de Respuesta Estratégica
Coordinación inter-clústers
Centro de coordinación: 
Tropical Cyclone Idai - Mar 2019
Southern Africa: Drought - 2018-2021