Maputo — MORE than 50 000 people affected by the latest deadly violence in northern Mozambique need food assistance.
Struggling financially, the World Food Programme (WFP) has nonetheless intervened following the conflict in Palma, a town in the troubled Cabo Delgado region.
"It's a real humanitarian catastrophe. People are heading all over the place - by boat, on foot, by road," lamented Lola Castro, WFP's Southern Africa director.
"The situation is very bad. It's affecting Cabo Delgado's neighbouring provinces. We don't have enough resources to support the scale-up that is needed."
The conflict has hammered northern Mozambique since 2017, when non-state armed groups attacked police stations in the town of Mocimboa da Praia.
Throughout 2019, as the country reeled from the devastating impact of two cyclones, it has continued - throughout 2020 the violence escalated while the number of displaced people multiplied.
At the start of 2020, there were 18 000 people displaced. By December there were 500 000 people displaced.
In February 2021, that figure reached nearly 670 000 people, around 80 000 of whom are currently inaccessible because of the violence.
WFP requires US$10,5 million on a monthly basis to provide assistance and $98 million is required to provide support for the next 12 months.