UN aid arrives for the first time in Palma after March attack

Ajuda da ONU chega pela primeira vez em Palma após ataque de Março

United Nations agencies announced Monday the arrival of humanitarian aid in Palma, a gas town in Cabo Delgado, for the first time after the rebel attack on it in March, which claimed an unspecified number of victims.

"For the first time since March, humanitarian aid has reached people in Palma, northern Mozambique," the World Food Programme (WFP) announced on the Internet.

"In a mission by WFP, International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and Solidarité in coordination with the government, 2,150 families received food, hygiene and emergency shelter 'kits,'" the organization noted.

The UN agencies join Mozambican non-governmental organizations (NGOs), individuals and companies that have brought some aid to Palma, but it has proved insufficient due to logistical difficulties, mass flight of the population, destruction of infrastructure and insecurity - which until July prevented a return to agricultural activity.

Against this backdrop, the Famine Early Warning Network (Fews network) announced in a report earlier this month that the food crisis in Cabo Delgado, in the north of the country, is expected to persist into next year, even though levels of armed violence are decreasing.

On the other hand, "due to lack of funding," in some months, the rations distributed by WFP have served to cover "about 39% of the daily kilocalorie needs" of the beneficiaries, according to the same document.

Cabo Delgado is a province rich in natural gas, but terrorized since 2017 by armed rebels, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.

The conflict has led to more than 3,100 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project, and more than 817,000 displaced people, according to the authorities.

Since July, an offensive by government troops with Rwandan support, later joined by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), allowed for an increase in security, recovering several areas where rebels were present, including the town of Mocímboa da Praia, which had been occupied since August 2020.

Lusa Agency

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