USAID is providing humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected communities in Mozambique.
USAID is providing humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected communities in Mozambique.
Marco Longari/AFP

Key Developments

Conflict between Government of the Republic of Mozambique (GRM) forces and organized armed groups in Cabo Delgado—which began in October 2017—has continued to escalate since January, adversely affecting humanitarian operations, disrupting livelihoods, and prompting widespread displacement in the province, including in areas still recovering from the impact of tropical cyclones Idai and Kenneth, according to relief actors and international media. As of early June, the insecurity had displaced more than 211,000 people in Cabo Delgado, the International Organization for Migration reports. 

Escalating violence in Cabo Delgado and subsequent displacement and disruption to livelihoods will force many people in affected areas to experience Crisis levels of acute food insecurity in the coming months, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) projects. Crisis conditions will also persist in parts of southern Mozambique, including in portions of Gaza, Inhambane, Manica, and Sofala provinces, due to poor harvests resulting from three consecutive years of drought conditions, according to FEWS NET. 

As of February, drought in southern Mozambique and flooding in northern and central parts of the country had destroyed nearly 500,000 acres of crops. In addition, GRM-enacted measures to contain the spread of COVID-19—including border closures, limits on public gatherings, the suspension of nonessential public services—could further exacerbate food insecurity among households in urban and peri-urban areas and households affected by conflict and drought countrywide, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports.

2019 Cyclones

Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall over Mozambique’s city of Beira on March 15, 2019, producing torrential rains and strong winds and severely affecting populations in Manica, Sofala, Tete, and Zambézia provinces. The cyclone and floods resulted in more than 600 deaths, according to the Government of the Republic of Mozambique (GRM). U.S. Ambassador Hearne declared a disaster due to flooding on March 15 and a second disaster on March 19 due to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Idai in Mozambique.

On April 25, 2019 Tropical Cyclone Kenneth made landfall over Mozambique’s Quissanga District, Cabo Delgado Province, with winds estimated at 140 miles per hour. The cyclone caused at least 45 deaths and approximately 94 injuries, according to the GRM. On April 26, U.S. Ambassador Hearne declared a disaster due to the effects of Tropical Cyclone Kenneth in Mozambique. USG assistance in Mozambique supports partner organizations to implement critical agriculture and food security, health, nutrition, shelter, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities.

Additionally, USAID responded to the effects of Cyclone Idai in Malawi and Zimbabwe, as well as Cyclone Kenneth in Comoros. Please visit our webpage for additional information.   

USAID is also responding to disasters in neighboring Southern Africa countries.  


Mozambique experiences recurrent droughts, floods, and tropical storms. USAID responds to the humanitarian needs of populations affected by disasters, while continuing to support disaster risk reduction (DRR) programs that build the capacity of communities to respond to future shocks. Examples of USAID DRR activities include promoting conservation agricultural practices and establishing disaster management committees.

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: July 27, 2020

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