Emergency aid for refugees fleeing terror: one year on
For about a year, SolidarMed has been supporting people in the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique who have fled the violence of terrorist groups. In this way, SolidarMed contributes to better health of the refugees.
In collaboration with the local authorities and other aid organisations, SolidarMed has built 750 latrines. These latrines improve hygiene conditions in the resettlement villages where many refugees are sheltered. SolidarMed is also supporting mobile clinics, which provide medical services which people would otherwise not have access to given the long distances to healthcare facilities. In addition, hygiene kits have been distributed and 30,000 fabric masks to protect against Covid-19 have been produced by people trained by SolidarMed. This emergency aid was possible thanks to the partnership with Swiss Solidarity and private donations of over CHF 100,000.
Meanwhile, the situation in the Cabo Delgado district remains unstable, with terror groups continuing to attack civilians. This makes returning there a remote possibility for the 700,000 or so refugees. Many will probably end up living in the resettlement villages or the provincial town of Pemba in the longer term.
The situation is fraught in the resettlement villages too. In recent months there have been increasing reports of sexual exploitation in exchange for goods and food. In the first half of 2022, SolidarMed is therefore raising awareness of the topic of gender-based violence among key figures in the community: religious leaders, traditional birth attendants and managers of health centres. This is intended to make it easier to recognise cases of gender-based violence and break the taboo.
From mid-2022 SolidarMed will shift the focus back to its core task of strengthening the overburdened healthcare facilities in the Cabo Delgado province. This will benefit locals and refugees. Other organisations will continue to deliver emergency aid in the resettlement villages.