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Dire Hunger Situation in Northern Mozambique - UN

FILE: Displaced families from the community of Impire, a town in the district of Metuge in the Cabo Delgado province, flee on June 14, 2022 armed insurgents who attacked their community on June 12th. (AFP)

Northern Mozambique is facing dire food shortages, the United Nations warned Friday as it appealed for funds to keep its food aid flowing to the conflict-ridden region.

"We have a very serious funding shortage. WFP would be forced to suspend life-saving assistance to one million people by February if we do not receive funds now."

The UN's WFP is delivering food assistance to one million people affected by the turmoil in the southern African nation.

The aid organization says it requires an additional $51 million ahead of the peak hunger season in February to continue its food assistance in northern Mozambique.

The province is the epicenter of a five-year-old jihadist insurgency which has so far claimed more than 4,300 lives, and around a million people have fled their homes.

But the jihadists are now making incursions into the previously untouched south of Cabo Delgado and spilling over into neighboring Nampula and Niassa provinces.

"These people are displaced and traumatized multiple times," said D'Aprile.

"We need funding now to avert not only hunger in the short-term but also to tackle the root causes of chronic food insecurity."

Cabo Delgado is the most food-insecure province in Mozambique, with nearly 1.15 million people in what is considered "crisis" or "emergency" levels of hunger, with indicators showing that the situation may deteriorate further.

The WFP has already been delivering half-rations since April due to limited funding and increasing needs.

February is the peak of the lean season in Mozambique, with food more expensive as farmers wait for the harvest. It is also the cyclone season.