Communities Displaced by Recent Violence in Mozambique Offered Respite, Assistance at New Transit Centre

IOM continues to provide mental health and psychosocial support and distribute wheelchairs and crutches to Mozambicans displaced by the recent attacks in Palma. Photo: Manuel Mabuiangue / IOM 2021

Pemba – Hundreds of people displaced by recent attacks in Palma, northern Mozambique, have found temporary shelter this week in a transit centre established in Pemba City by the Government of Mozambique with support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and partners.

As of yesterday (08/04), IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has recorded nearly 14,000 people displaced to Nangade, Mueda, Montepuez and Pemba by the latest surge in violence. This number is growing by the day.

“What I saw cannot be unseen,” said Flavia Hilário, a survivor of the attack in Palma. “I never thought death could be like that. I managed to flee Palma with my two young sons. We went to Mwizi neighborhood, where we stayed for three days without food, then to Macanja for five days under the same conditions. Once in Afungi, we were airlifted to Pemba, where we have received assistance at the transit site."

Survivors of the attack in Palma have dispersed throughout northern Mozambique in search of safety, travelling by bus, plane and boat. Thousands are believed to be traversing through dense forests, making their way south on foot.

Children represent more than 40 per cent of the people the DTM has recorded as displaced; at least 170 are unaccompanied or have been separated from their caregivers.

Since the attacks, IOM has scaled up humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Cabo Delgado, in cooperation with humanitarian and government partners.

The Organization has provided mental health and psychosocial support and protection assistance to more than 1,000 newly displaced persons; facilitated referrals to health and social services; and distributed wheelchairs, crutches and other in-kind assistance.  IOM and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) partners are also supporting the reception and accommodation of people arriving to temporary or relocation sites.

The IOM-supported transit centre in Pemba provides survivors with a place to stay overnight and to receive assistance. The Organization also installed lighting and other upgrades to the facility to ensure the space is safe and accessible to people with special needs.

“IOM teams are assisting survivors who continue to arrive to safer areas of Cabo Delgado following their distressing experience fleeing these attacks,” said IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission, Laura Tomm-Bonde.

Close to 700,000 people have been internally displaced in northern Mozambique since the onset of violence in October 2017. Pemba City and other places hosting a high number of IDPs are stretched beyond their capacity to provide basic services to displaced persons and host communities.

IOM has provided lifesaving assistance to more than 900,000 people affected by disasters and conflict in Mozambique since 2019. Humanitarian operations required by IOM and partners to respond to increasing needs remain significantly underfunded.

“We are grateful for the additional support from donors for humanitarian operations and urge the donor community to continue these efforts so that thousands more families displaced by violence in Cabo Delgado in recent years can receive relief and begin to recover,” added Tomm-Bonde.

Daily DTM updates are available here.


For additional information, please contact Paul Dillon at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 636 9874, Email  or Angela Wells, Tel: +41 79 403 5365, Email:; or Sascha Nlabu at IOM Mozambique, Phone: +258 86 801 2222, Email