Red Cross pulling out the stops in Cabo Delgado


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is concerned by recent violence in Palma, in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province to the extent it is implementing special actions.

The most recent clashes, which started late in March, continue to exact a heavy toll on civilians.

“I cannot begin to imagine the terrible experience of thousands who fled for their lives. “We are also worried about the well-being of those left behind and call on all sides to facilitate safe access for people affected by the conflict.” said Catherine Gendre, ICRC Maputo delegation head.

Palma is home to about 75 000 people, many displaced by the violence. Thousands of residents are now believed stranded in different locations in and around Palma without food, water and access to healthcare.

Telecommunications are down and it is difficult to assess the full humanitarian impact, including the exact number of dead and wounded. The ICRC is evaluating the situation and preparing an emergency response in co-ordination with Mozambican authorities, the Red Cross Society of Mozambique and other humanitarian agencies.

To respond to an escalation of armed conflict in Cabo Delgado, in addition to its ongoing activities, the ICRC is prioritising five actions, including  ambulances on standby to transport sick and wounded from Pemba airport and port to the provincial hospital.

ICRC Mozambique donated infusion and dressing kits to treat 50 wounded people to the Pemba provincial hospital and is ready to provide more. This includes to other hospitals in Cabo Delgado.

The international humanitarian agency is scaling up on-site services to support registration of unaccounted people and facilitate contact with families. This includes free phone calls for people arriving.