The Apostolic Administrator of Pemba, Bishop António Juliasse, has called for urgent assistance for an increasing number of displaced people fleeing violence pointing out that the situation in Cabo Delgado is not getting any better.

Bishop Juliasse told Vatican News that insecurity and the humanitarian crisis in Cabo Delgado are widespread. He regretted that the situation prevailing on the ground is not making much news in the international media. Unfortunately, he said, “an impression has been created that the problem in Cabo Delgado has been solved, but this is not true,” insisted Bishop Juliasse.

“Cabo Delgado still has 800 000 displaced people.” He continued, “and there is still much movement of displaced persons from insecure areas. There are the newly displaced people who leave their villages in search of secure shelter,” Bishop Juliasse explained.

Explaining the continued insecurity, the Apostolic Administrator of Pemba cited the example of Nova Zambézia, near Macomia, which was attacked on New Year’s Day, 1 January 2022. In that attack, three people were killed, and one person was seriously wounded, said Bishop Juliasse. With the recent attacks, a new group of displaced persons is already on the move seeking secure shelter either from relatives or wherever.

“The violence we have experienced as a result of this terrorism has worsened the humanitarian crisis here in Cabo Delgado, adding to the other factors that already existed before, such as poverty, exclusion and the lack of schools in various places – all these factors have been aggravated by this situation of terrorism,” the Prelate said.

Since 2020, ACN has been providing emergency aid to enable the priests and religious sisters distribute food to the displaced people as well as psychosocial assistance since most of them are severely traumatised after experiencing unimaginable suffering through the terrorist attacks and their forced displacement.

Bishop Juliasse appeals for more and more support as the situation is getting worse and the needs are increasing. 

“The humanitarian situation is getting worse and worse because people are starting to starve. The number of people in need has grown”, said Bishop Juliasse.

“The message I have as an appeal is: Please do not forget the situation here. Do not leave Cabo Delgado alone to fend for itself. There is need for aid now and not later. Now, before it becomes too late,” said the Apostolic Administrator of Pemba.