IOM first entered Mozambique to facilitate repatriation and reintegration of returning refugees and ex-combatants at the end of the Civil War (1994-1996). As conflict-induced displacement ended, IOM began supporting the government in natural disaster induced displacement. In particular, since 2007, IOM has played a leading role in working with Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and environmental migrants. Because Mozambique lies across some of the worlds largest flood plains, almost every year a flood occurs in some part of the country. Additionally, cyclones coming up the Mozambique Channel with Madagascar make landfall and cause destruction along Mozambique’s massive coastline.
IOM Mozambique strives to retain a strong capacity and effectiveness in operations and coordination of emergency response actions whenever and wherever disasters occur. Upon cyclone landfall or flooding reports, IOM sends a team to the field to assess the damage, and, if necessary, can open an operations and coordination office to support the government and partners within 72 hours. In recent years, IOM supported assistance in shelter goods and NFIs to over 6000 families that lost their homes after a cyclone in Zambezi Province (2012) and over 20,000 families in Gaza Province following mass displacement from flooding in January of this year. IOM Operations include Preparedness, Response and Recovery activities. When these activities are completed, key staff are retained to focus on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, while others go on stand-by for emergency call-up in the event of a natural disaster.
At a national level, IOM Mozambique chairs the Humanitarian Country Team Working Group (HCT-WG), co-leads for operations and coordination in the Shelter Cluster, and participates actively with the Logistics, Protection, WASH and Health clusters. IOM also co-convenes the UNDAF Outcome 3 Development Results Group (DRG) which oversees UN Humanitarian action, monitoring and reporting. IOM’s primary partners in humanitarian action include the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC), WFP, UN Habitat, UNICEF, Save the Children, Concern, Samaritan’s Purse, Help Age International, and Red Cross.
In recent years, IOM has used its emergency response capacity as a tool for capacity building with the government and partners. Over the next few years, IOM plans to increase Camp Coordination Camp Management (CCCM) and Protection training for government officials and NGO partners (see below), and continue to produce user-friendly information management tools to support government decision making and partner coordination in emergencies.