• Request support for nutrition coordination, information management and nutrition in emergencies

  • التماس الدعم لتنسيق التغذية وإدارة المعلومات والتغذية في حالات الطوارئ

  • Buscar apoyo para la coordinación de la nutrición, la gestión de la información y la nutrición en situaciones de emergencia

  • Demander un appui pour la coordination de la nutrition, la gestion de l'information et la nutrition dans les situations d'urgence

  • Solicite apoio para coordenação em nutrição, gestão de informação e nutrição em emergências

Publication: 21.07.2021

Providing in-country technical support in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique

Since October 2017, Non-State Armed Groups have launched violent attacks on civilians in the northernmost province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. Attacks intensified in 2020 increasing the number of people displaced from 90,000 to over 700,000 by April 2021. Many people were taken in by host communities however many boys were forcibly recruited into armed groups and young girls abducted into forced marriages. The impact from the fighting and conflict has stretched the ability of government and humanitarian actors to respond effectively to increasing needs, including food and nutrition. 

The Technical Support Team is made up of technically skilled professionals, who support humanitarian actors based on the requirements that arise suddenly in worsening humanitarian situations. Kirathi, a UNICEF-hosted Nutrition Specialist with the GNC Technical Alliance’s Technical Support Team, was deployed to help strengthen the UNICEF field office in Cabo Delgado and to grow their ability to respond to a deteriorating situation.

“The range of needs a nutrition response has will vary, depending on the country and the context.  During the deployment to Mozambique, it was my goal to improve the capacity of humanitarian actors working in nutrition as well as make an immediate impact on the delivery of the emergency nutrition response,” says Kirathi.

Kirathi arrived in Cabo Delgado on the 16th December 2020. “I couldn’t believe that such a beautiful coastal location would be a hub for a major humanitarian response to a conflict. My initial task was to lead the Nutrition Cluster partners to work out what they needed to be able to carry out a nutrition response. We then developed a humanitarian needs overview and a response plan, which aimed to plug a gap in nutrition data and replenish supplies, amongst other key activities.” 

“Available nutrition data was based on a SMART survey that started in 2019 but stopped with the COVID-19 outbreak.  It was clear a new nutrition survey needed to be conducted to inform the nutrition response. I led the Nutrition Cluster partners in assessing their physical and financial needs and then reached out to the GNC Technical Alliance to request support with implementing a series of nutrition assessments. The Technical Support Team quickly deployed a SMART Advisor, Lydiah Ndungu from Action Against Hunger Canada, to support the team to set up and conduct rapid SMART surveys in 8 Districts and 4 IDP sites.”  

“During the surveys in Palma and Ibo district, where access was particularly difficult, we saw health centres that needed immediate support. With coordination between OCHA and WFP UNHAS, we were able to airlift therapeutic nutrition supplies and replenish the community health worker kits, facilitating the continuity of treatment of severe acute malnutrition.”

“Working directly with the health and nutrition teams meant we could actively see gaps or achievements from the mobile teams working in the host communities. This allowed us to immediately update our delivery plan, making sure we were responding to the specific needs of all the affected populations - both host communities and IDPs- with a tailored approach. These efforts allowed nutrition teams to open new frontiers in the response that were initially not accessible to humanitarian actors.

By working directly with UNICEFs Country office, Nutrition Cluster partners in Mozambique, Kirathi was able to strength the nutrition response by developing a common framework for situational analysis, strengthen nutrition information systems and support the coordination of nutrition actors. Through close coordination with partners on the ground, UNICEF and the GNC Technical Alliance, reliable nutrition data was obtained so that IDP and host community nutritional needs could be met!

 

Mobile team in Montepuez District, delivering joint health and nutrition services to the host community.
Mobile team in Montepuez district, delivery joint health and nutrition services to the host community 

 

 

 

Banner Picture: The Data Collection Team in Mecufi district, along with their supervisors, Isabel (second from left, at back) and Kirathi (first from the left at back).