Mozambique: Inside MSF’s relief items kits distributions to newly displaced people in Cabo Delgado
Mozambique

Tens of thousands of people displaced by conflict in need of essential items in Cabo Delgado

Agy Agy, 28, is a logistics supervisor with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. He highlights the vital needs for more than 80,000 people who have been displaced due to violence since early June. 

I am in charge of the distributions of relief items in various areas of Cabo Delgado. I started working for MSF in my hometown, Mocímboa da Praia, but I was forced to move to the south of the province when the town was attacked, for the second time, in 2020.

We distribute emergency kits to people who have fled their homes in fear. To be able to respond quickly and ensure distributions are successful, we have to be alert. I really enjoy my work. I feel really happy when I'm helping others.

Mozambique: Inside MSF’s relief items kits distributions to newly displaced people in Cabo Delgado
Agy Agy distributes tickets for relief items kits to newly displaced families. Since June, it is estimated that violence has driven over 80,000 people out of their homes in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado. Mozambique, July 2022. 
Mariana Abdalla/MSF

When we hear of a new attack, we immediately think, ‘do we know people in that area?’ We usually call community leaders in the villages nearby and they tell us where people have fled to.

We take time to explain MSF's principles. We are appreciated here as we have been working in Cabo Delgado for a while, and people already know and trust our work.

Once we understand the magnitude of the situation, we contact the local government to get an official list of people who have been displaced and those who needs relief items. From there, our supply team prepares the kits and loads them on to trucks. In one of our warehouses, for example, we always keep 2,000 kits ready in case of an emergency.

Agy Agy, MSF logistics supervisor in Cabo Delgado “The night of the attack I was sleeping alone at home. Suddenly I heard many shots and men shouting. That day I spent 24 hours hiding and only drinking water. I walked 43 km to the town of Awasse and got a ride to Mueda.”
Mozambique: Inside MSF’s relief items kits distributions to newly displaced people in Cabo Delgado

When we arrive to where displaced people are, we distribute tickets so they can collect the kits the day before the distribution. This is crucial so that everything runs smoothly. We design a circuit with an entry point, a place where we hand out the kits, and an exit point.

Part of my role on distribution day is also to walk around, talk to people and see if there are any issues. It’s a bit like conflict mediation. Sometimes, displaced families arrive in areas where there were already local communities living and this can create tensions.

People always arrive in poor shape. Many arrive with nothing, not even shelter. We distribute things like plastic sheeting, blankets, pots and pans, and toothbrushes. Those things can be very useful. For me this is very moving, because I went through the same situation.

People always arrive in poor shape. Many arrive with nothing, not even shelter. For me this is very moving, because I went through the same situation. Agy Agy, MSF logistics supervisor in Cabo Delgado

After the first attack on Mocímboa da Praia in 2017, my family decided to stay because we didn't think the situation was so alarming. But on the night of the attack in June 2020, I was sleeping alone at home. Suddenly I heard many shots and men shouting.

That day I spent 24 hours hiding and only drinking water. I soon managed to contact some friends and we escaped through the woods. I walked 43 kilometres to the town of Awasse and got a ride to Mueda, where I stayed for some time. 

Then, as time passed, things calmed down and I managed to get in touch with my family. Today we are all fine, but I know what it's like to go through that. So, by helping other displaced people, I feel very happy.

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