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Project: A rapid assessment of the gender-based violence (GBV) situation and response in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique

Collaborators : London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and UNHCR


During humanitarian crises, gender-based violence (GBV) is a life-threatening health and protection issue, often continuing beyond the early phases of emergencies. GBV is a common violation faced by internally displaced people (IDPs), particularly for women and girls, but also for men and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) populations.

Specific evidence to guide GBV responses in Cabo Delgado is needed. In the province of Cabo Delgado, in northern Mozambique, over 740,000 people have fled the north-eastern and central parts of the province since armed conflict began in 2017. Existing evidence suggests that GBV has been a key feature of the conflict. However, specific information that could guide humanitarian responses on the forms and drivers of GBV and the availability and reach of existing GBV services is missing or unclear.

This rapid assessment, carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), in collaboration with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Mozambique, sought to understand the GBV risks and response for displaced populations in Cabo Delgado.

The conflict in Cabo Delgado has had a devastating impact, especially for women and girls who are experiencing ongoing and new forms of GBV. The crisis has compounded multiple forms of GBV including intimate partner violence (IPV), physical and sexual violence, abduction, sexual trafficking, sexual exploitation, and abuse (SEA), early and forced marriage, and economic violence. Existing support structures and prevention measures have been widely compromised by conflict and displacement, leaving the urgent needs of GBV survivors overwhelming unaddressed.

Methodological approaches

This project builds on research from Prof M Hossain’s work with refugee community workers delivering GBV response and prevention services in the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya. Information was collected through qualitative interviews with GBV service providers and focus group discussions (FGDs) with community-based volunteers involved in the GBV response. Data was collected between August and October 2021 in the districts of Metuge, Montepuez and Pemba. All research activities followed existing guidelines on safe and ethical research on GBV in emergencies.

Impact and current work

Research findings were incorporated into developing the GBV response services by UNHCR (Mozambique) in response to the ongoing armed conflict.

Prof Hossain in collaboration with colleagues at LSHTM and UNHCR are continuing data analysis and developing peer-reviewed publications.


D’Odorico, G., Hossain, M., Jamal, E., Scarpassa do Prado, D., Roberts, C. and Palmer, J., 2021. A rapid assessment of the gender-based violence (GBV) situation and response in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. London: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.