© 2021 JOHN WESSELS/AFP via Getty Images
Allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of women in exchange for humanitarian aid have reemerged in Mozambique, this time among people displaced by armed Islamist groups in the northern Cabo Delgado province.
Last month, while interviewing internally displaced people (IDPs), I spoke with a 23-year-old woman called Abiba, who described sexual harassment by a relief worker. She told me that after she arrived by boat at Paquitequete beach in Pemba, the provincial capital, a relief worker assisting the IDPs offered her a safe place to stay in an accommodation center if she would have sex with him. Abiba refused and for fear of further harassment didn’t approach local authorities for help. Instead, she decided to stay at the house of another IDP’s relative in Pemba — with 38 other people.