Humanitarian Assistance in Angola 23-29 April 1996 - Week 15-17
Across the country, relief organisations are encouraging Government and UNITA representatives to adopt measures to improve overland access and the free circulation of persons and goods. As Angola s war-weary population prepares to return to their communities in the countryside, humanitarian organisations continue preparations to support the rehabilitation of basic social services, such as health. On the other hand, while malnutrition still occurs in newly accessible areas, the results of the WFP/FAO crop assessment mission currently in the country are expected to confirm evidence of generally adequate food security levels and project future food needs. In provinces such as Malange and Lunda Sul general food distributions have given way to relief programs targeted at the most vulnerable and Food-for-Work projects to support rehabilitation activities.
Meanwhile, relief Agencies continue to provide humanitarian support to over 24,000 quartered UNITA personnel and their registered dependents at the operational Quartering Areas. Health assistance continues for populations residing in areas near the QAs. Meanwhile, preparations are complete to begin quartering and humanitarian operations in two additional QAs, in Chitembo (Bie province) and Cauindo (Kuando Kubango province).
HUMANITARIAN RELIEF ASSISTANCE
WFP/FAO annual crop assessment mission During the reporting period a WFP/FAO mission arrived to Angola and began to evaluate crop prospects in the country. The findings of this mission will serve as a basis to define future food aid and seeds requirements for Angola. The mission also includes EU observers and counts on the support of UN Agencies and NGOs operating in Angola s countryside.
CARE International recently assessed the nutritional status of populations in various locations within the province. In the Masseca locality, comprised mainly by formerly displaced population, the nutritional survey revealed 4.5 per cent global and 3.6 per cent severe malnutrition rates. Results of the nutritional survey carried out in Luassingua indicate 5.3 per cent global and 5.3 per cent severe malnutrition rates. For both locations, members of the survey team recommended supplementary food aid targeted at the most vulnerable, the identification of Food-for-Work projects, an evaluation of the crops as a basis for future seeds and tools distributions, continued monitoring of the nutritional status of children under the age of five years and the distribution of basic relief and survival items such as soap, blankets and cooking utensils. CARE also conducted a nutritional survey in Jamba that indicated 11.2 per cent global and 3.1 per cent severe malnutrition rates. The survey team recommended the continuation of ongoing humanitarian assistance programs, particularly the therapeutic feeding centres and school kitchens and the restart general food distributions.
On 23 April members of the National Humanitarian Coordination Group (HCG) led by the Minister for Social Assistance and Reinsertion participated at the Provincial Humanitarian Coordination Group in Lubango. Among the issues discussed were efforts to improve the active participation of local UNITA delegates, the status of humanitarian operations and the situation of free movement in the province. Relief organisations highlighted the need to improve access to areas in the northern region of the province to evaluate and respond to reports of severe malnutrition among the population. Government and UNITA agreed to support efforts to improve overland access to needy areas. Members of the PHCG also agreed to define seeds requirements for the province as a means of supporting residents and displaced populations to satisfy their future basic food needs. Also during the mission, a centre for street children was inaugurated. This is a joint UNICEF/MINARS/WFP project, which is funded for a one year period. It already supports over 100 children living in extremely difficult circumstances.
A team comprised by UNICEF, CESTAS and local health officials recently reported that the cholera epidemic in Lucira is under control. However, the team recommended urgent assistance to improve general water and sanitation conditions including a public health awareness campaign among residents. Meanwhile, UNICEF is currently sending a water truck to the area from its Lubango office in the neighbouring province of Huila.
UNICEF joined a recent WFP convoy to Chongoroi to supply vaccination material, essential drugs and basic relief and survival items to support newly arriving IDPs. Displaced persons recently began to arrive at Chongoroi from surrounding areas reportedly fleeing from loss of crops and insecurity. Meanwhile, UNICEF and provincial health authorities are preparing a campaign against meningitis after five cases were recently confirmed at the Lobito hospital.
UNICEF and local health officials finalized vaccination activities in Chipipa and N Gove during the reporting period. In addition,a seminar on breastfeeding was organised by UNICEF in close collaboration with provincial health authorities.
WFP has started to assist vulnerable populations in the municipalities of Chinguar and Cunhinga while CONCERN continues to assist some 200 beneficiaries at their supplementary feeding centre in the area. As part of efforts to encourage the rehabilitation of basic infrastructure and social services, the World Food Program has increased the number of Food-for-Work (FFW) projects in the province.
Further to reports from MSF-B last week on a whooping cough epidemic in the Pole Pole locality in the municipality of Lumege-Cameia, UNICEF, MSF-Belgiumand local health authorities carried out a rapid response intervention to control the epidemic. As overland access to the location continues restricted,UNAVEM provided support in terms of air transport for the operation. Preparations to carry out a second campaign are underway to improve the coverage of the campaign among the children of the locality. The population at Pole Pole is estimated at 22,000. Also in the province, Sampombo Novo, UNICEF and local health officials recently finalized the third vaccination campaign among its target population. WFP recently began to support some 200infants in Sampombo Novo by providing food for the childrens kitchen run byCARITAS.
Humanitarian organisations operating in Saurimo have met with Provincial authorities to define strategies to continue food aid to the vulnerable sectors of the population while general food distributions are being phased out. A recent nutritional survey revealed 5.4 per cent global and 2 per cent-severe malnutrition rates and evidence of improved food security levels. Internally Displaced Persons and resident populations have had access to arable land. Thus, relief Agencies are targeting assistance to vulnerable groups and FFW rehabilitation programs.
The Minister for Social Assistance and Reinsertion held a special session in Luanda with members of the national Humanitarian Coordination Group-HCG, representatives of NGOs operating in the province, the Governor of Malange and the FAA commander for the northern region to discuss recent evidence of deteriorating security conditions, particularly acts of vandalism against flourishing crops in the city and its effects on the food security for the population. Specialized UN Agencies and NGOs expressed their concerns about the impact of these acts on future relief operations in the city of Malange. After evidence of excellent harvest was recorded earlier this year, general food distributions were gradually phased out in the city of Malange. The head of the Provincial Government reported that these incidents were due to the recent arrival of organised criminal groups to the city. Participants agreed that humanitarian organisations, under the coordination of WFP, were to analyze further the food security situation and define a common strategy for future humanitarian operations in the city. Relief Agencies also agreed to reinforce the PHCG to enhance access for humanitarian organisations to other areas in the province. Local UNICEF staff recently travelled to Caculama and the Catala Quartering Area to assess the status of health services. During the mission s stay, vaccination campaigns were started in Catala and Caculama, while preparations begun for the future rehabilitation of water wells in Caculama. As part of efforts to support the reintegration of some 3,500 formerly displaced persons in Cacuso, UNICEF continues to preposition basic relief and survival items in the region.
World Vision International recently completed the resettlement of some 7,500 IDPs into their communities in the province. This population was provided with WFP food aid, seeds, agricultural tools, essential medicines and medical assistance. Although the health situation has shown signs of gradual improvement in certain areas, the incidence of trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) is alarmingly high. WFP continues to support efforts by NPA, MSF-B and CARITAS to attend to victims of this disease.
Humanitarian organisations operating in the province continue preparations to support the return and reintegration of IDPs presently residing at camps in Caxito, the provincial capital. The return of populations from the northern parts of the province is hindered by poor road conditions and lack of confidence amongst the displaced populations in the security conditions along the roads.
With support from UNICEF, CONCERN and SCF-US, the national NGO, Organizaçâo Nacional de Ajuda Multifacêtica-ONAM, is distributing daily supplementary rations of high protein biscuits to some 2000 children living in the streets of Angola s capital. To reinforce ongoing activities to support these children living in extremely difficult circumstances, ONAM recently finalized the training of additional nursery instructors for the municipality of Maianga. The graduation ceremony counted on the presence of municipal authorities and representatives of SFC-US and TROCAIRE. As part of efforts to improve the quality of essential health services, UNICEF is providing a refresher course in Luanda to its field staff involved in EPI.
Representatives of specialized UN Agencies, NGOs and Provincial Government met in the UNITA administered town of Negage to hold a session of the Provincial Humanitarian Coordination Group-PHCG. Among the issues discussed were the recent reports by the joint sub-groups on health/rapid response and agriculture, and the status of development activities in both sectors. Participants also discussed measures to further improve the unhindered circulation of relief personnel in the province. Coordinated by UCAH and the Provincial Government, with the active participation of local UNITA officials and humanitarian organisations, the PHCG is the key forum to define strategies to address humanitarian issues in the province as a whole and develop joint solutions to possible crisis situations.
MINE ACTION PROGRAMME
The training for the Luena (Moxico province) demining brigade begun during the reporting period at the CMATS site in Viana (Luanda province). This brigade is expected to graduate and become operational by early June this year.
During the reporting period, UNICEF initiated a mine awareness campaign in Jamba and Kuvango. This is part of efforts to provide populations with a firstline of defense against land mines.
While the recently graduated Malange demining brigade awaits conditions to begin experimental field operations around the city, it has begun to conduct limited survey work along access roads and in arable land to allow for increased farming among population in Malange.
DEMOBILISATION AND REINTEGRATION
STATUS OF QAS
As of 29 April ten QAs are operational with a total of 23,000 UNITA soldiers were registered at these QAs. During the reporting period the registration of UNITA soldiers began at the recently opened QAs in Andulo and Chicuma. Humanitarian organisations continue to provide quartered UNITA troops and their registered dependents with humanitarian assistance. Humanitarian personnel and equipment have also been prepositioned at the Chitembo and Caiundo Quartering sites, that are scheduled to open during the second week of May. This would bring the total number of operational QAs to 12. Preparations have also commenced in the QAs sites in Likwa and Lumege-Cameia, respectively in the Kuando Kubango and Moxico provinces. In total, ten different international NGOs will be involved in the implementation of humanitarian assistance programs during the quartering of UNITA troops.
HEALTH ASSISTANCE IN THE QAS
The health sector is one of the areas of primarily intervention of international NGOs associated with the quartering process. The screening and treatment of quartered troops is on-going in all operational QAs. In total, between 5 February and 14 April, some 34,000 cases of disease were detected among UNITA personnel at the QAs.
MALNUTRITION IN THE QAS
Following reports of malnutrition among family members of quartered UNITA troops in some of the QAs, UCAH jointly with UNITA health teams and NGOs has undertaken nutritional assessments in four family camp areas, in Vila Nova, Londuimbali, Quibaxe and Negage. These assessments revealed 13.2 per cent global and 1.4 per cent severe malnutrition rates in Negage, 15.7 per cent global and 5.4 per cent severe malnutrition rates in Vila Nova, 15.6 per cent global and 4.6 per cent severe malnutrition rates in Piri/Quibaxe and 20 per cent global and 8 per cent severe malnutrition rates in Londuimbali. According to the agreed plan of action, in locations with global malnutrition rates below 15 per cent, assistance will be provided at nutritional rehabilitation centres established to support malnourished children. However, in camps with malnutrition rates above 15 per cent the response will require increased foodaid to improve the general food security levels of the affected population. AICF and CICS have been identified to monitor the nutritional situation amongthe dependents of quartered UNITA troops in the Quibaxe and Negage, respectively. Meanwhile, MSF-France is considering the possibility of supporting the nutritional activities in Vila Nova. Similar arrangements arebeing discussed with NGO partners for Londuimbali.
UCAH together with UNICEF and NGOs, has finalized a plan of action for the rapid demobilisation of under age soldiers presently at the QAs. This is part of a program to support the reintegration of members of the quartered vulnerable groups namely, underage soldiers and the military war disabled.
Humanitarian Assistance Coordination
Unit (UCAH) - Luanda
Mr. Peter Simkin
Tel.: (244 2) 341.882 / 348.824
Fax: (1 212) 963.3011 ext. 341
Complex Emergencies Division (CED) -
Mr. Steve Gleason
Tel.: (1 212) 963.5406
Fax: (1 212) 963.3630
Complex Emergency Support Unit (CESU)
Ms. Deborah Saidy/Ms. Maria Keating
Tel.: (41 22) 788.6384/788.6385
Fax: (41 22) 788. 6386/788.6389
Press to contact (DHA-Geneva)
Ms. Madeleine Moulin-Acevedo
Tel.: (41 22) 917.2856
Fax: (41 22) 917.0023
Telex: 414242 DHA CH