Angola: Humanitarian Assistance Appeal No. 26/02 Operations Update No. 1

This Ops Update is intended for reporting on emergency appeals.
Launched on 6 September, 2002 for CHF 4,966,000 for months (the operational plan and related budget are currently being revised.)
Beneficiaries: 100, 000 persons (currently under consideration)
Period covered: September-November, 2002; Next Ops Update expected in January/February 2003

"At a Glance"

Appeal coverage: 3.6%
Related Appeals: 2003 Annual Appeal for Angola (no. 01.14/2003 - HIV/AIDS)
Outstanding needs: CHF 4,785,242

Summary/Update: Three months after the launch of Appeal 26/02 the total amount of cash contributions pledged stands at a very low level, meaning that implementation of any activities to be carried out by the Angola Red Cross Society as well as the related capacity building initiatives are being severely hampered and delayed. There is still an urgent need for one health delegate, one finance development delegate and one OD delegate. According to a recent UN statement, the humanitarian crisis in Angola remains one of the worst worldwide, with at least 4.35 million Angolans depending on some form of humanitarian assistance to cover their basic requirements and more than 2 million are highly vulnerable and completely dependent on aid to survive. It is therefore of paramount importance that the Angola Red Cross receives the necessary support to enable it to increase its participation in the current humanitarian response and, as important, in assisting the population in the future to address their different humanitarian requirements.

Operational Developments

With the Lusaka Protocol fully implemented, the Joint Commission which is composed of the Government, UNITA, the UN and observers, was dismantled on November 21, 2002, after a period of mutual consultations. The situation in the country requires a revision of plans and flexibility amongst the donor community, the UN and humanitarian agencies in order to adequately address and respond to the needs of the vulnerable people.

At the end of November, government information indicated that there are up to 3.5 million internally displaced people in Angola, whereas the number confirmed by the UN and other humanitarian agencies is approximately 1.1 million, out of which some 345,000 of these live in camps and transit centres.

Between the month of April and the end of October, only approximately 134,000 IDPs out of the total of 896,000 formerly displaced persons who have returned to their areas of origin have moved under an organised plan. Out of the 896,000 formerly displaced persons, approximately 610,000 have settled and are living in areas where the necessary, minimum, pre-conditions are not yet in place.

According to a recent OCHA update, out of approximately 464,000 people (ex-combatants and their families) in gathering areas, some 117,000 are expected to resettle during phase one of the closure process and the remaining during phase two.

As many as 441,000 Angolan refugees remain in the neighbouring countries of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia and Zambia. 72,000 refugees have returned to Angola since the month of January. In September, the rate of return peaked with 17,000 registered returns in one month.

The tripartite agreement between the governments of Angola, Namibia and Zambia foresees that 170,000 Angolan refugees will return home next year, as part of the organised repatriation plan which will start after the rainy season ends in May/June, 2003. A further 70,000 Angolan refugees are set to return by the end of 2004.

The UN Consolidated Appeal 2002 had a coverage of 61%, as per the end of November. The most under funded sectors are mine action, emergency response, resettlement and reintegration, education, protection and water and sanitation

With regards to accessibility, an estimated 60 percent of the country is already accessible for humanitarian agencies and the tendency is that this will increase, subject to mine infestation. However, during the coming seasonal rains, approximately 40 percent of the areas now accessible for humanitarian action will most likely be cut off, possibly leaving some one million people without assistance.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The International Federation launched an appeal on September 6, 2002, seeking USD 3,352,260 to assist 100,000 beneficiaries for six months. The appeal aims to respond to the humanitarian needs in the country by working with, and to build the capacity of, the Angola Red Cross (ARC) to effectively deliver assistance to the most vulnerable. The Federation has opened an office in Angola and so far there is a Head of Delegation in place to co-ordinate the implementation of the emergency appeal.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is the lead agency of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in Angola. As a result of the prevailing peace in the country, the ICRC is increasing its activities and is now present and operational in all of the country's eighteen provinces. The ICRC works with the ARC mainly in the areas of tracing and family reunification activities. Other priorities identified by the ICRC are primary health care, production and fitting of prostheses appliances and mine-awareness.

The French Red Cross is considering entering into a bi-lateral agreement with the ARC in order to initially assist with the rehabilitation of one health posts in the province of Huambo. An assessment was carried out recently by the French RC and discussions are currently ongoing between the interested parties, ARC French RC, ICRC and the International Federation Secretariat.

The Netherlands Red Cross is engaged in a health project delegated by the ICRC, in the three provinces of Bie, Huambo and Huila.. They are currently considering a continuation of this project throughout 2003, with the added element of a certain amount of project related capacity building of the respective provincial Branch of the ARC.

The Spanish Red Cross has a long standing bi-lateral agreement with the ARC, mainly focusing on HIV/AIDS awareness activities, but has also been assisting the ARC with some water and sanitation initiatives as well as the professional rehabilitation programme of ARC in the Orthopedic Centre in Viana, in the province of Luanda.

Angola Red Cross Society

Due to the slow and limited response to this appeal, no concrete actions have been taken by the ARC directly related to the appeal. They have, however, been trying their best to carry on some activities, such as:


Because there are only a relatively small number of humanitarian actors responding to medical needs in the current emergency situation in Angola, it has been agreed that support to the Society's already existing health related programmes and activities should be a priority on which to focus our joint efforts at this point in time. We are therefore seeking sufficient support in the form of cash contributions in order to allow the Angola Red Cross to more actively engage in these important activities. The health activities developed in the health posts are based on community preventive and curative activities.

During the months of September and October, the following basic activities were carried out in the health posts:

  • child care: 7,396
  • prenatal assistance: 1,756
  • consultations: 6,318
  • immunization: 5,756
  • vaccines used: 14,221
  • seminars: 285
  • seminars (beneficiaries): 14,246
  • curatives: 1,338
  • treatment to ADD: 780
  • ORS (unit): 1,574
  • visits to households: 2,744
  • visits to households (beneficiaries): 7,770

In October a total rupture of the essential drugs stock was registered, with the quantities down to the following levels: 2,000 tables of chloroquine (250 mg), 9,000 tables of mebendazole (100 mg), 15,500 packs of ORS, 1 box of volunteer kit, 3 boxes of curative material # 1, 1 box of curative material # 2.

Objective 1: Strengthen the provision of basic health services in health posts in the selected provinces of Luanda, Bengo, Kwanza Norte, Kwanza Sul and Benguela.

No rehabilitation work of the health posts' basic infrastructure has been done. The basic laboratory services were not provided as the health posts are not currently equipped with material. The health posts do not have basic sterilizing equipment. Disposable material is used and the sterilization of curative material is boiled. Refresher courses for health post staff and community volunteers were programmed. However, some corrections have been made based concerning information feedback. At local level the existing volunteers were trained.

Objective 2: Strengthen preventive services in communities surrounding the existing health posts.

The trained volunteers made 2,744 household visits and counseled 7,770 people on health education (personal and environmental hygiene), control of communicable diseases and provision of first aid. The health posts served as a meeting point for volunteers and distribution of material to the polio vaccination campaign occurred from August 30 to September 1. Volunteers went from house to house to apply the vaccine. HIV/AIDS prevention is part of the health posts' educational activities and 3,828 beneficiaries participated in 68 seminars, and 9,264 condoms were distributed.

Objective 3: Reduce morbidity and mortality due to malaria, measles, polio an other epidemics.

Whenever a polio or measles vaccination campaign is organized, the volunteers sensitize the community and register the target children.

No specific training on malaria was done. However, the population was sensitized about the importance of the use of mosquito nets and fumigation with plants known locally.


The ARC gives great attention to the awareness and distribution of condoms to groups of high risk, i.e. soldiers, police, youth and IDPs. Presently the ARC is working with 246 volunteers in the provinces of Luanda, Benguela, Bengo, Huambo, Bie and Uige.

Objective 1: Promote awareness and disseminate information on HIV/Aids

The ARC carried out seminars directed to military, police, youth, IDPs, long distance truck drivers, who are consequently expected to transmit their new knowledge to their colleagues. These activities held in military installations and police stations, schools, churches, IDP camps, suburbs and recreational centres were conducted with IEC materials (posters and banners) and support of the Spanish Red Cross and the ICRC.


This activity consists in sensitizing the population about the importance of having and using clean drinking water, about proper use and conservation of latrines as well as drain stagnant water and adequate elimination of garbage.

Objective 1: Provision of safe drinking water to vulnerable communities.

Making the population aware about potable water is an activity developed through educational seminars and in household visits. The distribution of water purification pills is done when provided by partners to the health posts. In the province of Kuanza Norte, two bore holes were drilled and manual water pumps were installed under partnership of the Government and the World Food Programme. Likewise, a bore hole was drilled in Bengo province in partnership of the Spanish Red Cross.

Objective 2: Reduce morbidity by promoting environmental health and sanitation to communities in rural areas.

The population was sensitized about the use of latrines through health post seminars and volunteers' household visits. No construction of institutional/communal latrines and identification and construction of family latrines was carried out during this period. Household visits and hygiene education activities are carried out by the health post staff and community volunteers, who counseled the residents to proceed with the residual spraying of their houses.

Objective 3: Reinforce the maintenance of water points.

There are two provincial committees; one in the province of Kwanza Norte (Cazengo) and a second one in the province of Bengo (Caxito).

Disaster Preparedness and Response

The Disaster Preparedness Programme's main objective is to strengthen the ARC's capacity to deliver adequate and efficient humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable.

This programme consists of the following components:

  • Relief
  • Mines awareness
  • Physical/Professional rehabilitation of the disabled
  • Tracing
  • Food security.

Objective 1: Strengthen the capacity of the ARC to respond to any disaster

The strengthening of national society consists of training and capacity building of the volunteers and to acquire means to enable the aid teams to perform their tasks in emergency situations. Training of volunteers is ongoing and permanent in all provinces of the country. For this year, new volunteers were already identified and trained, others had refresher courses. In order to ease and develop the disaster policy and to give appropriate response in case of disasters, volunteers were selected and integrated into the permanent aid teams, which are organized in all provinces. Due to lack of financial and material means, the teams are limited to the routine activities (support to sport and recreational activities, work with other NGOs ,etc.)

Objective 2: Reduce the impact of the vulnerable communities

In order to reduce the impact of the most vulnerable communities, the ARC has already trained people and volunteers during the assessment. The vulnerable communities were identified in the provinces of Kwanza Sul, Kwanza Norte, Luanda, Bengo, Huambo, Bie and Huiila.

Objective 3: Reduce the number of mine incidents

For the mines awareness component, the programme is not in full force due to the limited financial and material resources. However, 60 volunteers were trained in Cunene province, 60 in Benguela and 45 in Malanje. With only very limited support if any, the Society tries its best to accomplish the objective of reducing the number of mine incidents. In the province of Benguela some awareness campaigns were carried out and 411 people were educated, out of which were 176 children, 133 women and 102 men.

In the province of Malanje, a total of 20,529 people were sensitized, namely 9,611 children, 6,357 women and 4,561 men. This activity was carried out with the support of PRODECA, a local NGO based in Malanje. Coordination meetings were held at INAROEE and working meetings were organized with other NGOs, such as Handicap International and with MAG and UNICEF, etc.

Objective 4: Physical /professional rehabilitation of disabled people

The war that devastated the country for three decades left many people with physical disability and who need rehabilitation and basic professional training and protection of their reintegration into society. The Angola Red Cross carries out basic professional courses with the financial support of the Spanish Red Cross Society in the Orthopedic Centre in Viana (Luanda province).


Many adults and children disappeared during the war in Angola. The ARC works to reunite people with their families in all provinces, with material and transport support of the ICRC. To pass on messages, organise family meetings and to assist unaccompanied children in the gathering areas are the main focus of activities. There is a good relationship with the ICRC tracing delegates, both as regards the action in the field and in relation to the exchange of information and distribution of messages.


The World Food Programme is confident that its pipeline will be able to cope with all needs for food assistance in December for approximately 1,6 million persons per month. With the ICRC's complementary food distributions in the province of Huambo, it was agreed that there was no immediate need for the Angola Red Cross to get involved in food distribution programmes of their own.

In relation to distribution of seeds and/or tools, it is considered too late for any such distribution for the 2002-2003 agricultural season. Although approximately 595,000 families have benefited from seeds and tools distributed by at least thirty humanitarian organisations, tens of thousands of families in newly accessible areas, in resettlement and return areas, will be in need of seeds and tools for the next agricultural season. This should be taken into consideration when assessing the needs and defining the humanitarian assistance of the ARC for 2003 and 2004.

Approximately thirty percent of critical needs of non-food items in gathering areas and approximately sixty percent in newly accessible areas are still not covered. This means that more than 600,000 people in return sites and gathering areas still urgently require survival items, including blankets, water containers and kitchen sets. This situation will be discussed between the ARC, the ICRC and the International Federation Secretariat.

Despite the relatively large number of organisations promoting mine awareness , according to the ICRC only two organisations are active in the same province at a time. Besides, several organisations have either scaled-down drastically or halted their mine awareness programmes due to lack of adequate funding. Because of this and because of the importance of mine awareness actions, after almost thirty years of civil war, it is evident that the ARC should have a more prominent role in this area.

Federation Delegation

The Head of the International Federation Secretariat's Delegation in Angola arrived in the country and took up his functions on 8, November, 2002. In close consultation and coordination with the leadership of the ARC and in coordination with the ICRC Head of Delegation in Angola, he is now taking the necessary steps in order to re-establish a Federation Delegation in Angola. The office of the delegation will be located, in accordance with the ARC, in the premises of the NHQ of the ARC.

Besides meeting with the President, the Secretary General and some senior NHQ staff of the ARC, the Head of Delegation has also met with the Head of Delegation of the ICRC and with representatives of the Spanish RC, the French RC and the Netherlands RC. Outside of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the HoD has had initial meetings with ten heads of diplomatic missions, and with the representatives of ECHO, OCHA, UNDP, UNICEF and WHO.

The process for the identification and immediate recruitment of the first two delegates, namely in the defined priority fields of Health and Care and Finance Development, has still not been possible to conclude due to lack of suitable candidates.


UNOCHA has assumed the role of coordinator of the humanitarian work in Angola, not only of the UN agencies, but also of all other humanitarian agencies including the Government. The data collection, compilation and dissemination is extremely useful. In relation to the coordination amongst the components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement present in Angola, this is taking place in a functional manner, with regular consultations and information sharing.

Outstanding needs

Three months after the launch of Appeal 26/02 the total amount of cash contributions pledged stands at a very low level, meaning that implementation of any activities to be carried out by the Angola Red Cross Society as well as the related capacity building initiatives are being severely hampered and delayed.

In relation to the recruitment of the few delegates required in order for the Secretariat to carry out its responsibilities as defined in the appeal, the reality is that these delegates are still not assigned. Hence, there is still a need for one health delegate, one finance development delegate and one OD delegate (the latter position is, in principle, to be re-advertised, after having been put on hold for some time).

According to a recent UN statement, the humanitarian crisis in Angola remains one of the worst worldwide, with at least 4.35 million Angolans depending on some form of humanitarian assistance to cover their basic requirements and more than 2 million are highly vulnerable and completely dependent on aid to survive. It is therefore of paramount importance that the Angola Red Cross receives the necessary support to enable it to increase its participation in the current humanitarian response and, as important, in assisting the population in the future to address their different humanitarian requirements.

For further details please contact: Rcihard Hunlede, Phone: 41 22 730 4314; Fax: 41 22 733 03 95; email:

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. This operation seeks to administer to the immediate requirements of the victims of this disaster. Subsequent operations to promote sustainable development or longer-term capacity building will require additional support, and these programmes are outlined on the Federation's website.

For further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at

John Horekens
External Relations Division

Bekele Geleta
Africa Department

Annex 1

APPEAL No. 26/2002
111' 000
10' 000