Angola: Humanitarian update

News and Press Release
Originally published
JOHANNESBURG, 25 January (IRIN) - Ronald Sibanda, the new representative of the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) in Luanda told IRIN this week that WFP faced a number of challenges in its efforts to deliver food aid to beneficiaries.
Sibanda said that these challenges included security, access to people and resources. "One of the main challenges confronting us is the need to review our delivery strategy. As you know we deliver most of our food by air. This is very expensive and if we can find a way to reduce delivery costs it would mean more money for buying food," Sibanda said.

In their latest update on the situation on Angola, the UN's Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit (UCAH)in Luanda, said that "security conditions continued to be one of the major constraints for humanitarian activities" and that "security incidents such as attacks, road ambushes and mine accidents continued to be reported from the field".

A WFP report said that in Benguela Province in western Angola, a catholic mission at Dunde was attacked on 18 February, and four people were killed. In Lunda Norte in the northeast, there have been "constant" attacks on traffic in the Lucapa-Dundo corridor. The most serious when 14 people were killed.

WFP said that 1,137 million people would receive 15,715 mt of food in February, the largest individual programme being in Malanje in the north of the country where just over 274,000 people would receive 2,783 mt of food. In Huambo in the central highlands 197,000 people would receive 2,447 mt and in Bie also in the central highlands 193,000 people would receive 2,939 mt of food.

WFP said that heavy rains and the slow progress of repairs at Kuito airport, the capital of Bie, meant that food flights to the city were still restricted and "stocks were lower than required".

WFP said that it planned to use a L-100 Hercules plane to help with food shipments as it was able to land in rougher airstrip conditions.

It added that about 686 Internally Displaced People (IDP's) recently arrived at Saurimo in Lunda Sul from the areas of Sumbo and Lubalo in Lunda Norte Province. Lunda Sul and Lunda Norte are both in the northeast of the country.

Neagae airport in Uige Province in northern Angola has been reopened after several weeks "which threatened the operations of humanitarian agencies" in the province, WFP said. It said that it had been forced to prioritise food delivery to the most vulnerable during the closure of the airport.

UCAH said in its update that donor response to the 2000 UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Angola stood at just over 25 percent of the nearly US $260 million which was needed.


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