Angola - IOM teams working in Angola's Eastern Moxico province have started distributing seed kits to some 2,300 particularly vulnerable families living in the remote Cazombo district, which suffered the brunt of last February's devastating floods.
This initiative, funded by the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, aims to enable vulnerable flood-affected households to help them produce their own food in order to reduce the need for food aid support.
"Now the water levels are receding, it is essential to help flood-affected families resume their agricultural activities to ensure they become more self-sufficient," says Katharina Schnoring, IOM's Chief of Mission in Angola.
With many fields destroyed by the recent floods, food production and food availability in Moxico province remain below the national average and many families will still require food assistance in the coming weeks and months.
In some areas, IOM's work continues to be hampered by the fact that infrastructures, such as roads or bridges that were damaged by the floods, have not been repaired, leaving a number of villages isolated and communities marooned.
Nevertheless, IOM continues to assist more than 10,000 flood-affected persons by providing shelter material to affected families and by building shelters on higher grounds.
In the villages of Lunachi and Mupachi, a hundred transitional shelters have been built in cooperation with the local authorities and with the assistance of the communities.
"Those temporary shelters can easily be transformed into permanent ones by replacing plastic sheeting with corrugated iron sheets," says Schnoring.
To meet some of the most urgent needs, IOM continues to work with the Angolan Red Cross and the Angolan Evangelic Church to distribute non-food items to affected families.
So far 16 tons of corrugated iron sheets have been purchased with funding from the United Nations' Central Emergency Response Fund. As the winter season approaches, IOM will continue to provide clothes and blankets to the neediest. Another 10,000 blankets, which have been purchased in South Africa will be distributed in the coming days.
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