"We are deeply alarmed at the humanitarian situation in Angola," a government spokeswoman told IRIN. "We are hoping the public and the business community will respond through donations in kind or in cash. There are hundreds of thousands of desperate war victims out there without food, shelter or clothing and we are concerned particularly at the plight of women and children."
She said the cabinet had decided to set up a special coordinating committee to manage the appeal and oversee the funds. It would be an open-ended programme. "We are going to NGOs, the Red Cross and big business on this one, and we will also help get it to those in need through UN agencies in Angola," she said. "We will be ready to ship humanitarian relief as soon as it starts coming in."
Political analysts said the South African move could be part of a new political and humanitarian strategy to broaden assistance beyond Angola to other crisis areas in Africa.
Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Thursday it planned to distribute 15,757 mt of commodities to more than 1.14 million people across Angola this month. It said the largest assistance programme was planned in Malanje east of the capital Luanda, where food would be distributed to over a quarter of a million people. The next largest number of people receiving the aid are in Bie and Huambo Provinces in the central highlands.
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