Angola

Angola: Security problems affect humanitarian intervention

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JOHANNESBURG, 2 March (IRIN) - Deteriorating security in many areas of Angola since the beginning of the year have forced the postponement or cancellation of a number of planned humanitarian missions, according to a WFP report this week.
USAID, it said, had released funds for the recruitment of five field security officers for UN and NGO humanitarian operations. It cited problems ranging from rising crime levels in the capital Luanda and insecurity along key roads to fighting between government forces and UNITA rebels.

Insecurity along the road inland from the west coast port of Benguela was reported. In the neighbouring central highlands province of Huambo, eight local humanitarian workers were injured in an attack on 13 February on an aid project at Quissala, just three kilometres from Huambo, the country's second city.

In Lunda Norte Province, which borders the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the report cited increased military activity, while in Lunda Sul, fighting had resulted in fresh displacements. Over 600 people had fled to the Lunda Sul regional capital of Saurimo last month. In the neighbouring eastern province of Malanje, tension was reported in the Quifucussa-Bamza area. WFP also reported fighting in Moxico Province along the Zambian border. In the northern province of Uige, it said Caritas workers had to be evacuated last month from the town of Puri.

"As the risk level increases throughout the country, funds will have to be found to enhance the agility to provide added protection to humanitarian workers," WFP said referring to the USAID support. "These security professionals, in collaboration with government military counterparts, will provide security support to humanitarian workers and enhance the security information flow to allow better protection for field staff and easier planning for future humanitarian interventions," it said.

The number of people currently receiving assistance from WFP in Angola now totals 1,135,594. During the next month, they will receive 15,712.05 mt of food commodities. The food will go mainly to over a quarter of a million internally displaced persons in Malanje, 205,000 in Huambo, and just over 200,000 people in Bie.

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