In response to the opening brought about by the recent and unexpected peace in Angola, USAID undertook a review of the current USAID/Angola program. A multi-sector team was fielded to assess the need for modifications and/or expansions of selected activities to better support Angola's transition from war to peace in an uncertain post conflict environment. The "Angola Transition and Development Assessment" was undertaken from July 29 to August 23, 2002, and the report is summarized herein.
Angola is emerging from 40 years of war, its struggle for independence from Portugal in 1975 followed by a 27-year civil war between the Movement for the Liberation of the People of Angola (MPLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). Twice in the civil war, negotiations between MPLA and UNITA resulted in peace agreements, first in 1991 (the Bicesse Accord) and then again in 1994 (the Lusaka Protocol). Neither ushered in a lasting peace.
The death of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi in February 2002 provided the impetus for the negotiation of a third agreement (the Luena Accord) that has already produced an end to hostilities and a more rapid than expected demilitarization and demobilization. Some 80,000 UNITA soldiers and their families have turned in their weapons and moved to quartering areas. Of these, over 5,000 of all ranks have been absorbed in to the Angolan army. The remainder was formally demobilized on August 2, 2002 as UNITA's armed force was dissolved. In parallel, thousands of civilians who had been isolated by war began moving in search of food and medical assistance resulting in a near-overwhelming humanitarian crisis as the caseload for humanitarian assistance rose to more than 2.9 million. By August 2002, while many of the major internal land routes were open, access to large parts of the country remained difficultto- impossible, due in part to the presence of millions of mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO). In spite of such difficulties, work on rehabilitation, resettlement, and reconciliation had begun.
Timing and Key Challenges
In 2003, the humanitarian community will need to address the difficult issue of when to close the internally displaced person (IDP) camps and transit centers, and/or declare them 'communities' to be assisted in the same manner as resettled communities. The team's discussions with members of the humanitarian community suggest that this 'weaning process' of humanitarian aid will be done on a sliding scale, with assistance cut by half during 2003, and half again following the harvest in early 2004. This scenario suggests that the transition from emergency to development will take at least three years.
The assessment team identified four key challenges for the next 12 to 36 months. The team's recommendations are geared to take advantage of opportunities to address these challenges in the next 18 months to lay a solid foundation leading up to a new country strategy (2006-2010). These are: i) completing the demilitarization, demobilization, reinsertion, and reintegration process by implementing the remaining provisions of the Lusaka Protocol; ii) capitalizing on the state of peace to advance more participatory and transparent governance; iii) settling IDPs and returning refugees; and iv) assisting the country's physical and economic recovery and rehabilitation, and psycho-social reconciliation.
1. Seize the Narrow Window of Opportunity
The team found consensus among the many groups interviewed that the current state of peace provides an important, but narrow, window of opportunity to revive Angola's stalled democratic transition and introduce more transparent governance. The window may only be open until national elections anticipated in 2004. After that another decisive victory by the ruling party combined with expanded oil production that could double government revenues would further insulate the government from international or domestic pressure for meaningful macroeconomic or political reform. Now is the time to act to expand political space, promote more transparent and accountable governance, and lay the foundation for free and fair elections. Further focusing the Mission's democracy and governance (DG) program on key transition issues will be a start, but would benefit from additional DA and ESF funding. The resumption of an Office for Transition Initiatives (OTI) program would provide important additional opportunities to expand work with civil society, opposition political parties, and the independent media to act as a counter weight to the national government. An OTI program would also allow USAID's DG program to redirect its resources in ways that would support community-based reconstruction and reconciliation activities. [Note: OTI is preparing a separate analysis on the appropriateness of reengaging in Angola, Democratizing the Peace: The Case for an OTI Program in Angola that will be available from OTI in September 2002.]
2. Stem a Potential HIV Explosion
While HIV prevalence rates are lower than neighboring countries, estimated at 8.6% by the Government of Angola (GRA), with the opening up of the country made possible by the peace process, several factors are converging to contribute to a potential HIV explosion. The team recommends an immediate increase in HIV/AIDS funding to help mitigate the impact of these factors and take advantage of the large concentration of population groups in Quartering and Family Areas (430,000) and IDP camps (380,000) to increase awareness of HIV prevention. In addition to the demobilized soldiers and their families, there are over 4 million IDPs and 478,000 refugees in high incidence neighboring countries. Given high population mobility of these groups over the next 6-36 months, the team strongly recommends that Angola be given "Expanded Response Country" status for HIV/AIDS programming. The following contextual factors add a potentially explosive dimension to the risk of populations in transit: multiple sex partners is condoned, condom use is low, sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates are high and treatment facilities are rare, and HIV prevalence is high among commercial sex workers, with an estimated current rate of nearly 34%.
3. Narrow USAID's Geographic Focus and Increase Cross Sector Synergies to Improve Food Security
The assessment team reviewed the current USAID Country Strategic Plan for FY 2001-2005 and found that it provides an excellent framework for the transition from emergency to development. However, to increase impact in a resource scarce environment, the team recommends a slight narrowing of geographic focus and increase in cross sector synergies for transition and development activities. The geographical focus would be the six provinces with the most IDPs and demobilized UNITA Military Forces (FMU) plus Luanda, the largest population center. The six provinces are Bie, Huambo, Huila, Kuwanza Sul, Malanje, and Benguela. Opportunities to increase synergy among all USAID-funded partners -- including those funded by the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), Food For Peace (FFP), Regional Center for Southern Africa (RCSA) and OTI, if it re-enters Angola -- should be pursued. In particular, closer collaboration with RCSA in all sectors is beginning and should be maximized.
Angolan health statistics for mothers and children are amongst the worst in the world. Additional funding to expand maternal-child health (MCH) programs into the focus provinces should be considered, especially safe motherhood, routine immunization systems, malaria, and family planning services.
Angola's rich agro-environmental resource diversity offers enormous agricultural production potential for domestic and international markets. Tapping into this potential will offer opportunities to improve the food security of the large numbers of IDPs and other populations currently being served by humanitarian assistance. New P.L. 480 Title II development programs should be encouraged to incorporate direct feeding, MCH, HIV/AIDS, food-for-work (FFW), non-farm rural income generation and continue focus on agriculture linked to on-going programs to increase production and market access for small producers.
Approval should be expedited for these new P.L. 480 Title II funded programs in Angola. To provide much needed predictive information for famine prevention in Angola and to complete regional coverage, consideration should be given to opening a Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) office in Angola. Finally, to protect the interests of local communities and to guarantee the tenure security of small farmers, greater public debate of the new draft land law should be encouraged.
The large and rapid expansion of humanitarian resources and the need to effectively link to on-going programs to enhance transition to more stable development has strained the management capacity of the small resident mission. Given the large humanitarian and development P.L. 480 resources in the USG response, the team recommends addition of one USDH or USPSC Food For Peace Officer. In addition, a FEWS Coordinator, funded jointly with USAID/RCSA, would need to be fielded through USAID's FEWSNET program to direct the proposed new Angola Famine Early Warning Systems (FEWS) unit. If OTI re-enters Angola, it would place - and fund - an additional off-shore personal services contractor (PSC).
Team Composition and Methodology
The Transition and Development Assessment team comprised representatives from USAID's Africa Bureau (AFR) Office of Southern African Affairs (AFR/SA) and the Office of Sustainable Development (AFR/SD); the Office of Food For Peace (FFP) and Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) of the Pillar Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA); the Pillar Bureau for Global Health; the Regional Center for Southern Africa (RCSA) and the resident USAID/Angola Mission. Washington-based team members spent approximately three weeks in Angola, in Luanda and the waraffected provinces of Bie, Huambo, Huila, and Malanje. In the provinces, team members visited and interviewed persons in IDP camps and residential areas; two ex-FMU quartering areas; and a number of return/resettlement areas. In Luanda and the provinces, they reviewed key documents and interviewed the GRA, political parties, civil society organizations, media professionals, international organizations, bilateral and multilateral donors, Angolan and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), IDPs, ex-combatants, village-based community organizations and other key informants.
Angola is emerging from 40 years of war. The bloody liberation struggle that began in 1961 to rid the country of Portuguese rule ended with independence in November 1975, but conflict continued. Two leading liberation movements - the Movement for the Liberation of the People of Angola (MPLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) - pursued a civil war that lasted 27 years. Although the people of Angola and the international community were optimistic about ceasefires following the 1991 Bicesse Accord and the 1994 Lusaka Protocol, neither brought enduring peace. It was not until the death of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi in February 2002 that the opposition lost its momentum, and the UNITA military leaders agreed to what all expect to be a permanent cease-fire on March 19, 2002.
On April 4, 2002, representatives of the Government of the Republic of Angola (GRA) and UNITA signed a Memorandum of Understanding - the Luena MOU -- that ended the civil war and reinstated the 1994 Lusaka Protocol.1 Following the Agreement, on August 2, 2002 the UNITA army ceased to exist. Its soldiers have been granted amnesty, demilitarized, and demobilized, and are living in quartering areas as civilians, known as ex-UNITA Military Force, or ex-FMU, thus completing the military implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. UNITA is to be transformed into a legitimate political party. In parallel with demobilization, thousands of civilians who had been isolated by war began moving in search of food and medical assistance. The period of April-July 2002 was one of peace, but also of vast internal population movement and near-overwhelming humanitarian crises: 79,000 ex-FMU and 350,000 of their family members moved into quartering areas throughout the provinces; 300,000 of the estimated 4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) began to return home, and about 1 million people in areas that had been isolated by the war were suddenly accessible and needed urgent food aid and/or medical assistance. By August 2002, while many of the major internal land routes were open, access to large parts of the country remained difficult-to-impossible, due in part to the presence of millions of mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO). In spite of such difficulties, work on rehabilitation, resettlement, and reconciliation had begun.
The U.S. Government (USG) has been closely involved in the enactment of the Lusaka Protocol, both in its 1994 and 2002 manifestations. The U.S. is an official observer nation, along with former Angolan allies Russia and Portugal (forming "the Troika"), and as such monitors compliance with the political and military implementation of the protocol. The USG has also provided substantial humanitarian and transition assistance and more limited development assistance to the Angolan people. Since the April 2002 signing of the Luena MOU there is new impetus for the U.S. to work with Angola to stabilize the peace, promote transparent and accountable governance, restore livelihoods, and establish conditions for equitable social and economic development.
The USG Inter-Agency Task Force on Angola has collaborated closely since the cease-fire, deploying additional Department of Defense (DOD) advisors for military guidance, senior State Department analysts for political consultation, and providing over 40% of the total of humanitarian assistance through USAID and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA, primarily food aid). The Task Force established a specific "Angola Action Plan" for USAID, which focuses on the short (0-6), medium (6-12) and long term (beyond 12 months).
The USAID Action Plan comprises three key axes: i) addressing the humanitarian crisis; ii) containment and treatment of HIV/AIDS; and iii) consolidating long-term peace. The Plan commits USAID to undertake two assessments, one to address humanitarian needs and the other to review the current Mission program and make recommendations for modifications and/or expansions of selected activities to better support Angola's transition from war to peace in an uncertain post conflict environment. The "USAID/DCHA Humanitarian Assessment to Angola" was undertaken from June 10-July 9, 2002, and the report is available from USAID/DCHA and USAID/Angola. The "Angola Transition and Development Assessment" was undertaken from July 29 to August 23, 2002, and the report is presented herein.
The Transition and Development Assessment is based on the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of team members from USAID's Africa Bureau (AFR); the Office of Food For Peace (FFP) and Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) of the Pillar Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA); the Pillar Bureau for Global Health (GH); the Regional Center for Southern Africa (RCSA); and the resident USAID/Angola Mission. Washington-based team members spent approximately three weeks in Angola, in Luanda and the war-affected provinces of Bie, Huambo, Huila, and Malanje. In the provinces, team members visited and interviewed persons in IDP camps and residential areas; two ex- FMU quartering areas; and a number of return/resettlement areas. In Luanda and the provinces, they reviewed key documents and interviewed the GRA, political parties, civil society organizations, media professionals, other USG agencies, international organizations, Angolan and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), IDPs and ex-combatants (MPLA and UNITA), and other key informants. The team's Statement of Work, persons contacted, and documents reviewed are found at Annexes A-C of this report.
1 The Luena MOU overrides some provisions of the Lusaka Protocol related to demilitarization and demobilization, but retains all provisions related to political space, the constitution, elections, reintegration, and reconstruction. Summaries of the two agreements are provided at Annex D.
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