Angola: UNICEF Humanitarian Appeal for Children and Women: Jan-Dec 2000

Originally published


  • 3.7 million war-affected people, of whom 1.7 million are displaced people; 1 million newly displaced people confirmed in 1999 - three quarters are children and women
  • Increasing global malnutrition rates and extreme deterioration in food security
  • Dangerously high maternal mortality rates; ranks third worldwide in under-five mortality; Angolan children most at risk in world (global Child-Risk Measure)
  • Only 36 per cent and 65 per cent of children under five vaccinated against polio and measles, respectively
  • 60 per cent of population of 12.6 million persons live in urban areas
  • Resident population in besieged cities now as vulnerable as displaced people
  • 7 million landmines in Angola - among the highest concentration in the world
  • 23 UN relief workers and eight humanitarian staff killed in line of duty over past year
  • Lack of access to a great part of the territory remains a major constraint
  • Reduce child malnutrition rates, particularly in besieged areas in the provinces of Malange, Huambo, Kuito, Luena, Kuando Kubango and peri-urban areas of Luanda
  • Increase immunization coverage, especially for polio and measles
  • Reduce mortality and morbidity associated with malaria, water-borne diseases and vaccine-preventable diseases
  • Promote mine awareness in the severely mine-contaminated areas of Huambo, Bie, Moxico, Malange, Benguela, Uige, Huila and Cunene
  • Attack sexually transmitted infections (STIs) through increased awareness, improved diagnosis and treatment
  • Improve access to primary education for 360,000 children in the provinces of Huambo, Bie, Huila, Benguela, Uige, Malange, Moxico and Luanda
  • Improve services for children in need of special protection measures - displaced, unaccompanied or otherwise vulnerable children, particularly in the provinces of Luanda, Huambo, Bie, Malange and Moxico
UNICEF has recently augmented its capacity to facilitate/coordinate nutrition programmes and has agreed with World Food Programme (WFP) and non-governmental organization (NGO) partners' roles and responsibilities. Successful mine awareness programmes will continue to be implemented through educational institutions and local NGOs. Seven field offices situated in the locations where populations are considered most vulnerable will ensure outreach.


Nutrition, Health, Water and Environmental Sanitation, Relief and Survival
Nutrition: Therapeutic food, surveillance, micronutrients, family kits
Health: Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI), HIV/AIDS, malaria, maternal health
WES: Rehabilitation/construction of wells, boreholes, pumps and latrines
Project support: Logistics, field implementation
Emergency Education, Child Protection and Mine Awareness
Emergency education: School materials and teacher training
Child Protection: Tracing, psychosocial, monitoring
Mines Awareness: Mobilization materials and technical assistance
Project support: Logistics, field implementation


The resurgence of war in December 1998 resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of war-affected people in Angola, most of whom are concentrated in besieged cities and in the huge metropolis of Luanda. More than three quarters of the war-affected population are children and women. Urban overcrowding has fuelled resource shortages and overwhelmed already overstretched health, education, water and sanitation services. As a result, resident populations of urban centres are as vulnerable as the internally displaced person (IDP) population. Although large areas of the country are inaccessible due to insecurity, the international relief efforts reach most of the provincial capitals, where a large majority of vulnerable populations are now located.

Malnutrition rates increased dramatically during 1999, a tangible sign of rising food insecurity. Nearly 2 million people are in need of food aid. Surveys conducted in May and June indicated that 17 per cent and 32 per cent of children under five years of age were severely or moderately malnourished in the besieged cities of Huambo and Malange, respectively. Fatality rates in some therapeutic centres have reached 40 per cent. The number of resident children attending a Supplementary Feeding Centre in Huambo City has during the last five months already exceeded that of IDP children.

Preventable diseases are the leading cause of infant mortality. One in four children die before the age of five from preventable diseases; more than half of these deaths from malaria. Poor sanitation and unsafe drinking water fuel the spread of infectious diseases. An outbreak of polio in April 1999 in Luanda and Benguela resulted in 1,022 cases and 89 child deaths. There has been a fourfold increase in HIV cases since 1989.

There are an estimated 100,000 abandoned children throughout the country, including more than 10,000 in Luanda and Benguela alone. Many are street children at risk of exploitation and sexual abuse. Children displaced in previous years overcrowd the educational system. Two out of three children attending primary school do not complete five years of schooling.

To date, it is estimated that 90,000 persons have either been killed or permanently maimed due to landmine accidents in Angola. Mined roads and footpaths impede repatriation of refugees/returnees, and mined farmland precludes agricultural production; less than 4% of arable land is currently under cultivation. Very little demining is ongoing and therefore mine/UXO awareness is essential.


Activities in 1999 were hampered by the unanticipated escalation of the humanitarian crisis. Rising insecurity impeded access and forced the use of costly air transport at a time when financial resources were dwindling. UNICEF and its partners were forced to shift strategies at the start of the year. UNICEF began a five-year Country Programme in 1999 that had to be adapted to meet the emergency relief needs resulting from the start of the war. Funds for the Country Programme were reprogrammed from rehabilitation actions to emergency relief. Collaboration with a wide range of partners during 1999 allowed the following:

  • 180,000 children and women in besieged towns and provinces received emergency relief and survival supplies in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and NGOs;
  • 934,000 children in Luanda and Benguela were vaccinated through emergency campaigns to arrest a polio epidemic in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and NGOs;
  • 3 million children were vaccinated in a three-round polio campaign supported by WHO/UNICEF, NGOs and major donors;
  • UNICEF and NGO partners used emergency stockpiles to provide survival items, essential drugs and set up vaccination services in the provinces of Malange and Kuito;
  • 500 latrines, 19 boreholes and three water systems and 61 water points were rehabilitated, serving 70,000 persons in nine provinces;
  • More than 25,000 children received textbooks through the emergency education programme. 132 teachers were trained in the Teacher Emergency Package (TEP) in collaboration with NRC, which enabled more than 5,000 children to return to school in five cities;
  • 400,000 people benefited from the mine awareness programmes in seven provinces.

e (pdf.format)

* Get Adobe Acrobat Viewer (free)