Angola: WFP beneficiaries to be over two million people

Luanda, 02/01 - The World Food Program (WFP) foresees that the number of people it provides food aid to in Angola can go up to 2.1 million until the next harvest season in April/May 2003, against the average number of recipients (1.7 million people).
These figures were forwarded by the American, James Morris, WFP Executive Director, in a press conference attended by the directors of that UN agency for Southern Africa and Angola, respectively Judith Lewis and Francisco Roque Castro.

That UN officer stressed that, by mid April, the feeding circuit will be at risk and, therefore, there will be a need for significant food aid for the population until the end of the year 2003.

On the perspectives of aid, judging by the appeal launched by the institution in July 2002, estimated at USD 241 million dollars, James Morris said it will be cut by 50 percent.

James Morris considered Angola a very important place for the WFP because it has one of the biggest programs in the world implemented in partnership with the Angolan Government.

The UN humanitarian agency has 13 regional offices, in which 1,700 Angolans work in the distribution of foodstuffs. Monthly it distributes between 20 and 24 thousand tons of food.

The WFP director said he had a "very positive" meeting with President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and with Foreign Minister Joao Miranda.

According to him, the meeting with the Head of State was important not only because he is the President of Angola, but also because he occupies a high position within the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

He also said to be pleased with President dos Santos' availability to lead sanitary issues including fighting AIDS.

On Friday afternoon, James Morris held separate meetings with the Minister of Assistance and Social Reinsertion, Joao Baptisa Kussumua, and representatives of UN agencies and NGOs operating in Angola. (Source: ANGOP)