Angola

Humanitarian situation in Angola: Reporting period 04 to 16 Dec 1999

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Highlights
Richard Holbrooke, US Permanent Representative to the UN, visit to Angola

Security main constraint to the delivery of humanitarian aid

Increased mine accidents among the civilian population

Key visitors to Angola

On 6 December in Pretoria, South Africa, the US Permanent Representative to the UN, Mr Richard Holbrooke announced that the US intends to focus on Africa during its Security Council presidency in January 2000. A special open session on Angola is anticipated in January.

On 15 December, the US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Mr. Thomas Pickering, discussed the current state of affairs with Angolan authorities in Luanda.

The UNHCR Regional Director for the Southern Africa, Mr. Nocolas Bwakira and Mr. Teseme Negesh, WFP Deputy Director of the Africa Bureau, visited Angola during the reporting period and were briefed on the humanitarian situation by the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator.

Reported in the Press

In a press statement issued on 13 December, the UN Security Council expressed "deep concern at the dire humanitarian situation" in Angola and called on all concerned to "ensure compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law and to ensure humanitarian access to all members of the Angolan population."

On 14 December, the Angolan Council of Ministers approved a US$ 3 billion budget aiming to improve economic and social stability. According to a Senior Budget Official, the Government will allocate more than US$ 100 million to the health and education sectors to improve the management of hospitals, monitoring of endemic diseases and the extension of health and education services. The Government is planning to implement an integrated programme joining aspects of the extension of State Administration and the National Humanitarian Assistance Programmes.

General Humanitarian Situation and Assistance

Field reports continue to confirm that security is the main constraint to the delivery of humanitarian aid. These security concerns are related to the presence of mines and ambushes on the roads between relatively secure towns.

According to UNHCR, 2,500 new Angolan Refugees arrived in Namibia this past November. Another 3,700 were registered in Zambia between October and November as well as 85 in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Kisenge camp. These figures only represent refugees in UNHCR camps and indicate that civilian populations are continuing to seek refuge from the conflict and its effects.

WFP engaged in discussions with the Namibian Government, UNHCR and donors (5-7 December, Windhoek) to provide assistance to 7,500 Angolan refugees in Osire camp.

Angola is one of the 15 African countries facing food emergencies of varying intensity. FAO's Global Information and Early Warning Service report released on 15 December stated that "Angola is troubled by an escalation of the civil war, making an already precarious food situation even worse."

The WFP nutritionist who assessed the nutritional situation in Malange, N’Dalatando, Huambo and Menongue concluded that a majority of both IDPs and residents still show some degree of malnutrition but that the levels of malnutrition have improved significantly over the last few months. WFP and UNICEF met with NGOs that have nutrition intervention projects to establish a common approach to nutritional survey procedures.

Food Stocks: As of 6 December, WFP in country food stocks stood at 19,167 MT of maize, maize meal, pulses, CSB, fish, oil, sugar and salt. During the week 29 November - 6 December, WFP Angola transported 3,164 MT of food aid by road. Another road convoy from Lobito with 400 MT of maize safely arrived in Huambo on 3 December.

WFP has received a donation of US$ 3.8 million from Japan for its emergency operation in Angola. This cash contribution will enable WFP to buy commodities and quickly bring them to critical areas in Angola. Denmark has confirmed another cash contribution of US$ 189,445 for WFP.

Provincial Updates

In Huambo Province, safe access continues to be restricted to the cities of Huambo, Caála, Longonjo and Ukuma, however, some relief organisations are also travelling to Chipipa, Mbave, north of Calima, Bongo and Calenga. Despite a number of security incidents on the road Cuima-Catata-Caconda, some IDPs have left the camps in Huambo and Caála to assess the situation in their villages.

On 9 December, Provincial Vice-Governors, UTCAH, UCAH, FAO and OIKOS carried out an assessment mission to Longonjo and Ukuma where they found a deplorable humanitarian situation. CIC reported an increase in the number of TB cases in these two localities. The mission also observed little agricultural activity west of Calenga due to the lack of seeds and tools. According to MSF-F, in Chipipa, the number of malnourished children transported to Huambo weekly has decreased from 24 to eight. UNICEF provided several PICs and nutritional centres in Huambo City with survival items for more than 1,300 children and supplied cord rolls to 300 IDP families in Caála to repair their provisional houses.

In meetings coordinated by UCAH, it was agreed that ICRC will distribute non-food items to IDPs in Caála and Calenga. NGOs will do the same in Huambo town next January 2000.

On 7 and 8 December, UCAH and UTCAH held a workshop on strategies for humanitarian assistance next year in Huambo with 65 participants including the Vice-Governor, the Archbishop, traditional authorities and representatives of UN Agencies and NGOs. One of the recommendations was the local broadcasting of a weekly radio programme on humanitarian issues in Portuguese and local language. UCAH and UTCAH should monitor the quality and impartiality of this programme.

In Bengo Province, INTERSOS inaugurated a new water supply system in Cambambe II IDP camp. Within the framework of a joint WFP/ FAO/IFAD project, funded by the Government of Italy, a bridge on Ucua river was rebuilt and inaugurated thus linking Caxito to Ucua and localities in the east of the province. WFP, in partnership with INTERSOS, has already rehabilitated some basic infrastructures such as a health post and school in Murima. The project aims at contributing to the sustainable recovery of Angola's rural sector.

In Malange Province, 58 new IDPs from Caculama and Kambundi Katembo arrived in Malange City bringing the number of displaced from these regions to 537 since the end of October. These IDPs have received food and non-food assistance. Another group of 530 persons from Caculama and Quela is reportedly gathered in Cambondo in hopes of reaching Malange city. The security perimeter around Malange city remains the same as it has in the last three months, though some civilian convoys are reportedly travelling to Cangandala. Food aid coordination meetings were held with WFP implementing partners, including MINARS and UCAH. Implementing partners, in collaboration with MINARS and relevant traditional authorities, are expected to revise their list of beneficiaries by January while a revision of WFP programming figures will take place in February 2000. It is expected that this review will result in a more realistic figure of IDP beneficiaries.

The provincial health-working group has decided to carry out a nutritional survey from 14 to 16 January in Malange City and from 19 to 21 January in Lombe. An analysis of the data from the 26-28 November survey in Lombe found that the samples did not meet the appropriate criteria.

As the number of new IDPs entering Kuito from the south and north-east of Bié Province continues to increase, a verification process of vulnerable persons is underway. Another verification project targets vulnerable residents registered by different churches. In order to fight Pellagra in Kuito, Norway has just confirmed a contribution of US$ 260,545 to WFP for the incorporation of dried fish in food rations. According to CARE, in the month of October, they distributed food rations to 90,221 beneficiaries in Kuito out of the 93,563 planned. A monthly narrative report on CARE's UCAH funded Emergency Relief Project in Kuito, indicates that the security situation at distribution sites has improved, allowing them to distribute 48% of the food in the camps while the rest was distributed at Repambo.

In Matala, in Huila Province, 2,500 new IDPs from Chicomba, Chipindo, Kuvango and Dungo were registered during the reporting period. They will be assisted for three months. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) will shortly open a collective kitchen to assist the new IDPs upon arrival. MSF/Spain, Action Contre la Faim (ACF) and Johanniter are providing non-food items to the same group.

In Uíge Province, the nutritional situation among IDPs is reportedly acute. According to UNICEF, approximately 100 children with severe malnutrition are being treated at the provincial hospital and the same number in Negage hospital with an average of 3-5 deaths per week. Malaria with severe anaemia is commonly found among the children treated by the emergency ward at Uíge and Negage hospitals.

In Luena, Moxico Province, humanitarian partners have jointly decided to reduce food rations to all IDPs who arrived prior to 1998 as it was noted that most of them had some access to food and have develop some coping mechanisms. Consultations were held in Luena between WFP, NGO and Government entities (MINARS, MINSA, UTCAH). They decided that MINSA and NGOs implementing nutrition projects (e.g., SCF/US, MSF/B and IMC) will regularly monitor the nutritional status of those IDPs to ensure that the reduction of food rations does not have a negative impact on their nutritional status. Special attention will be paid to children under five. During the month of November, 1,170 new IDPs from within Moxico Province were registered in Luena.

Mine accidents in Luena continue to be registered. 14 accidents with 28 victims were reported during November. This is in addition to the 18 accidents with 29 victims reported in October.

Annexes: Updated Basic Facts and Monthly Variation on IDPs

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.