Humanitarian situation in Angola: Reporting period 07 to 20 Feb 2000


  • New IDPs continue to arrive in Matala
  • MSF-Spain reports severely malnourished children in Uíge
  • Resumed humanitarian cargo flights to Kuito Kuanavale
  • Positive donor response to the 2000 Appeal

New UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Angola already in the country

On Saturday 19 February, the new UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Angola, Ms. Zoraida Mesa, arrived in Luanda to replace Mr. Francesco Strippoli. Ms. Zoraida Mesa, from Uruguay, is also the newly appointed Resident Co-ordinator of the UN System in Angola.

Security Situation

During the period under review, security conditions continued to be one of the major constraints for humanitarian assistance activities. Security incidents such as attacks, road ambushes and mine accidents continued to be reported from the field. As a result, new arrival of IDPs has been reported in Matala (Huíla) and Ganda (Benguela, details to be provided in the next sitrep), and the costly airlift continues to be used as the main way to deliver relief aid.

Food aid distributions were temporary suspended in Luari IDP camp, near Saurimo, in Lunda Sul Province, as a result of a banditry action at food distribution site, which led to the loss of 100 sacs of maize.

Humanitarian organizations resumed their activities in Conda and Seles, Kwanza Sul Province, after a temporary suspension due to security conditions.

Due to continued fighting along the eastern border, 23,700 Angolans had fled to Zambia since October. According to new reports, UNHCR started to move Angolan refugees stranded in a border helmet on the western banks of the Zambezi River in Sinjembela to a safer camp further inland in Nangweshi. As of 20 February, 1,132 refugees have been moved, but an estimated 10,000 still remained in Sinjembela. There are still 2,733 Angolan refugees in Kalabo, western Zambia.

General Humanitarian Situation and Assistance

On 09 February, the Standing Committee of the Angolan Council of Ministers concluded that preliminary results of the Government's humanitarian assistance program have been satisfactory but recommended that the delivery of goods to provinces and the monitoring and distribution by provincial authorities should be improved. According a press release issued by the Standing Committee, US$ 11 million has been spent to assist displaced persons. On the same subject, at the 16th National Humanitarian Co-ordination Group (HCG) meeting held on 16 February, Representatives of the Inter-Ministerial Commission informed that only 900 MTs out of the 18,000 MTs of relief aid purchased through the Government's humanitarian program have been delivered to provinces due to limited capacity of transportation.

In his last speech at the HCG meeting, the departing UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Francesco Strippoli, requested the Angolan Government to make available more resources and funding to respond to humanitarian needs, which are bound to increase even further in the coming months. The HCG members praised Mr. Strippoli for his two-years useful humanitarian work in Angola.

Regarding the reactivation of its sub-groups, the HCG was informed that UTCAH and UCAH had held meetings with relevant entities to update the Terms of Reference for the four sub-groups, namely: (1) Agriculture and Food security, (2) IDPs and Returnees, (3) Health and Nutrition and (4) Mine Action. These sub-groups should become operational during the coming weeks. Among others conclusions, the HCG decided to associate emergency humanitarian actions to rehabilitation and development activities. It was also mentioned that the recent increase in fuel prices would have an impact on the costs of humanitarian assistance.

The UNICEF NY Senior Advisor on Child Protection reviewed in Luanda the priorities for UNICEF's Child Protection Programme in Angola. The recommendations included promotion of integrated services for vulnerable children, enhancement of an informal child protection network and the assessment of the potential for small-scale income generating activities for vulnerable adolescents and their families.

Provincial Updates

In Bié Province, WFP cargo flights to Kuito have been reduced from six to four a week due to the deterioration of the runway, thus limiting the delivering capacity of relief items. The authorities decided to close the airport during the weekends from Friday noon to Monday morning for maintenance. On 11 February, WFP Representative, Mr. Ronald Sibanda, and the Minister of Education and Culture signed in Kuito a new agreement, which expands the existing school construction project to further 500 classrooms, 700 latrines and other facilities. The school feeding program will be expanded to reach up to 30,000 children.

Water/sanitation situation in Kuito is reported worrisome with 53 polluted water points in bairros and IDP camps. OXFAM planned to carry out an extensive chlorinating program in Chipeta, Katabola I and II, Kamakupa, Chitundu and Chissingue camps and in eight bairros. ICRC and MSF-B will provide respectively 2,000 and 600 plastic slabs. A total of 1,184 families in Chinguar and Catchiungo IDP camps received seeds and tools distributed by FOS-B but only approximately 450 families are using these inputs while the remaining intend to use them in their villages of origin. An additional recently arrived 600 families from Chinguar also received vegetable seeds, hoes and machetes.

In Huambo Province, 2,280 vulnerable resident families in Caquereua and São Bento bairros have been identified for immediate food assistance in a joint verification exercise carried out by MINARS, WFP and SCF-UK.

In Huíla Province, new IDPs continue to arrive in Matala. Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is assisting them upon arrival with emergency food aid provided by WFP. NRC requested an additional food contingency stock for 2,500 persons. The newly arrived IDPs are also assisted with non-food items such as kitchen kits, plastic sheets, soap and clothes. With UNICEF support, the Julu Theatre Group conducted a training workshop for 20 mine awareness instructors in Huíla.

In Uíge Province, MSF-Spain has taken over the operational activities of the supplementary and therapeutic feeding centres formerly run by national NGOs in Uíge City. It has reported 240 severely malnourished children and is already establishing a second therapeutic feeding centre (TFC). MSF-Spain is also supporting CUAMM in running feeding centres in Negage. More than 40 huts have been built for the IDP camp in Negage and the construction of an alternative kitchen is underway for wet feeding programs to be implemented by Caritas. UNICEF is providing cement for the construction of latrine lids.

Community Insecticide Impregnation Centres for mosquito bed nets and related materials were initiated in Uíge Province. Two UNICEF Malaria advisers arrived in Angola to help revise the malaria proposal and improve the mosquito bed net requisition process.

In Kuando Kubango Province, WFP resumed its cargo flights to Kuito Kuanavale but with L-100 Hercules aircraft as the deteriorated airstrip does not allow the use of Boeing 727 aircraft. The operating cost of the Hercules aircraft for the delivery of relief items is considerably higher than that of Boeing 727 aircraft, which should only land in Kuito Kuanavale if the airstrip is repaired.

In Luanda, an emergency immunization campaign will start shortly in three municipalities after the confirmation of poliovirus in two cases of AFP (Acute Flaccid Paralysis) reported in November 1999. The final result of an immunization campaign in Cazenga municipality shows that final coverage reached 90% of the target population and almost doubled the target childbearing age population with TT.

Funding to the 2000 Appeal

As of 08 February, the donor response to the 2000 UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Angola stood at 25.7% corresponding to US$ 66,392,851 of the required US$ 258.515.854. According to information provided to OCHA by the respective appealing agencies, 16.2% of UCAH's requirement is already covered while WFP has received 87,473 MTs in terms of food aid amounting to US$ 65,466,926, thus covering 32.1% of WFP food aid requirement.

As of 14 February, WFP food stocks in the country stood at 44,666 MTs of maize, meal, pulses, CSB, fish, oil, sugar and salt for almost three months at the current monthly average of food distributions.


Prepared by UCAH Information Unit

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