Humanitarian situation in Angola: Reporting period 16 - 31Jan 2002

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 31 Jan 2002
  • During the last two weeks of January, more than 14,500 persons were displaced by war-related activities. The most significant displacements occurred in Moxico, Malanje, Huíla and Bié Provinces, where humanitarian partners have limited capacity to respond to growing needs.

  • Provincial authorities and humanitarian partners have developed integrated plans of action to address emergency needs in Kuito, Camacupa and other communes in the eastern region of the Bié Province. Immediate implementation of the plans is required to meet the basic needs of thousands of people in acute distress.

  • New IDPs continue to crowd into transit centres in Huambo city. Some of the new arrivals have been moved to the Betania resettlement site, where minimum conditions are not yet in place. The health and nutritional status of many of the new arrivals is critical. Humanitarian partners are concerned over the lack of capacity to respond to the situation. The Betania resettlement site must be upgraded in accordance with the Norms on the Resettlement of Displaced Populations and targeted assistance provided to improve the living conditions of the new arrivals.

  • Thousands of new IDPs from insecure areas within Moxico, Bié and Malanje Provinces continue to enter Luena. Humanitarian partners are operating at full capacity and do not have sufficient resources to respond to additional influxes of IDPs. Provincial authorities and humanitarian partners must develop an emergency plan of action to relieve overcrowding at existing camps, improve registration, increase humanitarian coverage and reunite separated children with their birth families.

  • Airstrips in Kuito, Camacupa, Luena, Uíge and Negage require immediate repair to facilitate the delivery of emergency assistance to these hard-hit areas.
Main Developments
  • Preparations for resettlement are underway at the Azucareira site in Caxito, Bengo Province
  • Dombe Grande, Canjala and Culango are reopened for humanitarian assistance, Benguela Province
  • An integrated plan of action is developed to address emergency needs in Bié Province
  • Partners report critical lack of minimum conditions at the Betania resettlement site, Huambo Province
  • High levels of malnutrition are reported in Caluquembe and Caconda, Huíla Province
  • New arrivals find shelter in a warehouse outside N'dalatando, Kuanza Norte Province
  • Number of new IDPs in Wako Kungo reaches 8,000, Kuanza Sul Province
  • More than 1,370 new IDPs enter Saurimo, Lunda Sul Province
  • Approximately 2,900 IDPs enter Cangandala and Malanje city, Malanje Province
  • More than 3,600 IDPs arrive in Luena from Moxico, Bié and Malanje, Moxico Province
  • IDPs lack adequate shelter at the Curoca resettlement site, Namibe Province
  • Closed airports in Uíge and Negage continue to hamper humanitarian operations, Uíge Province
Provincial Update

Bengo Province: Approximately 38,000 IDPs currently living at the Cambambe II camp will move to the Azucareira resettlement site following the rainy season. Construction of houses at the site is already underway. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER) distributed more than 3,000 hectares of agricultural land for use by IDPs at the new site.

Benguela Province: During the last two weeks of January, 85 newly displaced persons arrived in Cubal and more than 235 in Balombo. In addition, 62 persons from Bimbe commune in the Municipality of Bailundo, Huambo Province, arrived in Lobito. The new arrivals are temporarily located at the Campo Feira transit centre in Lobito where they are awaiting transport to Luanda.

Following a security assessment on 22 January, Dombe Grande was reopened for humanitarian assistance activities. The area had been closed to humanitarian partners since November 2001 for security reasons.

As a result of a security assessment on 31 January, the communes of Canjala and Culango in Lobito Municipality, where approximately 6,000 IDPs have arrived since October 2001, were reclassified as open to humanitarian partners. A humanitarian needs assessment in both locations is scheduled for the first week of February.

Bié Province:1 During the third week of January, more than 1,130 IDPs entered Kuito. Partners estimate that 10,000 IDPs in the capital city do not have access to adequate shelter due to lack of space at IDP camps. In Camacupa, approximately 10,000 newly arrived IDPs remain without humanitarian assistance. Registration of new arrivals in the area is scheduled for the first week of February. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Reintegration (MINARS) has reported that an additional 1,500 new arrivals in Cunhinga also remain without assistance.

In mid January, the Minister of MINARS and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator undertook a mission to Kuito. Following their visit, local authorities, UN Agencies and NGOs developed comprehensive plans of action to address emergency needs in Kuito, Camacupa and other communes in the eastern region of the province. Priority actions include infrastructure repair, registration and verification of IDPs, establishment of reception centres, and health and nutrition interventions. A Provincial Resettlement Plan has also been developed to address the problem of overcrowded camps and transit centres.

Huambo Province: Newly displaced persons, the majority of whom are from Mungo and Bailundo, continued to arrive at the Predio FAPA, Messe do Oficiais and MINARS transit centres in Huambo. According to MINARS, 865 IDPs were moved from the centres to the Betania resettlement site during January. During the last week of January partners visited the site, which was originally designed as a resettlement area for former combatants. The assessment mission reported a critical lack of shelter and essential non-food items, including kitchen kits and blankets. A mobile health unit is urgently required to address the emergency health needs of the newly relocated IDPs, many of whom are in critical condition. Humanitarian partners are concerned over the lack of capacity to respond to the situation.

Large numbers of new IDPs are currently concentrated in Bailundo as a result of operations in the north of the province. Many of the IDPs are being transported from Bailundo to Huambo, Luanda and Benguela. Reports indicate that provincial authorities are unable to meet the basic needs of the population. International agencies have not conducted operations in Bailundo since 1998 as a result of persistent insecurity. At the end of 2001, the road connecting Huambo, Chipipa and Bailundo was reopened and a number of broken bridges repaired by the Government. Partners recommend that a security assessment is conducted as a matter of priority.

During January, approximately 700 IDPs spontaneously returned to Cacoma from Ukuma town. The movement is linked to improvements in the security situation as well as more fertile agricultural land in Cacoma.

Huíla Province: More than 2,030 IDPs from insecure areas within the province entered Matala during the last two weeks of January. In addition, 24 IDPs from Chipindo arrived in Lubango. Since mid-December, approximately 2,000 persons from Chipindo and Chicoma arrived in Caluquembe. Following an assessment mission in Caluquembe on 29 January, partners reported that the condition of many of the recently arrived IDPs is serious. A large number of newly arrived displaced children are either moderately or severely malnourished and emergency food stocks are limited.

Preliminary results of a nutritional survey conducted in Caconda during January indicate that global and severe malnutrition rates have increased. Attendance rates at feeding centres also increased during January. Approximately 550 children are currently attending the therapeutic feeding centre (TFC) and more than 800 are receiving assistance at the supplementary feeding centre (SFC).

Kuanza Norte Province:2 More than 100 IDPs entered N'dalatando during the last week of January. The population fled points of origin in Samba Caju in November 2001 as a result of insecurity. After reaching Cacuso in Malanje Province, the population was transported back to Kuanza Norte. The new arrivals are currently living in a warehouse in Kamundai, in the periphery of N'dalatando.

Kuanza Sul Province: During the third week of January, approximately 600 new IDPs arrived in Wako Kungo, bringing the total number of new IDPs in the area to 8,000. The new arrivals walked for three days from Kassongue Municipality and are reportedly in poor condition. Lack of adequate shelter for new arrivals in Wako Kungo remains a concern.

Lunda Sul Province: More than 1,370 IDPs from insecure areas within Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul Provices arrived in Saurimo during the last two weeks of January. The new arrivals have settled at the Candembe camp where they are being provided with food and non-food assistance.

A health post was recently installed at the Muandongi camp in Saurimo, which is currently host to 4,720 IDPs. An average of 100 persons receive assistance at the health post each day.

Malanje Province: During the last two weeks of January, approximately 2,900 new IDPs entered Malanje city and Cangandala. More than 2,600 of the new arrivals fled insecurity in Mussende, Kuanza Sul Province, walking for more than two days and crossing the Kuanza River before reaching Cangandala. Humanitarian partners are assisting the population with food and non-food items. In addition, MINARS has reported that six MTs of food and non-food items will be made available for the new arrivals in Cangandala and Kibinda, which remains inaccessible to humanitarian partners for security reasons.

Humanitarian activities in Lau and Kamatende have been temporarily suspended as a result of mine infestation in both locations. Roads from Malanje to Lau and Kamatende have also been closed to humanitarian partners for security reasons.

Moxico Province: During the last two weeks of January, 3,674 new IDPs entered Luena from insecure areas within Moxico, Bié and Malanje Provinces, bringing the total number of confirmed IDPs in the provincial capital to more than 89,000. Approximately 90 percent of the new arrivals were transported to Luena by helicopter. The vast majority of new IDPs are women, children and elderly.

Due to the constant arrival of new IDPs, the reception centre in Luena has been transformed into a transit centre. Conditions at the centre are not in compliance with the MINARS Dispatch on Standard Operating Procedures for Reception Centres, published on 15 January 2002. In some instances, IDPs remain at the site for extended periods, either waiting to be transported to other provinces or relocated to an over-crowded IDP camp.

Namibe Province: Lack of adequate shelter remains a concern at the Curoca resettlement site, where 74 IDP families are currently living under tents. Partners urge local authorities to facilitate the construction of adobe houses at the site before seasonal rains intensify during March and April. Provincial authorities have identified approximately 200 hectares of land for the recently resettled IDP families undergoing resettlement at Curoca.

Uíge Province: Approximately 280 new IDPs arrived in Negage during the third week of January as a result of operations in Bungo and Sanza Pombo.

The Uíge airport remains closed to cargo flights for an indefinite period due to the poor condition of the airstrip. Only one cargo flight transporting fuel and essential medicines has been allowed to land since the beginning of January. The airport in Negage also remains closed for repairs. Critical shortages of fuel and medicines for humanitarian operations are expected if cargo flights are not permitted to land by the first week of February.


Bengo Province: On 21 January, armed groups attacked Caxito. No casualties were reported.

Benguela Province: On 25 January, armed groups ambushed a commercial convoy at Chimboa, approximately 25 km from Ganda on the road to Cubal. The incident resulted in two deaths and five injured persons.

Bié Province: Insecurity has been reported 30 to 40 km from Camacupa, 40 km southwest of Capolo, 50 km northeast of Chitembo and southwest of Calussinga. Harassment of residents in Cantiflas bairro in Kuito and violations against IDPs at camps in Cunje have also been reported.

Cunene Province: On 18 January, armed groups attacked Mupa-Cuvelai, killing one woman and injuring three persons. Cattle were also stolen.

Huíla Province: On 11 January, armed groups attacked a location 12 km south of Bunjei-Chipindo. As a result, four civilians were killed and two abducted.

Kuanza Sul Province: Reports indicate that armed groups attacked Mussende on 22 January, killing approximately 50 persons.

Malanje Province: On 20 January, an anti-tank mine incident occurred at the Lau resettlement site, 12 km north of Malanje. On 21 January, armed groups attacked Tungo Ngo bairro in Malanje, killing two persons and injuring two. On the same day, a humanitarian vehicle triggered an anti-tank mine in Tamba, approximately 16 km south of Malanje. The mine was located eight metres from the side of the main road to Cangandala. The incident resulted in five wounded humanitarian workers. On 22 January, an anti-tank mine found on the road to Kamatende was de-activated by an international mine action NGO. The roads between Malanje and Lau and Malanje and Kamatende have been closed to humanitarian partners as a result of mine infestation.


1 In the Situation Report: Humanitarian Crisis in Bié Province (24 January 2002) it was stated that, "The extremely poor condition of the Kuito airstrip has impeded delivery of adequate humanitarian assistance for more than 22 months. WFP is currently able to deliver less than 60 percent of relief requirements into Kuito." The 60 percent figure corresponds to June and July 2001. The average distribution levels in Kuito during 2001 were 70 percent.

2 In the Humanitarian Situation in Angola: Situation Report (1-15 January 2002) it was stated that, "According to provincial health authorities, an average of 20 children are dying each day at the provincial hospital as a result of malaria. Approximately 90 percent of the admitted children die within the first 24 hours at the hospital, indicating that the majority arrive only after their condition has become critical." Humanitarian partners have not confirmed these figures. At the end of January, the Provincial Health Director reported that out of 119 new malaria cases reported at the Provincial Hospital during the month, 28 resulted in death.

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