Humanitarian situation in Angola: Reporting period 17 Jan to 06 Feb 2000

Situation Report
Originally published


  • UN concerned with the humanitarian situation
  • Security reasons hinder humanitarian missions to reach affected area in Chongoroi
  • New displacements of people in Kwanza Sul

UN concerns over human suffering in Angola

On 18 January, during the UN Security Council opening session on Angola, the humanitarian situation in the country was highlighted. In his report, the Secretary General expressed concern over the human suffering as well as the destruction of property and infrastructure in Angola. He noted that the humanitarian situation remains precarious with widespread insecurity in several regions of the country.

During the period under review, Mr. Hugh Parmer, USAID Assistant Administrator for Humanitarian Response, visited Angola.

Angolan refugees in the region

A combined UN agency operation managed to rescue 2,288 Angolan refugees stranded in western Zambia due to heavy rains and a swollen Zambezi river in a seven-day airlift. These refugees were transported from Kalabo to Mongu, from where they are being evacuated by road to a long-established refugee camp at Mayukwayukwa. WFP has positioned 210 mt of food aid in Kalabo for the remaining 1,500 refugees. However, an estimated 7,500 Angolans also stranded at Sinjembela could not be rescued by air to a new inland camp at Sioma for lack of a landing field in the area.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the number of new Angolan refugees in Namibia has increased to over 8,000 by the end of January. Although the number of refugees moving to Namibia was not as dramatic as those moving east into Zambia, UNHCR is still receiving people who are transported by road to Osire camp, well away from the border area.

Security Situation

During the reporting period many security incidents along roads were registered in several parts of the country causing an undetermined number of victims, mostly civilians. The following are those related to humanitarian assistance activities:

  • In two occasions on 18 and 25 January, UN security assessment missions to Caiundo, in Kuando Kubango Province, were suspended due to military activities and an attack on the road Menongue-Caiundo. For security reasons on the road Menongue- Kuito Kuanavale and the bad conditions of the road and the local airstrip, more than 12,000 IDPs in Kuito Kuanavale have not been assisted since December 1999, despite the presence of MOLISV and ACF personnel.
  • A planned humanitarian assessment mission to Cuvelai, in Cunene Province, had to be suspended following an attack on 6 February in Santa Clara, on the border with Namibia.
  • Humanitarian assessment missions to Puri (Uíge Province) and Camabatela (Kwanza Norte) were also cancelled due to security reasons.

These constraints in the countryside, apart from mine incidents, lead the humanitarian workers to exercise extreme caution, especially when accessing new areas. However, where possible, humanitarian and security assessment missions, underway since 12 January, will continue to be carried out.

General Humanitarian Situation and Assistance

The National Humanitarian Co-ordination Group held an extraordinary meeting on 18 January to analyse the reactivation of its technical sub-groups. It was agreed to reactivate the sub-groups of IDPs Resettlement, Seeds and Tools, Demining and Repatriation.

Provincial Updates

Following the first mission to Cangandala, Malange Province, on 13 January, an inter-agency assessment mission composed of UN agencies, NGOs and Provincial Government Representatives took place on 22 January. The mission concluded that food aid intervention was needed. More than 10,000 IDPs concentrated in Cangandala will receive WFP food as of February. The mission also recommended that WFP food distributions by OIKOS in Kulamuxito/Malange to 17,600 IDPs from Cangandala, should be transferred to Cangandala to facilitate their final return to their areas of origin. OXFAM, OIKOS and WVI will intervene in the water/sanitation area while GVC will support the local health post. APN will carry out mine surveys and define demining priorities in close collaboration with other relief organisations.

A total of 171,141 IDPs are included in the food distribution plan for the month of February in Malange. From 17 to 21 January, MINSA and medical NGOs undertook another nutritional survey in Malange and Lombe whose results are not yet available. The number of children attending PICs and community kitchens has decreased, as their parents have been able to harvest some products from the fields.

In Benguela Province, a mission to Chongoroi on 17-18 January to assess the consequences of flood in the communes of Hanja Primaria and Bolonguera, could not reach the affected areas for security reasons. However, the local authorities informed the mission that the flood affected 1,581 families and destroyed 1,017 houses and 48 ha of crops. Some residents have moved to Quilengues, Impulo, Bonga (Huila) and Camucuio (Namibe). Assistance to these populations is both conditioned to security situation in the area and lower water levels.

Another assessment mission was conducted on 20 - 21 January to Dombe Grande by the joint WFP/MINARS/UCAH/UNICEF team to also evaluate the consequences of flood. The mission assessed the situation of 1,409 IDP families in Senje (725) and Luacho (684) and recommended an urgent food distribution and the continuation of the community kitchens for children aged from six months to five years. WFP will provide food aid at least until the next harvest in August. WFP has already increased, through its stocks in Lobito, its support to the community kitchens run by the NGO OKUTIUKA in the most affected areas. ADPP, trough an UCAH Emergency Fund Response project, has improved water/sanitation conditions and continue to build new wells and latrines.

On 28 January, in Bengo Province, a joint WFP/UCAH/AAA/AAD/MINARS mission and the Provincial Vice-Governor visited the Cambambe II IDP camp to assess the agricultural project run by AAA/AAD with WFP support. The mission found that 60% of the land provided by the local authorities to the IDPs was cultivated. In order to promote full participation of the IDPs, it was concluded that only those IDPs engaged in the agricultural project would receive food assistance until next harvest in April. Cambambe II camp hosts a total of 25,320 IDPs from Quibaxe, Pangu-Aluquém, Bula Atumba and Piri.

Humanitarian flights to Kuito, Bié Province, were resumed on 27 January following the reopening of the local airport, which was closed on 14 January for repairs. WFP is currently assessing the acceptability of corn-soya blend (CSB) as a response to the recommendation made by the nutritionists from WFP, UNICEF, MSF-B and ICRC to reduce Pellagra. CSB with high niacin and vitamin content would be added to the rations distributed by WFP, apart from dried fish, which is being provided to families of children attending supplementary feeding centres.

On 20 January, in Huambo Province, the local authorities moved to Casseque III 17,953 IDPs from Coalfa camp in Huambo City. The CONCERN health centre and the SCF-UK nutritional centre at Coalfa camp were also moved to Casseque III. The Government’s project has not yet provided houses to all the IDPs. While some of them are already accommodated in houses and in 150 tents provided by SCF-UK, approximately 3,000 IDPs are temporarily living in schools. Casseque III area is located six km away from the Coalfa camp.

In Caála, SCF-UK opened a new supplementary feeding centre for 2,500 persons. Together with the SFC run by MSF-F, this new SFC aims at decreasing malnutrition incidence. These two SFC receive WFP food aid. Relief organisations are concerned with the high number of elderly attending SFC in Caála. ICRC is to start a general food distribution after the registration of the population in need.

On 26 January, a joint humanitarian mission confirmed the presence of 1,040 IDPs in Longa, Kuando Kubango Province. These IDPs arrived recently from Kweti Cangamba, in Moxico Province, and will be assisted by Igreja da Assembleia de Deus Pentescostal (IADP) with WFP food aid. Longa is situated on the main road to Kuito Kuanavale where more than 12,000 IDPs are deprived of humanitarian assistance due to the lack of access for security reasons and bad conditions of the local airstrip. Also for lack of access, humanitarian operators could not confirm a reported number of 12,000 new IDPs in Savate, Mucundi and Mulemba, south of Menongue. The five SFC run by ACF with WFP food in Menongue have registered an increase from 425 to 540 in the number of malnourished children attending these centres. Most of the new beneficiaries are residents.

In Gabela, Kwanza Sul Province, SCF-US has reported the presence of 5,000 new IDPs while in Conda, Caritas and the local authorities informed of more than 3,000 new arrivals. In Seles, there are 8,000 new IDPs according to AAA (German Agro Action). These new displacements of population are mostly taking place from the south of the province.

According to Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), the number of IDPs in the warehouses in Negage, Uíge Province, has decreased from 564 to 498 families following the return movements to Puri, Sanza Pombo, Alfândega and Songo. On 21 January, a joint humanitarian mission to Songo confirmed that 6,203 IDPs had returned from Uíge town and areas close to Songo. The mission concluded that a general food distribution is not a primary need but assistance should target specific vulnerable groups. IDPs have also returned to villages north of Quitexe.

As of 31 January, WFP food stocks stood at 29,294 mt of maize, meal, pulses, CSB, fish, oil, sugar and salt. In February, WFP plans to deliver 15,715 mt of food aid to 1,137,962 beneficiaries.


Prepared by UCAH Information Unit

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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