Humanitarian situation in Angola: Reporting period 20 to 26 Nov 1999

General Situation
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan launched the UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeals for the year 2000 in Geneva on 23 November. The theme of World Humanitarian Day this year was The Forgotten People". The Inter-Agency Appeal for Angola is for US$ 258 million. It presents a common action plan based on objectives and priorities agreed by the humanitarian actors. While the bulk of funding will be for food security, other sectors such as health, water and sanitation, agriculture and education are equally important components, and humanitarian actors will be hoping for an even response to all sectors of the Appeal.

The relative calm in most provincial capitals has influenced some populations to increasingly venture out in search of firewood or to tend their fields. However, there has been no significant move by IDPs to resettle in their areas of origin because of the growing risk of mines and other security incidents.

The humanitarian community in certain areas is considering extending the perimeters within which they have operated for several months. Extending the humanitarian presence in areas whose populations have not been accessed over the past several months is still linked to improved security conditions. Meanwhile, humanitarian actors are drawing up contingency plans for an extension of activities to unaccessed populations, especially with regard to nutritional rehabilitation and non-food relief.

In the context of disrupted agricultural and economic activities due to insecurity, the nutritional status of residents and IDPs is fragile at best. During the lean period an increase in malnutrition is possible. Some IDPs and residents have had access to land distributed by the government. The humanitarian community has also made remarkable efforts to supply seeds and tools in time for the planting season, but the harvest early next year is likely to provide food for only a short period. The country will probably face a food shortage next year and the need for substantial food assistance will therefore persist.

Humanitarian Situation and Assistance

MALANJE: The Provincial Government has authorised populations from southern Malanje district to return to their areas of origin. According to the Municipal Administrator of Cangandala, about 3,000 IDPs are shuttling between Malanje and villages in Cangandala region. The Provincial Government has also tasked the Ministry of Social Assistance and Re-insertion (MINARS) and UTCAH to assess the situation of 2,856 people who were reported to have returned to Kambundi-Katembo. MINARS reported that 361 IDPs have arrived in Malanje over the past three weeks from Caculama and Kiwaba N'zogi.

There have been 93 mine accidents in the green belt of Malanje since the beginning of the year. About half the accidents were within a radius of 10 km from the city centre. A Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) team has begun demining 35 ha land for resettlement activities near Cassucina; the worst affected area with 22 accidents.

The review of food distribution registers by WFP's implementing partners and the municipal authorities will be completed this week.

HUAMBO: The nutritional situation in Huambo municipality is improving, but an average of 24 severely malnourished children are arriving from Chipipa weekly to attend the MSF-F therapeutic feed centre. MSF-F plans to carry out a nutritional survey in Chipipa. ICRC distributed seeds and tools to 3,400 families in Chipipa. A distribution of food and non-food items is also planned in December. CONCERN has distributed seeds and tools to several families in Ekunha.

There are reports that IDPs from Boas Aguas, Chipipa and Tchikala-Tcholohanga have been returning to their areas of origin. SCF-UK is conducting a new registration of IDPs in Coalfa to check the figures. There are also unconfirmed reports that people who fled fighting in Tchinjenje area are returning. Meanwhile, new IDPs in Caala are still waiting to be registered and some are thought to have returned to northern Cuima.

A road convoy to Huambo was ambushed near Cuima on 18 November. There were no casualties and only material damage to the trucks was reported. An earlier commercial convoy from Lobito carrying 300 MT of relief food arrived in Huambo City on 13 November.

BIE: According to MSF-B, numbers of residents attending therapeutic and supplementary feeding centres is increasing. At TFCs, 50% of those attending are resident. The percentage of those attending SFCs is higher. Malnutrition is also growing among resident over-fives and adults. The number of identified pellagra cases has gone up to 450. About 60 new cases were reported during the reporting period. An ICRC mission will be analysing the nutritional condition of the resident population before the end of the month. ICRC will also be distributing non-food items to 15-20,000 families in the coming months.

An Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) campaign against measles and tetanus is under way in Kuito.

In Kikuma, 1,200 families received food assistance as well as ICRC non-food items and seeds.

HUILA: A humanitarian assessment mission consisting of MINARS, UNICEF, WFP, UCAH and Caritas visited Caluquembe municipality on 19 November. Fighting in July had forced WFP to suspend food distribution to some 4,000 IDPs registered by CARE International and Caritas. The mission reported that only one hospital was working and few immunisation campaigns had been conducted. There were 4,900 IDPs in one camp. According to the authorities, the number of IDPs living in the IDP camp in Caluquembe and among residents is higher. Cases of moderate malnutrition were observed, but there are no operational nutritional centres. The mission recommended a resumption of food aid and a new registration of IDPs, as well as support for the health sector.

There are plans for build a transit camp in Matala where new IDPs can receive emergency assistance. Some 500 IDPs are arriving weekly from Kuvango, Chicomba and Chipindo municipalities due to insecurity in the area. The number of IDPs in Chipopia and Vissaka camps has gone up to 20,000.

UIGE: Population movements from Cangola to Negage have continued in the wake of fighting for control of Cangola. Some 2,163 new IDPs from Cangola were assisted by the Danish Refugee Council in Negage. The influx of IDPs into the safe areas of Uige and Negage is putting pressure on the existing kitchens. CIC has asked WFP to increase the amount of food distributed to meet increasing demand and Caritas called for more collective kitchens for the elderly. The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRC) will also be involved in setting up a transit camp in Negage. The national NGOs, IKA (Kimbangista Church), IERA and ACM, have received funding for a joint emergency programme for IDPs from Sanza Pombo, Milunga, Alto Cauale, Buengas and Maquela do Zombo. Relief items and seeds and tools will be distributed to 2,000 IDP families. Red Barnet has opened a feeding centre at the transit facility in Uige.

A total of 748 ha arable land has been distributed to IDPs in Uige and Negage for the 1999/2000 agricultural season.

ZAIRE: A mission visiting M'Banza Congo said very few permanent structures had been improved since fighting in February. Only half the city had electricity. The few health facilities operating were privately run, and the provincial hospital had hardly any equipment or medicines and provided limited assistance. The MINSA health centre runs a mother-child clinic twice a week and (EPI) immunisation programme four days a week. Malnutrition cases are referred to the Caritas health post, where dry ration nutritional supplements are distributed. Caritas assists a monthly average of 60-70 children, most with moderate malnutrition. Health personnel did not consider malnutrition a major problem.

There is no TB programme despite several reports of a number of TB cases, especially among incoming IDPs from Nzolani and returnees from refugee camps in DRC. The trypanosomiasis programme restarted in mid-October. Only three of the previously treated 312 cases was positive. Eight new cases were identified.

By the end of October NRC had registered 4,762 IDPs and 34,527 returning residents. The majority of IDPs are integrated in the resident population but nearly 800 IDPs live in two camps in M'Banza Mazina and N'Zolani. NRC has been distributing various non-food items to residents and IDPs, and food to IDPs.

Forty schools with an intake of 5,047 pupils are functioning. The schools need repair and there is a lack of materials. The Norwegian Refugee Council has rehabilitated two schools and is in the process of rehabilitating another two.

The distribution of arable land to IDPs has been delayed. IDPs living in M'Banza Mazina camp said, however, they had been allocated enough land. NRC is expecting various non-food items and seeds and tools for 2,000 families.

KUANDO KUBANGO: UNHCR confirmed that 2,400 Angolan refugees fled across the border into Namibia as fighting between government forces and Angolans intensified near the Angola-Namibia border.

FOOD STOCKS: As of 15 November, WFP food stock in the country stood at 18,618 MT of maize, maize meal, pulses, CSB, fish, oil, sugar and salt.


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