Humanitarian situation in Angola: Reporting period 27 Nov to 3 Dec 1999

General Situation
Security concerns remain the major impediment to resuming activities in areas from which humanitarian organisations pulled out several months ago and extending operations to unaccessed populations.

In many cases, access to peripheral areas is restricted because of insecurity and mine pollution. The risk from old and new mines is ever present and an obstacle to the sustainable reintegration/integration of displaced people and rehabilitation of agricultural and economic activities. The National Institute for the Removal of Obstacles and Explosive Ordnance (INAROEE) and humanitarian demining operators have been meeting to coordinate, plan and define priorities at national and provincial level.

The US Permanent Representative to the UN, Richard Holbrooke, visited Luanda from 2 - 3 December. Although the main focus of his visit was the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he also discussed the situation in the country with the Angolan Government. The United States is to propose a special Security Council session to discuss the situation in Angola in January 2000. Mr Holbrooke also visited "Malanje" IDP camp in Viana and was briefed on humanitarian issues by the Minister of Social Affairs and Reinsertion, Albino Malungo, and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Francesco Strippoli. Mr Holbrooke also met UN Heads of Agency on 3 December.

Humanitarian Situation and Assistance

The Government of Angola and UNICEF met on 30 November and 1 December to review the 1998 and 1999 GoA/UNICEF programmes and discuss sectorial strategies for 2000. The meeting concluded that despite the difficult environment, a large number of programmes in 1998 and 1999, such as salt iodization, were implemented.

Demining activities were drastically reduced in 1999 due to the resumption of the civil war last year and the withdrawal of MONUA observers. INAROEE said that between January and August 1999, INAROEE and demining NGOs cleared 2.3 million square metres and 38 km of roads, and destroyed some 111,000 unexploded objects and 365 mines.

Since the beginning of this year UCAH's Emergency Response Fund (ERF) approved 44 short-term emergency projects, 36 of which are still ongoing, to the value of US$ 2.8 million. The fund was set up in 1997 to provide NGOs and UN Agencies with a rapid response mechanism for short-term emergency needs of vulnerable communities. [attachment: projects funded per sector]

WHO donated computer and photocopying equipment to the Ministry of Health (MINSA) in November as part of a programme to facilitate data collection and information management.

MALANJE: About 118 IDPs arrived from Kiwaba-Nzogi, Caculama and Kambundi-Katembo between 26 and 28 November, bringing to 493 the total number arriving from these districts in November. An UTCAH/MINARS mission went to Kambundi-Katembo on 28 November to assess IDP numbers there.

The review of food distribution registers by WFP's implementing partners and municipal authorities is still under way.

The Ministry of Health (MINSA) conducted a nutritional survey last week in Lombe with the assistance of GVC, MSF-H, WVI and UCAH. The results are not yet available. Families in Lombe said the looting in February and March had jeopardised the agricultural campaign and the mortality rate was high due to a lack of food. ADRA's current food assistance programme caters for 2,000 families and the vulnerable group feeding programme is said to have partially relieved the situation. Water is a major concern and only two out of six pumps are working. There are insufficient wells to meet demand and many families are using water from small rivers or springs. The two health posts run by MINSA and the Catholic Church report a high incidence of diarrhoeal diseases.

Plans are under way for further demining activities on land for resettlement. Humanitarian demining organisations are considering resuming activities in areas outside the current security perimeter. The risk of mines on roads to peripheral areas still remains high. A truck was attacked on the Lombe-Calandula road on 24 November. Casualties were reported, but no details were available.

BIE: An ICRC mission has been in Kuito this week to assess the nutritional status of the population. Data on the pellagra epidemic is currently being analysed by MSF-B. Preliminary findings suggest that IDP women are the most affected. Over the past three weeks 67% of the cases have been IDPs. With the growing number of malnourished resident adult and under-fives, there is concern that the nutritional status of the resident population is progressively deteriorating. MSF-B will be carrying out a nutritional survey of residents and IDPs in December.

CARE-I has completed its seeds and tools distribution in 12 IDP camps. In November, Concern distributed 132 MT seeds and tools to 1,169 residents and 5,131 IDP families. Some IDPs are reportedly reluctant to work the land allocated to them as they are hoping security conditions will improve sufficiently to allow them to return to their areas of residence soon. The beneficiaries are also receiving WFP seed protection rations. FOS-B has distributed 8 MT seeds, 9 MT fertilizer and tools to 1,309 families from Chinguar and Cangolo camps not included in previous distributions. Some 1,100 resident and IDP families in Kuquema have received ICRC seed and tool kits and seed protection rations. Africare distributed 59 MT ICRC maize, bean and vegetable seeds to 9,000 families although only 5,000 were initially forecast.

The report of an Oxfam environmental health assessment of 18 IDP camps around Kuito town says that present coverage of protected water sources is inadequate in most camps. Even where there are improved wells, water quality still remains poor. There were inadequate latrines and space for further construction. It also found evidence of standing water. The recommendations included increasing construction of lined hand-dug wells, chlorinating improved and lined wells, building communal latrines, improving drainage and education on the dangers of standing water.

More food items are available in the markets although prices are still high. Security conditions are difficult but some residents are travelling to Chinguar.

UIGE: Population displacements from Cangola, Buengas and Sanza Pombo to Uige and Negage continue. The number of confirmed IDPs reached 79,400 - an increase of some 5,000 since October. WFP has increased its December distribution plan to cover the growing food assistance needs. A total of 10,108 people were assisted through specific feeding programmes in November.

Three national NGOs, IKA, IERA and ACM will be assisting IDPs from Sanza Pombo, Alto Cauale, Buengas, Milunga, Quimbele and Ambaca (Kwanza Norte) with funds provided by Christian Aid.

Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) will be staying in the province next year and is considering other humanitarian demining operations in Uige, Negage and Songo.

LUANDA: WFP in partnership with the Ministry of Education has started a school feeding programme in Viana for 1,300 children.

FOOD STOCKS: As of 22 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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