"We are facing some very hungry months in the highlands after the first of the year," said Francesco Strippoli, WFP representative and humanitarian aid coordinator in Angola.
High insecurity on the roads and widespread fighting in the countryside have kept many cities isolated and in desperate need of food for the past year, the WFP said.
Meanwhile, more than 2,000 Angolan refugees have arrived in Zambia over the past four days following heavy fighting between the rebel Nations Union for the Total Independence of Angola ( UNITA) and the Angolan government troops, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Friday in Geneva.
The largest population of new arrivals is currently concentrated in Kalabo, on the western side of the Zimbezi plains, according to the U.N. food agency. Of the 1,450 persons registered Thursday morning, some 200 were military personnel from the Angolan army.
The UNHCR said that there were indications that the confrontation has intensified along the entire border between Zambia and Angola, raising the possibility of more refugees into Zambia.
Food and non-food supplies have been dispatched to the region and the agency's staff have been deployed to Mebeba in Angola to coordinate the relief effort.
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Received by NewsEdge Insight: 12/13/1999 07:02:19