UN food agency receives almost $4 million from Japan for emergency operation in Angola

Japan has donated $3.8 million for an emergency operation in Angola, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today.
The cash donation will enable WFP to buy commodities, such as maize, beans and salt, and quickly bring them to critical areas within Angola. "We are facing some very hungry months in the highlands after the first of the year," said Francesco Strippoli, WFO 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, WFP said.

Meanwhile, more than 2,000 Angolan refugees have arrived in Zambia over the past four days following heavy fighting between UNITA and the Angolan army, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today in Geneva.

The largest population of new arrivals is currently concentrated in Kalabo, on the western side of the Zambezi plains, according to the UN agency. Of the 1,450 persons registered Thursday morning, about 200 were military personnel from the Angolan army (FAA).

UNHCR said 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 Meheba to coordinate the relief effort.