ANGOLA: UN Humanitarian Situation Report 13-19 Nov 1999 [19991129]

ANGOLA: UN Humanitarian Situation Report 13-19 Nov 1999 [19991129]

Source: UN UCAH Angola


Reporting period: 13-19 November 1999

General Situation

The movement of internally displaced people to areas where there is an established humanitarian presence has been much reduced over recent weeks. There are indications that populations in the provincial towns have started to venture out primarily to culti vate fields within easy reach of the towns. However, this is not part of a move to settle back in the countryside as the people are still based in the towns. This positive development could be attributed to the perception that security has improved in are as adjoining the towns and that it is safe to cultivate the fields in time for the rainy season. Humanitarian partners have completed a distribution of seeds and tools recently.

There have been no shelling incidents in any of the provincial capitals in this reporting period. However, security incidents in isolated areas have been reported. The rising number of mine accidents is also a major concern. Various factors could be behin d this rise including people accessing areas which have not been demined for firewood or cultivation, and new mine laying.

The risk of landmine accidents and ambushes is a key consideration in planning humanitarian operations in areas whose populations have not been accessed and assessed for the past year. The humanitarian community's approach will continue to be conditioned by humanitarian principles. It requires unhindered access to all civilian populations in need and activities will be based on independent needs assessments carried out by the UN and humanitarian partners. The security and safety of humanitarian staff is essential as well as protection of communities and beneficiaries.

Humanitarian Situation and Assistance

The United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Angola for the year 2000 will be launched in Geneva on 23-24 November. The total funding requirement is for US$ 258 million. The humanitarian community's total commitment to operations in Angola is m uch higher, bearing in mind ICRC and NGO humanitarian operations not covered by the Appeal.

WFP and the Ministry of Social Assistance and Reinsertion (MINARS), on 18 November, signed a letter of agreement for implementing WFP's food aid programme in the year 2000 valued at US$ 158 million. It plans to provide 211,000 MT of food to over one mill ion beneficiaries.

WHO and the Ministry of Health (MINSA) are to carry out assessment missions to Bie, Huambo, Malange, Kuando Kubango, Moxico and Uige. The aim is to enable MINSA identify priority health problems and draw up strategies for implementation.

SCF-UK has established a reserve of non-food items (cooking sets, blankets, buckets, tents, plastic sheeting) based in Lobito enough for 20,000 families to be used in emergency or resettlement interventions in Benguela, Kwanza Sul, Huambo and Bie. The pro ject, funded by ECHO and DFID, will work on a revolving loan basis. Humanitarian organisations using the reserve can opt to either return the items or reimburse the reserve within a period of six months. Funds received will be used to replenish the stocks . Similar ECHO non-food projects for the Luanda and Lubango corridors are run by the Lutheran World Federation and Johanniter respectively.

A WFP mission has been visiting Angola as part of the agency's ongoing analysis and review of WFP assistance to IDPs in 11 countries. The findings will be presented in May 2000.

MALANJE: The registration committee consisting of WFP, UCAH, UTCAH, MINARS and NGO representatives decided to cancel the planned general registration of IDPs and residents at a meeting on 12 November. The decision was based on the lack of human resources
and expertise to conduct the exercise in one day. The meeting decided that implementing partners should revise the current registers. The committee was set up at the end of October to examine anomolies in ongoing distribution programmes. Currently, 224,4 15 IDPs, 86,105 vulnerable and 1,361 in rehabilitation programmes are included in WFP food aid programmes.

HUAMBO: The ICRC delegation in Angola announced that it plans to continue its agricultural assistance programme in Huambo province and Kuito region during the 1999-2000 planting season. The programme, aimed at promoting food self-reliance, will target 67 ,000 IDP and resident families in Huambo and Kuito. Some 54,000 families have received seeds for the lowland planting season. ICRC completed its initial distribution of seeds for the highland season towards the end of October. Some 41,000 families in Huam bo have received seed protection rations. In Kuito, 6,000 families received non-food aid, including plastic sheeting, buckets, blankets and soap.

In October, 5,481 patients received treatment at health centres supported by ICRC.

BIE: MSF-Belgium started distributing food rations including dried fish to families of children attending supplementary feeding centres. The distribution is expected to decrease malnutrition rates as all individuals of the family will receive rations, thu s reducing the likelihood of the children's rations being shared out. An average of 3,861 children attended SFCs. About 43% were displaced and 57% resident children. An average of 478 children attended therapeutic feeding centres. About 61% were displaced

The number of reported cases of pellagra has risen to 360. All patients are receiving vitamin supplements and food for all their families with added dry fish.

UNICEF has distributed plastic sheeting to 145 IDP families in Kunje and to 96 families from Chipeta camp whose homes had been burnt. It also distributed cooking sets, jerrycans and blankets to 827 IDP families in Chissanje, Chitundu and Catabola II. An I CRC distribution of plastic sheeting and soap bars is also going on.

ICRC has registered 1,156 IDP families in Cuquema. They will be receiving food assistance and seeds. 425 new IDPs arrived in Kuito from Kunhinga.

HUILA: The WFP Deputy Country Director and a nutritionist visited three IDP camps in Chipopia, Vissaka and another near Matala on 8-9 November. Although cases of malnutrition, especially among newly arrived IDP children were observed, it was felt that th e situation was not as alarming as recent media reports of a 30% malnutrition rate in Matala suggested. The figure cited in media reports was not valid since it was based on a small random sample and not a full nutritional survey.

BENGUELA: MINSA, with technical and logistical support from WHO, is conducting an immunisation campaign against meningococcal meningitis in Yambala commune in response to an outbreak last month. About 50,000 inhabitants are expected to be immunised, WHO s aid.

A report by the follow-up WHO and government health mission investigating the outbreak said 26 people died of meningitis symptoms in Yambala between 13-31 October. The lack of clear orientation group to the field team and late dispatch of materials for co ntrol activities, compromised the team's capacity for rapid response. The mission recommended that the central level provide the means for rapid intervention in epidemic outbreaks and improve coordination of stocks. It also called for reinforced coordinat ion between MINSA, UN Agencies and NGOs to facilitate the flow of information from areas with difficult access.

ACF, meanwhile, said that only one unconfirmed case of meningitis had been reported in Ganda hospital earlier this month.

A truck carrying passengers activated an anti-tank mine on the Ganda-Cubal road on 12 November, injuring 30 people.

UIGE: There has been a partial return by residents of Songo, who had fled various bouts of fighting since October 1998. Songo is a major food producer and with improved security on the Songo-Uige road, the bi-weekly markets in Songo and Quimalalu, 15 km f rom Uige, are an important food input. Principal crops include cassava, sweet potato, beans, peanuts, banana and various fruits and vegetables. Bean production is good but there is a need for maize and peanut seeds, and tools.

The district hospital reopened on 9 November and general medicine, pediatric, malnutrition and TB wards are operating. However, there is very little equipment left in the hospital since it was attacked in October 1998. About 267 TB patients have been regi stered and 20 paediatric cases are arriving daily. There are 26 MINSA staff in Songo. The Catholic mission is also helping and running the TB programme with WFP food. There is no permanent humanitarian presence in Songo.The water system supplying the cent ral hospital was moved after the first attack on Songo in October 1998 and has not yet been replaced.

Three primary schools reopened in Songo in October and 400 children have been registered. There are reportedly enough teachers but there is an acute shortage of teaching materials.

The Danish Refugee Council registered 1,401 new IDPs from Mucaba in Negage. IDPs in Negage are still in interim accommodation in warehouses lacking minimum hygiene standards. The planned construction of IDP camps is at a standstill.

BENGO: The Provincial Humanitarian Coordination Group meeting in Bengo on 19 November was told that the Provincial Government had distributed 150 ha of the planned 500 ha arable land to IDPs in Cambambe II. A further 200 ha have been identified in Mussequ e Quirindo. The site will be inspected by a mission of provincial and local authorities, WFP, UCAH, FAO and NGOs on 24 November. The Provincial Vice-Governor also invited all humanitarian partners to work on return plans for IDPs but agreed that this woul d not be possible before the next dry season in mid-2000.


UCAH/OCHA Prepared by UCAH Information Unit This publication is also available on the Relief Web at

--- end of message ---

[This item is distributed in the "extra" service of the UN's IRIN information service, but may not neccessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. For feedback, further information or free subscriptions, contact IRIN at fax: +254 2 622129 or e-mail Photos, maps and links at ]

Subscriber: Keyword: IRIN

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

Previous Menu Home Page What's New Search Country Specific