ANGOLA: UCAH Information Bulletin 25 June-1 July [19990706]

ANGOLA: UCAH Information Bulletin 25 June-1 July [19990706]


Fax : (244-2) 342710 Telefone: (244-2) 344321/348205/341072 Fax: (1-212) 963-3011 (Ext.4523) Fax: (1-212) 963-3011 (Ext. 4523)

Av.Comandante Valódia 206-5o Andar E-Mail: Luanda - Angola


Reporting period: 25 June to 1 July 1999

On 1 July, Kuito (in Bié Province) has been shelled

General Situation

The humanitarian situation in Angola is worsening on a daily basis and displaced people are being so affected as the resident communities. The response from the donor community continues to be very weak taking into consideration the current circumstances, while food, health care, shelter and clothes provided by the humanitarian organisations are just enough for the most vulnerable of all. Besieged cities of Kuito, Malange and Huambo are going through very difficult times.

In its second statement in a week time, the US State Government condemned "UNITA's strategy of targeting civilian populations to advance its military objectives". While reiterating that "UNITA forces, as well as the armed forces of the Government of Angola, have an obligation to respect the rights of non-combatants", the statement applauded "the heroic efforts of relief agencies assisting those displaced by conflict".

If the present circumstances persist, the number of people -especially children and elderly- dying as a result of malnutrition and lack of health care could become another huge problem to be added to the many other ones that are already preoccupying humanitarian partners in besieged cities.

On July 1, Kuito (Bié Province) has been again shelled, provoking the panic among the population. As a result, some people lost part of their belongings.

Humanitarian Situation and Assistance

In Kuito, Bié Province, the last count of IDPs made by Care refers to 61,164 people, however this number is constantly changing due to daily arrivals from the villages and municipalities. The number of cases at the therapeutic feeding centres remained high as about 500/week. Apart from these feeding centres supported by different humanitarian organisations, food provisions have been distributed to 24,905 of the most vulnerable IDPs.

Shelling of Huambo capital by UNITA continued over the reporting period, with more uncounted casualties and wounded. There are no zones of absolute safety and security. Even under these difficult circumstances, humanitarian operators on the field do their utmost to access people in need and relief programmes are implemented as possible. During the reporting period, international NGOs health staff helped the population in one of the bairros of the capital while shelling occurred, by assisting with primary emergency care and transportation to the hospital.

In Luena, Moxico Province, another 103 IDPs arrived last week from Bairro Luagi, Camanongue municipality, while a total of 15,000 IDPs were assisted over the same period by implementing NGOs Save the Children-US and Lutheran World Federation. Newly displaced coming from Luacano and Saifolo (Lunda Sul Province) as well as from the neighbourhood of Léua and Camanongue, received UNICEF relief and survival items through implementing partners.

The supplementary feeding centre in the IDP Centre in Açucareira, in Bengo Province, reported a drastic increase of attendance over the last two month, from 60 children/day to 120 at the end of May, up to 170 children/day at the end of June. Even considering that such an increase can be the result of the recent closure of the Hospital feeding centre that was lacking food, investigations are ongoing in order to disclose the roots of such occurrence. The implementing NGO INTERSOS is also stressing the need for an accurate nutritional survey to be carried out not only for the IDP but also for the resident community. With the support of ECHO/EU, the same NGO will soon be implementing a health project addressing the survey and various other needs. Meanwhile, due to lack of resources available, WFP was forced to suspend several food aid projects targeting 637 beneficiaries in the same province.

In Kuanza Norte Province, some 1,000 IDPs arrived last week from Pungo Andongo areas and are gathering at Fazenda Mucosso, in Dondo municipality. The humanitarian community is already planning possible actions to alleviate the needs of the newly arrived.

A communal kitchen for elderly people is already fully operational in Uíge capital through a Caritas initiative supported by international humanitarian provisions. In the same province, an ECHO/EU cargo flight arrived with non-food items to be distributed through NGOs CIC and CUAMM. Also, in Kimalalu village, 45 IDP families fleeing from Ambuíla, received food and non-food items through the Danish Refugee Council. The latter also assisted other 164 families from Kuanza Norte and Bengo provinces now seeking refuge in Uíge town.

In Zaire Province, M'Banza Congo population is almost re-installed, while repairs are being made to the houses affected by the military warfare during March. They are again able to access their fields, where cassava remained largely intact, however the never harvested beans and groundnuts were rotten. The humanitarian operators in the field report a shortage of health facilities and equipment as well as kerosene at the hospital,. The first phase of the polio-vaccination campaign reached 9,010 children under 5 and 120 children over 5, at a total of 9,130 children in the communes of M'Banza Congo, Luvo, N'Kiende and part of Calambata.

In Huíla Province, a recent sub-group meeting on IDPs discussed the reallocation of the latter, scheduled for the end of June, from Lubango city to the communes of Kilemba, Chiange and Toco. With this exercise 240 families (1,313 IDPs) with access 50 ha of land. Another 100 IDP families are already re-installed in Tundavala farm.

On 30 June, for the first time in two years, the Luanda Provincial Humanitarian Co-ordination Group met, and the situation of the IDP community was discussed. MINARS/UTCAH, the Provincial Government, UCAH, UN humanitarian Agencies and NGOs set the general strategies to improve the living conditions of some 240,000 IDPs living in different centres around the capital. Particular attention was paid to the IDPs in Jika (Maianga municipality); Bita Tanque (Viana municipality); and Salga (Cacuaco municipality) where changes are expected to be implemented any time by the Government with the support of humanitarian partners. In order to better co-ordinating the projects related to health, water and sanitation, separate meetings are scheduled for the coming days. According to MINARS sources, the estimated number of IDPs living in Luanda is over 600,000, as some 400,000 (old and new displaced) are currently lodged at relatives and friends.

The State of Humanitarian Fund RaisingS

Unfortunately, the current response to the Appeal 1999 only stands at around 29%. Outside the Appeal, international organisations are also having serious difficulties raising in funds for their emergency operations in Angola, where insecurity and instability forced development projects to turn into emergency ones. Nevertheless, humanitarian Agencies and Organisations have been fully engaged on keeping the international community aware of the dramatic situation of the Angolan people, in order to avoid that the current situation plunge into an irreversible humanitarian catastrophe. The international community is also closely following up the social and economical Government measures, most recently taken in order to overcome the current general crisis, while expecting that other steps at different levels finally allow humanitarian partners to execute in safety and security their assistance to all in need.

Another American NGO is temporarily closing down its offices in Angola, this time being CREA (Creative Associates International, Inc.). Meanwhile, the American Government just approved the funding for local agricultural projects through USAID, for a number of NGOs, such as World Vision International, CARE, Africare, and Save the Children-US.

WFP is still awaiting a response for its $40 million USD recent appeal, and ICRC just broadcast its special appeal for 105 million Swiss Francs to address mine victims in Angola. During the reporting period, a US Government donation of 15,000 tonnes of maize and 1,000 tonnes of CSB arrived in Luanda by sea, and WFP is cautiously distributing it to the implementing partners in order to avoid an exhaustion of stocks.

S and the Humanitarian Assistance Network in Angola

The resumption of open hostilities all over the Angolan territory, during the last eight months, forced humanitarian organisations to reduce their activities and staff in certain areas. The relief operations continued at a lower pace, and only a few have been completely closed. The indiscriminate shelling of the capitals of Huambo, Malange and Kuito, while mainly affecting the civilian population, is also seriously endangering the lives of relief workers.

The humanitarian activities co-ordinated by UCAH and implemented by UN Agencies cover six international organisations, 194 national NGOs and 98 international NGOs. Worth to be mentioned, the huge majority of these personnel are Angolan. Since January 1999, ten humanitarian workers were killed or wounded while on mission to assist Angolans in need. Despite these tragic incidents, the relief organisations continue to pursue their projects, even in areas of highly intense conflict.

Meanwhile, institutions outside the humanitarian community continue to express their appreciation towards the emergency relief efforts that are being made by all humanitarian operators in the accessible areas of the country.


Item: irin-extra-183

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

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