UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
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Source: UN UCAH Angola
UCAH Report from Luanda
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN ANGOLA
Reporting period: 20 September to 01 October 1999
Ø Measles cases increase in Huambo while signs of malnutrition continue to be reported Ø Influx of new IDPs in several localities Ø Some people from Luanda returning to Malange Ø With agricultural season at the beginning, relief operators focussing on seed and tool distributions
The general situation in the country has registered escalation in military activities thus leading to the influx of new displaced populations. Rural people in unstable areas may not be able to sow during the current agricultural season beginning now.
In this context, it is expected that the next harvest will not cover all the required food needs and that thousands of people will still need humanitarian assistance for some time. However, in its 22 September meeting, the Standing Commission of the Council of Ministers recommended ways of dealing with prevailing constraints in the ongoing preparations for the 1999-2000 agricultural year to revamp the production of maize, cassava, potatoes, beans, groundnuts, fruit and other products.
On 23 September, during his meeting with WFP Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Namanga Ngongi, the President of the Republic recognised the importance of humanitarian community presence in Angola and expressed his gratitude for the assistance being provided. He was well informed of what humanitarian operators in Angola are doing and stressed that Angolans will still need humanitarian assistance. In the same line, the Angolan Minister for Foreign Affairs stated in New York that in view of the prevailing situation in the country, the United Nations should assist Government in helping displaced persons by providing humanitarian aid.
Mr. Namanga Ngongi conducted a seven-day tour to Angola from 17 to 24 September during which he signed an agreement with the Minister of Social Assistance and Reintegration for assistance to 800,000 displaced and war affected people until the end of the year with an estimated cost of US$ 40 million. At the end of his visit, he expressed deep concern at the deteriorating situation in the Angola and appealed to the donor community to increase their contributions to avert a looming catastrophe. Upon his return, Mr. Ngongi appealed in Geneva for US$ 158 million for WFP operations in Angola during next year.
At a Conference on integration/reintegration from 29 September to 01 October in Luanda, most of the participants agreed in considering all the war affected populations rather than IDPs as the target group for humanitarian assistance. The Minister of Social Assistance and Reintegration stressed that the integration/reintegration process should target not only IDPs and should ensure the dignity of all Angolans in need.
Humanitarian Situation and Assistance
Although the humanitarian situation in the country is still serious, humanitarian operators continue to assist the most vulnerable affected populations in accessible locations. The assistance includes food distributions and other activities that concur with humanitarian aid aiming at recovering the dignity of war affected people. One of these means is the support to agricultural activities by providing displaced families with land, seeds and tools.
While the ICRC and some NGOs have already seeds and
tools in the country for immediate distribution, other
NGOs are also awaiting the arrival of inputs from NESA
(EU)'s inputs. NESA also informed that it is trying
to purchase locally 200 tons of maize seeds. SCF-US
has already distributed vegetable seeds in Moxico and
Kwanza Sul Provinces and has sent to Moxico 160 tons
more of maize and beans seeds for the current agricultural
season. ICRC is to start seed distribution in Huambo
during the month of October a few days before the time
to sow thus preventing people from consuming seeds.
FAO is working with MINADER in order to accelerate
the mechanisms regarding the issuing of authorisation
certificates for import and distribution of seeds.
During this reporting period, a commercial road convoy coming from Lubango reached Huambo where signs of malnutrition continue to be reported. Humanitarian partners are preparing a nutritional survey targeting adults as well as children under five years in Huambo City and Caála municipality where it has not been carried out since 1996. Meanwhile, more therapeutic feeding centres are being established. The percentage of measles reported cases has increased from 13 to 18% since June and a measles vaccination campaign with a nutritional screening component is scheduled for mid-October. It will target 90.000 resident and IDP children from nine months to five years old. EU through UNICEF and PAV (Extended Vaccination Programme) finances this campaign at a cost of US$ 70,000.
Also in Huambo, ICRC completed its food distributions to 10,000 IDP families in Caála and is to provide food to 50,000 resident and IDP families in Huambo surrounding areas. ICRC is also considering food distributions to resident people in Caála where 359 more IDPs have arrived at Salchicharia camp in the last week of September. OIKOS will assist a group of IDPs living in an uncovered building in Caála and SHA will cover the roof with plastic sheeting. Water and sanitation activities and non-food items are still needed in Caála IDP camps. Through a NORAD funded project, UNICEF and ADPP inaugurated eight more wells and latrines in Munda community. WFP food aid reached 18,030 persons including 8,100 IDPs in Huambo.
In Kuito, where thousands more IDPs continue to arrive, WFP has responded immediately to the food needs despite the closure of the local airport from 27 September to 01 October for maintenance work. ICRC's assistance was requested in distributing plastic sheets to the newly arrived IDP families. Apart from providing IDPs with humanitarian assistance services, the national NGO ADAC is working with WFP support to ensure local construction material for the rehabilitation of social structures through the reactivation of the former factories of construction material in Kuito and Lungundua community. On 26 September, an armed group of bandits injured two IDP women in Kuito but the local authorities intervened immediately.
Following the improvement in the security situation in Malange City, there are signs of people returning from Luanda. There are also some reported IDPs already exploring their former resettlement areas on the margin of Cuije River, in the southern region of the province but the local authorities have not yet taken any decision regarding the resettlement of IDPs in these areas. Humanitarian assistance activities are currently reaching 1,550 malnourished children through therapeutic and supplementary feeding centres while over 86,500 vulnerable persons are assisted through a network of 93 PICs and community kitchens and distributions of dry food rations. WFP delivered 589 MT of food aid to 79,697 persons. Concern is setting up within the city five supplementary centres to feed 2,000 beneficiaries and WVI is establishing a therapeutic feeding centre for 200 children at Kulamuxito resettlement area. The local health authorities have registered a significant increase of diarrhoea since the beginning of IDP resettlement in Kulamuxito and Quessua areas. UNICEF, ADRA, OIKOS, WVI and GVC are assisting the local health authorities to set up a network of health units in these areas while mobile teams are already working in the identification of malnutrition cases, vaccination activities and sensitising IDPs on hygiene and sanitation issues. Many families have built their shelters there seeking food distributions. The stabilisation of the IDPs in agricultural activities will show which families are in need of humanitarian assistance in the resettlement areas. However, the problem of available land, seeds and tools for all the families registered remains the main constraint in this programme.
In Huila Province, Matala town continued to receive new IDPs from the eastern part of the province. Since 23 August, NRC has registered more than 15,000 persons. A joint humanitarian assessment mission carried out in the last week of September was informed that IDPs are already establishing their houses but many of them are still living under trees. The team visited the two IDP camps in Chipopia and Vissaca. NRC continues to distribute food and non-food items and is building social structures such as schools and health posts. MSF-S is also to begin a health project with a local team in Vissaca camp for a paediatric unit and a nutritional survey for children under five years old.
In Benguela Province, the national NGO OKUTIUKA started the distribution of local maize and beans seeds and tools in Cubal on 20 September to mark the beginning of the new agricultural season. This NGO is implementing an integrated programme for IDPs, which includes distribution of food aid and local seeds and tools to IDPs, through food for work for irrigation, seed protection and construction/rehabilitation of social structures with the support of WFP, NESA (EU) and the UCAH Emergency Response Fund (ERF). CRS is also running therapeutic feeding centres with ERF support in Catumbela and Benguela towns where local personnel are being trained in collaboration with MSF-F to make these structures autonomous. A joint mission visited Dombe Grande area where ADRA-A held an official delivery of fertilisers to resident and IDP farmers. IDPs from Benguela town will be resettled in three different locations in Dombe Grande. AAA and AAD have available seeds and tools for these IDPs while ORA International has been distributing soap and blankets.
A joint assessment mission with UCAH, WFP, UNICEF, MSF-Switzerland, ACF, MOLISV and Johannitter was carried out from 27 to 29 September in Menongue where it is felt the humanitarian situation could worsen in the coming months. The mission visited different IDP camps and met with the Provincial Governor who stated that the crisis is affecting both IDPs and resident populations. The team recommended a new registration of IDPs focussing on vulnerability. WFP and MINARS are already assisting 26,000 IDPs in Menongue but some banditry activity has occurred during one food distribution.
New IDPs from north-eastern Uíge Province continue to arrive in Uíge, Negage and Puri. Assistance in terms of food and non-food items is being provided on a regular basis. The Catholic Sisters established two community kitchens in Negage with WFP food aid targeting malnourished children and adults. Moderate malnutrition in Uíge City rose from 6 to 8% between April and August. With WFP support, a community kitchen was opened in Candombe Novo, in Uíge town, for 250 IDP and resident children. NPA and Halo Trust made an assessment mission in Uíge for demining activities in agricultural fields. The Italian Government intends to fund these activities.
In Bengo Province, 200 ha are being prepared for distribution to IDP families in Cambambe II camp. So far, 100 ha of land have been made available and AAA and AAD have distributed more than 600 kits of agricultural inputs while WFP is to implement a food for seeds programme. During the period under review, AAD evacuated to Germany another group of 47 Angolan children for medical treatment in partnership with the German NGO Friedensdorf International. Another group of 34 children returned from Germany after being treated.
As of 20 September, WFP food stock in the country stood at 26,448 MT of maize, maize meal, pulses, CSB, fish, oil, sugar and salt.
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Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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