UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
ANGOLA: Humanitarian concerns over Angola funding
JOHANNESBURG, 7 April (IRIN) - The humanitarian community in Angola is concerned that the Kosovo refugee crisis could divert the attention of donors from what it called a "drastic situation" in Angola where heavy fighting has displaced an estimated 700,000 people in the past four months.
A humanitarian representative in the capital Luanda told IRIN on Wednesday that the situation in Angola was "just as desperate" as fighting rages between government forces and UNITA rebels in many parts of the country.
In December, as the fighting resumed after the breakdown of the UN-brokered 1994 Lusaka protocol peace accords, the UN announced funding requirements of US $66.7 million for 1999 in its consolidated inter-agency appeal. Six weeks later, as roads became too dangerous for aid deliveries, it said an additional US $9.5 million would be needed for airlift operations over the first six months of the year.
A spokesman for the UN Humanitarian Coordination Unit in Angola (UCAH) said WFP was currently flying emergency food to tens of thousands of people in six towns around the country where road access had been severed because of the fighting.
The situation in Kuito, capital of Bie Province, for example, was growing critical because a UNITA siege of the town had forced the temporary withdrawal of humanitarian staff and brought a stop to WFP flights two weeks ago. Elsewhere in Angola's central highlands where the fighting has been particularly fierce, humanitarian agencies fear a major humanitarian crisis because tension was rising every day.
"The attention on Kosovo in this sense is a worry," said Aidan McQuade, the Luanda representative of Oxfam UK and Ireland. "A lot of donors are saying they are prepared to support the humanitarian response in Angola. Now is the moment when that support is most needed."
He said there was concern that the "increasing food crisis could translate into increasing hunger" in many parts of Angola.
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 1999 17:20:15 +0200 (SAST) Subject: ANGOLA: Humanitarian concerns over Angola funding  From: IRIN - English <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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