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Angola: January to August 2002

16-09-2002 Operational Update



Taking into account the new opportunities and challenges made possible by the signing of a cease fire agreement earlier this year, an appeal was launched on 9 August for a budget extension of 4.2 million USD, bringing the total budget for ICRC activities in Angola in 2002 to 21.2 million USD - a 25 per cent increase over the amount initially planned.


Following the signing of the ceasefire agreement between the parties to the conflict on April 4th, the Tracing Agency of the ICRC has seen a substantial increase in its activities. Thus, in the first eight months of this year, more than 17'500 Red Cross messages have been collected and more than 16'800 distributed in the different provinces of Angola, including in formerly inaccessible areas. In order to provide a better service in the face of this increase, 82 new Red Cross offices have been established throughout the country.

More than 2'000 families have opened tracing requests asking the ICRC for assistance in finding out the whereabouts of their loved ones. At the same time, 539 unaccompanied minors have been registered by the ICRC. Assisted by new software and digital cameras, the delegates strive to localise their family members. Since the beginning of this year, it was possible to reunite 40 children with their families. All these activities are carried out in close collaboration with the national Red Cross Society (CVA).

In the framework of its programmes in favour of persons deprived of freedom, the ICRC has carried out 25 visits to 18 different locations since the beginning of the year.

  Assistance to conflict victims - Agriculture and Food Security  

The ICRC's Agriculture and Food Security programmes are concentrated in the provinces of Bié and Huambo. In Huambo, food distributions are made to 38'000 beneficiaries on a regular basis, in the camps for displaced persons (IDPs) of Cruzeiro and Caala. The same number of beneficiaries is given seeds in order to achieve food autonomy over time. Furthermore, horticultural seeds are to be distributed to 10'000 families in the province of Bié and twice (for the nacas and lavras planting seasons) to 36'000 families in the province of Huambo. Tree seedlings, providing for 500'000 trees, are distributed by the ICRC in these same provinces.

  Health and Nutrition  

The ICRC in Angola works in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, providing assistance in government hospitals. In this way, the ICRC supports the Surgical and the Paediatric Wards of the Central Hospital in Huambo, for a range of 15'000 beneficiaries each. Furthermore, in the provinces of Huambo, Bié and Uige, the ICRC supports 12 Primary Health Care centres and promotes HIV/AIDS preventive action for a range of 300'000 beneficiaries, in collaboration with the national Red Cross Society (CVA) and the Ministry of Health.

  Mine Action  

The ICRC continues to support three Ministry of Health rehabilitation centres, located in Luanda, Huambo and Kuito, and provides support to a range of 3'000 disabled persons from 7 provinces. Since the beginning of the ICRC's orthopaedic programme in Angola, over 15'000 amputees have been fitted with prostheses. The development of ICRC technology contributes to an annual production of over 2'000 lower limb prostheses. The assistance provided covers technical and financial support to these 3 orthopaedic centres, including the manufacture and fitting of prostheses, as well as the manufacture and distribution of wheelchairs and crutches. All these services, including physiotherapy, transport and accommodation, are provided free of charge.

  Water and Sanitation  

Well and spring protection is carried out by the ICR C in Kuito (Bié Province) for a range of 12'000 beneficiaries, and emergency sanitation programmes are provided to 28'000 persons. In collaboration with the national Red Cross Society (CVA), soap is distributed to 280'000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Kuito and Huambo. In the Central Hospital in Huambo, the ICRC has supported the maintenance of the water and sewage system.

  Non-food Items and Shelter  

20'000 families of internally displaced persons (IDPs), mainly in Huambo and Bié provinces, were given non-food items, in collaboration with the national Red Cross Society (CVA).

  Preventive Action - Dissemination 

The ICRC actively promotes the dissemination of International Humanitarian Law and the principles of the Red Cross Movement to members of the armed forces, the police, traditional authorities and civilians, both through formal dissemination sessions (so far this year to over 4'100 members of the security forces) and through more informal sessions and theatre presentations (to close to 8'000 persons so far). Regular radio programmes in Luanda, Huambo and Kuito also contribute to the dissemination of these principles.