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EU provides support for peace in Angola

[Angola] UNITA soldiers at Calala demobilisation camp. IRIN
UNITA will monitor the reintegration and resettlement of its ex-soldiers
The European Union (EU) was releasing Euro 30 million (US $29.6 million) to provide urgent support for Angola's peace process. The funds fall within a Euro 125 million (US $ 123.6 million) plan for humanitarian and rehabilitation projects in the country, Jeronimo Belo of the EU office in Angola told IRIN on Thursday. The latest amount would be used for water sanitation, health, education civil protection projects and for the return of displaced people to their areas of origin. The programme would address vulnerable people in quartering areas, particularly demobilising UNITA soldiers and their families, and in areas now accessible to humanitarian organisations. The work would be implemented by UN agencies, NGOs and the government. The funding was approved by the European Union Development Fund (EUDF). The latest assistance, and a further US $497,000 from Canada for food assistance, comes in the wake of an urgent warning from Kenzo Oshima, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, that Angola needed help urgently. Oshima said up to three million people, including those in Family Reception Areas (FRA), newly accessible locations and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps would require some form of assistance in the months ahead. A 4 July EU resolution on Angola, noted that 50 percent of people lived on less than US $1 a day and that between one and two million Angolans depended entirely on international aid for survival. A recent Medecins Sans Frontieres study in Chitete, in Huambo province, found that the mortality rate was four times higher than normal, with malnutrition the leading cause of death. The full extent of the impact of HIV/AIDS is still being assessed. The World Food Programme (WFP) on Thursday said it had reached an additional 72,100 people with emergency food in the FRAs during the week. This brought the total to 156,000 family members and soldiers now assisted by WFP in 26 FRAs in 11 provinces around the country. Registration continued in another 10 FRAs and distribution to these should start soon. The success of the 4 April ceasefire agreement, which followed the death of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi, relies heavily on the reintegration of demobilising rebel UNITA soldiers and their families. There are estimated to be 82,000 UNITA soldiers with 220,000 family members in 36 quartering and FRAs in the country. Over the last few weeks the alarm was raised over poor conditions in the demobilisation areas. As not many soldiers had handed in their weapons, there was a fear that without alternatives, these trained soldiers could resort to banditry. On 19 July a number of UNITA soldiers will be absorbed into the national armed forces (FAA) and on 20 July the remaining UNITA soldiers would be demobilised and reintegration into society would begin.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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