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Still waiting for peace dividends

[ANGOLA] Shanty homes in Luanda.
The majority of urban Africans live in slums (IRIN)

Although it has been two years since the civil war ended, Angola's people have yet to see the dividends of peace and have begun to express growing frustration, says a new United Nations report.

In the quarterly analysis of the humanitarian situation in Angola, the UN noted that "despite various breakthroughs at the central level - notably, the adoption by the government of a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and the constructive dialogue with the World Bank and IMF [International Monetary Fund] - the transition [from war to recovery] seems to be on hold".

There have been several protests and incidents of civil unrest in recent months.

"The population has yet to see the dividends of the end of the hostilities and is beginning to express its growing frustration. The path to recovery is a very long one and is, regrettably, being slowed down by the absence of integrated community-based projects by both the government and international organisations," the UN added.

With regard to the UN 2004 Consolidated Appeal for Transition, "funding information available at the end of the first quarter indicates a consistent underfunding of UN agencies and most of the NGOs".

The report noted that nearly all the internally displaced persons (IDPs) uprooted by the war had returned to their areas of origin, while the rest had "most likely decided to remain with their host communities".

"Of the 3.8 million IDPs at the war's end, an estimated 100,000 can still be considered internally displaced," the report said.

However, "the challenges are far from over, as the vast majority of people have returned to locations where the [norms for return and resettlement] are not met".

"Restoring livelihoods, health and normal social lives will be challenging in areas where water and sanitation facilities are inadequate (if they exist at all), health posts and schools are unmanned and undersupplied, and too few community-based projects are in place to assist the resettlement of the returning population," the UN said.

Food security was one of the most important factors in the maintenance of normal life and "the sudden reduction of rations through the WFP [World Food Programme] pipeline, before the outcome of vulnerability assessments, may induce localised and spontaneous community-based problems".

WFP has been forced to cut rations by 50 percent due to funding shortages.

"In the event that non-governmental alternatives to WFP also encounter either funding or logistical constraints, a credible government contingency plan that can be called forward by provincial authorities to respond to sudden surges in food insecurity is now essential," the report warned.

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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