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Humanitarian fears as Malanje situation worsens

The situation in the Angolan city of Malanje is continuing to deteriorate rapidly with unrelenting shelling of the city entering its second week, according to the UN Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit (UCAH) in Luanda.

In a report received on Thursday by IRIN, UCAH warned that the nutritional and health status of the most vulnerable groups in Malanje, 300 km east of the capital Luanda, particularly displaced people, is likely to be seriously affected given that the fighting has prevented humanitarian agencies from providing assistance.

However, following the suspension of UN flights after two planes were downed over rebel UNITA-controlled territory recently, WFP on Wednesday resumed flights to various parts of the country. The UCAH report said cargo flights carrying food went to Luena and Saurimo. A passenger flight also took humanitarian workers Luena, Saurimo and Negage. WFP subsequently hopes to reach as many provincial capitals as possible.

In the country’s strife-torn second city of Huambo, humanitarian activities have concentrated on the distribution of food and non-food items to thousands of newly displaced people, but food stocks are rapidly diminishing.

The UCAH report, however, noted a significant improvement in the security situation around Kuito, 120 kn northeast of Huambo, where food rations have been distributed to newly registered displaced people. Humanitarian agencies will shortly visit the area to assess the general humantiarian situation.

Since the beginning of the year, the Angolan government and ICRC have sent some relief flights to Kuito and Huambo.

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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