CWS emergency appeal: Angola returnees

Due to Angola's 1975-2002 civil war, large numbers of Angolans fled the country, seeking safety in neighboring countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. Others fled the country in 1961 at the time of de-colonization (from Portugal) and stayed across borders for more than 40 years.

CWS appeal #: 642-P
Appeal Amount: $39,350
(For long-term work)

Situation report:

Due to Angola's 1975-2002 civil war, large numbers of Angolans fled the country, seeking safety in neighboring countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. Others fled the country in 1961 at the time of de-colonization (from Portugal) and stayed across borders for more than 40 years.

The Angolan authorities and UNHCR estimate that there are more than 114,000 Angolan refugees still living in neighboring countries who are likely to return when conditions improve within the country. The repatriation of refugees from the neighboring DRC began at the Uige border on May 1. In the coming months, authorities expect between 8,000 to 12,000 people to be returning to Angola. The majority of them are women, elderly people, orphans and single mothers.

The Angolan government has created three reception camps in Maquela do Zombo and Damba municipalities of Uige province. Returnees stay there for three days before being referred to villages for reintegration. Problems vary from challenging to poor conditions at the camps to equally poor conditions in areas where the returnees are being resettled, including no transportation, no access to portable water and poor health and education services. This is leading to conflicts in the resettlement areas and contributing to a rise in crime.

Also problematic: shortage of rainfall which is worsening drought and contributing to the challenge of food insecurity. The United Nations says that 1.8 million Angolans may soon require food assistance.

CWS response:

CWS is supporting efforts of ACT Angola Forum member Igreja Evangélica Reformada de Angola (the Angola Evangelical Reformed Church), known as IERA. A needs assessment was conducted in Uige in May, which included staff of IERA and the Lutheran World Federation.

The CWS-supported ACT Alliance response is occurring in two phases: an immediate emergency response, followed by a long-term development program.  ACT's Rapid Response Fund provided $58,000 for the emergency phase and included funding for food and non-food aid.

In the emergency phase, 200 families -- about 1,000 persons -- were provided with 90 kg of rice; 10 kg of beans; 6 litres of vegetable oil; 5 bars of soap; 1 bucket; 3 blankets.

In the long-term phase, which CWS will support through this appeal, IERA will continue to provide food, utensils, tools, shelter and seeds. With CWS support, long-term food security will be an important priority, including determining the precise nutritional needs of affected villages. Other possible long-term responses include a water supply project and training for returnee leaders, as well as possible psycho-social support for returnees.

The food security component is key and over the next 12-18 months a strategy of food and nutrition security, through education, food supplement and seed provision and health monitoring with 400 returnee families is planned. It is aimed at reducing food and nutrition insecurity.

Budget:

The projected budget amount for this part of the response is $39,350.

How to help:

Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts around the world may be made online, sent to your denomination, or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.

ACT Alliance  Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.

Media Contact:
Lesley Crosson, 212-870-2676, lcrosson@churchworldservice.org
Jan Dragin, 781-925-1526, jdragin@gis.net


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