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UN food agency starts emergency deliveries in central Angola

UN food agency starts emergency deliveries in central Angola

Faced with a new and sudden influx of thousands of severely malnourished war displaced persons arriving in central Angola, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun urgent food distributions to families in the area.

Distribution of food started for children some weeks ago, but security constraints delayed more comprehensive assistance, WFP said in a statement issued today in Luanda. With the general distribution that started over the weekend, the agency will be able to reach over 7,200 newly displaced persons in Angola's central highland township of Camacupa, in the war-ravaged Bie province.

The majority of the new internally displaced persons have travelled 70 kilometres on foot to reach Camacupa - located 700 kilometres from the Angolan capital, Luanda - from Cuemba and other municipalities. At least 60 new arrivals are registered in the camps each day.

"People are displaced by the war, which keeps them from their normal economic activities," said Giancarlo Stopponi, head of programmes for WFP in Angola. "They are arriving in a state of extreme vulnerability, with many already suffering from advanced malnutrition."

The situation came to a head at the end of May, but WFP has been providing food supplies to Camacupa since September of last year through kitchens run by a Catholic non-governmental organization, Caritas.