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Urgent aid needed for displaced persons in Angola - UN envoy

Urgent aid needed for displaced persons in Angola - UN envoy

Olara Otunnu
A senior United Nations official visiting Angola said he was stunned by the number of persons displaced by the conflict in the Southern African nation's provinces of Moxico and Bie, calling it an extremely serious situation.

The displaced, especially the young, lacked adequate food, medicine and clothing, Olara Otunnu, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, told a press conference yesterday following his meeting with the Angolan Minister of External Relations, João Miranda. He noted that he had given guarantees to the Angolan authorities of the UN's readiness to help with the situation.

While acknowledging the efforts being undertaken by the Angolan authorities to cope with the crisis, he stressed that they were not enough to deal with the dimension of the present problems.

During his audience with the Angolan official, Mr. Otunnu discussed, among other matters, a donors' conference that the government is planning to host and the country's urgent social matters and its reconstruction.

Mr. Otunnu said the UN is ready to engage itself in the success of the humanitarian initiatives, which in the short term will contribute to the social reintegration of former rebel soldiers, and in the long term will help the national reconstruction of the country.

Next month, UN Assistant Emergency Relief Coordinator Ross Mountain is scheduled to lead an inter-agency mission to assess the emergency needs of the country.