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Friday, 28 September, 2001, 09:39 GMT 10:39 UK
Catastrophe facing Angola
Children in Caxito camp
More help 'should be given to those displaced by war'
By Justin Pearce in Luanda

A report released by a British-based charity describes the humanitarian situation in Angola as catastrophic and calls on international donors to provide more support to relief efforts.

The report, issued by the humanitarian and development charity Oxfam, looks at the state of Angola, a country where decades of war continue to cause widespread hunger and homelessness.

The report argues that the money which Angola earns from oil, diamonds and other natural resources could, if properly managed, respond in the short term to the humanitarian crisis

It does not only assess the country's humanitarian situation, but looks at the causes of poverty and concludes that the Angolan Government, the Unita rebels and the international community should be doing more to put an end to the war there.

But it goes beyond this assessment to examine why such a situation prevails in a potentially wealthy country and looks at the reasons why the war continues in Angola, despite repeated peace efforts.

It declares that a military solution to the Angolan conflict is not feasible, and calls on the international community to support a peaceful solution to Angola's problems - a solution which has the full backing of Angolan society and not just the warring parties.

Natural resources

Oxfam calls on the government and on the Unita rebels to end the human rights abuses which it says are committed by soldiers on both sides of the conflict.

The report includes testimony from Angolans in different parts of the country whom the war has forced to leave their homes and to become dependent on emergency aid.

Oxfam adds its voice to the call by other international NGOs, including Medecins Sans Frontieres and Save The Children, for the Angolan Government to give more help to those who are displaced by the war.

The report, entitled Angola's Wealth - Stories of War and Neglect, argues that the money which Angola earns from oil, diamonds and other natural resources could, if properly managed, respond in the short term to the humanitarian crisis.

In the long term, the report says, these resources could bring prosperity and development to Angola's population in the coming decades.

Instead, it concludes, the bulk of the money goes towards the war which has raged in Angola for 26 years.

See also:

25 Sep 01 | Africa
Unita hits Luanda power supply
27 Aug 01 | Africa
Many feared dead in Angola ambush
26 Jul 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Angola
19 Jun 01 | Africa
Angola's civil war in pictures
13 Jun 01 | Africa
Savimbi: No end to war
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