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Thursday, 29 August, 2002, 21:04 GMT 22:04 UK
Rain threat to Angolan famine relief
Angolans surround aid lorry
The rainy season is due to begin in September

The World Food Programme (WFP) in Angola has warned that the coming rainy season could deepen the food crisis in the country as the rains will make it impossible to deliver stocks to people in need.

The agency wants to get three months of food supplies to remote areas before the rain starts, but warns that at present it does not have sufficient food in stock to complete this operation.


Unmade roads will turn to mud and temporary bridges will disappear beneath swollen rivers

In many African countries it is drought which has caused hunger.

In Angola, however, it is the rain which is threatening to aggravate the food crisis caused by the civil war.

The conflict drove four million people from their homes.

The number needing emergency help is higher than expected and the WFP now anticipates that it will be feeding 1.9 million people by the end of the year.

The peace accord between the government and the Unita rebel movement came at the end of the last rainy season in April.

Since then, emergency food aid has been delivered to some of the people in need despite the bad condition of the country's roads.

Stockpiles

But as the rains begin again in September unmade roads will turn to mud and temporary bridges will disappear beneath swollen rivers.

For this reason the WFP says it is trying to get food stocks in place in remote areas to last for the next three months in order to avoid a greater disaster.

An undernourished 8-month-old Angolan baby being weighed
The WFP expects to be feeding nearly 2 m Angolans this year
However, currently there is not enough food in Angola to complete this operation and the WFP says it urgently needs an additional 44,000 tonnes to arrive in the country urgently.

Yet in much of the country even three months' stocks will not be enough since the rains continue until April next year.

The WFP's country director, Francisco Roque Castro, said the agency hoped the government would complete the necessary road repairs before then.


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23 May 02 | Africa
05 Apr 02 | Country profiles
07 Mar 02 | Country profiles
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