Movement to rest of Angola slowed by needs and ruined infrastructures

ALT Francesco Zizola/Magnum

Working in 10 of the 18 provinces in Angola, MSF now has 43 feeding centres active in the country. Over 13,000 people are being cared for in the MSF facilities. MSF declared a malnutrition crisis soon after the April 4 peace accord was signed and once-isolated populations, suffering severe malnutrition, found their way to MSF aid centres.

MSF has described the crisis as the worst faced in Angola in the past ten yars.

MSF activity is showing some benefit. However the conditions faced by people in the remaining eight provinces will likely remain as severe as the conditions initially faced by MSF elsewhere in the country. People have been suffering extremely high rates of both global and severe malnutrition alongside crude mortality rates and under-5 mortality rates well in excess of emergency thresholds.

Although the entire country is now open for aid organisations, movement has been restricted for various reasons. Paramount are the overwhelming needs from malnutrition that exist where MSF is already active. Although the organisation was active in the same ten provinces prior to the peace accord, it was always in limited areas within each province due to insecurity and violence. Now able to move with more freedom than before, the immediate needs within these ten provinces have more than met the capacity of the field staff. This despite MSF increasing both national and international staff.

Currently MSF has 186 international staff and 2,160 national staff in Angola.

Movement has also been hampered by the damaged infrastructure in the country. Prior to the peace accord, travel was only possible by air - and that was severely restricted. Although road transport is now an option, many of the roads are in severe states of disrepair, have been mined, or bridges have been destroyed making road access to many provinces impossible.