According to the National Civil Protection Committee (NCPC), the number of people affected by drought as at mid-2016 stands at 1.2 million. Lack of food is starting to become visible in all municipalities of Cunene Province, where granaries are almost empty and people are selling of livestock in order to buy staple food. At the same time, many people are crossing the border into Namibia to sell their remaining stocks, raising concerns about seed availability for the next planting season. The worsening of water availability and quality is forcing women and children to walk greater distances to find clean water, and school drop-out rates are increasing. People are digging very deep wells in attempts to find water. Women are reported to be experiencing hygiene problems due to water scarcity.
Five UN agencies are implementing humanitarian emergency responses under the coordination of the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Angola and with support from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The response is seeing close collaboration between the clusters of WASH and nutrition, as well as with provincial and national authorities and NGOs. An estimated 283,000 people of the 1 million targeted have benefitted from activities supported by UNICEF, FAO, UNFPA and WHO in the 3 most-affected southern provinces. Almost 33,500 cartons of therapeutic milk, 18 tons of WASH kits, 21 tons of seeds and 30 tons of mineral licks are being distributed. More than 200,000 people have been reached with WASH support through the rehabilitation and drilling of boreholes, the distribution of hygiene kits and the establishment of WASH facilities in communities in the three most-affected districts in the country. UNICEF and its partners are in the process of rehabilitating 240 water points in the three drought-affected provinces of southern Angola, which will provide clean water to an additional 120,000 people. A total of 610 community workers have received training in nutrition (220), protection (40) and animal health (350).
Only the Government’s Ministry of Social Assistance (MINARS) is delivering food aid, and their resources are very limited. Government’s early warning systems, as well as data collection and information management capacities, require strengthening. It is critical to continue investing in community workers in different sectors, especially nutrition.