Examining Homelessness in AngolaForced evictions, an abundance of petroleum, wealth inequality, economic growth and slums surround the most expensive cities in Angola. Angola, a country, that rose economically after experiencing a three-decade civil war. But the fruits of that expansion have not been shared by most of the population. This can be seen when one looks at the slums surrounding the wealthiest capitals in the Sub-Saharan region. One issue that has not been investigated much is the issue of homelessness in Angola. There currently does not exist much data on the topic that the Angolan representative at the U.N. has advocated for data collection and focused study on the issue. However, it is estimated that a significant portion of the population that reside in the capital live in slums.

How Scars of War Resulted in Homelessness

The first instance of homelessness in Angola came because of the civil war between the MPLA (Soviet and Cuban-backed government) and UNITA (rebel forces backed by South African advisors as well as the United States, France, United Kingdom and China). The civil war caused the displacement of around four million internally displaced persons. Millions experienced homelessness in Angola as a result of this long bloody civil conflict. When many of these refugees came back, they encountered a difficult legal problem over land ownership. For many Angolans, buying property on the informal market is quite common, this is partly due to the absence of a clear and adequate legal structure around property rights and ownership.

Not to mention that during civil wars, warring groups tend to take over homes that once belong to others as they flee violence and those homes tend to transact between different parties and individuals using both official measures as well as informal customary methods as the civil war rages on. This caused enormous tension on issues of land claims as it was difficult to decide who owned what. Moreover, there have been cases of Angolan refugees coming home to see that the lands they used to live on were being used for commercial agricultural purposes.

Modern illnesses

One of the issues related to homelessness in Angola is the issue of evections. Today many people, mainly in the capital, are evicted from their homes by the government. As a nation rated poorly for property rights, Angola still struggles with this social phenomenon. Just this January, around 500 families were removed from their homes on a seafront in Luanda after firms were interested in acquiring the area to conduct development projects. This trend has continued in recent years and it has affected thousands of people, who were often driven out through violent means by both state and private security forces to acquire land considered valuable for residential and commercial real estate projects. Evictions are one of the ways people experience homelessness, in which the only choice afterword is living in the slums.

Many human rights NGOs, such as Amnesty International, United Nations, SOS Habitat and Human Rights Watch, have called on the government to put an end to the policy of government evictions. They have engaged in documenting the abuses as well as raising awareness about the issues. Some humanitarian organizations like SOS Habitat and NGO Association Building Communities have engaged in local advocacy by submitting complaints and petitions regarding the abuses that are happening. This has resulted in stopping the Arco Iris eviction in Luanda and has encouraged the government in rehousing some of those who have suffered from evictions.

Mustafa Ali
Photo: Flickr

Poverty Eradication in Angola
Angola has struggled to recover from decades of civil war and economic turmoil, with over 40% of the population, mostly in rural areas, living in extreme poverty. However, recent innovations in poverty eradication in Angola have begun to help the once virulent nation gain stability. New technologies and funding from private companies, financial institutions and organizations have allowed Angola to modernize and combat extreme poverty. Here are three innovations in poverty eradication in Angola.

Open Data Platforms

Open data platforms are a way to gather large amounts of data, statistics and information from diverse and large groups to analyze potential problem areas. Governments and large organizations use this analysis to tackle identifiable issues head-on. For example, an investment group may notice a glaring need for communications upgrades in rural areas, which leads to the creation of jobs and infrastructure.

Open data is a recent innovation in poverty eradication in Angola and examines anything from economic growth to healthcare strategy. Through the International Monetary Fund’s Enhanced General Data Dissemination System, Angola set up its own National Summary Data Page at opendataforafrica.org in 2018. The African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) offer the NSDP to Angola for free. Using key indicators through the NSDP, the IMF and other organizations utilize this information for transparency, economic investment opportunities and identifying necessary aid in Angola, which are ways the NSDP’s data collection can reduce poverty.

South Atlantic Cable System

Angola lacks a strong telecommunications network. Rural communities suffer the most due to decreased technological abilities in farming and irrigation and emergency medical services. But a revolutionary project may help. One of the most impressive innovations in poverty eradication in Angola is the South Atlantic Cable System. Developed by the telecommunications operator, Angola Cables, this submarine communications cable provides interconnectivity between Luanda, Angola and Angonap Fortaleza, Brazil. The SACS improves the telecommunications and information technology infrastructure in Angola while connecting fast communication services throughout Africa and South America.

Although Angola is still developing its ICT sector and job growth has remained stagnant, the SACS potential is exponential. Angola could use this project to establish the country as a leader in tech in sub-Saharan Africa. This would reduce Angola’s reliance on oil exports and drive IT education to encourage entrepreneurship and competition, leading to increased IT and communications jobs and eventual ICT expansion in rural Angola to reduce poverty and improve healthcare access.

Neighboring nations that lack IT infrastructure can reach out to Angola Cables and the Angolan government, launching international funds to Angola. The SACS also makes Angola a centralized location for data in the entire southern hemisphere. The premium digital connection is unrivaled, leading to even more considerable international interest in Angola as a tech hub.

Commercial Agriculture Development Project (PDAC)

Due to the Angolan Civil War, farming in Angola suffered from a lack of development and slow regrowth due to landmines. Agriculture also suffers due to persistent and unpredictable droughts in Angola. The Commercial Agriculture Development Project received funding from the World Bank in 2018 to improve the economic condition and technology in Angola’s rural areas, providing much-needed support to the most vulnerable people in Angola to improve domestic food security. Primarily directed at improving irrigation systems and infrastructure related to the electric grid, the PDAC receives funding through 2024 and supports developers’ creative solutions to these problems.

So far, the project has granted contracts and requests in 2020 for the following:

  • Creating innovative management systems for irrigated perimeters, which help water efficiency usage during periods of drought
  • Development of financial risk tools, like risk management software and microinsurance for at-risk communities to ensure oversight of food security
  • Geospatial electrification options to create renewable energy that people can use in rural areas
  • IT tools, such as tablets, drones and tech support for better agriculture analysis
  • Multiple feasibility studies

All of these contracts and requests have happened in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with the pace slowing to handle the pandemic, the PDAC has led to several innovations in poverty eradication in Angola. Developers have maintained a healthy advancement rate since the beginning of the project, and they will continue through 2024.

Angola’s Future

With all the new technology and projects, Angola will continue to reduce extreme poverty for large portions of its population. As the nation continues to establish a commercial agriculture program and the telecommunications sector, there is a reduced reliance on oil exports. Angola can continue to diversify its economic strategy allocating its vast resources for a bright future and eliminate extreme poverty.

– Zachary Kunze
Photo: Pixnio

Poverty in AngolaA whole 54% of Angola’s population of 30 million are multidimensionally poor or suffering from multiple deprivations in four categories: health, education, quality of life and employment. Angolan children under the age of 10 experience even more pronounced poverty and 90% of rural Angolan populations are multidimensionally poor. The overall poverty rate is 41% and the rural poverty rate, at 57%, is nearly double that of urban areas. Organizations are working to address poverty in Angola.

Rural Versus Urban Poverty

In rural areas, Angolans are less likely to be employed and those who do work find themselves mostly in subsistence agriculture. Rural Angolans also have fewer assets and “luxuries” like attending school. They are also more likely to be sick or to die early than those in urban settings.

In urban areas, 44% of households are employed and the majority of the rest are involved in informal economic activities like craftsmanship or are shop owners. Despite access to employment, labor conditions are poor and incomes fluctuate. This means that rural areas, while overall more destitute, actually have a more predictable situation and at least have access to enough basic food and water to survive, while those in urban settings can experience periods of serious shortages of goods.

Overall, poverty in Angola is multifaceted. In rural areas, it is materially severe but there are stronger safety nets in the form of access to land and agriculture. Urban poverty is less materially severe, with better access to employment and social goods but there is an extreme dependence on money, weaker social networks and people are more vulnerable to sudden shocks. The issue is not that only rural Angolans suffer from poverty but that the country at large is suffering and in need of a comprehensive plan to address all the different aspects of poverty in Angola.

World Vision International

World Vision has operated in Angola since 1989 to aid sustainable development in vulnerable areas, focusing on child protection, land ownership and health services. Overall, it has increased access to clean water for more than 50,000 Angolans and improved the health status of more than 1.5 million Angolan children and 25,000 Angolan mothers through increasing access to health care and health education. The organization benefits approximately one million Angolans each year through its efforts at improving access to water and sanitation, strengthening civil society and social protection systems, improving educational access and aiding economic development through land ownership.

UNICEF

Larger NGOs like UNICEF have also addressed poverty in Angola. It has identified millions of people in need, especially children, and has looked to gather $15.8 million in funding to provide humanitarian assistance in the face of recent food insecurity, drought, malnutrition, economic insecurity, education issues and health crises in Angola. The organization’s goals for 2020 included screening almost 400,000 children for malnutrition, providing 150,000 children polio vaccines and providing access to primary education to 25,000 affected children. UNICEF is utilizing partnerships with Angolan government ministries, civil departments and national and international NGOs to accomplish these main goals and others, including hygiene education, increasing overall healthcare aid as well as protecting women and children.

The Road Ahead for Angola

Poverty has struck millions of people in Angola and it affects rural and urban Angolans in different ways. Despite the complexity of poverty in Angola, organizations like UNICEF and World Vision have stepped up to alleviate the pressure placed on Angolan families and children. While the crisis is far from solved, efforts like these do provide hope for people in Angola in the face of current global and regional disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic, prolonged drought and low crop yields.

Connor Bradbury
Photo: Flickr

Healthcare in Angola
After a 40-year-long civil war that displaced one-third of Angola’s population and killed approximately 1 million people, the nation’s infrastructure was severely damaged. Following the civil war, healthcare in Angola suffered, with nearly 50% of the population living without adequate access to healthcare services.  The lack of availability of healthcare services has contributed to high mortality rates for children under 5 years of age, high incidences of mother-to-child HIV transmission as well as a high risk of contracting malaria.  Here are five facts about healthcare in Angola.

5 Facts About Healthcare in Angola

  1. Access to healthcare in Angola varies greatly depending on the region. People in more populous regions such as Maradi, Tahoua, Zinder and Tillaberi have the least access to healthcare services. Angola struggles to keep its healthcare infrastructure adequately sourced with nearly 50% of the population lacking proper healthcare services.
  2. As recently as 2018, the mortality rate for children under 5 years was approximately 77 children per 1,000 live births. Despite a high mortality rate for children under 5 years, the number of children under 5 dying each year has been steadily declining since 1980. In comparison, the neighboring countries of Zambia and Namibia had mortality rates for children under 5 years of 57 per 1,000 live births and 39 per 1,000 live births respectively in 2018. Inadequate sanitation contributes to a high mortality rate for children under 5 years in Angola. In Angola, 49.3% of people do not have access to clean drinking water and 54.7% of schools do not have adequate sanitation facilities.
  3. Angola has the second-highest incidence rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in the world. The incidence rate of mother-to-child transmission sits at 26%. During the fiscal year 2020, the CDC plans to provide support to implement the Born Free to Shine Initiative. The first lady of Angola established the Born Free to Shine Initiative with the goal of reducing the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The initiative seeks to reduce the transmission rate to 14% from 26% by 2021.
  4. Malaria is the fourth leading cause of death among people living in Angola with the entire population at risk of contracting the disease. USAID is an organization that has given aid to the region, subsequently reducing the number of malaria-related deaths in children by 42% since 2005. Community health worker training has been an integral piece in Angola’s efforts to combat malaria. In 2019, Angola trained 120 of these health workers in order to help provide treatment for malaria in areas with low access to healthcare services.
  5. The National Health Development Plan is a program that sets specific goals for Angola’s health sector. The program aims to meet its long-term goals by 2025. More specifically, the Angolan government hopes to see a reduction of 2% in the prevalence of HIV, increase access to family planning services by 39% and raise the number of doctors per 100,000 people from one to three.

Despite facing a number of challenges, government programs and aid from international agencies are improving the outlook for healthcare in Angola. Community health workers are helping to increase access to essential healthcare services in high need areas of the nation. With government plans and the implementation of initiatives, Angola is well on its way to meeting the goals that its National Health Development Plan has outlined.

– Maddi Miller
Photo: Flickr

Hunger in AngolaAngola is a country in Southern African that is home to nearly 31 million people. Of those people, at least 2.3 million of them are at high risk for extreme malnutrition. Angola experienced an El Niño from 2015 to 2017 and the impact of this phenomenon along with the 2019 drought has been long-lasting. Here are five facts about hunger in Angola.

5 Facts About Hunger in Angola

  1. Widespread drought is the central cause of hunger. A devastating drought hit Angola in 2019 that reversed much of the steady decline in hunger and malnutrition within the country. The start of 2019 marked an uptick in both Angola’s Global Hunger Index rank and prevalence of stunted children under 5 years of age. Nearly half a million people at high risk for extreme malnutrition are under the age of 5. This drought was especially harmful to Angola due to the country’s fragile state after the recent El Niño in 2017. The drought’s impact on hunger in Angola can be seen across all aspects of everyday life.
  2. Commercial cattle farming hurts local cattle farmers. As the drought took its course in Angola, thousands of kilometers of previously fertile land was rendered useless. About 40% of Angolans live in rural areas where they depend on livestock-related activities for survival, mainly cattle farming. Commercial farmers were given 2,629 square kilometers of the remaining fertile land, leaving only 33% of the fertile land for local cattle farmers. Cattle farming is the main source of income for Angolan locals; however, when the drought began, their land was taken from them without due process. One of the hardest-hit provinces was Cunene, a province of rural farmlands that commercial cattle farmers now occupy.
  3. Improper governmental land distribution reveals corruption from within. The constitution of Angola clearly states that before any of its people’s land is taken away, there must be a consultation with the government. No such consultations were made before 46 commercial cattle farmers took the Angolan land, which is a clear violation of the country’s constitution. Shortly after these unlawful land seizures, the Angolan government ratified several laws to protect the right to food and clean water for its people, although no reparations have been made to those living in Cunene. With Cunene being the second largest province for cattle farming, the seizure of communal farmland forced locals to travel long distances to other provinces for water and food they previously had access to on their land.
  4. Conditions in Angola force people to turn to new food sources. With local cattle farming being the main source of food, there is a distinct lack of food because of the drought and improper land distribution. Hunger in Angola has intensified because communal cattle grazing land has either dried up or been given to commercial farmers. This has forced people to eat wild leaves to avoid starvation. Eating wild leaves causes sickness, diarrhea and skin conditions in both adults and children. Despite many adults giving up drinking milk so their children may have it, malnutrition levels in Angolan children younger than 5 continue to increase.
  5. The fight against hunger forces education to the back burner. In a country where people fight daily to find clean water and decent food, education becomes less of a priority and more of a luxury. Children spend their days helping their parents search for clean water and food, which has led to the closure of 160 schools alone in Cunene, one of the most affected provinces. Over 70% of Angolan children have had their education disrupted due to an inability to meet their basic needs. Even when students can come to school, most of them are exhausted from their long days of searching for clean water and food: and oftentimes these searches yield few results.

Although Angola faces these pervasive issues, some organizations are working to fight for the Angolan people and their well-being. Doctors With Africa CUAMM is an NGO working to fight malnutrition specifically in mothers and children under the age of five in Cunene. They first began their work in Angola in 1997, but their “Mothers and Children First” program took off in 2012 by working to ensure safe birthing and newborn care practices. Doctors With Africa CUAMM has visited nearly 27,500 Angolan mothers and newborns in addition to building 20 health centers near Cunene. The NGO focuses on building long-term healthcare projects, training African and Italian health care providers, conducting scientific studies about health in Africa and providing educational resources about health to the general public.

In 2017, Angola requested aid to help provide resources to Congolese refugees entering Angola. The U.S. Food for Peace partnered with the U.N. World Food Program to contribute $4.5 million to their efforts in 2019. The money went toward local food distribution, to affected locals and refugees as well as monitoring the drought situation. With this money, better protection of refugees has become possible, and locally produced food has become more accessible in northern provinces. While these are helpful steps forward, a more permanent set of solutions is still needed to eliminate hunger in Angola.

– Natalie Tarbox
Photo: Flickr

Living Conditions in Angola
Angola, the seventh-largest country in Africa, has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Since 2013, its economy has been booming and both international and domestic investments have been on the rise. Although Angola’s economy has the potential to become an economic powerhouse in Africa, the international community has become concerned with the poverty rates and overall income inequality in Angola. Despite Angola’s rapidly growing economy, it has a 26 percent unemployment rate and 36 percent of the Angolan population lives below the poverty line. The living conditions in Angola are indicative of an economy that is not yet diversified and a country with extreme income inequality. Here are 10 facts about the living conditions in Angola.

10 Facts About Living Conditions in Angola

  1. Low Life Expectancy and Causes: Angola has a very low life expectancy. The life expectancy in Angola is one of the lowest in the world, and Angola has the 12th highest number of infant mortalities every year. The leading causes of death revealed that the low life expectancy is a result of preventable causes like diarrhoeal diseases, malaria, neonatal disorders and influenza.
  2. Literacy: A third of all Angolans are illiterate. Although primary education is compulsory in Angola, 33.97 percent of Angolans are illiterate and literacy rates have been on a steady decline since 2001. Very few individuals go on to college, leaving their economy stagnated with a brain drain and a lack of available employees for white-collar jobs that require a deep understanding of their field.
  3. Clean Water Availability: Angola has a lack of clean water resources. Forty-four percent of Angolans do not have access to clean water, according to the United Nations Children’s Agency. The Public Water Company in the capital of Angola, Luanda, reports that although the daily need for water is well over a million cubic meters of clean water per day, the public water company EPAL can only supply 540,000 cubic meters of clean water per day. This leaves many without clean water. Even if EPAL were to have the capacity to supply all residents with clean water, it does not have the infrastructure to do so.
  4. Access to Electricity: Few Angolans have access to electricity. In rural areas, only 6 percent of Angolans have access to electricity. In urban areas, 34 percent of Angolans have electricity, leaving 3.4 million homes without power.
  5. Income Inequality: There is a severe gap between wealth in urban and rural areas. Income inequality in Angola is one of the highest in the world at 28.9 percent. Poverty is highest in rural areas where 94 percent of the population qualifies as poor. This is contrasted by the fact that only 29.9 percent of the urban population qualifies as poor.
  6. Public School Enrollment: There is low enrollment in public schools and UNESCO reports that enrollment has been on a steady decline since 2009. The low enrollment rate may be because many schools and roads suffered during Angola’s civil war and because many schools are located in inconvenient and rural locations with poor sanitation and untrained teachers.
  7. Unemployment: Unemployment is very high in Angola. Angolan unemployment has increased by 1.7 percent since 2018, growing to 30.7 percent. The youth unemployment rate is at an all-time high of 56.1 percent.
  8. Oil-based Economy: The economy is not very diversified. Angola is an oil-rich country and as such, more than one-third of the Angolan economy comes from oil and over 90 percent of Angolan exports are oil. Because the oil sector has been public for so long, the economy was prone to contractions and inflations along with global fluctuation in oil prices. This has left the stability of the Angolan economy at the mercy of oil prices, which have been rapidly fluctuating, destabilizing the economy.
  9. Food Insecurity: Many Angolans suffer from severe food insecurity. In fact, 2.3 million Angolan citizens are food insecure, and over 1 million of those individuals are children under 5 years old. Because of government redistribution of land, many farmers have lost their best grazing land and their arable land for crops, leading to a lack of meat and produce.
  10. Unpaid Debts: Unpaid debts threaten to dampen economic growth. After a long economic slump, the Angolan economy has further suffered due to unpaid loans. Twenty-seven percent of total Angolan credits are loans that are defaulted or close to being defaulted, and 16 percent of the largest bank in Angola, BIA, are not being reimbursed.

Although Angola has a multiplicity of problems related to poverty to solve, the country is not beyond help. Angola’s new President has secured loans from China, garnered aid from the International Monetary Fund and promised to allow local businesses to partner with international customers and trade partners to increase macroeconomic growth. As Angola diversifies its economy in 2020, the President of Angola states that economic growth and stability is on the horizon. Angola’s economy is receiving aid from a number of nations, including China, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, which will no doubt prove to be a successful investment.

Denise Sprimont
Photo: Flickr

Safe and Voluntary Refugee Repatriation
Despite the constant divisive debates about whether to welcome refugees, they have protection under international law by the 1951 refugee convention, a multilateral United Nations treaty. It defines who people can consider refugees and outlines their basic rights, including access to fair and efficient asylum procedures. Despite the ever-present debates about acceptance, very little of it has actually been to talk about what happens when countries refuse asylum seekers including the problem of ensuring safe and voluntary refugee repatriation rather than returning them to dangerous situations in their home countries.

Refugees in the US

A country must ensure that refugees live in safety and dignity while it is processing their claims, and safety and dignity are also integral to voluntary repatriation. In 2020, the United States will only accept 18,000 refugees. This will be the lowest number of refugees that the U.S. resettled in a single year since 1980 when Congress created the nation’s refugee resettlement program. In light of such low acceptance rates, a national debate around safe and voluntary repatriation is crucial so that those a country turns away will have safe alternatives. Without debate, there is no clear answer to where those refugees should go, if not the United States.

Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers

People often confuse the matter even more because they use the terms “migrants,” “refugees” and “asylum seekers” interchangeably, despite very different legal meanings and obligations. Amnesty International defines an asylum seeker as an individual who is seeking international protection whose claim a host country has not yet determined. In short, a country will not recognize every asylum seeker as a refugee, but every refugee is initially an asylum seeker. “Migrant” is a broad term that describes anyone who moves to another country for at least one year, for any reason.

“Repatriation” is when a person returns to their country of origin, whether it is because conditions have improved and they want to go home or because their host country has refused their request for asylum. According to the U.N. Refugee Repatriation Agency, safe and voluntary refugee repatriation requires not only the commitment of the international community to safely bring displaced people home but also the cooperation of the country of origin, which has to do the difficult work of reintegration and ensuring stability and safety.

So who will be the 18,000 refugees the U.S. allows in 2020? In 2019, refugees coming to the United States from the Democratic Republic of Congo far outnumbered those from other countries. D.R. Congo accounted for nearly 13,000 refugees, followed by Burma (Myanmar) with about 4,900, then Ukraine (4,500), Eritrea (1,800) and Afghanistan (1,200).

Repatriation

As of November 13, 2019, a total of 1,439 individuals repatriated. ReliefWeb, an online news source for humanitarian information on global crisis and disasters, reported that approximately 14,700 refugees chose to return to their country spontaneously and by their own means. However, home countries and the international community are working together to help with safe and voluntary refugee repatriation.

The United Nations, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Angolan government collaborated on organizing convoys for voluntary repatriation. Wellington Carneiro, UNHCR’s interim representative in Angola, stated that voluntary repatriation faced challenges like poor road conditions in the rainy season and the need to find suitable vehicles as a result. However, Carneiro assured that the operation, which he expected to finish by mid-December 2019, would fully guarantee the returning Angolans’ safety and dignity. While the international community’s collaborative work was a big part of the success of these trips, the Angolan government played the most important role. Paolo Balladelli, the U.N. Resident Coordinator in Angola, highlighted this when he said that “the Angolan authorities have shown their solidarity by welcoming people, including children, who were at risk of life due to serious ethnic conflicts. The conclusion of this chapter demonstrates to Africa and the world that Angola is a good example of good international practices.”

Julia Stephens
Photo: Flickr

water access in Angola

Almost half the population in Angola does not have proper access to clean water according to a report by UNICEF.

A country endowed with some of Africa’s most precious natural resources, Angola is frequently victim to external shocks to the market. Oil accounts for roughly one-third of GDP and more than 95 percent of exports. Reliance on a market like oil, which is particularly prone to shocks, means that Angola’s economy is directly affected by external fluctuations. In fact, growth in GDP continues to fall years after a drop in oil prices in 2014. According to the World Bank, annual GDP growth in 2018 was -2.1 percent.

At-Risk Populations

Water access in Angola is an important metric in understanding the distortionary economic effects felt by low-income individuals, women and children. Without clean water and sanitation, too many Angolans are more prone to water-borne diseases like cholera which can kill someone within hours if left untreated.

Outbreaks are more common in rainy seasons when it is easy for the cholera bacteria to survive. Between February and August of 2018, there were 1,046 cases of cholera in Angola, including 21 deaths.

Programs and Initiatives that Increase Water Access in Angola

Luanda, Angola’s capital city, has a population of 7 million, 37 percent of whom rely on connected water service. Private tanker truck services account for 25 percent, public standpipes for 22 percent and illegal water connections or untreated river sources for 16 percent. Increased water access in Angola will contribute directly to labor productivity, economic growth, reduced vulnerability and an overall reduction in poverty.

The valuation of water is incredibly unique—at high quantities, it is an elastic good, but at low quantities it is inelastic. Simply put, it is a basic resource, so when water is unavailable it also becomes invaluable. Investment in water projects can help Angolans reduce time and money spent on acquiring water—especially from tanker truck services which tend to take advantage of the inelasticity of water during a shortage. A number of global organizations are working to increase water access in Angola in order to help provide people with this basic human right.

USAID Development Grants Program

From 2016-2017, the Development Grants Program focused specifically on water and sanitation in Angola. It strived to create affordable water options for consumers, and increase the maintenance of infrastructure. Initiatives such as this help local people reliably manage public resources.

The Institutional and Sustainability Support program began in 2015 to support urban water supply and sanitation services. It proposed infrastructure and development goals with the intention of helping 4.5 million people in seven provinces. This program is ongoing and specifically focuses on those provinces with the highest need for water services: Cabinda, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Kuanza Sul, Bengo, Namib and Cunene.

The World Bank Projects

The most recent World Bank project supports inclusive growth, social protection and water services in Angola. One of its 2019 programs, called the Luanda Bita Water Supply Project, invested $500 million to mobilize government financing for clean water access. Another $500 million was given specifically to protect the poor and vulnerable.

This project comes after a 2017 loan of $200 million to provide 950,000 individuals with piped water services and a 2018 investment of $150 million for the 1.2 million people living in regional cities of Angola.

Women and girls are the focus of many of these investments since reducing their time spent collecting water will allow them to give back to the economy in more productive and impactful ways.

Support from these and other global organizations will help Angola to lower the risk of contracting water-borne illnesses, decrease time spent by women and children collecting water and positively impact the overall economy as a result. A basic resource such as water is often taken for granted by people living in countries with reliable water infrastructure. For those living in Angola who spend a disproportionate amount of time and money on safe water, investments in infrastructure and water supply programs are incredibly impactful. Providing the appropriate resources to aid in water access will help Angolans protect themselves from economic shocks, and give back to the global economy.

– Tera Hofmann
Photo: Wikimedia

10 Facts About Hunger in Angola

Located in Southern Africa at the border of the South Atlantic Ocean, Angola is a country that, despite its extensive oil and diamond reserves, struggles with severe poverty and hunger. Angola‘s violent 27-year civil war came to an end in 2002, and since then the government has been hard at work with multiple NGOs and citizen-led efforts to improve the nation’s economy and access the land’s remarkable agricultural potential. In doing so, the human development of Angola has been continuing at a consistent and assured pace. Here are 10 facts about hunger in Angola.

10 Facts About Hunger in Angola

  1. With a score of 29.5 on the 2018 Global Hunger Index, Angola ranks 95 out of 119 countries, placing it in the serious level of risk category. This means the state of Angola has an inadequate food supply and a high rate of child mortality and undernutrition. While this rating may appear bleak, hunger in Angola has decreased dramatically since the year 2000, when the country received a hunger score of 65.6.
  2. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has shifted in focus from emergency assistance towards long-term agricultural development and policy creation. This includes the Poverty Reduction Strategy, a policy framework dedicated to consolidating peace through the improvement of living conditions for vulnerable people. This shift is evidence of the country’s improvement in addressing the hunger of its inhabitants. Now that the organization may focus on engendering an environment with policy creation and education, Angola can have a future of economic health and food security.
  3. Along with the Poverty Reduction Strategy, the FAO is currently working to provide technical support, food security, agricultural productivity and farming education. The organization is also applying a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan to minimize the effects of climatic shock and climate change on the state’s many rural communities by increasing the government capacity to implement disaster risk reduction and management, facilitate the coordination of stakeholders to implement reduction and management and educate farmers and workers on the use of technologies and practices on reduction and management.
  4. The symptoms of hunger in Angola have been on a downward trend in the recent decade, with the rates of child mortality, child wasting, child stunting and undernourishment all decreasing steadily. For child stunting, the percentage of children under five with stunted growth has decreased from 55 percent in 1995 to 30 percent in 2017. The many agricultural and political efforts in Angola to create profitable farms for rural communities and progressive policy creation emphasizing poverty reduction and food security have caused this decline.
  5. While the availability and use of basic sanitation services have been increasing at a constant rate, the percentage of the population with access to safe drinking water has remained stagnant at around 49 percent. Access to clean water is one of the most important conditions for achieving hunger relief due to its necessity in healthy nutrition and impact on health, disease prevention and cleanliness.
  6. In partnership with AGRINATURA, a group of European research organizations and universities that have been in operation for 30 years, the FAO has been creating multiple objectives to aid the issue of hunger. These include seeds cooperatives to commercialize seeds from 200 smallholder farmers; rice development, which aims to prepare and commercialize rice production; and rural entrepreneurship, which intends to provide business opportunities to agricultural entrepreneurs in Angola.
  7. The World Food Programme has been working with Angola to aid the hunger of more than 70,000 refugees, many of whom are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It provides full-ration food assistance and specialized nutritious foods for young children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. It also offers air transportation to and from remote areas of the country.
  8. AGRINATURA has also been working with Angolan farmers to tap the potential of agricultural coffee production. Angola was once a prominent coffee producer until the Angolan civil war. Since then, coffee production decreased dramatically. Increased production of the cash crop will aid the country’s economy and, as a result, help reduce the poverty and hunger of the Angolan people.
  9. Though Angola has remarkable potential for agricultural development, the country’s agricultural GDP is only 10 percent of the national GDP. The government of Angola is currently prioritizing its agricultural sector with financial investments so that it can make use of the untapped potential and help Angolan citizens and refugees.
  10. Ending the 10 facts about hunger in Angola is The Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network, an organization seeking the creation of longterm food, agricultural and natural resources policies. It is currently working in Angola with the United Nations, Angola’s government and private sector to promote poverty-reductionist agricultural policy, increase food security and promote sustainable agricultural development.

While Angola currently ranks in the bottom quarter of countries on the Global Hunger Index, these 10 facts about hunger in Angola and the country’s downward trend in poverty and hunger is incredibly assuring. With the continued work by the government, NGO’s and citizen-led efforts to create poverty-reductionist policy, move agricultural development forward and increase food security, hunger in Angola should continue to decline, and the nation should continue its path into becoming prosperous and secure.

– Jordan AbuAljazer
Photo: Flickr

Healthcare system in Angola

The Republic of Angola is a large country in Central Africa with a continuously growing population of 31 million people. Angola is on the west coast of Sub-Saharan Africa and is one of the continent’s largest countries with 1.2 million square kilometers. As a comparison, it is a little less than twice the size of the state of Texas. With the current growth, Angola‘s population will triple in less than 50 years. This could pose a problem for the healthcare system in Angola as overpopulation is already becoming an issue.

Overpopulation

Angola has one of the world’s highest fertility rates as the average woman will have more than five children in her lifetime. However, the country also has the highest child mortality rate in the world with 187 per 1,000 live births. For those who do survive infancy, one in five children will die before reaching their fifth birthday. Angola ranks 23rd in the world due to its high maternal mortality rates with 477 deaths per 100,000 births.

But how exactly does the mortality rate result in overpopulation? It is all about the odds. Since one in five children on average die before they reach the age of five, families are more inclined to have more children so they have a higher chance to have at least one child reaching adulthood. A number of causes are responsible for the deaths in Angola. Among them are malaria, acute respiratory and diarrhoeal diseases, tetanus, malnutrition and more. More than just because of these initial causes, the mortality rate is so high due to the inadequate health system still being rebuilt.

A weak healthcare system

The healthcare system in Angola is split into two parts: private and public. A majority of the hospitals and clinics are close to the capital, Luanda, and very few are located in other parts of the country. Although treatment at the public level is free, the majority of the population is still limited when it comes to medical care. Due to the understaffed, underfunded and underprepared personnel, often times locals and visitors alike choose to receive treatment at the private level instead. While private clinics are considered to be better than public clinics, there is still much to improve. Pharmacies are mostly in the capital and are often extremely understocked. Hospitals will sometimes lack the necessary equipment or funds for important procedures. Angola also faces a significant shortage of physicians, with only 2,000 in the entire country.

By improving the healthcare system in Angola, the mortality rate would decrease enough to stabilize the fertility rates. Vaccines can heavily improve the current health of Angola’s population and prevent diseases from spreading. Currently, 929 health facilities out of 2409 perform routine vaccination activities. With access to sustainable clinics that provide vaccines throughout the country, the healthcare system in Angola would start to improve the lives of the citizens and lower the mortality rates.

Through strategic planning and patience, the healthcare system in Angola will be able to stabilize the current health status of its residents and help slow the overpopulation process in the country.

– Madeline Oden
Photo: Wikimedia Commons