Hunger in AngolaThe catalyzation of food insecurity is causing around 6 million people to fall into hunger in Angola, according to UNICEF. The number of people going hungry in Angola, however, continues to rise due to the most severe drought since 1981 in conjunction with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The spread of droughts, especially in Southern Angola, caused the death of 1 million cattle. This created surges of poor malnutrition and severe illnesses. Despite this, hope exists for those suffering from hunger in Angola.


The severe drought in Angola has continued spreading for almost three years now, traumatically affecting hunger in Angola. Crop production has decreased by nearly 40%, forcing more families into poverty. The drought has, within only three months in Cunene, Angola, tripled levels of food insecurity. The growing scarcity of food and heightening hunger of Angolans is pushing them to seek refuge in proximate countries such as Namibia.

Pedro Henrique Kassesso, a 112-year-old man, can attest that this three-year-long drought has been the worst he has ever experienced in Angola. The drought has affected almost 500,000 children. Not only has food insecurity heightened, but school dropout rates have risen due to increasing socioeconomic troubles. Hunger in Angola has forced children to put aside their education to support their families in collecting food and water.

Longing for Land

Former Angolan communal farmers are longing to get land back from commercial cattle farmers. According to Amnesty International, the Angolan government gives the land to commercial cattle farmers. Commercial cattle farmers have taken 67% of the land in Gambos, Angola. The battle for land has exasperated the hunger levels of communal Angolan citizens who have been reliant on their land and livestock for survival. The combination of loss of land and drought equates to millions of Angolan citizens ending up in poverty.

Despite the drought and rising food insecurity in Angola, people from neighboring countries are seeking refuge in this nation. As of 2017, 36,000 people have undergone displacement from the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and found refuge in Angola. Because of asylum seekers and refugees fleeing to Angola, the nation’s population is rapidly growing. Angola’s population is growing by 1 million people every year, according to the World Population Review. As a host country to asylum seekers, battles for land, ongoing drought and rapid population growth, more people are succumbing to poverty and hunger in Angola.

Hope on the Horizon

Despite the surging levels of food insecurity in Angola, hope is rising on the horizon. In fact, the government of Japan donated $1 million toward United Nations agencies that serve to uplift Angolan citizens who have succumbed to poverty especially due to the drought and the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy of Angola. The donation from Japan, along with the funds raised to end hunger in Angola by the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Food Programme (WFP) projects to at last tackle the issue of malnutrition and hunger in Angola.

– Nora Zaim-Sassi
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

Top 10 Facts About Hunger in Angola
Angola, located on the western coast of Southern Africa, has a current population of over 31 million people. Unfortunately, many men, women and children continue to live in poverty and are going hungry. The current Global Hunger Index score of the country is 32.5. Luckily, there are several if not many organizations that have a desire to eradicate the country’s hunger epidemic. Below are the top 10 facts about hunger in Angola.

Top 10 Facts about Hunger in Angola

  1. While the number of undernourished people in 2015 was at 14 percent (according to UNICEF), malnutrition is affecting many children within the country, with a 37 percent prevalence of moderate and severe stunting.
  2. According to the World Vision, the civil war that had lasted for 27 years is still affecting the people of Angola, despite the fact that it has ended in 2002. Because of this as well as the drought in 2015, malnutrition and food insecurity rates have increased.
  3. According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), farmers are unable to access certain agricultural resources, preventing the production of crops that also leads to food insecurity.
  4. The Salesian Missions is an organization that aspires to help children and families in poverty and provides aid to their needs. Their mission and focus are not only in providing training and educational programs to the youth, but they also deliver meals in Luanda to about 40 students who are undernourished. This program was able to purchase and provide food for many boarding students in the city.
  5. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is working in Angola in order to not only help with the productivity of the citizens but also help nourish and provide food for many of the Angolan people. According to FAO, their assistance will be created in accordance with 2018-2022 Country Programming Framework (CPF) that focuses on areas regarding food security, management of resources and strengthening farming productions. Because people are going hungry in Angola, FAO is helping regarding methodology and a Farmer Field School.
  6. FAO also supports a policy and strategy regarding the hunger epidemic in Angola. This strategy is called the National Food Security and Nutrition Strategy (ENSAN) and was implemented in 2009. This strategy works to provide not only access to food for the people of Angola but also ensures the quality of it.
  7. Angola’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also helps increase nutritional needs which support the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network or FANRPAN for short. FANRPAN is a nonprofit organization that promotes and suggests strategies for food, agriculture and natural resources including developing activities and opportunities for development.
  8. Rise Against Hunger is an organization and global movement that desires to eradicate hunger. They provide aid and assistance to countries in need, distributing packaged meals to Angola, but to other countries around the world as well.
  9. IFAD desires to fight against hunger in Angola by providing loans to expand and increase nutritional assistance in the country. One of their activities includes helping with the expansion of food crops and fisheries.
  10. The United Nations Joint Program on Children, Food Security and Nutrition in Angola is determined to end malnutrition in children. This program desires to strengthen efforts to end hunger, advocate for decreasing food prices and improve the evaluations as well as monitoring of nutrition among the people.

These top 10 facts about hunger in Angola demonstrates that many organizations, programs and movements have every desire to eradicate the hunger epidemic. They give people hope for both a better nation and a better future for their families.

– Charlene Frett
Photo: Flickr