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

Why is Angola Poor?A nation that has been in political turmoil since its independence from Portugal in 1975, Angola has had major concerns formulating a stable, unified country free of conflict. Despite it being Africa’s second-largest oil exporter and producer behind Nigeria, poverty has plagued the nation that has suffered internally due to political corruption, instability and other factors. So, why is Angola poor?

According to CountryWatch, income inequality remains high and poverty has been declining only slowly. Angola has attempted to mitigate poverty by placing strenuous efforts in the oil reserve industry in order to boost economic growth. Unfortunately, the income inequality gap is still wide, and infrastructure is in a volatile state due to the country’s insufficient skills that are needed to improve human development. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization that provides support for both developing and developed countries during periods of financial crisis, has warned Angola that they are vulnerable to stay trapped in such a cycle unless they allocate their resources appropriately.

According to a report by AllAfrica, Angola has successfully managed to reduce, by over half, the number of people underfed, thus achieving the first target of the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals. Although it missed the original target by about two years, the current situation in the country is “satisfactory,” according to an official who was speaking on World Food Day, on October 16th, 2017.

An annual report, the Global Hunger Index, could encourage a more optimistic outlook on the country’s future, and could help citizens in answering questions like, “why is Angola Poor?” In the report, it states that hunger has fallen significantly in countries where civil wars have ended in the 1990s and 2000s, such as in Angola in 2002. Additionally, global hunger itself has fallen by 27 percent since 2000.

One of the more obvious explanations that could aim to clarify the poverty rate in Angola may be the lack of education that Angolans receive. According to the C.I.A. World Factbook, over 40 percent of Angolans live below the poverty line, with only 70 percent of them being literate.

People in Need (PiN), a Czech nonprofit focused on development projects, has stepped up in the campaign toward alleviating poverty by improving education for half a million children. With school expectancy hovering at around 10 years of age, and only 60 percent of females who are literate, such initiatives represent hope and prosperity for a country that ranks 146th on the Human Development Index.

PiN has contributed by building schools, engaging in specialized training for teachers and providing necessary teaching materials for students to receive a quality education while reducing illiteracy among adults. Its work has seen tremendous results, with over 450,000 Angolan children and 1,200 adults learning to read, write and do simple math.

Nevertheless, the advancements in the oil production sector should receive some credit, as it has drastically stimulated Angola’s economic growth and improved the standard of living for many. However, other social issues continue to persist in a country that only nine years ago held its first parliamentary election.

Accountability, transparency, focusing on human rights and deterring domestic violence are all setbacks that present peril to a nation striving to become a developed country. To answer the question, “why is Angola poor,” Angola must first make the necessary changes through strong governance programs in order to see positive results. Improved education can lead to reduced income inequality, but without stringent measures to allow for human capital to prosper efficiently, the people will continue to suffer from this vicious poverty cycle.

– Alexandre Dumouza

Photo: Flickr

Causes of Poverty in AngolaMore than 40 percent of people live below the poverty line in Angola, one of the largest but least-developed countries in Africa. Here are a few of the main causes of poverty in Angola.

5 Causes of Poverty in Angola

  1. Angola was embroiled in a civil war that lasted 27 years from 1975 to 2002.During that time, more than one million people were killed. Though many of the displaced population has returned home, the country has not had the time to combat poverty. The war destroyed important infrastructures, such as schools, hospitals, railways and bridges. Angola is still rebuilding. Aid and oil sales to China have helped improve the economy, but the country has a long way to go.
  2. A high fertility rate. Contraceptive use and family planning education is low in Angola. Consequently, it has the ninth- highest fertility rate in the world. On average, a woman gives birth to more than five kids in her lifetime. A high birth rate is problematic because it strains resources. The more children a family has, the harder it is for families to give all children the nutrition their bodies need. This is evidenced by the high child mortality rate. One in four children will not reach his or her fifth birthday. In addition, mothers with many children to care for are often restricted to home life. A lower birth rate might increase the number of female workers and output per capita.
  3. A struggling health sector. Angola’s decades-long civil war ended 17 years ago, but its healthcare sector has not fully recovered. The fighting destroyed medical facilities and caused many doctors to flee the country. There is only one doctor per 10,000 people. This physician shortage is especially detrimental in Angola, where nearly 300,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS. Thousands more contract malaria, bacterial diarrhea or other infectious diseases. Many cases are due to unsafe water and unsanitary toilets. About half of the population depends on unimproved water and restroom access. A lack of trained medical professionals, equipment and facilities is a cause of poverty in Angola because sick Angolans have difficulty finding treatment and getting back to work. Some die from treatable or preventable diseases like polio. A death in a family could leave it with fewer sources of income or create orphaned children. Angola has taken measures to reduce rates of disease and infection, such as child vaccinations in the capital. But Angola still has one of the lowest health expenditures in the world at 3.3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Due to Angola’s poor healthcare, its life expectancy has increased, but it is still quite low at just 61 years old. Such a drastically low life expectancy cuts years, even decades, from Angolans’ earning potential.
  4. Low education rates. Because of the high fertility rate, 42 percent of Angola’s 25 million inhabitants are under 15 years old. Many of these children do not complete their education. In rural areas, where the majority of Angolans live, schools can be few and far between. Children may have to walk long distances to school, which is a disincentive to attending. Education comes with additional fees for books and supplies, causing families with limited incomes to pull their children out of school. With children out of school, families can save money or have their children make money on a family farm or through another employer. If a poor family opts to provide education for only one child, it is usually for a boy. On average, males complete 13 years of school and females only complete eight. Ruined classrooms and untrained teachers further restrict the availability of quality education. Angola’s education expenditure is 3.5 percent of its GDP. Children and adults cannot unravel the cycle of poverty without education because they cannot get good jobs to help improve their standard of living. In this way, a lack of education is both a result and a cause of poverty in Angola.
  5. Unequal distribution of wealth. Finally, an unbalanced economy, coupled with corrupt elites, is one of the causes of poverty in Angola. Despite 55 percent of Angolans living on less than $1 a day, the capital, Luanda, is the most expensive city in the world. It and other urban areas benefit from the oil sector, which is the second-largest in Africa. Oil and diamond extraction brings a lot of revenue to Angola, but much of the wealth stays with large companies and elite individuals, like politicians. Transparency International ranked Angola as 164 out of 176 countries on its Corruption Perceptions Index. Angolan authorities and oligarchs have a reputation of taking from the poor to make themselves richer. According to an article in The Economist, “officials seize state assets through rigged privatizations or rip off the public treasury in bail-outs of private companies. At almost every turn, someone connected to the state is seeking a pay-off.” In addition, some complain that the Angolan government spends money in the wrong places. Angola has a $44 billion federal budget, yet local officials say they do not have funds to provide running water. Instead, the government spent more than $1 billion on four stadiums for a football tournament.

Understanding Poverty in Angola

The devastation of war, the high fertility rate, limited access to healthcare, lack of quality education for all and income inequality partially due to government corruption are the primary causes of poverty in Angola. Fortunately, there is evidence of improvements. The government is beginning to expand its economy which will create jobs. It is also making strides to become transparent, which can increase accountability. Plus, Angola is investing in water, electricity and transportation to improve the lives of its people. Nonprofit organizations also help impoverished Angolans by providing healthcare and schools. With time and effort, Angola’s poverty rate should decrease.

Kristen Reesor

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in Angola runs high; roughly 40 percent of the population currently lives below the poverty line. The combination of a long, drawn-out civil war, systematic political corruption and economic crisis have prevented the country from establishing itself as a stable and prosperous state since Angola received its independence from Portugal in 1975.

While Angola does not have many lucrative exports, oil does make an important contribution to the country’s economy. Between 2006 and 2016, it accounted for as much as 97 percent of exports on average each year and, while there has been some reinvestment into national infrastructure, the president, José Eduardo dos Santos, has received criticism for not redistributing the profits fairly and using the financial boost from oil exports to reduce poverty in Angola as much as he could have.

Beyond its meddling in the oil industry, other forms of government corruption and nepotism are also rife in Angola. One particularly prominent example is the appointment of the president’s daughter, Isabel dos Santos, to the position of chief executive of the state-run oil firm in 2016. Forbes ranks her the richest woman in Africa, and she has an estimated net worth of more than $3 billion. Meanwhile, there is extreme poverty in much of Angola and subsistence farming is the main source of income for the majority of her countrymen and women.

This over-reliance on oil causes another problem: Angola is especially vulnerable to the fluctuations in the global oil market. Just last year, a global drop in oil prices resulted in an economic catastrophe for Angola. This triggered a rise in prices on everything from food and fuel to healthcare, putting an even greater strain on the country’s poorest inhabitants. The situation was exacerbated when the government imposed tough austerity measures, a move the U.N. Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights deemed regressive and concerning.

Meanwhile, in a bid to diversify the economy with additional sources of revenue, huge land grabs have taken place at the hands of government officials and private businesses. In many cases, citizens have been forcibly evicted without adequate housing alternatives and proper compensation. Instead, they have been resettled in makeshift housing with little access to amenities such as healthcare, education, water and electricity.

Even before this move, access to healthcare and education has been severely limited, helping to reinforce a cycle of poverty. So while progress – although slow – has been made in both areas since peace was established in 2002, there is still much progress to be made. More investment is needed in the country’s public services to alleviate levels of poverty in Angola.

Rosie McCall

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in Angola
Despite its economic success in the booming oil industry, poverty in Angola is a serious concern. The fact that a majority of Angolans live in extreme poverty contrasts greatly with the country’s booming economy. Angola is one of Africa’s most resource-rich countries. It is the second-largest oil producer in Africa and the fourth-largest producer of diamonds. In addition, the country is rich in such resources as minerals, lumber and fish. Although the oil industry in Angola brings in a majority of the state’s revenue, two-thirds of the population live on less than $2 a day and do not see the benefits of the industry.

The government claims that poverty rates have dropped in recent years, yet corruption is still a major factor. The question remains: “Where is this money?” Government elites and employees reap the benefits of the oil industry, while many Angolans live in arduous conditions. Additionally, the country possesses high infant mortality rates, poor access to clean water and sanitation and high illiteracy rates.

The civil war from 1975 to 2002 left Angola devastated, with countless deaths and millions of internally displaced persons. Angola can now boast a revived economic situation and an up-and-coming international profile. However, the country still has a great deal of work to do in its commitment to alleviate poverty in Angola.

The 2016 Human Development Index ranks Angola 149 out of 186 on the poverty scale, as poverty permeates the entire nation. Poverty in Angola is greater in rural areas, which contains 38.5 percent of the population. In fact, 94 percent of rural households are categorized as poor.

There is a very low electrification rate in rural areas of Angola, with only 6% of rural households having access to electricity. A considerable amount of the population (38 percent) does not have access to safe water sources. Consequently, the mortality rate for children under five is around 17 percent. In addition, many children do not have access to education, making future employment difficult. In fact, 34.6 percent of people have unequal access to education. As a result, 28.9 percent of the population have an unequal income.

The capital city of Luanda, one of the largest cities in Angola, drastically contrasts its outskirts. Just outside the city limits, hundreds of thousands of people live in extreme poverty.With no running water or proper infrastructure for sanitation, disease runs rampant. Diarrheal diseases, cholera, measles and diphtheria are just a few such illnesses.

According to the World Health Organization, there were over 2,000 cholera outbreaks in 2009. Yet, there was only 1 doctor available for every 10,000 people. As a result, countless families lack access to vaccines or clinics to treat these diseases.

In recent years, there have been successful reconstruction programs, including roads, airports, bridges, hospitals and schools. Although the Angolan government is beginning to make progress towards rebuilding, the answer for widespread poverty alleviation lies within the ruling party and channeling the revenue from the oil industry into the hands of Angolan’s themselves.

Kimber Kraus

Photo: Flickr