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Angola: emergency supplies rushed to Congolese

Briefing notes

Angola: emergency supplies rushed to Congolese

11 May 2001

UNHCR has rushed emergency supplies to some 350 Congolese refugees living in a makeshift, mosquito-infested encampment 40 km from Angola's capital Luanda, after they fled a UNITA attack on nearby Caxito on Saturday. After arriving at the site, on Wednesday, UNHCR staff also transferred the 130 families from their temporary encampment to higher ground. UNHCR also brought in water and distributed food, plastic sheeting, blankets and basic household supplies. Four sick refugees were evacuated to a hospital on Luanda.

Many of the refugees were sleeping out in the open since the May 5 UNITA attack drove them out of their Boa Esperanca camp. The refugees - mainly women and children - were exhausted, having spent up to four days on the road. When aid officials first reached the village last Sunday, they also found nearly 3,000 Angolans displaced by the same attack. But most of the Angolans since moved in with friends and relatives in Luanda or went to a nearby camp for internally displaced in Vidrol.

UNHCR is caring for 13,000 mostly Congolese refugees in Angola. It also has a programme for over 200,000 internally displaced Angolans in the northern provinces of the country.