ROME, 19 November 2002 --
In April 2002, more that 20 years of civil war ended in Angola.
Taking stock, the situation looked dim: malnutrition rates were
high, millions of people were displaced, agricultural production
had declined dramatically and the whole agricultural sector
needed to be rebuilt. But peace had arrived, and luckily, so did
"The media coverage of the
peace process had put Angola on the map and in the donors'
minds," says Fernanda Guerrieri, Chief of FAO's
Emergency Operations Service. The governments of Italy, Japan
and the United States responded to the call for funds to
rehabilitate Angola's agriculture, presented in the United
Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal 2002 (CAP 2002). Of the
US$6.8 million requested, US$5.1 million came in. The funds and
the ceasefire made it possible for FAO to assist throughout
"Earlier the war
prevented us from getting to many parts of the
country," says Ms Guerrieri. "But in 2002 we
have been able to provide seeds and tools to farmers in some of
the remotest areas of Angola." The help reached the
farmers just in time for the September/October sowing season.
All in all more than 300 000 families received tools, vegetable
seeds and food crop seeds such as maize, beans and sorghum.
The distribution of thousands of tonnes of
seeds would not have been possible without NGO partners such as
Care, Caritas, World Vision International and many others.
"They did a remarkable job in distributing the tools
and seeds to the most vulnerable farmers throughout the
country," says Ms Guerrieri.
addition, FAO and its partners continue a land-tenure project to
facilitate resettlement and reintegration of displaced people.
Another project aims to strengthen Angola's capacity to
produce its own good-quality seeds. "Good quality seeds
were not available within the country, so we have identified
skilled farmers in nine provinces and strengthened their ability
to produce quality seed. We then buy a part of their production
and distribute it to other needy farmers," says Ms
Of the 21 countries included in
the CAP 2002, Angola was one of the few countries that received
almost the whole amount requested for the agricultural sector.
Ms Guerrieri says: "It has been a good year for Angola.
First peace came and afterwards donors supported the necessary
agricultural projects presented in the CAP."
Next year will be critical for
consolidating peace and bringing prosperity in Angola, which is
also included in the CAP 2003. All in all, UN agencies and NGOs
are requesting US$386 million for 166 projects. The agricultural
component for which FAO is responsible amounts to US$12.7
million, and the focus will be on coordinating emergency
agriculture operations, distributing seeds and tools,
facilitating access to land for returnees, promoting small
animal breeding and building local capacity in seed production
and household nutrition.