Angola: Peace Enables Repatriation of 410,000 Citizens (Angola)
At least 410,000 Angolan nationals have been repatriated and over 3.9 million internally displaced people (IDPs) returned to their areas of origin during the six years of peace in the country.
Speaking to Angop on Monday, on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of Peace and National Reconciliation, on April 4, throughout the nation, Social Welfare minister, João Baptista Kussumua, said that the economic stability and recovery of infrastructures have enabled the return to normality.
He explained that in 2002 there were almost five million internally displaced people and refugees. About 410,000, from 465,000 Angolan refugees who were living abroad have already returned home.
The Cabinet minister added that from the 4.2 million IDPs who were living out of their homes until the signing of peace accords, about 3.9 million have already returned to their areas of origin.
Joao Baptista Kussumua informed that 158 projects have been implemented in the country in the framework of the process of reintegration of almost 100,000 former soldiers and combatants.
According to Angop source, the number of fields spread with landmines reduced from 4,000, in 2002, to 1,500, after the destruction of nearly 100,000 antipersonnel landmines, about 20,000 anti-tanks landmines and 500 tonnes of lethal material.
More than 4,000 kilometres of road and about 1,500 kilometres of railways have been cleared of landmines, thus enabling free flow of people and goods.
João Baptista Kussumua explained that the Angolan Government has been helping all the vulnerable groups in the country, with sustained social promotion so that they feel that they are in their country with tranquillity and development.
He explained that the Ministry of Social Welfare is working with the provincial governments to pay greater attention to the most vulnerable groups of the society, such as the elderly, mainly those who do not have protection from their families. He added that the ministry is also working on the regulation of social protection law 7/2004.
Programmes to improve conditions at centres of assistance to third age people are underway, including projects of rehabilitation of third age homes and sheltering centres in the provinces of Benguela, Malanje, Huambo, Bié and Luanda.
The Government official said that a programme of assistance to street kids focused on education and professional training involving the Planning Ministry has been drafted, aiming at their social reintegration.
"Concerning the disabled people there are concrete programmes on generation of income, while at child level the government has approved the eleven commitments which aim at their protection in matters related to promotion, prevention, survival and development," he underscored.
João Baptista Kussumua assured that the macroeconomic situation, with the attainment of peace, will help the government to better solve the problems facing the population.
On the other hand, in his capacity as a Government official, he recalled that with peace, the inflation was reduced from 105 percent in 2002 to 11 percent in 2007, which might reach 10 percent this year. The exchange rate has been stabilised in relation to other main currencies.
He pointed out the extension of health networks in the country, the rehabilitation of road infrastructures as well as other gains brought by peace.
The number of classrooms in the country increased from 21,014 in 2002 to 47,340 in 2007, a figure expected to reach 52,524 late this year.
The Cabinet minister said that the number of students in 2002, was estimated at 2.3 million, reaching 5.4 in 2008, while the number of teachers rose to 144,281, comparing with the previous 85,000.
Von: 8.4.2008, allafrica.com