Despite the country’s massive oil reserves, the vast majority of Angolans - almost 70% - live in dire poverty, on less than $2 per day. The World Bank recently reported that Angola needs up to $30 billion to rebuild its war-shattered infrastructure over the next ten years, but net aid from all donors as a share of gross domestic income (GDI) fell from 66.6 per cent in 1994 to 28.2 per cent in 2003.
Save the Children is concerned that, while additional funding is urgently needed to rectify the legacy of war, attracting funding from international donors is becomingly increasingly difficult.
Behind the jubilant scenes that followed the national football team’s recent qualification for the 2006 World Cup finals, Angola remains scarred by a brutal 27-year civil war, which by the time it ended in April 2002 had left almost 4 million people displaced and around 100,000 children separated from their families and a further 750,000 having lost one or both parents.
"One of the major challenges for Angola is how to get resources down to local communities to improve the lives of vulnerable children and poor people," says Susan Grant, Save the Children’s Programme Director in Angola. "There is an urgent need for more funds and technical support to ensure that children orphaned due to the war, poverty, HIV and AIDS are cared for and protected in their own community. It is time to move beyond the rhetoric and to support Angolans, including children and young people to rebuild their country and to be independent."
Sixty per cent of Angola's population are under 18 years old and almost half of these children are out of school. Many fall victim to landmines - there are said to be as many landmines as children in Angola - and sexual and physical abuse is a major concern. The war devastated basic health and education services and it is estimated that 37,000 children in Angola are infected with HIV. Studies show that 43 per cent of young Angolans start sexual activities at 15 and 70 per cent do not use protection.
Population: 14.5 million
Life expectancy: 39 years for men, 41 years for women
Average annual income: $740
88% of the population live on less than £1 a day
One in four Angolan children die before reaching their fifth birthday.
Sixty per cent of Angola's population are under 18 years old
Around thirty per cent of children are out of school
45 per cent of children suffer from chronic malnutrition
Save the Children UK has been working in Angola since 1989, when we began a national family tracing and reunification programme. We provide support to vulnerable families, especially in poor communities, and work in some of the poorest urban areas of Luanda - a city built for 400,000 people which is struggling to cope with a population exceeding 4 million - as well as Kwanza Sul and Uíge provinces and the mine-strewn agricultural areas in Huambo.