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DATE=1/21/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=W-F-P / ANGOLA (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-258293 BYLINE=LISA SCHLEIN DATELINE=GENEVA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The United Nations World Food Program, W-F-P, says it hopes to begin airlifting urgently needed food supplies on Sunday to thousands of Angolan refugees. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports that the refugees fled to Western Zambia to escape stepped up fighting between government and UNITA rebel forces. TEXT: The World Food Program says it will transfer a plane from its operation in Southern Sudan to carry out the emergency airlift. The agency says more than seven-thousand Angolan refugees, mainly women and children, are in urgent need of food. It says the refugees, who have been walking for days and even weeks, are arriving in appalling condition. Some of them are sick and malnourished. Christiane Berthiaume of the W-F-P says the agency will carry out six to seven flights a day from the Zambian city of Mongu to Kalabo, the remote area in Western Zambia where the refugees have gone. She says the refugees have settled along the Zambezi River in an area that is difficult to reach. /// BERTHIAUME ACT /// So far, we've been able to use the roads and we have brought food over there with four-wheel trucks. But, now that the rainy season has started, the roads are flooded. We cannot go there anymore by road. And, the Zambezi River, the level of the water is too low. We cannot bring food by barge. That's something we'll be able to do later on during the rainy season - somewhere in February. /// END ACT /// But, for now, Ms. Berthiaume says the only way to get food to the area is by plane. Each flight will carry up to eight tons of food. Ms. Berthiaume says the agency wants to deliver a total of three-hundred tons of food. She says this quantity will be enough to feed the current refugees and be available for tens of thousands of other Angolan refugees who reportedly may be on their way. Ms. Berthiaume says after the plane has dropped off its cargo of food, it will fly some of the refugees back to Mongu. /// BERTHIAUME ACT /// What we would like is to see these refugees settled in an area where it would be easier to access and to bring them food. The refugees should be moved and some of them will be. Probably each flight on the return will be in a position to carry 60 refugees. /// END ACT /// Ms. Berthiaume says when the refugees arrive in Mongu, they will be taken by truck to other refugee camps in the district of Kaoma. (Signed) NEB/LS/GE/ENE/JP 21-Jan-2000 11:30 AM EDT (21-Jan-2000 1630 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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