Thousands in Angola Might Starve, Warn Capuchins

ROME, JUNE 17, 2002 ( Capuchin missionaries in Angola warn that thousands of people might starve to death, the Misna missionary agency reports.

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«The situation for thousands of people who live in misery and without any kind of assistance in Angola worsens day by day,» said Father Giovanni Lazzara, spokesman of the missionaries.

«In various areas of the tormented African country, total malnutrition affects over 50% of the population,» he said. Until a few months ago, some of the areas racked by fighting have not yet been reached by the humanitarian organizations, the priest explained.

Given «the lack of prompt international interventions, the situation risks degenerating,» Father Lazzara continued. The problem affects the Angolan refugees who are now in Zambia and whom Father Vicente Kiaziku, definitor general of the Capuchin order, visited over the last few days.

«These refugees are desperate. There are men, women, and children, as well as elderly, who live out in the open in subhuman conditions and are in desperate need of assistance,» Father Lazzara said.

The long civil war between the governmental forces and the UNITA rebels ended earlier this year.

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