March 10, 2004

Welfare Minister presents social reintegration programme

Welfare and Social Reintegration minister, João Baptista Kussumua, announced at the regional meeting of the UNHCR taking place in Geneva that the Angolan Government had adopted a Lasting and Sustainable Social Reintegration programme, as a decisive condition to prevent conflicts, reduce poverty, promotion of equality, respect and dignity of Angolans. According to the minister, the emphasis given nowadays to social reintegration is far less than the importance it represented until recently with such tasks as the resettlement of populations, without taking into account the needs of displaced people and refugees, regarding the passage from an emergency condition to development programmes. Today, he said, the scope of lasting and sustainable reintegration included not only resettling people in their communities, but also, above all, their economic self-sustenance, since the assistance of displaced people should not end with their return to the areas of origin or reference. The minister added that the lessons on post-conflict situation in other countries, made the Angolan Government set a strategy to promote a process of socio-economic recovery. With this purpose, he stressed, the Government established as a strategy of intervention the plan to "focus in the area" of resettlement, instead of the usual "focus on the group" to be resettled, to avoid new conflicts between the resettled population and the people residing in a specific area.

He also explained that the social reintegration process in Angola comprises the consolidation of the national reconciliation process, through the social and economic promotion of all vulnerable groups, and promote people's economic growth, rescue their dignity and sustainable development of the said communities. Other important aspect in the social reintegration process is the reinforcement of the dialogue and decision making mechanisms between the civil society and the Government, thus, contributing to the consolidation of democracy and national harmony.

João Baptista Kussumua also mentioned "stability in the continent" as a paramount factor to eradicate situations of violence, promotion of economic and sustainable programmes, reduction of poverty and mortality rates, without which any reconciliation and development process would be in danger. He reaffirmed the Angolan Government's commitment to the resettlement and reintegration of about 5 million people who have directly been affected by the armed conflict, namely, displaced people, refugees, demobilized people, war crippled, and children. (Angola Press Agency, Luanda)


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