Reconstruction efforts in war-ravaged Angola received a boost this week with the announcement of a European Union (EU) Euro 55 million (US $59.5 million) aid and development package.
Angola ranks 161 out of 173 countries on the Human Development Index of 2002. Infrastructure and social services are virtually non-existent in large parts of the country.
State news agency Angop quoted EU Commissioner for Cooperation, Development and Humanitarian Aid, Poul Nielsen, as saying that the significant contributions would be made towards de-mining in Angola's southern Huila province.
Contributions would also go towards: humanitarian aid efforts; the construction of new roads; agricultural development; the supply of potable water to rural communities; rehabilitation of social infrastructures - mainly hospitals and schools.
IRIN recently focused on the challenges that lie ahead for Angola in moving from an urgent humanitarian crisis to the development stage.