The working conditions in Angola are tightly connected with the war and the development of dual economies. Wages were nominal after the war began and therefore could not serve to ensure access to consumer goods. There is also vast unemployment, which affects more than half of the population. In addition, 25 percent of the population depended upon humanitarian aid for survival in 1996.
Most Angolans are active in the informal sector. This mainly consists of subsistence farming and urban markets. Since this economy is informal there are no laws to protect the workers or unions. The effect of the war has resulted in 1.5 million internal refugees. Workers in the mines in UNITA-held territories extract diamonds to sell in support of their cause.