WFP Emergency Report No. 21 of 2003

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 23 May 2003


This report includes:
A) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Iraq, (2) Iran, (3) Afghanistan

B) East and Central Africa: (1) DR Congo, (2) Burundi, (3) Rwanda, (4) Uganda, (5) Kenya, (6) Eritrea, (7) Djibouti, (8) Ethiopia

C) West Africa: (1) Côte d'Ivoire (2) Liberia (3) Sierra Leone (4) Guinea

D) Southern Africa: (1) Namibia, (2) Angola, (3) Zambia, (4) Malawi, (5) Zimbabwe, (6) Mozambique, (7) Swaziland, (8) Lesotho, (9) Madagascar

E) Asia: (1) DPR Korea

F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Colombia, (2) Ecuador, (3) Nicaragua, (4) Panama, (5) Uruguay

G) Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: (1) Russian Federation

From David Morton, Director of the Transport, Preparedness and Response Division (OTP); available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (www.wfp.org), or by e-mail from Carlo.Scaramella@wfp.org, Chief of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit (OEP).

For information on resources, donors are requested to contact Valerie.Sequeira@wfp.org at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2009. Media queries should be directed to Trevor.Rowe@wfp.org, telephone 39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

A) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Iraq, (2) Iran, (3) Afghanistan

1) Iraq

(a) The WFP Executive Director James T. Morris addressed the Security Council on 22 May. In his address Mr. Morris informed the council of his confidence that WFP will succeed in meeting the food needs of the Iraqi people in the months to come. He also informed the Council that it was WFP's intention to work closely with UNICEF and NGOs to address the high levels of malnutrition among young Iraqi children; and that WFP would be working towards laying the groundwork for a transition from a system of government rations to a market food economy. Mr. Morris outlined his impressions of Baghdad following his visit on 11 May, and his meetings with senior members of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Affairs (ORHA), the Ministry of Trade (MOT) overseeing the Iraqi food distribution system and United Nations colleagues. Mr. Morris drew particular attention to the issue of security for staff warehouses, silos, mills and offices.

(b) Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1483 was passed by 14 members of the Council, also on 22 May. The resolution lifts sanctions imposed on Iraq and extends the provisions of SCR 1472 and 1476 for a six month period during which time the Oil-for-Food programme is to be terminated with the transfer of responsibility for the administration of any remaining activity to the Authority in Iraq.

(c) A series of meetings have been held with officials from ORHA and the MOT this week to discuss the forthcoming first post-war distribution scheduled to take place starting 01 June. On 20 May WFP participated in a meeting in Baghdad with representatives of the MOT from all the 15 centre/southern governorates (while WFP remains responsible for the three northern governorates). These governorate-level officials were asked to bring a list of urgent repairs that needed carrying out as well as the stock positions of both Oil-for-Food Programme (OFFP) and national 'strategic' stocks. During the meeting MOT officials were advised that ORHA would be providing a sum of USD 50,000 to each governorate to carry out repairs.

(d) Follow-up, working level, meetings took place on 21 and 22 May to address urgent issues that WFP and/or ORHA could help MOT address. WFP and MOT have now shared figures and are reconciling plans and the intention is that incoming WFP shipments will be directed to governorates, where there are commodity shortfalls that need to be supplemented before the June ration cycle is complete.

(e) The assessment process continued throughout the country. WFP international staff have now assessed all governorates, with the exception of Tikrit, where security remains precarious. The WFP milling engineer after completing an assessment of the major facilities in the southern governorates, has been concentrating on visiting mills and silos in and around Baghdad before moving to the northern governorates next week.

(f) In cooperation with International Organisation for Migration (IOM), WFP has been monitoring the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP's) throughout Iraq. A registration process is taking place in cooperation with WFP's implementing partner World Vision in Mosul and some 150 families have been registered so far.

(g) There has been concern about a number of IDP's in the stadium in Kirkuk, where lack of security has prevented international and national staff to travel freely. A mission visited the stadium on 22 May and found some 600 people there. The Coalition Forces sent a paediatrician and a nutritionist who determined that there was not a food crisis but that the water and sanitation situation was critical and needed immediate addressing. It is envisaged that the Coalition Forces will move the IDP's to another location on a priority basis.

(h) WFP has been in negotiation with ORHA and MOT this week in order to facilitate the procurement of Iraq's 2003 wheat harvest. WFP has undertaken to purchase up to 1.2 million tons of grain from the harvest, using funds from the UN Oil-for-Food Programme (OFFP). But in order to purchase the harvest, a Grain board must be helped to function, salaries must be paid, looted and damaged equipment must be replaced or repaired and arrangements made for paying large-scale cash disbursements, in the absence of a functioning banking system.

2) Iran

(a) After the first WFP vessel "M/V Grand Ocean" carrying 15,000 tons of wheat flour, the first Oil For Food Programme (OFFP) vessel carrying 16,700 tons of rice berthed at the port of Imam Khomeini on 21 May. An additional two OFFP vessels carrying a total of 26,300 tons sugar were expected to berth at BIK on 22 May 2003. From 15 to 21 May a total of 1,406 tons of food has been dispatched to Iraq and from the start of the trans-border operation on 16 April 2003 to date a total of 13,262 tons of food has been dispatched into Iraq, 10,721 tons of which has been received by WFP Suleymanieh.

(b) UNHCR and WFP are discussing the WFP support for the repatriation of "old" Iraqi refuges. 900 Iraqis are scheduled to return to Iraq in the coming weeks. New contributions earmarked for PRRO 10213.0 in support of Afghan and Iraqi refugees, will cover the cereal and pulses requirements for Afghan refugees through December 2003. Existing unearmarked resources should be sufficient to cover outstanding requirements, including those of the Iraqi refugee caseload, almost through November, with the exception of sugar, which for the Iraqi caseload will run out in August.

(c) According to information by UNHCR and the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrant Affairs of the Ministry of Interior (BAFIA), as of 20 May 2003, a total of 441,828 Afghan refugees have repatriated from Dogharoun (northeast) and Milak (southeast) borders since the start of the repatriation on 09 April 2002.

3) Afghanistan

(a) From 15 to 21 May, there have been several incidents across the country with outbreaks of factional fighting in the north and skirmishes between local commanders and a number of terrorist attacks in the south and southeast. All road missions remain suspended in the southern part of the country and the security situation in the northern and southern parts of the country has hampered food distributions from WFP's Mazari Sharif and Kandahar Area offices.

(b) On 20 May, a new round of National Immunisation Days (NIDs) was launched across the country to eradicate polio in Afghanistan. UN has supported the Government in achieving this goal and took the opportunity to present its projects and provided logistical support. UN Agencies participating in the events include UNICEF, WHO, the United Nations Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan (MACA), WFP, UNESCO, UNDP, FAO and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). WFP is currently taking the lead in organising ceremonies in Fayz Abad.

(c) From 15 to 21 May, 451,324 beneficiaries received 1,775 tons of food through various WFP projects, including Food For Work, Food For Education, Relief and Resettlement of IDP's and refugees, Urban Vulnerable Bakeries and Supplementary and Institutional feeding activities in Fayz Abad, Mazari Sharif, Kabul, Kandahar and Hirat. In addition, 3,852 civil servants in Badakhshan province in the northeast received 48 tons of pulses through Civil Servants Salary Supplement project implemented under WFP's EMOP.

(d) In Hirat, WFP met with Government representatives, UNAMA and UNHCR to discuss and seek long-term and durable solutions to support internally displaced persons (IDP's) in camps. It was agreed to replace free food distribution with Food-for-Work activities and to develop new projects designed especially to support reintegration in insecure areas. The Government representatives agreed to consider assisting some of the IDP's through their projects, such as the National Solidarity Programme.

B) East and Central Africa: (1) DR Congo, (2) Burundi, (3) Rwanda, (4) Uganda, (5) Kenya, (6) Eritrea, (7) Djibouti, (8) Ethiopia

1) DR Congo

(a) Bunia and surrounding areas remained theatres of violence, with civilians being most affected. The conflict in Bunia and Ituri continued to cause the exodus of thousands of people into the forests and elsewhere. Food insecurity among local populations continued as a result of the prevailing climate of insecurity in the east and local people looted nutritional centres in Walungu, Bunyakiri and Shabunda in search of food.

(b) Humanitarian staff remained the target of armed groups. In Bukavu, a WFP storekeeper was mistreated by soldiers and UN mobile police had to come to the rescue. In Kinshasa, a WFP staff member and his family were molested and robbed of their personal effects by armed intruders during the night. In Bunia, the United Nations Mission of Observers in DRC (MONUC) recovered the corpses of two of its staff who had been missing since 14 May. The corpses showed signs of mistreatment and brutal murder.

(c) More than 1,194 tons of food was distributed to 122,278 beneficiaries, including IDP's, Angolan refugees, malnourished children/lactating and nursing mothers and vulnerable groups, in collaboration with implementing partners. However, WFP food deliveries were limited due to a lack of food availability and security, particularly in the eastern areas. Limited food availability entailed a reduction of food rations, acute targeting of beneficiaries and the prioritisation of relief over recovery activities.

2) Burundi

(a) During the week, the Burundian and Congolese Heads of State met in Tanzania to discuss the implementation of their respective peace accords to stop internal fighting in their countries. It is regularly reported that rebels sheltered in the eastern part of DR Congo operate towards the destabilization of the western provinces of Burundi.

(b) Fifteen Ethiopian military personnel arrived in Burundi on a preparatory mission for the deployment of the African Union (AU) peacekeeping troops expected to come from Ethiopia as part of the 3,500 troops to be deployed by Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Africa to oversee the implementation of the cease-fire accord signed on 02 December 2002.

(c) The security situation remained unchanged during the week. Fighting between the army and rebels causing displacement of population was reported in Bubanza, Bujumbura Rural and Gitega provinces. Road ambushes and robbery of passengers' belongings continued in Cibitoke, Bururi, Bujumbura Rural and Bubanza provinces. In Bujumbura town, one person was killed and two others injured during an armed robbery perpetrated in Kamenge zone. Incursions were also reported in Cankuzo and Ruyigi provinces bordering with Tanzania.

(d) From 12 to 18 May, WFP distributed 1,564 tons of food, including 1,237 tons of targeted rations to 88,460 persons in Muyinga, Gitega, Bujumbura Mairie and Bujumbura Rural provinces, 220 tons for Food For Work participants in Ngozi province and 92 tons of food to social centres and HIV/AIDS victims. A total of 610 tons of food was not distributed due to insecurity and/or the lack of field Security Officers to escort distribution teams.

3) Rwanda

(a) WFP's Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) Unit, continues to monitor rainfall and crop performance in food insecure areas in Bugesera, Kibungo and Umutara provinces. Households in these areas are relying on copying mechanisms particularly sale of labour in neighbouring food secure regions. The crop situation has significantly improved since the last assessment of mid-April. However, the "2003B" season performance will depend on the current rainfall. There is concern for the most vulnerable groups in the affected areas. VAM will be revisiting the situation in the coming weeks. A pipeline break is expected in August.

4) Uganda

(a) The effect of the 2002 drought in the Karamoja region, northeastern Uganda, has resulted in precariously low household food stocks in the three districts of Kotido, Moroto and Nakapiripirit. An April rapid nutritional assessment of Kotido and Moroto Districts by WFP and the District Departments of Health Services documented a global acute malnutrition rate among children under five of 22.4 percent in Kotido District, and 14 percent in Moroto District. A comprehensive regional nutritional surveillance survey is on-going, implemented by the Ministry of Health, funded jointly by WFP and UNICEF. To address the crisis, WFP will increase its monthly emergency food distribution in Karamoja from 1,000 to 3,600 tons per month to benefit 535,000 people (95,684 households) through August.

(b) WFP distributed relief food to 5,501 refugees who fled ethnic strife in Bunia in Ituri region, DR Congo, and who have temporarily settled in Bundibugyo District, western Uganda. WFP assistance was distributed to female heads of 1,057 households. UNHCR and the Office of the Prime Minister, Department of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, are preparing to re-locate refugees to a gazetted refugee settlement.

(c) The Uganda Consultative Group (CG) Meeting between the Government of Uganda and donors took place in Kampala from 14 to 16 May. The Deputy Director of USAID Africa Bureau and others subsequently visited Gulu in northern Uganda and met with IDP's, District officials, the Ugandan People's Defence Force (UPDF) 4th Division Commander, the Acholi Religious Leaders and the Presidential Peace Team. The delegation also visited Gulu Save the Children Organisation (GUSCO) centre for returned/released formerly abducted children.

5) Kenya

(a) Although heavy rains continue in most parts of Kenya, the estimated number of displaced people in the low-lying areas around Lake Victoria in Nyanza and Western Provinces is still holding at 60,000. The main concern continues to be essential non-food items to flood victims. The Government has compiled a list of the most urgent needs and remaining gaps. Priority items still needed are cooking kits, mosquito nets, shelter material, chlorine tablets, water containers and latrines.

(b) Turkana district is receiving heavy rainfall resulting in flooding along the Turkwel and Kerio rivers. Along the Turkwel River, crops, farmlands and seven irrigation schemes have been washed away. Along the Kerio River, infrastructure in two primary schools has been swept away.

(c) In Kakuma refugee camp, the UNHCR offices and staff quarters in Kakuma which had been submerged and cut-off following massive flooding in the area are now accessible but two areas, Kakuma 2 and Kakuma 3, remain isolated with no activities taking place due to floods. At the moment, WFP has enough food stock at the camp to last until mid-June.

(d) Lokichoggio and Southern Sudan are no longer accessible by road following the washing away of the Marich Pass Bridge near Ortum on the Kapenguria/Lodwar Road. This road is used to send supplies including food and jet fuel for aircrafts operating in Southern Sudan as well as the refugee camp in Kakuma. WFP is looking into the possibility of airlifting food from the Kenyan airport in Eldoret to Southern Sudan, as well as the possibility of emergency road repairs, in order to avoid disruption of food aid to war and drought-affected populations in Southern Sudan.

(e) The Tana River burst its banks displacing some 5,000 people; fortunately the government had already relocated residents residing along the riverbank, to higher grounds. Area residents are receiving food through WFP's food-for-work programme.

6) Eritrea

(a) On 15 May, WFP hosted a donor mission to Debub region. The mission consisted of representatives from the United Kingdom, France, Italy and the European Union and was also supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Eritrean Relief and Refugee Commission (ERREC). The purpose of the visit was to assess the current drought situation in the area. The team met briefly with local Government officials and then proceeded to visit Hazemo Plain, Gobele Elementary School and Mai Wuray IDP Camp in the Tserona sub region. Members also interviewed farmers in Kelai Belatet to better understand the present humanitarian crisis. The situation has not improved much, and is likely to continue to deteriorate.

(b) In the Barentu region, WFP reported that rainfall had not begun and little agricultural activity was underway. However, in Debub and Anseba, some rainfall was reported, signalling the late arrival of the "Azemera" short rains. Some farmers in Debub and Anseba have begun planting long variety seeds such as sorghum.

(c) On 18 and 19 May the UN Country Teams of Ethiopia and Eritrea met in Asmara to discuss strategies and a plan of action related to the implications of a potential border demarcation, as well as legal consequences. Issues such as the humanitarian needs of affected populations, including citizenship, land ownership and family reunification, were discussed. The UN Country Teams recommended that a follow up meeting be held in Ethiopia in August.

(d) WFP continues to undertake actions to mobilize resources to support its 2003 operations. A contribution of 417 tons of canned meat was confirmed this week, which brings the amount resourced to date to a total of 123,239 tons of commodities. The full amount needed for this year's operations is 259,263 tons of food.

7) Djibouti

(a) The week saw the resumption of the second phase of the Voluntary Repatriation (VOLREP) of 5,000 Somali refugees residing in Ali Addeh camp, Ali Sabbieh district. The resumption comes after several months of suspension due to hot weather, the organisation of Presidential and Parliament elections in Somaliland and Djibouti, the visit to rehabilitated sites by the UNHCR Office in Hargeisa, lengthy negotiations with refugee leaders on the NFI package, etc. Out of the 286 refugees who had previously registered with UNHCR for the first repatriation convoy, only 123 refugees (23 families) actually left Djibouti for Somaliland.

(b) A nine-month food package was distributed by WFP to all refugees who were being repatriated. The first repatriation phase, which started on 15 July 2002, was completed in October 2002, after the voluntary repatriation of 2,106 refugees from Holl Holl camp to Somaliland.

8) Ethiopia

(a) The jointly coordinated government/ICRC/UN/NGO relief operations for flood victims are expanding, as more areas are now accessible by road in the parts of Gode zone in Somali Region hit by floods in mid-April. An ICRC team was able to reach East and West Imi by road through Fik zone on 17 May and reports that the situation there is very serious. People in the area had been caught by surprise by the floods a month ago, which came at night with no warning, whereas people further down-river had more time to move to higher ground. The flood-displaced population in East and West Imi thus lost all their household assets and food and have been living in the open with no shelter for several weeks. ICRC now plans to shift their focus of their emergency assistance interventions to West/East Imi districts as the situation in Mustahil and Kelafo woredas has begun to stabilize with delivery of non-food items and high-energy biscuits from ICRC, UNICEF and government to these locations by road and by helicopter. ICRC has made available enough cereals, pulses and cooking oil to cover 8,000 people for one month in Mustahil and Kelafo districts. ICRC will provide the same food items for 19,000 people for one month in West and East Imi. Current estimates by the Gode zonal officials of the total flood-affected population is 90,000 people, of whom some 70,000 will need food aid, though figures may be adjusted as more areas are assessed. Further food supplies are being moved to the area and seed distributions are also planned. Medical and sanitation needs remain high, and the main health concerns remain malaria, diarrhoea and upper respiratory infections.

(b) WFP is increasing its monitoring capacity in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR), with additional staff deployed from other parts of the country for the coming weeks. Several recent high-level UN visits have been made to the region, which is also receiving increased media attention due to high malnutrition rates. Action has been taken by the government and NGOs with UNICEF assistance to open more therapeutic and supplementary feeding centres in the worst affected areas. WFP is making available blended food on a loan basis to MSF-Switzerland to support their therapeutic and supplementary feeding programme in Damot Gale district of Wolayita zone, where global acute malnutrition level (GAM) reached 27.1 percent in early April. Since that time, additional food has been dispatched to this and other areas of concern in SNNPR by the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC).

(c) Cereal rations have been increased from 12.5 kg per person per month up to 15 kg in most parts of SNNPR (in areas where food needs are covered by DPPC/WFP food or NGO food) and in many other parts of the country covered by NGO distributions. The increased ration will benefit 3.6 million people out of the total 12.5 million people currently receiving food assistance and may be expanded to reach more people if further pledges are confirmed. The current shortfall in confirmed contributions towards total needs for the year stands at 360,000 tons, with some indications of further support.

C) West Africa: (1) Côte d'Ivoire (2) Liberia (3) Sierra Leone (4) Guinea

1) Côte d'Ivoire

(a) Following renewed fighting in Liberia, UNHCR reports that up to 15,000 persons have fled across the Cavally River from Liberia to Côte d'Ivoire over the weekend. Some of those fleeing were Ivorian nationals and Liberians that had taken refuge from fighting in Côte d'Ivoire. Most of them are scattered in villages just across the border. UNHCR plans to shelter the Liberian refugees near Tabou in the southwest. By Monday night, already 750 new arrivals had registered by UNHCR in Tabou. WFP has also received reports of an influx from Liberia further north along the border, from Zwedru towards Blolequin. Those that could afford the transport have registered in transit centres in Guiglo. According to the Comite de Crise a total of 800 IDP's has been recorded so far, but many more remain close to the Liberian border due to lack of transport. WFP has also observed numerous new arrivals of IDP's all along the axe Danane-Mahapleu-Sanguiné-Man due to clashes south of Danane. A large number of these newly arrived IDP's have been examined by MSF-Holland. They report a severe malnutrition rate of 15 percent among children under 5 in the area of Mahapleu-Danane. MSF-Belgium also reports of an increasing number of such cases being brought to the Man hospital.

(b) As a response to the influx of newly displaced people that was registered in the regional capital of Man, WFP on Saturday carried out an emergency food distribution at the St Therèse Transit Centre to a previously registered total of 1,730 IDP's living with host families in town. The registration of a total of 6,832 newly arrived IDP's, including 4,952 in Man, 104 in Sanguinee and 1,454 in Mahapleu, has been undertaken by WFP over the weekend. Food distributions were carried out to a total of 1,517 IDP's at three IDP sites in Duekoue, and to 4,436 IDP's at four IDP sites in Guiglo and 317 IDP's at Zagne Catholic Mission.

(c) In total, 38,557 beneficiaries were supported in Bouaké this week through 12 food-distribution activities. 3,300 of them however received only half daily rations, as families also had other sources of food. WFP's implementing partner ACF has announced that they will terminate their operation in Bouaké from next month, currently assisting more than 13,000 children and mothers and 260 female-headed households. Although the overall economic situation in Bouaké town has started to improve, pockets of vulnerability in the food and nutritional field still exist. It has therefore been decided that the activities will be handed over to organisations that are locally represented as long as food support is needed.

(d) In Korhogo, food rations were delivered to Saint Camille hospital and Brigida Postorino centre. This food will assist 87 mentally disabled persons and 230 pupils. Registration in Dassoungbo and surrounding villages is going on. Total caseload in Korhogo is 6,043 people. The Community-Based Lowland Project (PBF) has resumed in the central-eastern region. In Daokro and M'Bahikro 2,098 small-scale farmers have been selected to participate in the programme for one year, whilst in Bondoukou, 2,752 farmers have been selected. The objective of this project is to improve food security through assisting communities with agriculture tools and "Food-for-Work" activities, such as digging canals, drains etc. In Bondoukou this week, distribution of tools was done at three sites, and preparations have already started for planting.

(e) The important corridor Duekoue-Man is now open for humanitarian convoys. The Government plans to re-open the transport routes with Burkina Faso and Mali. This concerns the train link between the Abidjan and Ouagadougou as well as the road route to Bamako. Sitarail, the company that operates the railway line, said on 15 May that rail services from Abidjan port to Burkina should resume by the end of May. An inspection train has already made a reconnaissance trip through rebel-held territory to the Burkinabe border and verified that the track remained in good condition. WFP has scheduled a meeting with Sitarail next week to discuss transport of humanitarian cargo within Côte d'Ivoire and to Burkina Faso.

2) Liberia

(a) 182,347persons currently receive WFP assistance in Liberia. However, recent events have continued to cause more population movements and numbers of beneficiaries may shift. The recent attack and capture of Harper have caused hundreds of residents to flee to the Ivory Coast and to the interior of the county and adjacent areas. "The BENTY", a Croatian cargo ship, arrived in Monrovia on the morning of 20 May with hundred of people from Harper, fleeing the fighting. 1,248 civilians were registered off the ship when it docked in Monrovia.

(b) From 22 April to 13 May, Action Contre la Faim (ACF) conducted nutritional screening in the currently existing seven IDP camps in Monrovia. The screening covered children from 6 to 59 months and took into consideration MUAC fewer than 135mm, the measurement of weight and height as well as bilateral oedema. The screening concluded that 3 percent of the screened children were severely malnourished and 26 percent were moderately malnourished.

(c) The food supply situation remained satisfactory. Scheduled shipments have so far arrived as planned. Food available in-country is approximately 11,000 tons. With the fall of Harper, Maryland County, to rebel forces and the subsequent looting of humanitarian goods, WFP has lost some 75 tons of food stored there. This adds to about 115 tons, which were lost when Zwedru fell into the hands of Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL) rebels. The 116 tons in Saclepea remain intact, but unless access can be gained and food distributed, it is possible that this food could also be lost in the wake of insecurity and lack of public order due to increased fighting in surrounding areas.

(d) The Committee on Food Aid in Liberia has met and discussed the security situation in IDP camps in the suburbs of Monrovia. The Committee felt that security conditions have not improved to effect general food distributions and decided to write to the Government, outlining steps to be taken in order to improve security for beneficiaries and humanitarian workers.

3) Sierra Leone

(a) The security situation across the country, including border areas, remained calm and stable and social and economic activities were normal.

(b) From 05 to 18 May WFP supported 160,386 beneficiaries with 1,302 tons of food. Returnee movement continues at a slow pace via the Bella/Dandu causeway. Due to the early rains, fewer convoys have been able to use the increasingly precarious bridge. A footpath channel was recently employed as a temporary measure, but overall numbers of returnees into WFP's operational area in Kailahun are not anticipated to reach the 24,000 earlier reported. Two weekly convoy movements from Guinea via the Port Loko way station continued, allowing for additional Sierra Leoneans who could not use the causeway while it was under repair to return to the country.

(c) A gender/SGBV (Sexual and Gender-Based Violence) sensitisation campaign was conducted in two refugee camps, Jimi Bagbo and Bandajuma, in the southern district of Bo. Food-Basket monitoring in refugee camps took place and results should be ready in time for the WFP/UNHCR Joint Assessment mission planned for June.

4) Guinea

(a) While the border areas of N'Zérékoré were reported to be calm, the security situation in the town of N'Zérékoré has deteriorated and security measures stepped up. Gunfire could be heard in certain parts of town. Rebels have also attacked some people in Diécké, raising fears among the town's population and causing some to leave town for more secure areas. Combat between rebels and national troops continued; fire from automatic weapons could be heard in and around the town of Guéckédou. The security situation was reported to be generally calm in Kankan and Kissidougou.

(b) From 01 to 11 May, some 500 people left Côte d'Ivoire and entered Guinea through the Lola prefecture. 267 were Guineans, with a lesser number of Ivorians, Liberians, and third-country nationals. The relocation of Kouankan began 09 May, with a convoy of 132 Liberian refugees who were given housing in Madina camp; a second convoy of 441 people arrived in the Kountaya transit camp on 16 May. 3 760 Sierra Leoneans repatriated from the Albadariah camps, bringing the total repatriated from Kissidougou in 2003 to 17,133. 83 Sierra Leoneans from the Kouankan and Kola camps in N'Zérékoré and 346 Sierra Leoneans from Sembakounya camp also repatriated. (c) All of WFP's partners have been informed of the reduction in cereal rations for the coming distribution; refugees have subsequently been informed of the change. General distributions have been completed in the Kouankan camp, where 33,568 refugees received 559 tons of food. Special distributions in Lainé and Nonah provided 24 tons to 1,102 beneficiaries. In Kissidougou, 19,723 refugees in Boréah, Télikoro and Madina received general distributions totalling 327 tons. WFP Kissidougou's partners also distributed 4 tons of rations to 214 new arrivals in the Kountaya, Télikoro and Madina camps.

(d) WFP has added a third round-trip between Conakry, Kissidougou and N'Zérékoré and a new flight to Guiglo in Côte d'Ivoire to its weekly flight schedule.

D) Southern Africa: (1) Namibia, (2) Angola, (3) Zambia, (4) Malawi, (5) Zimbabwe, (6) Mozambique, (7) Swaziland, (8) Lesotho, (9) Madagascar

1) Namibia

(a) In Namibia, floods in the Caprivi region have reportedly affected approximately 12,000 people who are currently in need of food, non-food items and health services according to the government's Emergency Management Unit. The water level of the Zambezi River is reported to be receding, but the emergency situation continues unabated. The Government is already distributing food aid and the National Defence Force has also been mobilised to assist. The Namibian Government has allocated N$ 5 million (approximately USD 960,000) from its contingency fund while a number of foreign donors have contributed funds through the Red Cross. WFP is in close contact with the Government, however, an official request for assistance has not yet been issued. Despite local newspaper reports, WFP has not been requested to provide helicopter support to the Government's current relief operation.

(b) The monthly food distribution has been completed for 20,000 refugees in Osire Camp. The refugees were provided with a one-month ration based upon a WFP standard of 2,100 kilocalories per person per day. During the month, WFP also provided supplementary rations to 125 malnourished children in Osire Camp.

2) Angola

(a) A rapid needs assessment by WFP and partner NGOs in the newly accessible area of Tchipeio Commune in Ekunha Municipality, Huambo Province, where IDP's have spontaneously returned, found serious levels of vulnerability and food insecurity. Emergency food assistance is needed for approximately 7,460 returnees and a therapeutic feeding centre for the severely malnourished urgently needs to be established.

(b) WFP's PRRO 10054.1 is now 61 percent resourced following a recent USD 1 million contribution. However, WFP's 'Logistics Services to the Humanitarian Community' Special Operation 10146.1 is seriously under-funded and this may impact on WFP's ability to meet demands for passenger air transport, including support of the upcoming repatriation of Angolan refugees from neighbouring countries.

3) Zambia

(a) Severe flooding on the Barotse plains in the Western Province has provoked national and international concern. The floods, resulting from the overflowing of the Zambezi River, are reported to be the worst in 25 years. Estimates of the numbers of displaced vary, with government figures of over 120,000 people. The WFP sub-office in the area has placed the figure of displaced people closer to 45,000. The four most affected districts are Kalabo, Lukulu, Mongu and Senanga. The Government has not approached WFP for assistance with either food or assessments of the situation.

(b) From 15 to 21 May, WFP and implementing partners distributed 1,023 tons of food. WFP's Urban Intervention programme is currently reaching 29,614 orphans and vulnerable children and assisting 15,734 of their families.

4) Malawi

(a) From 15 to 21 May, WFP distributed 4,908 tons of food in collaboration with implementing partners.

(b) WFP and UNICEF have revised a Letter of Understanding on education to cover all expanded school-feeding supported programmes and to integrate UNICEF's 'Girls Accelerated Programme' into the current and future EMOP.

(c) 75 ARGOS transmitting devices will be installed in schools with school-feeding programmes at the end of August. The monitoring system device will permit an authorised and trained school supervisor to directly input monthly data pertinent to their school, which will then be transmitted via the ARGOS satellite system to WFP and other authorized officials for analysis. The device will capture monitoring information such as school attendance, enrolment figures, commodity-levels and ration size. The system will be used to enter responses to pre-programmed questions and the device can only transmit information-entered from the school.

5) Zimbabwe

(a) Hyperinflation rose to new heights over the past two weeks with April's annualised inflation reaching 269 percent. The Zimbabwe dollar depreciated on the parallel market by more than 100 percent over the past ten days due to a demand from external suppliers for payment of national electricity and fuel bills. At the same time, the price of food and commodities has increased to record levels following last week's lifting of price controls by the Government. The cost of beef, milk, beverages and other consumables has doubled, and in some cases trebled, within the week. Bread, while remaining a price-controlled item, is openly selling at double the gazetted price. The main political opposition party and civic groups, including teachers and general trade unions, have warned Zimbabweans to stock up on cash and food ahead of a planned indefinite mass-stay away as a protest against the government. Schools remain closed as a teachers' strike entered its third week. WFP verification and re-registration of beneficiaries is ongoing in all districts, however shortages of fuel are delaying fieldwork.

6) Mozambique

(a) From 13 to 19 May, WFP and implementing partners distributed over 410 tons of food.

(b) WFP held two workshops on capacity building in Tete Province. Fifty participants from the National Disasters Management Institute, implementing partners and local government attended. The main topics of the workshop included the formation of Women's Relief Committees, the importance of women's participation in activities, beneficiary selection criteria and the inclusion of HIV/AIDS activities in all future programmes. In Gaza Province, WFP is assisting with the deployment of Samaritan's Purse into Chicualacuala and Chigubo Districts. WFP will provide food management and operations training with the aim of increasing the level of food distributions and the capacity of the implementing partner in two of the worst drought-affected regions in the country.

7) Swaziland

(a) From 13 to 19 May, WFP distributed 224 tons of food to 13,390 beneficiaries. Swaziland has experienced pipeline problems during April and May and as a result, most implementing partners were only supplied with cereals in May. Only 570 tons of cereals will be available for May distributions, which will cover 31 percent of the month's requirement, leaving a shortfall of 1,254 tons. In addition, vegetable oil is not in stock and is only due to arrive in June.

8) Lesotho

(a) From 14 to 24 May, WFP and implementing partners distributed 1,499 tons of food to 113,844 beneficiaries through general distributions. In addition, 1,923 HIV/AIDS, mother-child health and tuberculosis patients received 54 tons of food in 15 health centres. Through WFP's 'Emergency School Feeding - Take Home Rations for Orphans and other Vulnerable Groups', 46 tons of food were distributed in primary schools. In Mokhotlong, 2,600 Food for Work participants received 26 tons of food.

(b) On 16 May, the Baseline Survey of 206 primary schools was completed and the results were forwarded to WFP Rome for analysis. The findings will assist in formulating future school feeding programmes for WFP's 2004/07-country development programme.

(c) UNV proposes to assign 350 volunteers to seven countries (Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Botswana) in order to assist where there are critical human resource restraints caused by HIV/AIDS in the areas of agriculture, health and education.

9) Madagascar

(a) The 2002/03-cyclone season has officially ended. The season has been marked by erratic rains in the south, with long dry spells and periods of intensive rainfall brought by tropical storms and cyclones. The Ministry of Agriculture has not released its preliminary harvest estimates, but yield forecasts are promising. On the other hand, as predictions for harvests in the most productive regions are optimistic, overall production figures may mask severe shortages in southern areas. While producer prices have declined in some urban centres, similar price drops have not been witnessed in the drought-affected zones in the south where purchasing power remains weak.

(b) One week after cyclone 'Manou' hit the eastern coast, the latest report issued by the National Rescue Committee (CNS) revealed that the disaster has killed 70 people and injured 85. A further 19 people are reported missing and 114,480 people have been left homeless in the towns of Votamanandry, the hardest hit locality, and Brickaville, both of which are located 200 kilometres east of the Malagasy capital, Antananarivo. With winds reaching up to 200 kilometres per hour, 'Manou' destroyed 24,500 homes along with crops, roads and essential infrastructure. UNDP has reported that relief items such as tents, blankets and medicine for malaria and diarrhoea are required. WFP is working through its implementing partner CARE, on rehabilitation efforts, particularly on secondary roads. WFP and FAO will conduct a joint crop assessment mission to determine the extent of the agricultural damage.

(c) Based upon the European Union Early Warning System (SAP), the preliminary number of people requiring emergency food aid in the south has increased to 270,000 in 18 districts. This figure represents an increase of approximately 100,000 people from those that are currently receiving food assistance through Food for Work activities. In order to address this worsening situation, a budget revision to the current EMOP, which reflects increased beneficiary numbers, and corresponding commodity requirements through December 2003, is being processed.

E) Asia: (1) DPR Korea

1) DPR Korea

(a) NGOs reported an easing of visa restrictions, with entry visas for new staff being authorized for collection in Rome, Berlin and other capitals. The WFP Executive Director, the OCHA Emergency Relief Coordinator, the DPRK Humanitarian Coordinator as well as the Swiss Foreign Minister have made representations to the DPRK government on easing the visa restrictions and other SARS-related measures. A relaxation of SARS measures would allow the full range of humanitarian operations to continue.

(b) As reported by local authorities maize transplanting has been completed in most regions, with direct plantation to begin after the wheat and barley crop harvests. The wheat and barley crops are growing well due to good rainfall and warmer temperatures. Reports from the field also indicate that potato crops and vegetables are also faring well. Monitoring of paediatric hospitals and wards in the provinces continued during the week. Major illnesses among children were reported to be pneumonia and diarrhoea, while, on average, at least half of the child in-patients suffered from malnutrition.

(c) The PDC ration for May was reduced to 250 grams/person/day from the April ration of 300 grams/person/day, signalling the start of the lean season. Provincial authorities in most provinces reported that the PDC ration would be maintained at 250 grams through August.

(d) Confirmation of new contributions to WFP DPR Korea operations of USD 10 million was received during the week. The funds will be utilized to purchase 40,500 tons of wheat, with expected arrival in-county towards the end of August. Funding for WFP's Special Operations project, which covers port operations, LFP equipment and spare parts, and Food For Work non-food items, remains a concern. Purchases of NFIs for the coming Food For Work autumn season have had to be put on hold, while WFP has not been able to set up strategic stores at main ports owing to lack of funds. To ensure that WFP food is available for the most vulnerable groups - young children and pregnant and nursing women - cereal rations remain suspended in May to the elderly, caregivers, and some child institutions on both east and west coasts. Distributions to all targeted groups will be restored in June with the arrival of new shipments this month and the expected arrival of a new maize donation by mid-June. Cereal distributions in the fourth quarter will be negatively effected unless additional contributions are received. Pipeline shortfalls of about 80,000 tons for the remainder of the year are projected. Commodities yet to be resourced to avoid a pipeline break include 55,000 tons of cereals, 9,500 tons of pulses, 9,000 tons of corn-soya milk, 3,500 tons of sugar and 3,000 tons of oil.

F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Colombia, (2) Ecuador, (3) Nicaragua, (4) Panama, (5) Uruguay

1) Colombia

(a) Renewed roadblocks in the municipalities of eastern Antioquía by illegal armed groups have prevented WFP access to these municipalities. A joint WFP/UNHCR/UNHCHR mission to the Catatumbo region in the Department of Norte de Santander is being planned for next week, due to the continuous displacements currently taking place there.

(b) During the week, WFP delivered 239 tons of food rations to Nutritional Recovery projects in twelve departments, benefiting some 9,900 persons; 40 tons to 270 pre-school projects benefiting 19,832 children; and some 150 tons to training/asset creation projects and Community Kitchens.

2) Ecuador

(a) WFP, UNDP and PAHO carried out a damage assessment in the two cantons affected by the flooding of three rivers in the province of Esmeraldas. The agriculture area has been the most affected, with the loss of 800 hectares of rice, plantain, coffee, cocoa and corn, worsening the food security of more than 600 affected families suffering from respiratory and dermatological illnesses, cholera, and malaria.

(b) WFP delivered the first 300 food rations. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is performing an evaluation in order to propose strategies for agricultural and livestock recovery.

(c) 288 Colombian refugees, including 61 children and 8 pregnant women, crossed the border into Ecuador after more violent encounters in the south of Colombia along the Ecuadorian border. WFP in conjunction with UNHCR delivered 103 food rations for one month and 51 food rations for 15 days.

3) Nicaragua

(a) WFP has begun implementation of PRRO 10212.0, which will provide assistance to 144,000 persons. Activities will focus on preventing an increase in malnutrition, especially in young children, reconstructing the livelihoods of people affected by shocks, and preparing families to better respond to future emergencies.

(b) The first delivery of food assistance to pregnant and nursing mothers and boys and girls between the ages of 6 months and 2 years was carried out in the municipalities of San Ramón, El Tuma-La Dalia and Rancho Grande. A total of 118 tons of cereals, beans, maize and vegetable oil will be distributed.

(c) WFP is in the process of opening a sub-office and food storage facility in Matagalpa in order to more efficiently respond to the deteriorating nutritional situation of primarily women and children in this Department.

4) Panama

(a) Torrential rains over the weekend have left some 1,000 persons stranded in different regions of Panama in the Bocas del Toro and Colon regions. The storms caused landslides and the flooding of the Sixaola River on the border with Costa Rica. 175 homes were affected by flooding in San Pedro, Guayabal, El Limite and in La Sagrada Resurrección, and an estimated 200 families were affected by flooding in the Cativá and Sabanitas barrios. No deaths have been reported. According to weather reports, the rains will continue in the Colón region. The Red Cross, Civil Defense and the National Police have carried out evacuations and rescues. A census of affected persons is being carried out in order to commence assistance.

5) Uruguay

(a) Intense rains in the past days have caused increases in the levels of rivers and creeks, making it necessary to evacuate some 200 persons in the cities of Rivera, Treinta y Tres, Paysandú and Salto. The overflowing of rivers has cut access on 11 roads. Storms and hail showers are expected to continue and worsen the current situation.

G) Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: (1) Russian Federation

1) Russian Federation

(a) The security situation in Chechnya remained tense, showing signs of deterioration. During the first half of May three explosions took place in the republic, killing 73 people, mostly civilians, and leaving 352 persons wounded.

(b) As of 15 May, Danish Refugee Council (DRC) registered 89,650 IDP's in Ingushetia. Of these, 16 percent were in tent camps, 30 percent in spontaneous settlements and 54 percent in private accommodation; 137,520 food-insecure people from 'very poor' and 'poor' categories living in WFP-targeted areas of Chechnya were registered by DRC as of mid-May. Ingushetia's social infrastructure, rampant poverty, unemployment as well as over-stretched coping mechanisms of the local population continue to highlight the importance of regular and sufficient humanitarian assistance to IDP's in the republic.

(c) WFP's relief distribution food basket for the current cycle in Ingushetia and Chechnya consists of 10 kg of wheat flour and 0.15 kg of iodised salt. From 01 to 15 May WFP provided a total of 1,310 tons of basic food commodities to beneficiaries of relief distribution in Ingushetia and Chechnya. Around 1,100 participants were engaged in street cleaning and tree planting as part of WFP's food for work project in Chechnya implemented in collaboration with the People in Need Foundation (PINF). Within the framework of WFP's school feeding activity in the republic, 43,450 children in primary schools and kindergarten were being provided with hot meals and sweet buns.

(d) Following the recently completed customs clearance of large quantities of WFP food in St. Petersburg, WFP will be able to provide basic relief rations to beneficiaries in Ingushetia and Chechnya, starting from the next distribution cycle.

Note: All tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tons.