WFP Emergency Report No. 28 of 2000
From Francesco Strippoli, Senior Humanitarian Advisor. Available on the Internet on the WFP Home, Page or by e-mail from Zlatan.Milisic@wfp.org . For information on resources, donors are requested to contact Aleesa.Blum@wfp.org or Marius.deGaayFortman@wfp.org at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2004 or 06 6513 2250. 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.
PART I - HIGHLIGHTS
(Details below in Part II)
A) GLOBAL WFP FUNDING - information as of 7 July
a) Only 37 percent of WFP's EMOP and PRRO funding requirements for 2000 covered.
B) ASIA: Drought, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Iran, India
1. Drought (general) - information as of 13 July
a) Severe drought rapidly spreading in Asia, affecting 60 million people.
b) Most affected country Afghanistan, followed by Tajikistan, Pakistan, India and Iran.
c) Drought Task Force Formed by IASC.
2. Afghanistan - information as of 13 July
a) Record food shortages in 30 years; with 3-4 million people seriously affected.
b) New WFP EMOP (6259.00) approved to assist 1.6 million drought affected people.
3. Tajikistan - information as of 13 July
a) FAO/WFP assessment currently in Tajikistan; preliminary findings available.
4. Pakistan - information as of 13 July
a) Livelihoods of around 2.4 million people affected by drought.
b) WFP will implement a 40-day EMOP to assist 748,000 people in 8 districts of Baluchistan.
5. Iran - information as of 13 July
a) Second year of consecutive drought; 18 provinces affected.
6. India - information as of 13 July
a) Monsoon rains bring some optimism, but food insecurity still persists.
C) DPR KOREA - information as of 13 July
a) Early signs of drought being reported; FAO/WFP Crop Assessment report awaited.
D) HORN OF AFRICA: Ethiopia, Eritrea
1. Ethiopia - information as of 12 July
a) DPPC estimates additional need for 350,000-400,000 tons of food aid for 3 million people.
b) DPPC pastoral assessment in Somali region currently under way.
c) Number of relief food beneficiaries in Tigray expected to increase.
2. Eritrea - information as of 11 July
a) UN Appeal to be launched in late July; WFP needs in Eritrea higher for USD 38 million.
b) Some rains reported but drought still persistent.
E) SUDAN - information as of 11 July
a) Fighting and bombing in Bahr el Ghazal disrupts relief food deliveries.
b) Selective Feeding starts for Eritrean Refugees.
F) SIERRA LEONE - - information as of 11 July
a) SO in support of the humanitarian activities approved at a value of USD 4.7 million.
G) GREAT LAKES - information as of 13 July
1. Tanzania - information as of 13 July
a) Refugee numbers in the north-western camps decrease following a verification exercise.
b) Effects of drought verified during rapid assessments.
2. Rwanda - information as of 13 July
a) FAO/WFP/Government assessment mission found drought effects in two prefectures.
3. Burundi - information as of 7 July
a) FAO/WFP report still awaited; preliminary findings available.
H) ANGOLA - information as of 13 July
a) Nutritional situation improving in IDP camps in Ganda.
b) Formation of a transit camp for screening and registration of all new IDPs planned.
I) NICARAGUA - information as of 10 July
a) Earthquake in Managua made 2,500 people homeless; WFP provided 8 tons of food aid.
PART II - DETAILS
A) GLOBAL WFP FUNDING
a) Funding requirements for the WFP Emergency Operations (EMOP) and Protracted Relief and Recovery Operations (PRRO) that have been approved for or during the year 2000 have been covered only by 37 percent, as of 7 July. So far, WFP received donations of 1,187,660 tons of food and related cash at a total value of USD 610 million. The contributions came against the overall requirement for 3,076,784 tons of food and overall projected costs of USD 1,643 billion. Net shortfall for the year is 1,913,076 tons of food, and USD 1,046 billion.
b) Most affected by the lack of funding and expected to face food availability problems as early as August are WFP operations in Afghanistan Angola, Congo-Brazzaville, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Pakistan and Tajikistan (detailed information on the funding for WFP emergency and protracted relief and recovery operations will be available on the WFP home page, www.wfp.org, shortly).
B) ASIA: Drought, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Iran, India
1. Drought (general)
a) A severe drought is rapidly spreading in Asia, affecting around 60 million people. Significant losses of livestock and crops, rapid deterioration of health and sanitary conditions and some population displacements have already been reported. Immediate donor response will be critical to assist the people most seriously affected.
b) Countries most affected by drought are Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, India and Iran. Afghanistan is the hardest hit country in the region, facing the worst drought in 30 years and risk of famine for three to four million people. Drought is also evident in Tajikistan, Pakistan and Iran. It is very possible that several other countries will be affected by the drought, as well.
c) As part of the efforts to respond to the crisis in a coordinated manner, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) has formed a Drought Task Force, which will be based in Geneva and coordinated by the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA).
a) After a joint assessment mission undertaken in June, WFP and FAO estimated that the food deficit in Afghanistan will be at an unprecedented high level of 2.3 million tons for the next twelve months - more than double the then record level of the previous year. This very serious food deficit has resulted from two successive years of drought, with precipitation in 1999/2000 season being the poorest in the least 30 years. These weather problems exacerbate an already difficult food situation resulting from more than 20 years of bitter civil war. WFP estimates that out of a population of 21.9 million, three to four million people will be severely affected by drought, while as many as 8-12 million may be moderately affected.
b) In response to the crisis, WFP plans to assist 1.6 million severely drought-affected people through an Emergency Operation which has been approved on 13 July. The WFP EMOP 6259.00 is expected to provide 117,890 tons of food aid to the affected population over the coming 12 months, at a total operational cost of USD 55.4 million. Meanwhile, the on-going Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation will assist a further 1.5 million highly vulnerable people, whose lives have been made even more difficult by drought.
c) The extent of the drought affliction varies, but almost all parts of the country are affected to some degree. The worst-hit provinces are Badghis, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghor, Uruzgan and Zabul representing a broad swathe through the centre of the country running from north-west to south-east. The communities hardest hit are wheat farmers relying on rain-fed cultivation, especially in the north. In southern and central areas the livestock herds of nomads have been badly affected. Many vulnerable city dwellers have also been affected.
d) In times of hardship, women are often amongst the most vulnerable. WFP has recently revamped its subsidized bread programme in Kabul, run by women for the direct benefit of up to 50,000 vulnerable women and their families. In addition WFP is striving to ensure that the poorest people in Kabul benefit from the general bakery programme, which currently provides subsidized bread for 270,000 Kabul residents.
a) An FAO/WFP assessment mission is currently taking place in Tajikistan (4-22 July) to determine the food security situation of the population and the effects of drought on food production, availability and access to food. The report of the mission is expected at the end of July.
b) Preliminary findings of the mission indicate that the cereal crops on rain-fed lands have failed and lower yields are expected on irrigated lands. Due to a less than half of the average snowfall received this year, the water level in the rivers has declined. This also affected the power supply and the functioning of water pumps. One of the main problems in the forthcoming season will be the limited availability of adequate seeds. The mission observed that coping mechanisms of the population have been stretched to a limit. The nutritional status is already bad and could become worse. The country is expected to face a critical situation during the coming months.
a) WFP/FAO Crop and Food Supply assessment missions in May and June concluded that Baluchistan is facing a severe drought. Parts of Sindh are also affected, but less seriously. The worsening three-year drought has severely undermined crop and livestock production in these areas. The livelihood and food security of about 2.4 million people have been threatened. The prices of livestock, the main source of income for a majority of the affected people, have plummeted, further exacerbating the harsh conditions in the drought-stricken areas.
b) WFP will shortly carry out an emergency food relief operation in eight of the 22 affected districts in Baluchistan. The operation is expected to last for a period of 40 days, assist 748,000 people with 18,400 tons of food aid, at a total cost of US$ 7.4 million. Food distribution in Baluchistan are expected to start around 20 July. Measures have been taken by the Government to address the crisis and meet relief needs. WFP is supporting this effort and is expecting to expand its programme in the coming months.
a) Out of the 28 provinces in Iran, 18 have been hit by drought this year. This is a second year of drought in a row, following the one in 1999 that caused wheat production to decline by over three million tons (almost 25 percent). FAO estimated record high wheat imports into the country during the 1999/2000 marketing season, at around 6.5 million tons. Measures have been taken by the Government to address the crisis and meet the relief needs.
a) Eleven states of India have been affected by drought this year, with Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh states being worst affected. Immediate relief needs, particularly for water, food and medicines are being addressed by the Government and various agencies. WFP is currently assisting 430,000 drought affected people, mainly in Rajasthan, through the Country Programme.
b) The onset of timely monsoon rains throughout the country has brought some succour to the farmers, but food insecurity continues in several areas. Agricultural production is expected to decline, as two to three cycles of crops have been adversely affected by drought. Along with addressing the chronic food insecurity, there is a need to ensure that the recurrent droughts do not further weaken the coping mechanisms of the poorest sections of the society.
C) PDR KOREA
a) The outlook for the 2000 agricultural season is beginning to be an issue of concern. There has been almost no rainfall since April and early signs of drought are being reported. Water levels in streams, rivers and dams are critically low and will affect both the maize and the irrigation of rice paddies. Light rain fell during the week of 10 July, which has somewhat alleviated the situation, but it might have been too late. Further hampering the situation are levels of pest infestation. Army worm and corn/stem borer are already infesting the low land provinces of South Hamyong and Kangwon. An agriculture consultant currently carrying out field visits has seen evidence of this pest infestation and has been informed by the Government that 80 percent of the expected maize yield (of 500,000 tons) may be affected by pests. The mid-season FAO/WFP Food and Crop Assessment took place on 20-30 June. The report is due by the end of July.
D) HORN OF AFRICA: Ethiopia, Eritrea
1. Ethiopia Eritrea relations
a) Experts from Ethiopia and Eritrea concluded technical talks on unresolved issues in the cease-fire (of 16 June) agreement. The talks were held in Washington DC on 3-6 July. According to the US State Department, the talks represent a step forward in the peace process. Discussions between Ethiopia and Eritrea continued in Lome during the OAU summit on 10-12 July.
a) Reports from the Belg and pastoral areas assessment have been prepared for the areas visited. The findings indicate that the nutritional situation is stable in most areas, but in some areas it is worrying (e.g. Damot Woide in North Omo zone, Meda Welabu in Bale zone, Abichu Ngea and Wuchale Jida in North Shewa zone). Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC) launched an appeal for additional food assistance for the period July to December. Following the failure of the belg rains, over 3 million additional people are in need of relief. This brings the anticipated total beneficiary caseload in the country to 10.5 million people (including the IDPs in Tigray). DPPC estimated that an additional 350,000 - 400,000 tons of relief food is needed, provided that the January appeal is fully resourced.
b) DPPC pastoral assessment in Somali region is currently under way.
c) The inter-agency mission (involving WFP, WHO, FAO, IOM, UNHCR, UNICEF and EUE) that visited northern Tigray last week, reported a migration of new groups of people between Ethiopia and Eritrea. This information suggests that the number of IDPs in Tigray who need assistance is going to increase and that relief will also be needed by other groups, returnees and refugees. WFP is currently reviewing the situation.
d) A bridge over the Meshesha River in Amhara region was inaugurated on 7 July. The construction of a 40 metre long suspension bridge was initiated and implemented by WFP and DPPC, through a food for work project. The bridge is located in a remote area of the Simien Mountains, which can only be reached by foot or on mules. The main objective of the project is to secure safe and reliable delivery of relief food to the population of the area. The Meshesha River rises rapidly when it rains, and every year people lose their lives when trying to cross it.
a) UN Appeal for the period July-December is expected to be launched on 27 July. WFP data in the Appeal includes the six-month food requirement from the existing EMOP (6044.01) and an additional requirement for USD 38 million approved during the recent budget revision of the Eritrea EMOP. An estimated 750,000 persons displaced by the recent fighting will receive emergency relief food aid through the project.
b) Grain is in short supply in the country because thousands of farmers in the main grain-producing regions of Gash-Barka and Debub have fled their farms due to the war. The limited grain available on the market is very expensive and many families can not afford to buy it.
c) Even though there has been some sporadic rains recently in Anseba region, there is concern that prolonged drought could lead to a famine, particularly in northern and southern Red Sea regions. The war and resulting appearance of IDPs have exacerbated the crisis, noticeably increasing the number of people in need of assistance.
d) WFP has so far airlifted 742 tons of high protein biscuits and ready-to-eat-meals into Eritrea from the Balkans and Kenya to meet immediate food needs of displaced persons.
a) Heavy fighting broke out in areas surrounding the three government-controlled towns in Bahr el Ghazal region - Aweil, Wau and Gogrial - resulting in the fall of Gogrial to the SPLA on 24 June. Little information is available from the town, where WFP had 120 IDP beneficiaries. WFP evacuated field teams from several areas surrounding Gogrial and reduced the number of staff in Wau town. Deterioration of security in parts of Bahr el Ghazal resulted in the postponement of planned food distribution and monitoring activities in parts of Gogrial and Wau counties. Incidents of bombing around Tieraliet, Alek, Midel, Lunyaker, Cueibet and Rumbek town also resulted in cancellation of WFP food intervention activities in these areas. A three month cease-fire covering Bahr el Ghazal expires on 15 July.
b) In collaboration with three national NGOs, WFP will soon start supplementary feeding for 4,400 vulnerable Eritrean refugees in Lafa and Gulsa camps in Kassala. The target beneficiaries include mainly children below the age of three and pregnant and nursing mothers. So far, 91,700 Eritrean refugees have been registered in Sudan since the influx started on 17 May. An exercise to verify the current number of refugees is scheduled later this month as a number of families have returned to their homes since the cease-fire agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
F) SIERRA LEONE
Expansion of the Special Operation (SO 6229.01) in logistics support to the humanitarian activities in the country has been approved for a period of two years (starting in July), at a total cost of USD 4.7 million. The SO includes the following individual activities: (i) repair of 425 km of secondary and tertiary road segments in southern and eastern provinces; (ii) rehabilitation of the Mabang Bridge 50 km from Freetown; (iii) purchase of equipment for the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA); (iv) purchase of a special equipment vehicle; (v) rehabilitation of Freetown Port facilities.
G) GREAT LAKES
a) Preliminary figures released by UNHCR, following a verification exercises in all refugee camps in north-western Tanzania, indicate an overall reduction in the number of refugees, by eight percent. UNHCR preliminary figure for the refugee caseload is 451,700 persons. The largest reduction was recorded in Karago camp (29 percent), which was established less than a year ago to accommodate influx from neighbouring countries into Kigoma region. The reduction may be due to the elimination of double registration.
b) Rapid assessment missions were conducted by WFP throughout the country. Their findings suggest: poor crop and seed production, especially in the central and northern regions due to unfavourable weather conditions; likely deterioration of pasture and water in key livestock areas; significant decreases in cash crop production reducing income and intensifying food insecurity; and illegal export of crops due to food shortages in neighbouring countries reducing the domestic food availability.
a) Reports of drought conditions in many parts of the country resulted in a joint drought assessment mission being undertaken jointly by FAO, WFP and the Government, in late May and early June. The findings of this mission reveal that erratic and insufficient amounts of rainfall adversely affected many crops in Gikongoro and Cyangugu prefectures, especially beans and maize. As a result, a 30 percent reduction in crop production was expected.
a) The FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment mission has been carried out jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock between 19 and 30 June. The Mission visited fifteen provinces. Two provinces were not assessed due to security reasons. The incoming harvest is expected to be reduced due to insufficient rainfall, insecurity and lack of agricultural inputs during cultivation. A large area of Burundi, has been experiencing drought, which is reported to have affected approximately 1.6 million people.
a) NGO ACF conducted a third nutritional survey in the IDP camps in Ganda. Preliminary results indicate a global acute malnutrition rate of 8.9 percent and acute severe malnutrition rate of 1.3 percent. These results compare favourably to the results of a similar nutritional survey carried out in February when the rates were more than three times higher. ACF recommends continued food aid assistance until the next harvest season and plans to carry out a fourth nutritional survey in November.
b) In order to streamline and improve the registration process for new IDPs, WFP and its implementing partners will shortly establish a special camp to which all new IDP arrivals will be directed. All new IDPs will receive vaccinations on arrival, be screened to determine their nutritional status and then registered. Cooked rations might be provided for the IDPs during their temporary stay in the new transit camp.
a) Several earthquakes affected an area 30 km south of the capital, Managua, reportedly causing seven deaths and 35 injuries. Some 600 homes were destroyed and 1900 damaged. Around 2,500 people who became homeless have been placed in temporary shelters. A WFP assessment team visited the area immediately after the earthquake and met with the authorities. Subsequently WFP provided eight tons of food for the displaced, from the ongoing country operation. So far, WFP has not established that any additional funding is needed, but will monitor the situation closely.
Note: all tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tons
(End WFP Emergency Report No. 28 of 2000 - 14 July, 2000)