WFP Emergency Report No. 41 of 2001
From Francesco Strippoli, Senior Humanitarian Adviser; available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (www.wfp.org), or by e-mail from Zlatan.Milisic@wfp.org. 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) West and Central Asia: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Pakistan, (3) Iran
(a) WFP is continuing efforts to deliver food aid inside Afghanistan, despite security constraints. Some 40 trucks loaded with 1007 tons of food, WFP's biggest single convoy since the crises started, arrived in Kabul from Peshawar on 12 October.
(b) WFP distribution programmes to beneficiaries inside the country are still on going and include 180 tons delivered to Kabul on October 8, and a further 180 tons of wheat to Herat on 9 October.
(c) The prices of wheat and other commodities in the city have gone down while there is an increase in the prices of commodities in the villages due to high transportation costs.
(d) Fifty per cent of the population of Kabul is thought to have fled the city. The Taliban are reportedly preventing people from leaving Kabul for Jalalabad. People fleeing the city were returned from the Taliban checkpoint at Pulicharkhi, about 15 kilometres from the city center.
(e) The WFP office and warehouse in Jalabad remain in WFP hands and in the care of WFP guards.
(f) Faizabad and surrounding areas remain calm with no shifting of frontlines reported. 58 tons of wheat were distributed on 10 October to 1160 direct recipients in Yaftal and Drayem districts.
(g) 35 trucks are currently being loaded and sent to Panjshir Valley where WFP is trying to stock 2000 tons of wheat before the access is blocked by snow in a few weeks time.
(h) The following NGOs have informed WFP that their offices are still operational inside Jalalabad with their national staff running the activities: DACCAR, AGHCO, SC, AMI, ARC, GAA, HNI, APWO. GAA and HNI have a daily direct contact with their staff by telephone.
(a) WFP food was distributed to Afghan refugees on Thursday at Samsattor camp. A total of 700 refugee families received WFP food at the camp.
(b) The UN offices remain closed in Quetta as of 12 October.
(a) Coordination meetings for contingency planning continue in Iran. The Taliban authority has informed the Iranian Red Crescent that they will be responsible for the transportation of all humanitarian assistance to the camps in the buffer zone between Iran and Afghanistan. The UN agencies will not be allowed to cross into this area.
(B) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Belize, (2) Central America Drought
(a) The Government of Belize has declared most of the southern half of the country a disaster area and has issued an appeal for international assistance following the aftermath of Hurricane Iris, which struck Belize on 8 October.
(b) Widespread and extensive wind damage to housing, schools, community centres, hotels and communication infrastructure in dozens of southern towns and villages was reported by 9 October. The Stann and Toledo districts were most affected by Iris, where the majority of the population is made up of Mayan and Garifunas communities. These ethnic groups experience the highest rates of poverty of the country. Particularly hard hit was the department of Toledo, with a poverty rate of 58 per cent compared to the national average of 33 per cent. According to NEMO reports, three-quarters of all houses in this district have suffered some degree of damaged. An estimated 19,000 people have been affected by the hurricane. Villagers are requesting the provision of shelter, water, food, and fuel to help them cope with the disaster.
(c) Significant damage to agriculture and industry in the area is being reported. Almost all the banana crop has been destroyed, and there has been significant damage to citrus, extensive damage to rice, corn and bean crops, and to shrimp farms that are located in southern Belize. Water and sanitation and health services have also been affected. 15 schools have been totally destroyed and another 22 damaged, representing an estimated loss of USD 2 million.
(d) The Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Human Development, is presently covering immediate food aid needs of the affected population. Some international organizations and donors, including Mexico, Norway and the UK are providing cash and in-kind assistance. The organization Food for the Poor has contributed USD 1 million to relief efforts.
(e) At the request of the UN community in Belize, WFP dispatched on 9 October a staff member to participate in a UNDAC assessment mission organized by UNDP. WFP has no country office presence in Belize. The mission is currently carrying out a general evaluation of the food needs situation in affected areas and is obtaining relevant information from actors involved in the emergency. WFP has met with UNDP, UNICEF, PAHO, the Red Cross, the Ministry of Human Development, and technical staff of the Government Food Committee. WFP has attended meetings with the Foreign Assistance Committee of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and the United Nations Disaster Management Team (UNDMT). WFP also participated in a fly over of affected areas on 10 October.
(f) The UN-DMT (PAHO/WHO, UNICEF and UNDP) remains activated. A PAHO/WHO health assessment team arrived on 11 October to assist the Ministry of Health with their assessment. PAHO/WHO and UNICEF have each made USD 50,000 immediately available for disaster relief activities, and UNDP ERD has contributed USD 100,000.
(2) Central America Drought
(a) A meeting of Country Representatives of Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala and WFP Regional Bureau staff was held in Manguaa on October 10 to discuss the post-drought situation. The discussion emphasized how WFP could better meet the immediate and long-term needs of the population most vulnerable to food insecurity.
(b) The severe malnutrition problem, especially among children, combined with recurring natural disasters is of immediate concern. Consensus was reached that the urgency of the problem requires a well-defined strategy to improve people's nutritional status and secure their livelihoods. The strategy could eventually take the form of a follow-on protracted relief and recovery programme. ODM's course of action will be based on in-depth assessments planned for October and January.
(C) Middle East: (1) Palestinian Territories, (2) Yemen
(1) Palestinian Territories
(a) The overall security situation in the Palestine Territory remains very tense and is deteriorating.
(b) A commodity consignment has arrived at Ashdod port but internal transport operations are delayed by frequent port closings. As of 10 October, 34 out of 42 containers have been delivered to central and regional warehouses.
(c) All WFP staff are reporting to the offices in Gaza and Jerusalem. To upgrade field-monitoring work, regional field monitors will be appointed to be based in Nablus and Hebron or Bethlehem.
(a) On 7 October, the common premises of UNDP, WFP, and UNFPA received a bomb threat. Although no bomb was found, the Sana'a Police have placed a mobile unit in the vicinity, at the request of the UN Security Office.
(D) West Africa: (1) Regional overview, (2) Sierra Leone, (3) Liberia, (4) Guinea
(1) Regional Overview
(a) Defense and security ministers of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have agreed to deploy joint patrols along their borders and to discourage the proliferation of arms and ammunition. The ministers also agreed on modalities for the repatriation of refugees. The Liberian President, Charles G. Taylor on 28 September announced the re-opening of the country's borders with Guinea and Sierra Leone, which were closed in March this year. Restrictions placed earlier this year on the movement of diplomats and UN officials have also been lifted.
(2) Sierra Leone
(a) WFP distributed a total of 311 tons of food to about 31,300 beneficiaries, under various programmes from 1-7 October. This includes the distribution of 5 tons of supplementary food to 1841 malnourished children under five in therapeutic and supplementary feeding centers in Kenema District. Also included is the distribution of 157 tons of food to 8285 farming families through Food-for-Work projects in three Districts ? Bombali, Kambia and Port Loko and a total of 3 tons of food to 273 amputees and their dependents living within the township of Bo.
(b) The UN Security Council expressed concern over the slow pace of disarmament by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Bombali District and urged all former combatants, including the CDF, to participate fully in the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration programme to ensure the long-term stability of the country. In Bo District the Kamajors have stopped handing in their weapons to UNAMSIL in protest to the condition, imposed by the National Committee for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (NCDDR), that ex-combatants turn over a weapon and 60 rounds of ammunition to UN peacekeepers.
(c) 800 Sierra Leonian returnees from Liberia have arrived by foot in Sorogbwema Chiefdom in Pujehun District. Lutheran World Federation will facilitate their reintegration within host communities after registration.
(d) WFP is expecting numerous pipeline breaks in the coming months. In December 2001, WFP expects a cereal short fall of 3427 tons. WFP has no sufficient stocks of oil to meet delivery requirements for October, with the next shipment expected in February 2002. WFP expects sugar shortfall of 247 tons by December. Continued shortfalls in salt have resulted in exclusion of salt from the Emergency School Feeding Programme ration and will be reintroduced as soon as the shipment has arrived in October, which will last until December.
(e) 29 tons of food has been distributed to 7658 primary school students along the Freetown Peninsular and Koya Chiefdom, Port Loko District. Emergency School Feeding distribution commenced on the 3(superscript: ) October in 40 primary schools in Kambia and Port Loko Districts with 44 tons of food distributed to 8358 schoolchildren.
(a) The security situation in the country remained calm with the exception of parts of Lofa County. WFP distributed 292 tons of food in Liberia between 26 September and 7 October 2001.
(b) Distribution of food item to internally displaced people in Bong County commenced on 1 October 2001 with over 16,000 beneficiaries.
(c) Delivery of food commodities to schools for the academic year 2001 ? 2002 commenced in the southeastern counties of Maryland, River Gee, Grand Kru and Grand Gedeh on 1 October 2001. Through a joint WFP and International Rescue Committee assessment of schools at the displaced centers in Bong County 5774 students and 132 teachers and staff were identified to receive food.
(a) The security situation in Guinea is stable except in Kissidougou where it continues to deteriorate, and a 22:00 hours curfew has now been imposed. WFP distributed 432 tons of food in Guinea, assisting over 21,400 persons from 1 to 7 October.
(b) 14,000 people were affected by the floods in Mandiana and Kouroussa prefectures. A mission was fielded to Mandiana to collect information on road accessibility and the latest developments in the prefecture. The situation is stable and it appears now that an alternative road identified during the logistics assessment can be used.
(c) A summary of WFP's implementing partners' reports indicates that the overall nutritional situation in refugee camps in Guinea has been quite stable this year with rates of moderate acute malnutrition under 5 per cent in all camps and rates of severe malnutrition less than 1per cent.
(d) A joint WFP/Organisation Catholique pour la Promotion Humaine (OCPH)/Government of Guinea mission took place in the Kindia prefecture to assess the need for a second IDP distribution. It was decided that general distributions should be replaced by Food-For-Work projects as an estimated two thirds of the 8000 IDPs have already returned to their homes.
(e) A total of 194 refugees have been transferred to the Kola camp (N'Zérékoré region), where they intitially received wet rations for 2 days distributed by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and then received a 30 day WFP dry ration by OCPH. The Kola camp (capacity 6000) presently has a total of 4280 refugees.
(f) The targeting operation in the Dinguiraye prefecture has ended and a total of 7425 IDPs have been registered to receive WFP food assistance. A contract with the Dinguiraye Red Cross to distribute the WFP food commodities has been signed and distribution is expected to start on 10 October. In the Sembakounya camp (Dabola region), UNHCR verification/census has ended and a total of 7283 refugees have been registered.
(E) Great Lakes: (1) Tanzania
(a) Between 24 September and 7 October, 2114 tons of food were distributed at camps and 94 tons at selective feeding, therapeutic feeding and health centers.
(b) Between 24 September and 7 October, there was an influx of 130 Burundian, 363 Congolese, and 140 Rwandese refugees. During this same period, 268 Rwandese were assisted in returning to their communities in Rwanda. 2848 Rwandese have been assisted in returning home since 1 January 2001.
(c) The cholera outbreak in Kasulu is now under control. A total of 66 acute diarrhea cases had been reported, of which 14 were caused by cholera.
(F) Central Africa: (1) Democratic Republic of Congo
(1) Democratic Republic of Congo
(a) The security situation in Kahemba, Bandundu province, was reported to have substantially deteriorated as a result of the removal of military checkpoints on the roads leading to Kahemba. The situation in Bunia, Equateur province, was still tense as a result of the persisting rumours on Hemas resuming attacks against Landus and also the killing of a civilian by a UPDF soldier on 4 October. Mai Mai fighters were reported to have carried out a second attack on Kindu, Maniema province, on 7 October. The Military Observers team advised UN planes to avoid flying over the Fizi area and Lake Tanganyika, South Kivu province, due to the tense and uncertain situation in the area.
(b) Food distribution for the month of September in Bukavu province turned out to be half the level planned. The main reasons were the insecurity prevailing in the province and the bad state of roads. Out of the 2600 tons planned, only 1127 tons could be distributed to a total caseload of 156,663 people. For the month of September, 1412 tons of food were distributed to 117,337 beneficiaries in North Kivu province.
(c) WFP opened a sub-office in Zongo (Equateur province). Other humanitarian organizations in place agreed that assistance to the local population was necessary as they are still recovering from the effects of the war.
(d) Under a seed protection programme in Bandundu province, implemented through OXFAM Quebec and funded by the UNHCR, some 5,000 refugees were able to labour the plots of land at their disposal while benefiting from WFP food assistance. A surplus of 78 kg of spinach and amaranths harvested has thus far been sold on the public market.
(G) Southern Africa: (1) Angola
(a) The security remained unstable in the provinces of Bengo, Huíla, Kuando Kubango, Luanda Lunda Sul, Malange, Uige this week. However, there has been reported improvement in Huambo, Malange and Lobito.
(b) An electrical station eight kilometers from the center of Luanda was attacked this week, resulting in a reported 20 deaths. The grid supplies electricity and water to large parts of Luanda province. Most of the southern part of the capital has been without power since the incident.
(c) In Bié province, the main road between Kuito and Camacupa, closed due to insecurity, was cleared for civilian travel on 2 October. Security remained precarious surrounding Camacupa, however, due to an attack near a bridge over the river Conzo, located to the north of the town. In addition, intensive military movements were reported in areas to the north and east causing fresh displacements to Kuito and the surrounding towns, where 832 new IDPs were registered in five camps between 27 September and 7 October. In total, 70,381 persons received 850 tons of WFP food commodities during the week in Bie province.
(d) In Benguela province, several civilians were killed as a result of two separate attacks near Dombe Grande and Cubal on 26 and 28 September. Another three people were killed, and several wounded, in a landmine explosion on the road between Cubal and Ganda.
(e) WFP received maize bought with a USD 3 million cash contribution to the Programme from the Government of Angola. 4900 tons of locally produced food was bought with the Angolan donation, creating incentives for local farmers and distributors alike to maintain their activities, despite the war.
(f) In Bengo province, WFP distributed 268 tons of food commodities to new IDPs in Boa Esperança camp, through partner organization German Agrarian Action, enough to feed 20,000 newly displaced persons for two weeks. Due to military instability, 31,526 new displaced people from Nambuandongongo were registered this week.
(g) 2800 new IDPs arrived in Huila province this week, with 2670 new IDPs reported to have arrived in Caconda from Catata, Chilata, Chicossi, Chicuma, Huambo and Benguela. They fled their areas of origin due to military instability. Another 158 IDPs were registered in Hoque, arriving from Chipindo, Caconda, Chiconda, Caluquembe, and Caala. At the same time, WFP distributed 812 tons of food to 42,161 people in Huila.
(h) In Malange, WFP distributed a total 256 tons of food to some 77,000 beneficiaries during the week.
(H) Horn of Africa: (1) Eritrea, (2) Ethiopia, (3) Kenya
(a) From 24 September to 7 October, ERREC reported distribution of 9795 tons of food to 783,301 beneficiaries of which WFP monitored the distribution of 721 tons to 60,521 war and drought-affected persons in Debub, Gash Barka and Anseba Regions.
(a) Contributions from donors are urgently required, noting that upon confirmation it is possible to release cereals immediately from Ethiopia's Emergency Food Security Reserve. The food aid shortfall for October is 12,000 tons and for November-December the outstanding needs are over 30,000 tons.
(b) Somali and Bale regions have been suffering from drought: the gu rains earlier in the year were generally poor and the deyr rains (expected to start in early October) are late in the southern zones. Poor pasture and insufficient water supplies are severe in Afder, Liben and Warder zones; many livestock from the Republic of Somalia remain in parts of southern Ethiopia.
(c) 60 per cent of Ethiopia's food aid requirement for October-December is for the Somali region. Though food distributions in the region have been regular until September, the stocks currently available to relief agencies can cover only a fraction of the needs to the end of the year. In the crop dependent areas, food aid is currently being targeted at specific pockets in Tigray, Amhara, Oromiya and Southern Nations Nationalities and People's Region (SNNPR).
(d) Many war-affected IDPs in the north have been able to return to their areas of origin and a significant number have begun to rebuild their livelihoods. Over 300,000 IDPs have been receiving food assistance and other agencies are making efforts to support the transition from relief to recovery. Assessments are being undertaken to determine the number of people that will require food assistance beyond November and preliminary findings indicate that the requirements specific for IDPs will be substantially less.
(e) Prospects for the main cereal harvest at the end of the year are generally favourable after good rainfall in most of the cropping areas. However, low cereal prices in 2001 are expected to have limited the use of fertiliser and improved seeds. The areas of concern for the main harvest are central Tigray, lowland areas of Bale zone and some areas of East Harerge zone, as rainfall appears to be insufficient. In the lowlands of North Shewa zone there has been significant crop damage by hailstorm and pests.
(a) WFP will experience pipeline breaks in October and November 2001 in cereals and pulses. A pipeline break for salt continues.
(b) Over 26,000 tons of food was distributed to over 1,500,000 beneficiaries for general distribution and food for work between 18 September and 8 October in the country. In addition, a total of 15,260 tons of food was dispatched to over 1,300,000 children in 16 districts covered by the expanded school feeding programme. Over 3000 tons of food was distributed to over 200,000 refugees in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps.
(c) The outcome of 2001 long rains were favourable in the Western arable areas of the Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza provinces leading to lower consumer prices beneficial to deficit producers but highly disadvantageous to key producers. In contrast, the rains were patchy in the drought-affected pastoral, southern rangelands and marginal agricultural areas. According to forecasts, there is a likelihood of poor 2001-02 short rains in the drought affected pastoral, marginal agricultural areas of the southeastern rangelands. In the areas of Western Kenya, normal to above normal rainfall is anticipated.
Note: All tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tons
(End WFP Emergency Report No 41)