WFP Emergency Report No. 45 of 1999
From Manuel Aranda da Silva, Chief, Technical Support Service. Available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page at http://www.wfp.org/ or by electronic mail from Deborah.Hicks@wfp.org or Natasha.Nadazdin@wfp.org (fax 39 06 6513 2854). 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. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.
This issue of the Emergency Report was prepared by Natasha Nadazdin.
PART I - HIGHLIGHTS
(Details below in Part II)
A. FR YUGOSLAVIA - KOSOVO
1. WFP plane crash - information as of 13 November
a) A WFP-chartered aircraft crashed 15 km north of Pristina on 12 November, killing all 24 passengers and crew aboard.
b) The complete list of passenger names, all of whom worked for UN agencies, aid organizations or government agencies is included below. Three of the passengers were WFP staff.
c) WFP Executive Director Catherine Bertini offers condolences to the family members and friends of all the victims.
d) WFP air bridge from Rome to Pristina for Kosovo operations staff will resume regular flights on 16 November.
B. INDIA - ORISSA CYCLONE
1. Assistance to cyclone-affected population
a) Following the cyclone in the north-eastern coastal Indian state of Orissa on 29 October, WFP immediately delivered 234 tons of high energy biscuits to the state capital of Bhubaneshwar.
b) WFP will expand its existing projects to supplement relief efforts of the Government; and expansion of a development project will assist some 300,000 victims of cyclone; expansion of Integrated Child Development Services programme will assist some 525,000 affected women and children.
C. VIETNAM - FLOODS
1. Assistance to flood-affected population
a) A new WFP emergency operation will assist an initial 42,200 flood victims in central Vietnam, providing 760 tons of rice at cost of USD 200,000; Vietnamese Red Cross Society to distribute WFP-provided food aid to most vulnerable households.
1. Update - information as of 12 November
a) Second WFP food aid distribution in Panjshir Valley started, each family receives 100 kg of wheat; in addition to previously delivered 1,100 tons, WFP planning to move further 1, 000 tons of wheat to the valley by end November before snow closes the valley, enough to feed 50,000 beneficiaries.
b) Demonstrations on 10 November in Kandahar against UN sanctions due on 14 November.
1. Explosions in Islamabad - information as of 12 November
a) On 12 November, several blasts reported near WFP and other UN agencies' premises and a US government agency office; no WFP staff injured.
F. DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA
1. Update - information as of 10 November
a) Report on FAO/WFP crop and food
supply assessment mission released; available at <http://www.fao.org>
click on Economics, GIEWS, Special Reports.
b) New two-year WFP protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO 6157) to start January 2000 to promote agricultural rehabilitation and disaster mitigation.
c) UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for DPRK for year 2000 recently launched; out of total budget of USD 331.7 million, WFP share is USD 240 million. Full text available on <http://www.reliefweb.int>.
G. CENTRAL AND EAST AFRICA: D.R.CONGO AND BURUNDI
1. D.R. Congo
a) Donor contributions needed for WFP emergency operation (EMOP 6110) to assist 350,000 IDPs and vulnerable; only 25 percent of total requirements of USD 30 million received.
b) WFP delivered 72 tons of maize meal to UNHCR for 2,000 returnees from CAR; 50 tons of WFP food airlifted by Government to Kabinda, for Caritas to distribute to IDPs.
c) Insufficient stocks of cereals in Goma impede implementation of IDP assistance programme.
a) UN missions outside Bujumbura still not permitted; new UN security guidelines awaited. WFP international staff from Ngozi relocated to Bujumbura.
b) WFP food distributions through NGOs limited; proposal made to Government to allow NGOs to distribute WFP food to regrouped populations in Bujumbura Rural.
PART II - DETAILS
A. FR YUGOSLAVIA - KOSOVO
1. WFP PLANE CRASH - information as of 13 November
1.1 A WFP-chartered aircraft crashed 15 km north of Pristina on 12 November, killing all 24 passengers and crew aboard. The Pristina-bound plane which departs daily from Rome was expected to arrive at its destination at 11:30.The last radio contact with the plane was at 11:15. Upon learning of the news of the plane's disappearance, WFP contacted KFOR in Pristina to begin a search and rescue mission. The plane was located later on Friday evening. WFP set up a crisis communications room at its Rome headquarters to deal with the various aspects of the crisis.
1.2 Below is the complete list of passenger names, all of whom worked for UN agencies, aid organizations or government agencies. Three of the passengers were WFP staff.
Bazzoni, Roberto - Italian - Caritas
Biocca, Paola - Italian - WFP
Curry, Andrea - Irish - GOAL
Davoli, Velmore - Italian - Gruppo Volontariato Civile
Evens, Nicolas Ian Philip - British - Tearfund
Faisal, Abdulla - Kenya - UNV
Gavino, Marco - Italian - UNMIK
Lay, Kevin - British - Tearfund
Liuzzi, Raffaella - Italian - Boyden
Martinez-Vasquez, Miguel - Spanish - UNMIK
Martinez, Jose Maria - Spanish - UNMIK
Mirshahidul, Alam - Bangladeshi - UNMIK
Perez Fortes, J. - Spanish - UNMIK
Powell, Richard Walker - Australian - WFP
Rowan, Daniel - Canadian - Canadian Government
Samer, Thabit - Iraqi - WFP
Sarro, Paola - Italian - Terre des hommes
Scotti, Laura - Italian - AiBi
Sircana, Antonio - Italian - Caritas Sardinia
Zecchi, Carlo - Italian - Gruppo Volontariato Civile
Ziegler, Julia - German - International Crisis Group
Maccaferro, Andrea - Italian - Air Operator - Balmoral
Canzolino, Antonio - Italian - Air Operator - Balmoral
Piazza, Katia - Italian - Air Operator - Balmoral
1.3 WFP Executive Director Catherine Bertini publicly offered condolences to the family members and friends of all the victims.
1.4 The WFP air bridge from Rome to Pristina for Kosovo operations staff will resume regular flights on 16 November.
B. INDIA - ORISSA CYCLONE
1. ASSISTANCE TO CYCLONE-AFFECTED POPULATION
1.1 Following a cyclone which hit the north-eastern coastal Indian state of Orissa on 29 October, WFP immediately responded by providing 234 tons of high energy biscuits to Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Orissa, for distribution by the Government Department of Women and Children Development.
1.2 An OCHA assessment team which included two WFP staff returned from Orissa on 8 November. Some 7,500 persons are reported dead and 5 million without access to adequate food and water. Large numbers of livestock have perished and standing crops have been lost. The Government of India and the state of Orissa, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are coordinating efforts to assist the cyclone-affected populations.
1.3 An expansion of the WFP Tribal Development Programme should provide food assistance to 300,000 persons affected by the cyclone. In addition, the expansion of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme will assist 525,000 affected women and children. The Government has granted its full support to the expansion of the current WFP-assisted development programmes in Orissa to provide aid to the victims of the cyclone to supplement the relief efforts of the Government.
C. VIETNAM - FLOODS
1. ASSISTANCE TO FLOOD-AFFECTED POPULATION
1.1 WFP is starting an emergency operation in Vietnam to assist an initial 42,200 persons affected by recent floods. WFP will purchase 760 metric tons of rice at a total cost of USD 200,000. The rice will be immediately distributed through the Vietnamese Red Cross in coordination with the Government Flood Relief Committee. The Vietnamese Red Cross will be identifying some of the most vulnerable households in urgent need of food assistance for priority distribution of this immediate food aid.
1.2 The areas in central Vietnam most affected by recent flooding are amongst the poorest in the country. Early estimates indicate total rice stocks lost/flooded at approximately 250,000 metric tons (much of which had recently been harvested). Over 10,000 houses were washed away, over half a million houses were submerged and infrastructure seriously damaged.
1.3 The Government has made an early initial estimate that 1,053,000 people have been affected by serious food shortages and will need food aid support for at least three months.
1. UPDATE - information as of 12 November
1.1 The second round of WFP food distribution began this week in the Panjshir Valley. In the past few days 655 families have each received 100 kg of wheat. Up to 8,500 families received food in the first round and WFP expects to reach the same number of families in the second round.
1.2 WFP continues deliveries of food to the valley through Taluqan as the Anjuman pass which provides northern access to the valley was closed between 5 and 11 November due to heavy snowfalls. Up to 2,000 tons of wheat have been mobilized for delivery, out of which some 1,100 tons have reached the valley since the beginning of the operation in August. In the absence of Taliban approval to open a humanitarian corridor into the Panjshir Valley directly from Kabul, a further 1,000 tons of wheat to feed some 50,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) needs to be moved to the valley by the end of November, when all routes to the valley risk being closed due to snow.
1.3 The WFP Mazar-e-Sharif seasonal bakery is set to open on 15 November. Following the targeting exercise in September, 80 bakeries have been selected to provide heavily subsidized bread to 85,000 food-insecure people, up to 65 percent of them women, for a seven-month period. Of the 80 bakeries, 20 will employ a total of 80 female bakers.
1.4 The WFP house-to-house survey planned for the eastern city of Jalalabad to select bakery beneficiaries has been postponed as local authorities have refused to allow the participation of female surveyors, who are key to conducting the exercise as men in Afghanistan are not permitted to visit households and speak with women who are not their close relatives. As a result, the opening of the seasonal bakery is postponed pending the survey.
1.5 Restrictions on cross-border trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan continue. The number of trucks bringing wheat into Afghanistan has decreased which has led to an increase in the price of this staple food item (by 47 percent in Kabul, by 75 percent in Kandahar and by 69 percent in Ghazni since the first week of October) with a particularly serious impact on areas which were drought stricken this year and in wheat import dependent urban centres.The WFP/FAO crop assessment report for 1999 anticipates an overall reduction of 16 percent in national cereal production, this being exacerbated by the reduction in the amount of wheat arriving from Pakistan.
1.6 Demonstrations were held on 10 November in the southern city of Kandahar to protest the upcoming UN sanctions, due to start on 14 November, and as a reaction to the increasingly expensive wheat flour due to restrictions on cross-border trade with Pakistan. The increased food prices are mistakenly considered by the general public to result from UN sanctions. Taliban authorities advised the UN to close UN offices in Kandahar, Mazar and Herat between 12 and 16 November and in Kabul and Jalalabad on 14 and 15 November. WFP is stopping all commodity movement by UN trucks across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border between 11 and 15 November as a precautionary measure. The UN sanctions are imposed as the Taleban refuse to surrender terrorism suspect Osama bin Laden.
1. EXPLOSIONS IN ISLAMABAD - information as of 12 November
1.1 On 12 November, two days before the UN sanctions on Afghanistan come into force, several blasts hit Islamabad and police suspected they were caused by rockets. One blast was near a US government agency office and the others were close to WFP and other UN agencies' premises. No WFP staff were injured.
F. DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA
1. UPDATE - information as of 10 November
1.1 FAO/WFP crop and food supply assessment mission
a) According to the recently published report on the FAO/WFP crop and food supply assessment mission to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from 9 to 19 October, the food supply situation in the country will remain precarious over the next 12 months despite some improvement in rice production as a result of increased fertilizer use, adequate irrigation supplies and the absence of serious pest and disease attacks. However, the report warns that the gains in rice production were more than offset by the reduction in maize output as the area cultivated fell sharply. The FAO/WFP mission finds that future food supply prospects depend largely on international food and rehabilitation assistance, economic growth and the integration of the country into the global economy.
b) Overall grain demand in 1999/2000 for food and other purposes has been established at 4.76 million tons, based on the Government-provided population figures. Out of a deficit of about 1.29 million tons the Government is expected to import 300,000 tons commercially. A further 370,000 tons is covered by food aid in the pipeline. The uncovered import requirement, therefore, is estimated at 623,000 tons, with which the country still needs assistance.
1.2 Beside the on-going emergency operation (EMOP 5959.01) for the vulnerable which is planned to continue until 30 June 2000, WFP will start a two-year protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO 6157) on in January 2000. The operation will be implemented together with WFP partners and in close cooperation with the Flood Disaster Rehabilitation Committee (FDRC). Under this programme, WFP will provide a total of 92,000 tons of food aid to approximately 1.6 million beneficiaries. The PRRO is designed to promote innovation in agricultural rehabilitation activities with a focus on disaster mitigation. Through pilot activities included in the PRRO, WFP will work directly with cooperatives for the first time. FAO will also provide technical support for its implementation.
1.3 The UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for DPRK for year 2000 has been recently launched by OCHA. The budget for the 2000 Appeal amounts to USD 331.7 million. About 92 percent of the budget, or approximately USD 303.6 million, is for food assistance and the promotion of food security, the WFP share in the Appeal being approximately USD 240 million. In order to avoid starvation in DPRK, continued food assistance is required during 2000. Agencies will focus on averting famine, providing a nutritional safety net, increasing and rehabilitating food production through maximizing inputs. Special attention under the Appeal is given to ensure the nutritional and health needs of women and children and the incorporation of gender perspectives.
G. CENTRAL AND EAST AFRICA: D.R. CONGO AND BURUNDI
1. D.R. CONGO - information as of 11 November
1.1 The WFP emergency operation (EMOP 6110) to assist 350,000 internally displaced and vulnerable persons at a cost of USD 30 million has received only 25 percent of its requirements to date. WFP urges donors to further contribute to this operation. The Government of D.R.Congo and WFP have recently signed the letter of understanding for the implementation of this operation.
1.2 Repatriation of 2,000 Congolese nationals who sought refuge in Central African Republic (CAR) is under way. WFP delivered 72 tons of maize meal to UNHCR for 2,000 returnees from Bangui (CAR). The first 152 returnees, mainly women and children, arrived in Kinshasa on 2 November. WFP has also made available 50 tons of food under EMOP 6110 for distribution to displaced populations in Kabinda. The food was airlifted by the Government of D.R.Congo and will be distributed by Caritas.
1.3 A joint UNHCR/WFP team travelled to Katanga and Bakango on 17-28 October to assess humanitarian needs of Angolan and Congolese refugees in the area. The findings of the mission are expected shortly.
1.4 In Goma, WFP delivered food to implementing partners for assistance to some 800 malnourished, 2,400 vulnerable people and 800 refugees. A recent re-registration of IDPs showed that there are an estimated 152,000 IDPs in accessible areas of the North Kivu province. Total number of IDPs in the province is estimated to be 200,000. Currently only 31 percent of target population is assisted including the malnourished, vulnerable persons and 550 people involved in food for work. WFP expects to extend assistance to additional beneficiaries when resources for EMOP 6110 are mobilized.
1.5 Insufficient stocks of cereals in Goma constitute a bottleneck for the implementation of IDPs assistance programme. In addition, sugar and CSB are badly needed for resumption of special feeding programmes.
1.6 In collaboration with a local NGO, Pret Pour l'Humanite, WFP recently assisted some 2,980 people in Bukavu with 31 tons of food. This quantity represents a two-month ration providing 1,372 kilocalories. Beneficiaries include 476 malnourished and 2,507 most vulnerable among the displaced people.
2.1 Pending the approval by the UN of the new security guidelines for operations in Burundi, UN missions outside Bujumbura are still not permitted. WFP international staff from the northern sub-office of Ngozi have been relocated to Bujumbura. Security conditions have improved in Bujumbura town but remained troubled in eastern and southern parts of the country.
2.2 WFP food distributions are limited to those programmes implemented by agencies capable of collecting the food from the WFP stores. Nutritional programmes are on-going in all provinces and in some supplementary centres family rations are now being provided. Distributions to regrouped populations in Bujumbura Rural and distributions of seed protection rations have been suspended for almost a month now.
2.3 Access to regrouped populations in Bujumbura Rural remains difficult, even to some of the nutritional centres. WFP has submitted a proposal to the Government to allow various non-governmental organizations to distribute WFP food to the regrouped persons in sites in Bujumbura Rural, estimated at over 300,000 people. These organizations are already supplying the sites with non-food items.
Note: all tonnage figures in report above refer to metric tons
(End WFP Emergency Report No. 45 of 1999 - November 12, 1999)