WFP Situation Report on the Tsunami Crisis in the Indian Ocean Region Friday, 4 Nov 2005
In Indonesia, Rapid Food Security Assessment was completed on 20 October and data entry and analysis is underway. The FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment (CFSAM) will be conducted during 8 - 16 November in Aceh and Nias.
In Sri Lanka, new tsunami data is available on the Child Nutrition Surveillance (CNS) website, which is used to gain greater understanding of the state of child nutrition in the country. The site, supported by WFP, includes an early warning mechanism that will alert the medical authorities on any impending dangers to child health
During the reporting period, Free Aceh Movement (GAM) members visited WFP Meulaboh office four times seeking food assistance. Currently IOM is registering GAM members and providing assistance packages. Security advised all FOs to take necessary precautions dealing with GAM members and to refer them to the Government and/or IOM.
WFP Banda Aceh is organizing a workshop for national Programme officers and Programme assistants from field offices during 9 - 10 November.
Distribution for the month of October was hampered by logistical difficulties including rapidly deteriorating road network in Aceh Jaya District. The landing craft Sumber Power was stranded in Simuelue due to bad weather, and as a consequence, food delivery to Calang was delayed.
The Country Office hosted the Strategic Planning meeting in Jakarta from 25-28 October 2005 for senior management.
Target Populations/ Beneficiaries
Since the introduction of the beneficiary data provided by the BPDE, Provincial Statistics Department, an active verification and socialization process of this data by cooperating partners and local government is ongoing throughout Aceh. For the month of November, all field offices and cooperating partners are working together to reduce the number of beneficiaries based on BPDE data.
Following the floods and landslide on 19 October in Semadam and Bukit Tusam sub-districts in Aceh Tenggara, Indonesia, WFP conducted an impact assessment jointly with WHO, UNJLC, and IOM during 19-22 October. 5 affected villages with some 1,500 displaced persons were provided mixed food rations rice, canned fish, vegetable oil, noodles, and biscuits.
During the reporting period, food delivery was carried out throughout Aceh to fulfill the targeted beneficiaries for October. In Panga, the sub-district of Aceh Jaya, 6,082 beneficiaries were reached with some 83 tons of rice, canned fish, and vegetable oil. Food distribution is ongoing in Teunom, Krueng Sabee and Sektia Bakti where 32,430 beneficiaries will be receiving a total of 441 tons of food.
Rapid Food Security Assessment was completed on 20 October and data entry and analysis is underway. The report will also incorporate the result from WFP/UNICEF Nutritional Surveillance Survey to have more comprehensive overview of nutritional and food status in Aceh and North Sumatra. These assessments serve as a basis of channeling WFP's assistance into more needy area.
The FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment (CFSAM) will be conducted during 8 - 16 November in Aceh and Nias.
Market price survey carried out by WFP Calang on 25 October in Calang and Panga in Aceh Jaya district indicated that prices were compared to the previous week and also to a government-conducted survey to determine increase and/or decrease in the retail cost of basic items. With a modest reduction in the prices of commodities as compared to the previous survey, prices are still slightly higher than the Government's stipulated price.
Schools in Aceh Province will reopen on 14 November after national holiday of Idul Fitri.
Mother and Child Nutrition
WFP is working actively to expand MCN programme to other districts in order to improve nutritional status of children under age 5, pregnant women and lactating mothers. By the end of this year, the programme is expected to assist 180,000 beneficiaries.
With arrival of a new programme officer in Banda Aceh, expansion of MCN programme will be more effective. Pending issues regarding the start of the programme in Aceh Utara with LIPMAGA are being addressed.
Commodity Swap: 1,597 tons of canned fish have been reprogrammed. New contracts/tenders for 549 tons of noodles and 785 tons of canned fished have been issued.
Food availability/shortfall: as of 31 October situation of in country stocks is as follows: 4,747 tons of rice, 1,537 tons of Fish, 722 tons of vegetable oil and 3,229 tons of noodles. No shortfalls are expected as actions have been already taken to ensure food availability.
Overall movement of food during the reporting period: 375.8 tons of biscuits, 24 tons of canned fish, 1.8 tons of noodles and 270.7 tons of vegetable oil were moved from Medan to various locations.
Landing craft MV Sumber Power arrived in Calang on 23 October carrying 300 tons of rice and 50 tons of canned fish. Also on board were non-food items for the construction of the container pier at Calang. Discharging of the cargo of the landing craft was completed on 28 October and the vessel departed for Banda Aceh.
Construction of emergency jetty in Calang commenced on 26 October and is still on-going. A 35 meter by 5 meters emergency jetty will enable trucks roll on and off landing craft thereby minimizing the problem of getting stuck in the sand experienced during previous offloading exercises.
Due to heavy rains, a bridge at Kualam Bersi (approx. 10 kms from WFP base in Calang) collapsed in early October. This has caused delay in the delivery to the sub-districts of Kreung Sabee, Panga and Teunom, where 53% of the October caseload of 60,744 beneficiaries are located. While CRS is rebuilding the bridge, the Indonesian military (TNI) has constructed an adjacent log bridge to facilitate the resumption of distribution to the areas mentioned. The Babah Ngom to Patek to Gunung Mancong segments of the road have also deteriorated considerably.
WFP logistics team had meetings with Port Authorities and Andhika GAC on Wednesday 18 October to assess on transport requirements and facilitation in the port of Belawan with regard to the Special Operation that is expected to start soon in support of Aceh and Nias rehabilitation.
2,000 units of table top cookers from Electrolux arrived in Banda Aceh on 22 October. These appliances are donated to the Government of Indonesia to be further distributed to the people of Aceh. Dinas Sosial will carry out the distribution once the rest of the donation - 174 units of gas cookers and 157 units of refrigerators.
On 31 October, the Sri Lankan government reiterated its call to urgently review the implementation of the current truce with the Tamil Tigers following the assassination of a top intelligence officer. The Norwegian peace facilitators had appointed Trond Furuhovde, a retired Norwegian Major General to hold talks with both. Furuhovde who visited the island early this month failed to achieve a breakthrough. The two sides are locked in stalemate over the venue for talks. The LTTE says the talks must be held outside Sri Lanka while the Government insists they must be held within the island.
The polarized election platforms will likely encourage rhetoric and potential political violence in the lead up to the presidential election (17 November). Greater deployment of security services and checkpoints has already started and can be expected to continue. The frequency of political rallies will also obviously increase.
UN communication concerning reduced movements during the election week will occur on a day to day basis depending on the situation. Workshops or missions will be canceled during the period 15 to 19 November. UNDSS and the Security Management Team have produced a contingency plan for the period. This has been circulated to the Area Security Coordinators (ASC) and heads of sub-offices. The following towns have been identified as potential election hotspots: Gampaha, Hambanthota, Kandy, Puttalam, and Kurunagala.
As per general security precautions, WFP staff members have been advised to avoid all crowds, protests and political rallies in the run up to the election and to carry their UN ID, VHF radio and emergency contact cards.
For WFP staff in the field, the ASC will advise of the dates when presidential candidates are holding rallies. In Phase III areas, UN staff members and field missions were advised to remain vigilant at all times with no movement after dark.
There were fewer attacks in this period when compared with previous weeks so there was minimal impact on WFP operations during the reporting period.
Security Awareness Trainings were held from 17 to 31 October in Kilinocchi, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, and Colombo. Theses 3 day workshops were attended by a total of 80 WFP staff.
From 1 October, Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) has replaced GFD, scaling down targeted distribution to 350,000 beneficiaries. The programme will continue till 31 December 2005. VGF food ration per person and per day is composed of 400g of cereals, 60g of pulses, 20g of sugar, 20g of oil and 40g of CSB.
From October to December 2005, WFP is planning to distribute 17,485 tons of mixed food commodities under VGF. MCN, FFE and FFW activities are ongoing.
As part of the regular food aid monitoring, beneficiary households and final distribution points, including multi- purpose cooperative societies' retail outlets, schools and clinics were visited on a daily basis in EMOP districts during the reporting period.
Monitoring & Evaluation and Reporting trainings will be held in Vavuniya on 8 and 9 October and in Kilinochchi on 10 and 11 October.
Mother and Child Nutrition
WFP is currently providing fortified Corn Soya Blend (CSB) to nearly 100,000 women and children in health clinics under its Emergency Operation.
A team of graduates from the Medical Research Institute worked on the data collected from the tsunami affected areas during May 2005. The data is now available on the website www.cnslk.org : a Child Nutrition Surveillance (CNS) website supported by the WFP and launched in September 2004 to gain greater understanding of the real state of child nutrition in Sri Lanka and concurrently set-up an early warning mechanism that will alert the medical authorities on any impending dangers to child health.
WFP MCN focal points will be trained to enter data into the website at district level. WFP is planning to progressively hand this system over to the Government so that a national Nutrition Surveillance System is in place by 2006.
Food For Work
444 FFW projects have been approved in tsunami affected areas. From October to December 2005, WFP is planning to distribute 10,967 tons of mixed food commodities to some 183,000 beneficiaries (36,600 participants) under Food For Work. Some 15% of these projects are already complete.
Food For Education
WFP school-feeding activities are currently covering 397 schools (106,000 school children) in tsunami affected areas. However, FFE activities were suspended in Muslim Schools during the Ramadan.
FFE Introduction workshops were held on 24,25,26 and 27 October in Trincomalee and Mullaitivu.
A FFE Standardized survey will be launched in December 2005, focus on the new areas under school-feeding and look at a possible expansion of school-feeding activities. Trainers from WFP Head Quarters in Rome will hold workshops for the staff that will conduct the survey. The Survey is planned to be completed by 19 December. Data entry and analysis will then commence in January.
Cash Trial Pilot Project
The tri-partite agreement between WFP, the Ministry of Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation and the Ministry of Samurdhi has been signed by all parties. Money for this cash trial will therefore be transferred to the Ministry of Samurdhi's bank account during the week of 31 October in order to start cash disbursements.
The CTPP project manager visited Galle, Hambantota and Batticaloa and conducted an orientation programme for Government counterparts and Samurdhi bank officials with the support of WFP sub-offices. The modalities of cash coupon redemption by beneficiaries were explained in detail. The baseline survey is now nearly completed. The household sizes have changed particularly in Batticaloa as people move from accommodation in camps often shared by an extended family to smaller family units living in the temporary shelters or the newly built housing. Average family sizes have decreased from 4.5 - 5 immediately after the tsunami to 3 people per household now in this area.
Due to the increasing problem of infestation of commodities, Jaffna, Galle and Colombo warehouse are to be fumigated. Treatment of the infected CSB is now under way.
On 24 October, the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations was celebrated in Colombo in which the Chief Guest was the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Anura Bandarnaike.
WFP continues to develop partnerships with various organizations:
- Cement company Holcim, focusing on the rehabilitation of kitchen, storage and eating areas, water and sanitation and purchase of NFIs for three schools in Trincomalee, for a budget of USD 30,000, is due to be implemented by December 2005.
-A potential partnership with the Danish Red Cross has been identified in Jaffna and will focus on psychosocial activities for school children.
- A school gardening project with the FAO and a psychosocial project with IOM have been identified in Ampara.