WFP's latest update on countries affected by tsunami - 17 Jan 2005
Total People Receiving Food Aid - 1,076,220
WFP is currently reaching more than 300,000 registered displaced persons; numbers are expected to increase to 500,000 by the end of the month. More than 4,200 tonnes of food has been dispatched to numerous locations throughout Aceh.
An Emergency Food Needs Assessment (WFP) is underway in Aceh province.
A Rapid Health Assessment Mission (inter-agency) is also underway in Aceh province. Preliminary reports recommend continued WFP food assistance in affected areas.
Food distributions on the island of Nias and at Takengon by the German NGO HELP will commence shortly. HELP has used its resources to procure food commodities not currently included in the WFP food basket, as well as non-food items, to distribute alongside WFP food.
WFP now has three staff members in place in Meulaboh.
Food distribution began yesterday in Meulaboh through implementing partner CRS following the road delivery of 75 tons of food from Medan.
WFP plans to commence food distribution on the island of Simuelue, through CARE, via Singkil, where WFP has already started to deliver food.
WFP has opened road corridors from Medan to Banda Aceh and Medan to Meulaboh. WFP's first convoy of 75 tons of food arrived in Meulaboh on the weekend.
A WFP-chartered coastal vessel, the M/V Kimtrans with 3,000 metric ton capacity, is currently loading 2,200 tons of rice, 23.6 tons of biscuits and 6.4 tons of noodles in Jakarta. The vessel will serve as a floating warehouse off of the western coast of Aceh province, with landing craft ferrying food to the shore.
WFP has not received any confirmed reports of a possible terrorist attack against its staff or humanitarian operations in Aceh Province, Indonesia. WFP and the UN system are looking into the source of information to this effect obtained by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The UN Security Team in Banda Aceh has today instructed all UN staff to observe a heightened awareness and take all security precautions necessary. WFP has advised its staff accordingly.
WFP reviews security precautions on a daily basis and will take appropriate steps should the situation change. The safety and security of WFP staff are paramount.
World Food Programme Executive-Director James Morris wrapped up a two-day visit to Sri Lanka yesterday to assess damage, meet with donors and local officials, and review WFP's operation in the country. He made field trips to Killinochchi in the north and Galle in southern Sri Lanka.
The north includes some of the poorest areas of Sri Lanka, where WFP has focused its assistance in the past because of high rates of child malnutrition.
Morris said that the tsunami crisis in Sri Lanka has clearly made a "bad situation worse" for vulnerable families and children. He noted that there are more than 1.1 million children under five in the tsunami-affected areas of the country, out of which 35% are thought to be undernourished.
As well as its regular food ration of lentils, sugar, rice and vegetable oil, WFP will be distributing corn-soya blend to malnourished children, pregnant women and lactating mothers in the areas of highest vulnerability.
Morris met with S.P. Thamilcevam, the leader of the Tamil Tigers' political wing, during his visit to Killinochchi.
A WFP assessment mission to Daalu atoll has concluded that food assistance would be beneficial to some groups there in the short term. Discussions with people in the community indicated that food assistance could particularly help those who had lost their livelihoods, freeing up resources to help households rebuild their homes and purchase tools and equipment lost in the tsunami.
With the arrival of two more collapsible warehouses in Male on January 15, the immediate need for these storage units in the Maldives has now been met.
Food aid is being distributed by WFP's NGO partners in areas of Myanmar affected by the tsunami. In the Irrawaddy Delta, 27 tons of locally-purchased rice have been distributed by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Additionally, rice, beans and cooking oil have been distributed to 100 households in the region by WFP partner ADRA.
In the Kaw Thoung region along the southern coast, World Vision has distributed four tons of rice to 348 people. Another eleven tons is expected to be distributed by the middle of this week.
Two WFP food monitors have also been dispatched to the affected areas - one to Kaw Thoung and one to the Irrawaddy Delta.
Food was dispatched today to four villages in the Bander Beyla district of Somalia's northeastern Puntland region. The four villages, with a population of 3,200, are being given lentils, rice, maize and vegetable oil.
The villages were recently identified as being in need of food aid by a WFP team, which is now conducting similar assessments in Puntland's Ely district.
Operations have ramped up substantially at WFP's Humanitarian Air Hub in Subang, Malaysia, with 13 flights leaving in the last three days. The flights - six to Medan and seven to Banda Aceh - carried two Land Cruisers, a mobile laboratory, generators and 163 tons of fortified biscuits, more than had been carried in all of the previous flights out of the hub put together. Since the hub went operational on January 7, a total of 30 airlifts have been deployed.
WFP Executive-Director James Morris visited the Humanitarian Air Hub today on a one-day mission to Malaysia and paid tribute to the Government of Malaysia for its extraordinary support during the crisis, in particular for its partnership with WFP in creating the air hub at the Subang air base in Kuala Lumpur.
"This base is of invaluable service to the aid community working to assist tsunami victims in Indonesia and other affected countries in the region," said Morris.
An 18-seater plane for passenger traffic is now operating out of Subang, under the banner of the UN Humanitarian Air Services (UNHAS). The plane will be used to transport WFP and UN personnel around the region as well as other members of the humanitarian community working on tsunami relief.
A final flight from the WFP Asia Emergency Response Facility (AERF) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, left for Colombo on Saturday, carrying two trucks as well as power generation and water purification equipment.
With this shipment, WFP has emptied its warehouse in Phnom Penh, deploying all materiel to the tsunami crisis. Six flights have been made to Colombo and one to Medan carrying 192 tons of equipment and food aid in total. All told, eleven trucks have been shipped to Sri Lanka to ease the transport of humanitarian aid there.
A WFP Ilyushin-76 will begin an air bridge tomorrow to start ferrying 500 tons of tinned fish from Bangkok to Banda Aceh, carrying roughly 45 tons per trip.
For more information please contact:
Heather Hill, WFP Thailand Mob: +66 1701 9208, Mobile + 662 659 8690, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Huggins, WFP Indonesia Mob: +62 811 864383, Office: + 62 21 570 9004. Email: Michael.Huggins@wfp.org
Bettina Luescher. WFP Indonesia (Banda Aceh) Mob: + 62 81210 44193. Tel: + 62651 49841/40810.
Gerald Bourke, WFP Indonesia (Banda Aceh) Mob: + 62 811 98 7360 or + 86 1380 1054051. Tel: + 62651 49841/40810.
Jordan Dey, WFP Sri Lanka. Tel: + 9411 2586244. email: email@example.com
Caroline Hurford, WFP Rome. Tel: + 3906 65132330. Mob: + 393481325018
Trevor Rowe, WFP New York. Mob: +1 646 8241112, office: +1 212 963 5196, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christiane Berthiaume, WFP/Geneva. Tel: + 41229178581. Mob: + 4179 774 3921.
Visit our website: www.wfp.org. To access WFP's up-to-the-minute maps on the tsunami crisis, go to www.hewsweb.org. For detailed information on air operations and other logistical activities, visit www.unjlc.org.