WFP Emergency Report No. 05 of 1997: Iraq
From P. Ares, Chief, Programming Service. Available on the Internet at WFP Home Page http://www.wfp.org/ or by e-mail from HicksDeb@wfp.org (fax 39 6 5228 2837). For information regarding resources, donors are requested to contact Mr. F. Strippoli or Ms. A. Blum, WFP Rome (telephone 39 6 5228 2504 or 5228 2004).
PART I - HIGHLIGHTS
(Details below in Part II)
a) Following implementation of Security Council Resolution 986, first contracts for procurement of food commodities under the oil-for-food arrangement have been cleared by the Sanction Committee. b) Humanitarian requirements of targeted most vulnerable population groups (2.15 million people) will continue to be met through WFP emergency food assistance until the end March 1997. c) Generous donor response has resulted in full coverage of WFP food requirements for the northern governorates and 52 percent of estimated requirements in the centre and southern governorates, for the period January-March 1997. Remaining WFP needs for this period are USD 13.6 million.
1.1 The implementation of Security Council Resolution 986, which allows for limited sales of Iraqi oil to finance the importation by Iraq of humanitarian foodstuffs, medicines and health supplies, came into effect for an initial period of 180 days on 10 December 1996. The first contracts for the procurement of food commodities have been cleared by the Sanction Committee.
1.2 Until end March 1997, however, the humanitarian requirements of the targeted most vulnerable population groups will continue to need to be met through WFP emergency food aid operation EMOP 5311. The present phase of this operation covers estimated needs for a total period of six months, from October 1996 to March 1997, for a targeted beneficiary caseload of 2.15 million people.
1.3 Between October and December 1996, emergency food aid supplies for the centre and south amounted to no more than 10,888 metric tons, compared to estimated monthly requirements of 17,461 metric tons. WFP was, therefore, compelled to suspend distributions to destitute persons and internally displaced, and to cut, sometimes to less than half, the rations distributed to women headed households and to beneficiaries in hospitals and social institutions. Although the food pipeline in the north was healthy, fighting in the northern governorates of Erbil and Sulemaniyah forced WFP to delay distributions, at times for up to ten days. Fighting also led many to flee to other areas in the north of Iraq or to Iran. By December 1996, most of the refugees who went to Iran had returned, and as at January 1977, WFP was providing emergency food aid to 200,000 internally displaced and returnees who lost all of their belongings and cannot regain their home areas because of the winter and/or insecurity. Thanks to a steadily improving pipeline, WFP could expand its beneficiary caseload in the north from 300,000 people in October and November, to 525,000 people in December and January. In February and March 1997, WFP expects to be able to fully cover the needs of all the 666,000 targeted beneficiaries in the north.
1.4 For the second half of EMOP 5311.05 (January - March 1997), generous response by the United States, Germany and the Netherlands to the joint press statement of the Executive Heads of WFP, UNICEF and DHA has enabled full coverage of WFP food requirements for the northern governorates. Over this same period, for beneficiaries in the centre and south, WFP provided an advance from the Immediate Response Account (IRA) to help cover needs of the most destitute. Following the joint press statement, generous c ontributions from Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia, France, Switzerland, Italy, Finland, Japan and Norway have enabled food coverage of 52 percent of estimated requirements in the centre and southern governorates, leaving a food shortfall of 26,716 metric tons, valued at USD 9.6 million, and a cash shortfall of USD 4 million to finance related transport and support costs. The total WFP shortfall for the January - March 1997 period thus amounts to USD 13.6 million.
(End WFP Emergency Report No. 05 of 1997 - January 31, 1997)