WFP Emergency Report No. 10 of 2000

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 10 Mar 2000
This report includes: A) Southern Africa floods: Mozambique, Madagascar and Zimbabwe B) East and Central Africa: Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo C) Sudan D) Angola.
From Jean-Jacques Graisse, Assistant Executive Director. Available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page at http://www.wfp.org/ or by electronic mail from Deborah.Hicks@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 prepared by Natasha Nadazdin and Deborah Hicks

PART I - HIGHLIGHTS
(Details below in Part II)

A. SOUTHERN AFRICA FLOODS - MOZAMBIQUE, MADAGASCAR AND ZIMBABWE

1. Mozambique update - situation report for 6 to 11 March

a) Expanded WFP emergency operation for Mozambique flood victims (EMOP 6225.01) and further Special Operations for logistics support approved. Additional WFP appeal is for USD 34 million, bringing total requirement to USD 45.2 million (updated figure as of 14 March). Under expanded operation, 53,000 metric tons of relief food and food-for-work assistance to be given to 650,000 flood victims for six months.

b) WFP food deliveries now average 120 tons a day; volume expected to increase as more roads become accessible and trucks can be deployed. Food delivered to 365,000 flood displaced people at 96 sites in the five southern and central provinces of Gaza, Inhambane, Manica, Maputo and Sofala.

c) Water levels of most rivers steadily decreasing; monitoring of levels of the Pungue, Buzi and Licungo Rivers continues.

d) Government warns of danger from landmines drifting from demarcated areas.

e) WFP VAM maps of transit camp sites, delivery point locations and flooded areas, widely used by the Government, donors and NGOs. Some maps appear on UN Mozambique Web site at http://www.unsystem.org.mz/. See also Mozambique Alert on the WFP Home page http://www.wfp.org.

2. Madagascar - assistance to cyclone victims - information as of 13 March

a) WFP assembles transport in Antananarivo for the emergency operation for flood victims; a Buffalo aircraft scheduled to arrive 14 March; a similar aircraft is being provided by France; four to six helicopters to be mobilized by WFP. Six French military helicopters are making surveys. WFP is coordinating logistics operations.

b) Initial WFP relief operation approved at country level on 8 March to provide 400 tons of food to flood victims; food is being borrowed from WFP development project. Emergency operation for some 250,000 flood affected people is under preparation.

c) On-going evaluations taking place by Government and humanitarian agencies of damage caused by Cyclone Eline on 17 February and Cyclone Gloria on 3 March; at least 140 persons died, many more are missing; some 10,000 persons left with no shelter and an estimated 12,000 are stranded by floods.

d) Government issues appeal for assistance to 545,000 people; some 40,000 are in need of immediate assistance.

e) Basic needs in areas hit by the cyclones are food aid, tools, medicines, seeds, blankets and communication means. Food needs currently estimated at 6,500 tons.

3. Zimbabwe - flood assessment - information as of 9 March

a) UN team made up of WFP, WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, FAO and UNFPA visited the flood affected areas in Zimbabwe on 2-4 March to assess relief needs. Government appeal issued on 3 March gives figure of approximately 500,000 people affected by the floods, of whom 250,000 in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, including 20,000 people displaced by the floods. Further assessments are on-going.

B. EAST AND CENTRAL AFRICA - RWANDA AND D.R. CONGO

1. Rwanda

a) A UN volunteer working with WFP in Rwanda, Samuel Sargbah, was killed by unknown assailants in Kigali on 4 March.

2. Democratic Republic of Congo - information as of 8 March

a) Further massive displacement of civilian populations due to insecurity in South Kivu resulting from strong militia presence (Interhamwe, Mai-Mai, FDD and others). Fighting moves from urban centres toward forests; little information available on condition of civilians in these areas due to lack of access. An estimated 200,000 persons have left their homes due to the insecurity; only 60,000 displaced are in areas that can be accessed.

b) Clashes continue in Shabunda; front line moves to the centre of Shabunda and unknown numbers of people have fled to the forests; similar situation reported in the mining areas of Lulingu and Kachungu. Some NGOs in Shabunda have recently suspended their operations due to the insecurity.

c) From Kalonge, attacks on civilians by Interahamwe move north-west toward the forest of Bunyakiri. Flow of displaced into Bukavu slows but increases towards shore of Lake Kivu. In Bukavu and outskirts estimated 55,000 IDPs arrive since January.

C. SUDAN

1. Withdrawal of some NGOs from Southern Sudan - information as of 9 March

a) Eleven non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in southern Sudan discontinue activities after refusing to sign Memorandum of Understanding on the coordination of relief activities with the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association.

b) WFP will ensure that emergency food aid distributions continue uninterrupted in areas previously covered by World Vision Sudan. The three other NGOs distributing food aid in the Southern Sector of OLS, namely NPA, CRS and LWF are signing the MOU and will therefore continue their food aid distributions as planned.

c) Meetings continue between OCHA, NGO consortia and other parties on the issue of the MOU and the impact of the withdrawal of the NGOs.

D. ANGOLA

1. Update - information as of 8 March

a) Security situation throughout most provinces remains tense.

b) WFP's STOL/Buffalo cargo aircraft started Benguela operations from Lobito on 4 March after lengthy delay due to Angolan Civil Aviation Authority (DNCA) clearance procedures.

c) WFP is organizing ten daily flights to deliver 2,900 tons of food products to Kuito in March, to cover projected needs for the month.

2. WFP emergency operation in Namibia

a) WFP Angola is advancing the 751 tons of food of Angola operation stocks for the EMOP for Angolan refugees in Namibia, via cross-border operation. Number of refugees now exceeds 9,000, compared to 7,500 planned in the EMOP.

PART II - DETAILS

A. SOUTHERN AFRICA FLOODS - MOZAMBIQUE, MADAGASCAR AND ZIMBABWE

1. MOZAMBIQUE - situation report for 6 to 11 March, with additions 14 March

1.1 WFP is appealing for an additional USD 34 million to cover increased needs of flood victims in Mozambique by expanding its current emergency and logistics operations in the country. This request raises the total funding requirement for Mozambique to USD 45.2 million (updated figure as of 14 March). WFP has received USD 13 million to cover initial needs. The expanded emergency operation (EMOP 6225.01), which was jointly approved by WFP and FAO on 10 March will provide 53,000 metric tons of relief food and food-for-work assistance to 650,000 flood victims for six months, until the second harvest in mid August. The cost of the new operation is USD 28.4 million. WFP also approved USD 5.3 million for two Special Operations to continue providing air logistic support for food and other relief aid transport to isolated areas using the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) helicopters, and to rehabilitate important roads and railways in
coordination with the Government.

1.2 The first component of the search and rescue of people caught in the floodwaters was phased out during the week, with more concentration by all humanitarian actors on the second phase of providing relief to the survivors. A total of 14,679 people were rescued up until 11 March by the Mozambican and Malawi military as well as the WFP funded helicopters of the South African National Defense Force. The Government and humanitarian assistance community will move to the third and final resettlement/rehabilitation phase once the displaced people start returning to their homes.

1.3 WFP has delivered 2,200 tons of food nationwide since the beginning of the operation on 11 February, using helicopters, airplanes, trucks and boats from the three main logistics bases in Maputo, Beira and Palmeiras (delivery figure updated as of 14 March). The daily volume is expected to increase as more roads become accessible and trucks can be deployed on them. Whenever a new site is identified and confirmed to have displaced people needing food, it is added to WFP's distribution list, which covers 96 sites in the five southern and central provinces of Gaza, Inhambane, Manica, Maputo and Sofala. The planned rehabilitation of certain road and railways will allow for more food to be trucked or railed into the needy areas, thus lessening reliance on costly and relatively low volume capacity air transport.

1.4 To give an idea of the magnitude of the relief effort, over USD 100 million worth of donations have been provided to Mozambique by the international community. There are now 59 aircraft (helicopters and light airplanes) and 170 boats donated by various governments and deployed throughout the country. There are approximately 2,400 foreign aid workers in the country directly involved in the operation (half of whom are military personnel).

1.5 Although Cyclone Gloria did not hit Mozambique during the week as originally expected, it brought heavy rains during some days in various parts of the country. These rains temporarily suspended humanitarian aid flights in the southern region on 9 March, with only 39 ton of food being delivered nationwide on that day. However, flights resumed as normal by noon 10 March and the daily average of approximately 120 tons of food was reached again.

1.6 Despite the rains, the water levels of most rivers have been steadily decreasing. However, the Government is particularly vigilant of the Pungue and Buzi Rivers in the central province of Sofala and the Licungo River a little further north in Zambezia province. These rivers are extremely close to the critical flood alert stage. It also continues to rain in the interior of neighbouring countries, the rivers of which feed into Mozambique's fluvial channels.

1.7 At the beginning of last week (6 March) there were 65 transit camps accommodating 250,000 people displaced by the floodwaters. The numbers increased every day, with the total as of 11 March standing at 96 sites with some 365,000 people. Some of the sites are not actually camps per se, but small villages or areas where people have lost almost all their belongings and their situation is not too dissimilar to those in the transit camps. There is almost no potable water, sanitation facilities, medicine, shelter, firewood for cooking and clothes. Living conditions are crowded and health authorities warn that all the elements are present for an imminent cholera and malaria epidemic; there are already many cases of diarrhoea and respiratory infections.

1.8 The Government also warned that with the floodwaters landmines may have drifted from demarcated areas and rendered previously demined areas dangerous again and in need of re-demining.

1.9 The Foreign Minister chaired personally the daily national relief operation coordination meetings comprising representatives from the Government, donor community, UN agencies and NGOs. There are also sectoral coordination meetings, eg, water/sanitation, shelter/resettlement, agriculture, health, logistics and food aid (chaired twice weekly by WFP). Furthermore, there are coordination mechanisms at the provincial, district and locality level.

1.10 Food aid programming staff from WFP's vulnerability assessment and mapping unit (VAM) and logistics staff have continued to conduct on-going field visits to the flood affected areas to assess overall food needs, assure adequate commodity stock levels and monitor food distributions on site. WFP's 20 food aid monitors from its Food Fund project have been redeployed to coordinate emergency food issues with local government district administrators. WFP's regional office staff and more than 30 staff temporarily on loan to the relief operation from headquarters and other countries are pitching in to support the country office to cope with the emergency. More local staff are being recruited to reinforce the efforts of implementing partners to mobilize beneficiaries - especially women - in food management and utilization. VAM's maps of transit camp sites, extended and final delivery point locations as well as flooded areas are widely used by the Government, donors, NGOs and the media. See the UN Mozambique Web site at http://www.unsystem.org.mz/ for some of the maps. See also Mozambique Alert on the WFP Home page http://www.wfp.org.

1.11 WFP has 7,600 ton of food in-country, which should be enough stock to feed the current 365,000 beneficiary caseload for about one month. In addition, approximately 22,600 tons of food is at various stages of arrival in the pipeline - most of it is expected to be procured urgently either locally in Mozambique or regionally, especially the maize, pulses, vegetable oil, sugar and salt, leaving mainly the fortified foods for overseas importation.

2. MADAGASCAR - ASSISTANCE TO CYCLONE VICTIMS - information as of 13 March

2.1 WFP is assembling transport requirements in Antananarivo for the emergency operation for flood victims in Madagascar. A Buffalo aircraft is scheduled to arrive 14 March, and a similar aircraft is being provided by France. WFP is looking into mobilizing four to six helicopters. Six French military helicopters are currently in place and carrying out surveys. WFP is coordinating logistics operations for the humanitarian operation.

2.2 On 8 March the WFP country director approved the initial operation funded from the immediate response account, worth USD 195,000, to provide about 400 tons of food including rice, beans and sugar to flood victims. Implementation could start immediately as food is being borrowed from an on-going development project, and will help 25,000 to 30,000 people. A further larger emergency operation for some 250,000 flood affected people is under preparation and expected to start by mid-March. In-country WFP relief food stocks under the development project include 650 tons of rice, 180 tons of maize, 180 tons of pulses and 100 tons of sugar.

2.3 WFP relief operations are based on on-going evaluations by the Government and humanitarian agencies of the damage caused by Cyclone Eline on 17 February and Cyclone Gloria on 3 March. At least 140 persons are believed to be dead and many more are missing; some 10,000 persons have no shelter and an estimated 12,000 are stranded by floods, according to the National Relief Committee.

2.4 The Government has prepared an appeal for donors to assist the affected population, estimated at 545,000 people. Of this total, some 40,000 are in need of immediate assistance. Affected areas in the east are Marolambo, Antananbao, Manampotsy, Mahanoro, Vatomandry, Ambositra, Brickaville, in the centre Antananarivo, Avaradrano, Ambatolampy, Antsirabe II, Andramasina, Manjakandriana, Antanifotsy, in the north-east Antalaha, Sambava, Andapa, Vohemar, and in the west Morondava, Belo, Mahabo, Morombe.

2.5 Basic needs of the victims located in the areas hit by the two cyclones are food aid, tools, medicines, seeds, blankets and communication means. Food needs are currently estimated at 6,500 tons, comprising rice, beans, vegetable oil and sugar.

3. ZIMBABWE - FLOOD ASSESSMENT - information as of 9 March

3.1 A UN team consisting of WFP, WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, FAO and UNFPA representatives visited the areas affected by flooding in Zimbabwe on 2-4 March to assess the need for relief assistance to the population in these areas. The Government's appeal which was issued on 3 March states that approximately 500,000 people have been affected by the floods, of whom some 250,000 are believed to be in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, including some 20,000 people displaced by the floods. The findings of this UN assessment as well as further assessments which are to be carried out over the next two weeks will be released shortly. In conjunction with AGRITEX (the agricultural extension branch of the Ministry of Agriculture), FAO and USAID's Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) will assess the level of crop damage, livestock loss and food needs.

B. EAST AND CENTRAL AFRICA - RWANDA AND D.R. CONGO

1. RWANDA

1.1 A UN volunteer working with WFP in Rwanda was killed on 4 March. Samuel Sargbah, a Liberian national, was shot dead at about 21:00 hrs local time by an unknown assailant while sitting in his car in Kigali. The WFP Executive Director called on the international community to take concrete steps to ensure more safety and stop attacks and killings of aid workers.

2. D.R. CONGO - SOUTH KIVU - information as of 8 March

2.1 Insecurity in South Kivu, due to strong militia presence (Interhamwe, Mai-Mai, FDD and others) continues to cause further massive displacements of civilian populations. Over the past two weeks, military hostilities have moved away from urban centres toward forests and little information is available to humanitarian actors on the condition of civilians in these areas due to lack of access. It is believed that there are some 200,000 persons who have left their homes due to insecurity and are now residing in areas partly inaccessible to humanitarian agencies. Of this total, only an estimated 60,000 displaced are in areas that can be accessed.

2.2 In Shabunda, clashes continue with varying intensity. Over the past weeks, the front line has moved to the centre of Shabunda and unknown numbers of people have fled to the forests. The situation is the same in the mining areas of Lulingu and Kachungu. Some of the main NGOs active in the area of Shabunda (MSF and OXFAM) have recently suspended their operations due to the insecurity.

2.3 From Kalonge, attacks on civilians by Interahamwe have moved north-west toward the forest of Bunyakiri. The flow of displacement into Bukavu has slowed down but increased towards the shore of Lake Kivu. IDPs are resettling in the relatively secure villages north of Bukavu. Some 6,000 persons from Kalonge are estimated to be in Ninja, approximately 90 km south-west of Bukavu. In Bukavu alone and its outskirts there are an estimate 55,000 IDPs who have arrived since January.

2.4 As displacements continue, malnutrition is reported to be on the increase. In the areas where WFP is active, some 8,130 malnourished children are under supervision of the NGOs Malteser, Caritas and Johanniter. Last week, out of the new influx of IDPs in Kabare, the Caritas-run therapeutic centre admitted 18 new cases of severe malnutrition and 107 beneficiaries will be given supplementary feeding.

2.5 Some of the on-going humanitarian activities in Bunyakiri, Katana and Uvira have had to be temporarily suspended due to lack of security along the northern axis. As a result, ACF will be unable to complete the distribution of 508 tons of WFP-provided food commodities.

C. SUDAN

1. WITHDRAWAL OF SOME NGOs FROM SOUTHERN SUDAN - information as of 9 March

1.1 Eleven NGOs working in southern Sudan, including CARE International, SCF UK, Oxfam Great Britain and Oxfam Quebec, World Vision, German Agro Action, MSF Holland, Carter Center, MDM, VSF Germany and Health Net, have refused to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the coordination of relief activities with the SPLA/M's humanitarian wing, the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association (SRRA). As a result, the NGOs subsequently had to discontinue their activities and leave southern Sudan. Some 16 international NGOs and eight Sudanese NGOs signed the MOU. A deadline of 1 March had been given by the SRRA.

1.2 WFP will ensure that emergency food aid distributions in all areas of southern Sudan continue uninterrupted after the withdrawal of World Vision Sudan which up until 1 March was in charge of emergency food aid distributions in Tonj and part of Gogrial counties in Bahr el Ghazal. The three other NGOs distributing food aid in the Southern Sector of Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), namely NPA, CRS and LWF are signing the MOU and will therefore continue their food aid distributions for the year 2000 as planned.

1.3 WFP is concerned that the gaps left after the withdrawal of the NGOs, particularly in the sectors of supplementary/therapeutic feeding for malnourished children and of provision of agricultural inputs and seeds, might not be covered in a timely enough manner to avoid negative consequences. Furthermore, WFP recognizes that the scope of its current food-for-seed exchanges, food-for-work and food-for-training projects managed through NGOs will decrease with the withdrawal of these implementing partners. A meeting was called by OCHA, in close consultation with two of the NGO consortia and other IASC members, to seek to clarify the situation in respect of the MOU between the SRRA and NGOs and to look at the impact of the withdrawal of the NGOs.

D. ANGOLA

1. UPDATE - information as of 8 March

1.1 The security situation throughout most provinces remains tense. In Cubal, Benguela, an attack was reported on villagers in the commune of Cassiva, causing casualties and deaths. The activities of the NGOs operating in Cassiva have been suspended. Heavy fighting is reported in the Cacolo Municipality, Lunda Sul, and around Puri, 40 km from Negage. A security assessment mission carried out by the UN Security Unit on behalf of UCAH and the Norwegian Refugee Council concluded that only essential staff could have access to the city of Maquela do Zombo.

1.2 After delays due to lengthy Angolan Civil Aviation Authority (DNCA) clearance procedures, WFP's STOL/Buffalo cargo aircraft started Benguela operations from Lobito on 4 March. By 6 March, WFP had transported 30 tons of food to Ganda/Balombo as well as 6 tons of dried milk for ACF in Ganda. In December, January and February, WFP had only managed to cover the pressing needs of beneficiaries in Balombo and Ganda nutritional and therapeutic centres by organizing rotations of a small Beechcraft from Catumbela.

1.3 Bie: The repeated closures of Kuito airport combined with the weekend restrictions on cargo flights to Kuito have continued to hamper WFP's efforts to transport food. After consulting with the relevant authorities, WFP is organizing ten daily flights to deliver 2,900 tons of food products to Kuito in March, and thus cover 100 percent of the projected needs for March. Both the Boeing 727 and L-100 Hercules, which can land in rougher airstrip conditions, are used for this operation.

2. WFP emergency operation in Namibia

2.1 WFP Angola is advancing the 751 tons of food of Angola operation stocks for the EMOP for Angolan refugees in Namibia. As cross-border operations are about to start with transport of food from Lubango to Osire refugee camp, funds for transport costs (USD 140 per tons) urgently needs to be identified. The number of refugees now exceeds 9,000, against the 7,500 planned in the EMOP. By 29 February, WFP had placed at the warehouse in Osire 203 tons of food commodities including maize meal, pulses, corn soya blend, vegetable oil, brown sugar and salt.

Note: all tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tons