WFP Emergency Report No. 02 of 2003

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 10 Jan 2003


This report includes:
(A) Eastern and Central Africa Region: (1) Uganda, (2) Ethiopia, (3) Eritrea, (4) Democratic Republic of Congo, (5) Burundi, (6) Rwanda, (7) Djibouti

(B) Southern Africa Region: (1) Regional Overview, (2) Lesotho, (3) Malawi, (4) Mozambique, (5) Swaziland, (6) Zambia, (7) Zimbabwe, (8) Angola

(C) West Africa Region: (1) Cote D'Ivoire, (2) Central African Republic

(D) Asia Region: (1) DPR Korea, (2) Indonesia

(E) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Iran, (3) Pakistan

(F) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Northern Caucasus, (2) Albania, (3) Azerbaijan, (4) Georgia

From Francesco Strippoli, Director of the Office of Humanitarian Affairs; available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (www.wfp.org), or by e-mail from Zlatan.Milisic@wfp.org.

For information on resources, donors are requested to contact Valerie.Sequeira@wfp.org at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2009. Media queries should be directed to Trevor.Rowe@wfp.org, telephone 39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

A) Eastern and Central Africa Region: (1) Uganda, (2) Ethiopia, (3) Eritrea, (4) Democratic Republic of Congo, (5) Burundi, (6) Rwanda, (7) Djibouti

1) Uganda

(a) WFP issued an Emergency Appeal this week to the Donor Community in order to meet the current shortfall of 87,329 tons from January to July 2003. Donors are urged to come forward with generous donations in order to mitigate the unfolding humanitarian disaster in northern Uganda.

(b) WFP has distributed since July 2002, 20,726 metric tons of food to the affected population in the Acholi sub-region. In addition, some 8,081 metric tons of food has been distributed to refugees in Uganda. Due to a critical shortfall of cereals in January 2003, WFP has been forced to suspend distributions of cereals to the IDPs in northern Uganda and to reduce all cereal rations to refugees by 50 percent until the pipeline stabilizes. IDPs in northern Uganda will receive only pulses, vegetable oil, and some CSB during January.

(c) The security situation in the Acholi and Lango sub-regions (Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Lira and Apac) continues to deteriorate, with frequent reports that the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels continue to abduct and kill women and children, loot property and terrorise the civilian population. Over 800,000 people are now displaced and/or affected by crop failure in the five districts and are in desperate need of food aid assistance due to the extreme insecurity in the area. The districts of Gulu, Kitgum and Pader are the worst affected, with approximately 70 percent of the total population displaced. Settled villages in Lira and Apac Districts have been attacked during the recent LRA insurgency, resulting in increased new displacements and increased reliance on food aid.

(d) Two focus group discussions were held in Pabbo and Parabongo IDP camps in Gulu District in late November and mid-December 2002. The IDPs reported that they have almost totally lost access to their fields and consequently their second and last harvest of the year in August/September 2002. The increasing insecurity and the general disruption of economic activities have constrained the food acquisition strategies of the IDPs, who now completely depend on food aid for their survival. Although the Acholi sub-region (Gulu, Kitgum and Pader) is reported to have received normal rainfall in some areas and heavy rainfall in others, the population was unable to open up new land and harvest crops planted earlier. As a result, an extremely limited January harvest is expected.

2) Ethiopia

(a) The migration of increasing numbers of whole families with their livestock into Somaliland from eastern parts of Shinile zone of northern Somali Region has been taking place since the beginning of January. Their destination is an area commonly called Guban, which reportedly received better "hays" or "dalalo" rains (brief but important rains that fall for a few days in December) than areas on the Ethiopia side of the border, and as a result has better pasture and water resources. The abnormal mass migration in search of pasture and water has occurred as a result of the failure of the last two consecutive rains in Shinile zone, and is taking place in spite of on-going relief food distributions. Joint government, NGO and UN assessment teams are conducting a rapid assessment of the situation.

(b) Further reports on the impact of unusual rains in much of the rest of the country during December indicate an overall positive impact. However, in some highland areas of the country where there were still unharvested crops like barley, wheat, and late-planted maize, sorghum and teff, the rains had a damaging effect. Areas reporting damage to crops include Bale, Arsi and West Shewa zones of Oromia Region, South and North Wello, Oromiya, North Shewa, South Gonder and East Gojjam zones of Amhara Region. Lowland and midland areas of the country, by in large, have benefited from the December rains in terms of improved water and pasture availability as well as early land preparation for Belg season.

(c) Over the last two days tension and fighting has increased in the area of the refugee camps of Gambella Region in western Ethiopia, mainly in Fugnido and Gambella. UN staff who had only recently returned to Fugnido after earlier fighting between refugee groups are being relocated from the area. Ethnic clashes have been reported over the past few months in Gambella. Fighting between students which erupted in Gambella town on the evening of 9 January has resulted in casualties, and is reported to be continuing on 10 January. The situation is still unclear. UN staff in Gambella will be relocated to Addis Ababa if the situation deteriorates further.

(d) The food aid needs for Ethiopia for the first six months of 2003 are nearly 1 million tons (January 119,000 tons for 7.3 million people, February 133,000 tons for 8.1 million people, March 162,000 tons for 9.9 million people, and between April to June around 180,000 tons each month for 11 million people). Confirmed and unconfirmed contributions currently total around 600,000 tons to government, WFP and NGOs. If the contributions can be confirmed and mobilized quickly, the cereal requirements would be largely covered until May. However, the situation for supplementary food for especially vulnerable groups is less encouraging, with only around half the requirements for fortified blended food met for January-March. WFP intends to cover about 40 percent of the national level relief food requirements in 2003, through the ongoing WFP emergency operation to the end of March, and through an expansion of the operation scheduled to start in April.

3) Eritrea

(a) From 8-9 January the WFP and UNICEF are conducting a mission to the Anseba region to investigate the effects of the drought in that area of the country. On 8 January the team travelled from Keren to Habero and spoke with farmers who informed them that their main problem is a serious lack of food. Farmers also reported that lack of feed and water has resulted in substantial loss of livestock and has provoked large scale selling of their animals. On 9 January the team will travel with the NGO CONCERN to Hagaz and Hamalmalo to see the impact of the drought on the nutritional status of pregnant/lactating women and of children under five. WFP currently supports CONCERN's implementation of a Supplementary Feeding project in the two sub zobas; the mission will assess the need for other possible measures within the context of the increasingly serious emergency situation.

(b) OCHA is organizing a meeting between key donors and Ethiopian and Eritrean Government officials on 22 January in Geneva. The purpose of the meeting will be to alert donors of the deepening drought crisis and reinforce the need for a rapid, coordinated response.

(c) A journalist from the British newspaper The Observer is accompanying WFP on a mission to the Debub region from 8-9 January. Other mission members include officials from Government counterparts ERREC and the Ministry of Agriculture. Debub is traditionally one of the main farming regions in the country, but has been severely affected by the current drought, with the recent harvest producing vastly reduced cereal yields. The group will travel to Decamhare, Mai Wuray, Tsorona, Hazemo Plain and Mendefera. En route they will visit IDP camps as well as speak with farmers and local officials.

4) Democratic Republic of Congo

(a) A WFP barge with 1230 tons of food arrived in Kisangani on 27 December. The food consignment will enable WFP to proceed with the targeting of some 70,000 vulnerable groups in Kisangani and environs with 530 tons during the month of January. WFP operations in Kisangani were suspended in April 2001 due to lack of access and have now been made possible after the re-opening of the Congo River to navigation. This food consignment that reached Kisangani should be the first of a series of four fluvial convoys to provide food aid to the population of Kisangani by the end of 2003.

(b) Confrontations between two splinters groups of the rebel movement RCD continued in Beni between 1-5 January. Subsequently, the IDP caseload in Beni and Oicha health zones continues to increase, the last estimations putting at 130,000 the aggregation of the old and new IDP caseload.

(c) Following clearance from local authorities, humanitarian flights have resumed to Ituri. WFP plans to airlift 892 tons of food on 15 January. WFP also plans to airlift 437 tons to Kindu in Maniema Province, which along Punia and Kalima remains surrounded by militiamen.

(d) Confrontations between the RCD and militiamen are reported to continue in South Kivu province. The most affected areas are the Ruzizi Plane in the north and Uvira and Baraka in the south. Recent massive arrivals of displaced Congolese populations were announced in Burundi. This ongoing insecurity as well as denial by local authorities of clearances for relief actors to operate in areas under militia control prevented humanitarian access to over 80 percent of the South Kivu province.

(e) In more secure area, such as Lubumbashi, WFP continued with the distribution of seed protection packages and food-for-work rations to reinforce agricultural production and nutrition rations to the feeding centres.

5) Burundi

(a) Following the resumption of fighting in Uvira district of the Democratic Republic of Congo, refugees continue to arrive in Cibitoke province bordering with the DRC. Initial reports indicate that over 3,000 refugees crossed the Cibitoke border last week and are currently staying with host communities. WFP and UNHCR will conduct a joint assessment to determine the exact number of refugees and their current needs.

(b) The situation has remained tense between the FDD fighters and the national army in Ruyigi province. Both forces accused each other of violating the cease-fire accord. No confrontation was reported but the army spokesperson accused the FDD of recruiting new soldiers. The FDD spokesperson indicated that they were acting in line with the recent cease-fire agreement.

(c) WFP met with local administrators in Muramvya province to prepare distributions in five communes. They targeted 79,070 persons to be registered for future distributions.

6) Rwanda

(a) Following an active repatriation sensitisation exercise in November by Rwandan and Tanzanian authorities, the repatriation of Rwandan refugees from Tanzania has been completed. A total of 16,687 returnees were registered by UNHCR throughout the country. Rwandan refugees returned in large numbers via the Rusumo border in Kibungo province and also via two other transit points in Cyangugu and Gisenyi provinces. The returnees received a three-month ration of food from WFP and non-food items from UNHCR, before returning to their districts of origin. According to UNHCR, all but 150 Rwandan refugees in Tanzania have returned.

(b) Food distribution took place for 28,831 refugees at the three camps in Rwanda. Food was distributed to 534 refugees at Kigeme camp in Gikongoro province; 15,028 refugees at Kiziba camp in Kibuye province; and 13,269 refugees at Gihembe camp in Byumba province.

(c) UNHCR and WFP discussed WFP taking over the administration of food distribution at the camps. This followed a re-registration exercise in October at two refugee camps after the sudden repatriation of about 10,000 refugees to the DRC from Rwanda in September. The remaining refugee caseload now stands at 28,831. A joint mission, including representatives from WFP, UNHCR and the Government, will evaluate the implementation of food distribution in the three refugee camps in January.

7) Djibouti

(a) General food distribution to nomadic drought victims in remote areas and in the suburbs of Djibouti resumed in December, after the arrival of new donated commodities to the EMOP. WFP distributed over 975 tons of food to some 14,900 families, representing 74,625 beneficiaries.

(b) Also in December, under the PRRO 10134, WFP distributed full rations to refugees living in Holl Holl and Ali Addeh camps. 344 tons of food were distributed under the general distribution programme to 20,500 beneficiaries. Additionally, rations were distributed through the selective feeding programmes to 1,000 vulnerable people and 120 undernourished children in the camps. Vegetable oil was distributed to schoolgirls in the refugee camps as take-home rations to encourage school attendance.

(c) The second phase of the voluntary repatriation of 10,000 refugees from Ali Addeh camp is planned to resume after the presidential elections in Somaliland and the parliament elections in Djibouti, both scheduled for January 2003. WFP has been distributing a 9-month food repatriation package to refugees who opted for voluntary return.

B) Southern Africa Region: (1) Regional Overview, (2) Lesotho, (3) Malawi, (4) Mozambique, (5) Swaziland, (6) Zambia, (7) Zimbabwe, (8) Angola

(1) Regional Overview

(a) Torrential rainfall from tropical cyclone Delfina has caused flooding in Malawi and northern Mozambique, leaving a dozen people dead, tens of thousands homeless, sweeping away crops and livestock, destroying roads, bridges and rail lines and causing power outages. Poor weather conditions have also hit Lesotho.

(b) With USD 330 now confirmed, the WFP emergency operation is currently 65 percent funded, with a shortfall of USD 180 million.

(2) Lesotho

(a) A total of 3,615 beneficiaries received food during the week through distributions in Maseru Rural. The monthly famine relief coordination meeting took place on 6 January, with issues covered including management of IFRC trucks, verification of beneficiary lists for food for work activities, and general progress of the emergency operation. WFP hired three new drivers to be posted in field offices.

(3) Malawi

(a) Tropical cyclone Delfina hit Malawi on Thursday 2 January. Flooding swept away houses, crops, livestock, and bridges. In Salima District alone (Central Region), 7,095 farming families were affected leaving 600 homeless. An initial WFP assessment in the district reported that 3,777 hectares of maize and 230 hectares of rice were completely washed away. No official figures on flood victims or damage have been disclosed, although according to the WFP sub-offices which are closely monitoring the phenomenon, more than 15,000 households have been affected so far in the three regions with 4 people reported dead. Extensive road and bridge damage hampered WFP food delivery activities for several days.

(b) Transporters in Malawi have encountered serious challenges in maintaining their delivery schedule due to the heavy rains that have begun making some secondary roads impassable, particularly in the south of the country. IFRC 6x6 trucks are being fully utilized, however 14 of these were stuck in heavy rains in the south of the country. Damage to the Nacala rail corridor by the rains has delayed expected arrivals at least by seven days.

(c) The UN Country Team officially confirmed support to the HIV/AIDS Campaign at food distribution sites. WFP has already contributed USD 30,000 out of the projected USD 90,000 required for the implementation of this activity from January to June 2003. Data collection on the linkage between HIV/AIDS and Food Security continues, with data collection teams currently in Blantyre and Mzuzu City.

(d) WFP dispatched 3,287 tons of food to partners during the week. From January 6-11, monitoring will take place at all WFP-assisted NRUs and MCHs in order to assist with updating beneficiary numbers for the next distribution plan.

(4) Mozambique

(a) WFP is assessing damages caused by the tropical cyclone in Nampula Province and along the Nacala-Malawi railway. Preliminary reports indicate that 4 rail sections of the Nacala Railway corridor have been washed away between Namialo (Monapo district) and Mutivaze (Rapale district), both in Nampula province, while two sections have been washed away between Motivasi and Cuamba districts (both in Niassa province). A further six districts are affected, several roads have been temporarily cut off, two bridges are broken, and the city of Nacala was without electricity for 36 hours. Substantial rains in Tete Province interrupted transport along the Tete-Mutarara road, and WFP deliveries are being made via Sofala Province. Meanwhile, only limited rainfall occurred in Gaza, Sofala, and Manica Provinces in the central and south parts of the country raising further concerns about the 2003 harvest in these areas.

(b) To date, WFP has 53 LOUs with 40 different implementing partners, of which seven are international. Two of these LOUs are for general food distributions, while the remainder are food assistance channeled through food for work activities. Three new food aid monitors have been hired and will work in Manica and Tete Provinces.

(5) Swaziland

(a) WFP dispatched 429 tons of food, of which 373 tons was maize, to four of the seven implementing partners.

(6) Zambia

(a) 3,875 tons of food was dispatched to EDP during the first week of January. Implementing partners are continuing to distribute food received in December. Of the 23,000 tons of GRZ food funded by DFID to be distributed through WFP, 16,000 tons have been handed over to implementing partners and the remaining 7,000 tons are expected to be delivered in the next week.

(b) Prevention of Sexual Exploitation training sessions have taken place in Lusaka, Chipata and Livingstone, reaching 74 participants, including WFP and NGO staff and transport company employees. A training session is planned to take place in Mongu the second week of January.

(c) WFP in Zambia will allocate nearly one million dollars this month toward NGO partners for capacity building, to ensure better targeting, distributions, monitoring and reporting. WFP hired an additional driver for the Solwezi sub-office.

(d) Some areas of Zambia - for example, Chavuma, Lukulu, and Zambezi - are becoming difficult to access due to heavy rains, with parts of valley districts already being cut-off. In Zambia, a total of 63 IFRC 6x6 trucks have been deployed to the field: 35 are operational In the Eastern Province and 28 Southern Provinces. The remainder will be deployed in the coming week, starting with the high-priority Gwembe District.

(7) Zimbabwe

(a) The January distribution plan calls for the distribution of 54,000 tons to 4.1 million beneficiaries in 49 districts.

(b) A pilot urban programme, which will be to be implemented by Help Germany and ACF, is being developed in five clinics of some vulnerable high-density suburbs of Harare. Efforts will focus on targeted dry feeding for children under the age of six who have a record of growth faltering

(c) A food queue disturbance occurred in Bulawayo on Friday, 3 January when several hundred residents staged a demonstration at the parastatal Grain Marketing Board depot to protest what they perceived to be the unfair distribution of food. Riot police arrested 37 people and dispersed the crowd.

(d) A second food queue disturbance was reported in Chitungwiza (a high density suburb north of Harare) on Sunday, 5 January when ruling party youths scuffled with police officers and fought for control of a queue for mealie meal at a supermarket.

(8) Angola

(a) In Bengo, WFP's NGO partner COSV reported a 60 percent reduction in malnutrition rates in Fazenda Santa Cruz and Mimbota since July 2002, largely related to food distribution and nutritional programmes carried out with WFP food. The commission for the re-integration process of Bengo Province informed that the dismantling of Mimbota and Santa Cruz GAs would be completed by the end of March 2003. Preparations for the January food distribution in Fazenda Santa Cruz are being hampered due to the extremely poor road conditions aggravated by heavy rains.

(b) In Bié, food was delivered to Cunhinga town for imminent distribution. However WFP food assistance programmes to around 14,400 former IDPs, who have recently returned to Belo Horizonte, within Cunhinga municipality, remain suspended due to the closure of a key road for UN personnel following a landmine incident in December. WFP provided registration training for MINARs delegates and NGO partners to promote better targeting of beneficiaries in Chinguar, Cambandua, Nharea, Chitembo, and Cunhinga municipalities.

(c) WFP completed a logistics assessment in Namibia as part of the preparations for return to Angola of around 17,000 refugees later in 2003.

(d) In Huambo, damaged bridges over River Nekandi, linking Alto-Hama to Bailundo municipality, and over the river Queve are hampering food distributions in Chiteta, Esfinge and Mungo Gas. In Kuanza Norte, access to the isolated Ngonguembo Municipality became possible following the opening of a bridge over the river Zenga. WFP is planning an urgent assessment mission.

(e) In Lunda Sul, WFP registered and assisted a total of 4,580 resettled IDPs along the road to Dala at the end of December 2002. In Moxico, WFP is continuing emergency food assistance to former Calala GA residents who have been stranded for over one month in Cazombo. These people are staying in unsanitary conditions with inadequate shelter awaiting transportation to their areas of origin. The majority of the roads in the province are not accessible due to the rains.

C) West Africa Region: (1) Cote D'Ivoire, (2) Central African Republic

1) Cote D'Ivoire

(a) In the Daloa area, distributions of WFP emergency food rations continued in the district of Bonoufla with some 1,846 out of the planned 4,000 IDPs having been served. Planned distributions to an estimated 1,750 IDPs in Zoukougbeu have been postponed in order to allow further assessments this week. Rehabilitation activities with MSF-F for the new IDP reception camp have started in Daloa. WFP is assessing the possibility of implementing food-for-work activities for the displaced.

(b) A joint WFP/CARE mission was undertaken during 2-3 January, to the villages of Didiévi, Mbahiakro, Prikro and Bocanda, northeast of Yamoussoukro. The objective of the mission was to verify IDP registers and evaluate the level of vulnerability and primary needs. The total estimated IDP caseload in this area amounts to 21,000.

(c) ACF and WFP continued the assessment of food security in surrounding villages of Bouaké (Béoumi, Diabo Tikakro and Yomié Kouadiokro). The main problem encountered is the lack of medical staff and medical supplies. From February onwards, it is predicted that the families will start facing difficulties, as their food reserves run out faster than usual. This is due to returnees who fled towns taken over by new forces and who are creating additional pressure on original household capacities.

(d) The caseload for January and February 2003 is 61,172 for the Bouaké area, 34,580 for the Yamoussoukro/Daloa area, and 5,300 refugees in Nicla camp.

(e) WFP and ACF have agreed to undertake a nutritional and food security evaluation in Korhogo and Odienné between 12-24 January, to determine needs and possible intervention there.

(f) Further to a request from the Minister of Education, WFP will embark on a school-feeding programme targeting 41,000 displaced children in insurgent-held zones. The programme will give the children the opportunity to be enrolled in schools in government-held areas. For an initial period of three months, 7,000 households will receive food aid on a monthly basis, as an incentive to keep children enrolled. WFP and UNICEF have assigned the NGO "LASIL" to assess education opportunities and means for reaching the children.

2) Central African Republic

(a) An improvement in the security situation in the southern part of Bangui has allowed for larger-scale distributions under EMOP 10150, Food Assistance to Persons Affected by Armed Conflict in Bangui. Distributions were undertaken to reinstalled persons (previously IDPs) in southern neighbourhoods of Bangui. During December, 766 tons of food were distributed at 7 sites, to 6140 households, representing 830,400 beneficiaries. Distributions were undertaken by a women's NGO "Reseau des femmes croyantes médiatrices de la paix" (Network of Women Believers Who Mediate Peace).

(b) Small-scale distributions were also undertaken in Bossembele and other locations in the interior to small numbers of IDPs, as they become accessible in war zones.

(c) EMOP 10038, Food Assistance to Congolese Refugees in CAR, has arrived at its termination date on 31 December 2002. WFP has successfully supported this refugee population since August 2000, and distributions are now being handed over to UNHCR. The caseload is less than 5,000.

(d) Activities under EMOP 10194, Food Assistance to IDPS in Northern CAR, have been suspended due to lack of access. Virtually no information is available from the affected area and the 5000 IDP beneficiaries are inaccessible. Assistance will be re-activated once access regained.

D) Asia Region: (1) DPR Korea, (2) Indonesia

1) DPR Korea

(a) Immediate pledges of 79,000 tons are urgently required to ensure that the food pipeline is full during the first quarter of 2003. Otherwise, WFP will not be able to reach some 2.9 million most vulnerable aid recipients, including children in nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools, pregnant and nursing women, and elderly persons. Some Local Food Production factories have already been forced to stop production. All food-for-work activities will have to be suspended as well.

(b) As primary schools and kindergartens are closed for the winter vacation through mid February, WFP's monitoring activities are focused on nurseries and families. Very few classrooms of the visited nurseries were provided with proper heating facilities. The main heating material is firewood which is a scarce resource. Normally, the children in the nurseries are crammed into one or two rooms to keep them relatively warm.

(c) Most of the counties visited through WFP monitoring activities have finished threshing of rice. A few counties reported a marginal increase in production, whereas the majority indicated a significant decrease in comparison with last year. Almost all the places visited by WFP were covered with snow, while the rivers were frozen. Post-harvest tillage was interrupted by lack of fuel and intermittent snowfall. The most visible agricultural activity was the depositing of manure on the fields, mostly by women. Oxen power was used to transport the manure on simple sledges.

2) Indonesia

(a) WFP participated in a UN Inter-Agency Mission to Aceh on 16-18 December to assess the humanitarian situation. The Mission highlighted the need to assist female-headed households. WFP is reviewing the Government's request to provide 10,000 tons of rice for Aceh as humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable people affected by the conflict.

(b) During December 2002, 1.53 million targeted beneficiaries, mostly women and children, received WFP food assistance amounting to 4,336 tons of food through the subsidized rice for urban poor programme, the nutrition programme, and the IDP programme. The current PRRO 10069 remains 35 percent resourced and has a shortfall of USD 39 million.

(c) In Central Sulawesi, food distribution to IDPs and returnees continued throughout the month. A more narrowly targeted programme is anticipated in 2003 given the improvement in the security situation in the province. In West Kalimantan, the Government distributed a three-month rice ration to the Madurese IDPs. In Madura, the Indonesia Red Cross undertook a final distribution to 65,000 IDPs under the current agreement.

E) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Iran, (3) Pakistan

1) Afghanistan

(a) Between 1-7 January, nearly 142,000 beneficiaries received 1000 tons of food through the following WFP activities. 16,500 beneficiaries received 290 tons of food through food-for-work and food for asset creation activities, 6,600 beneficiaries received 25 tons of food through food for education activities, 55,300 beneficiaries received 130 tons of food through the urban vulnerable bakery projects, 3,000 beneficiaries received 55 tons of food through supplementary feeding and 15,000 tons were distributed to beneficiaries through winterisation activities.

(b) Through projects for the relief and resettlement of IDPs and refugees, 60,200 beneficiaries received 500 tons of food. In Mazari Sharif, a project was approved to assist 425 IDP families at Acha Camp of Faryab province. In Kabul, 161 returnee families from Pakistan received 9 tons of food. In Hirat, an IDP bakery project was completed on 2 January, and a second-phase project was approved, with WFP's commitments of 1,674 tons of wheat flour to bread production and 295 tons of wheat as wages to bakers. A project was approved to assist the IDPs in Maslakh and Shaidayee camps, through a one-time distribution of 488 tons of food to cover three months. The Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation will distribute the food to the IDPs.

(c) In Hirat, WFP organised a food security meeting attended by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development as well as WFP's implementing partners. At the meeting, participants discussed the status of food deliveries, food-for-asset creation activities, urban vulnerability assessments, the Kuchi assessment in Farah province and WFP's new Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation.

(d) The security situation was calm in general during the reporting period, except in the Kahmard district of Bamyan, and Laghman and Nuristan provinces in Jalal Abad where tension is high between local commanders and the Coalition Forces. UN missions were suspended to those areas.

2) Iran

(a) On the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of WFP involvement in humanitarian relief operations in Iran, WFP signed a Letter of Intent with the Iranian Red Crescent Society outlining various areas of joint collaboration in the future. In September 1962, WFP's first emergency operation in Iran was directed to the victims of the devastating earthquake in Boin Zahra, Qazvin province, when more than 12,000 people died. The implementing partner at that time was the Iranian Red Crescent Society.

(b) Monthly food distribution to about 67,000 Iraqi and Afghan refugees was completed in December 2002.

(c) 19,573 potential beneficiaries have been identified for assistance under the recovery component of the PRRO 10213, which includes education and skill training activities for Afghan women refugees and schoolgirls. Despite intense efforts at all levels to mobilize the required resources to start the PRRO, WFP has received no confirmation of contributions.

3) Pakistan

(a) With the implementation of the new EMOP 10228, Assistance to Afghan Refugees, WFP will take over from UNHCR the responsibility for final distribution of food aid. International and national NGOs, who in the past had been the implementing partners of UNHCR for food distribution, were requested to submit their proposals to WFP. To date, there is no confirmation of donor contributions for this recently approved emergency operation.

(b) The first distribution to 36,000 drought-affected persons has been completed in Pishin District in Balochistan.

(c) WFP's Country Director visited drought -affected areas last week and met with the families who have received WFP food. He also met the Governor of the Balochistan Province. WFP role was well appreciated and additional assistance was requested for the affected population that has been identified by the WFP/FAO food and crop assessment mission.

F) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Northern Caucasus, (2) Albania, (3) Azerbaijan, (4) Georgia

1) Northern Caucasus

(a) On 27 December two car explosions occurred near the Chechen government buildings in Grozny, killing 83 people, injuring over 150 people and completely destroying the compound.

(b) According to data from the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), over 700 out of a total of around 1,500 inhabitants of the former IDP camp Imam (Aki Yurt) found refuge in spontaneous settlements and with host families in Ingushetia. Around 600 returned to Chechnya. The whereabouts of the remaining 200 IDPs from the closed camp are being traced by UNHCR, DRC and other humanitarian organizations operating in the North Caucasus.

(c) The available heating devices for IDPs in tent camps and spontaneous settlements in Ingushetia are insufficient for the uncommonly cold weather that has prevailed in the area for the past few weeks. The death of a child in the IDP camp "Bart" (Karabulak) was considered to be a result of the cold weather.

(d) A total of 2,870 tons of food was allocated by WFP for distribution to 289,400 beneficiaries in Ingushetia and Chechnya during December. Due to the delay in arrival of commodities, distribution commenced by the middle of December and is expected to finish by middle of January 2003. WFP prioritized distribution of the food available in stock to IDPs living in tent camps and spontaneous settlements in Ingushetia.

2) Albania

(a) WFP's PRRO activities in Albania include Communal Forestry and Pasture Management, Social Sector Assistance, and Community Asset Building through food-for-work. As of 31 December 2002, the PRRO had secured contributions representing about 41 percent of the required resources.

(b) During December, 470 tons of food was distributed to targeted beneficiaries. The number of participants under the communal forestry and pastures management component has increased steadily; a total of 5,120 families in 58 communes received rations during December. A total of 1,035 women participated in the social sector component of the project and received family rations. In food-for-work schemes, a total of 585 workers were engaged and received rations for their families.

(c) All the food-for-work schemes in Kukes prefecture implemented by Islamic Relief have been completed. Actions have been taken to initiate food-for-work by the local authorities; to this end, a number of meetings with the relevant officials were held during December.

3) Azerbaijan

(a) During the fourth round of food distribution in November-December 2002, WFP provided food assistance to 131,845 IDPs plus 714 other vulnerable persons.

(b) Various contributions to the new PRRO 10168, for the urgently needed commodities, have been confirmed. However, the critical months will be after March 2003 when most of the commodities will be exhausted, thus new contributions are urgently needed to avoid a pipeline break.

(c) A budget revision for PRRO 6121 was approved for an extension in time until December 2002, to accommodate the balance of food stocks and to enable a smooth transition into the new PRRO 10168.

4) Georgia

(a) A total of 2,181 tons of food was distributed during December. WFP, in collaboration with CARE, delivered 205 tons of food to Mestia district, completing the distribution of 50 days' rations (a total of 248 tons) to 11,000 beneficiaries. 1,928 tons of food were distributed to 27,640 participants of food-for-work projects. Some 964 participants in food-for-training activities received 2 tons of wheat flour.

(b) The early start of harsh weather conditions brought the implementation of many projects to a halt in both regions of East Georgia.

(c) The security situation in Kutaisi, West Georgia, has significantly deteriorated. International organizations and UN agencies operating in the region formed a special working group to liaise with the local and central governments on security issues.

Note: All tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tons.

(End WFP Emergency Report No 2).