WFP Emergency Report No. 04 of 2002

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 25 Jan 2002
This report includes:
(A) Central Africa Region: (1) Democratic Republic of Congo, (2) Angola, (3) Namibia

(B) East and Southern Africa: (1) Ethiopia, (2) Kenya, (3) Tanzania, (4) Uganda

(C) West Africa: (1) Guinea

(D) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Pakistan

(E) Asia Region: (1) DPR Korea

(F) Latin America and the Caribbean Region: (1) Guatemala, (2) El Salvador, (3) Honduras

(G) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Northern Caucasus, (2) Balkans

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) Central Africa Region: (1) Democratic Republic of Congo, (2) Angola, (3) Namibia

1) Democratic Republic of Congo

(a) Food distributions in Goma and Sake are targeting 371,000 persons (53,000 families) affected by the volcanic eruption of 17 January with 571 tons of food. Distributions will be completed by the beginning of next week. A joint UN Heads of Agencies mission to Goma confirmed the availability of potable water, the establishment of six food distribution points and the functioning of the general hospital, with 200 in-patients. 80 pharmacies out of 100 existing have been destroyed, as well as 41 schools. It was difficult to obtain clear figures of affected populations, as access to several areas of the town was difficult. It was stressed that assessments had to be stopped early in the day due to the state of general insecurity that was still prevailing in Goma.

(b) Given the level of arrivals to Bukavu, the estimated number of IDPs who might stay in the Bukavu-Kirotshe area has been brought down to 50,000 persons, instead of the 160,000 originally envisaged. On 23 January 1,600 IDPs were received, bringing the caseload to 14,600 persons. WFP is preparing a food distribution of 220 tons of food for early next week.

(c) There are 16,888 Congolese refugees in the town of Gisenyi in Rwanda. Daily rations distributed in Gisenyi and Ruhengeri total five tons of food. WFP distributed food to 600 new arrivals at the Nkamira transit centre, who were then transported to the Mudende camp. 1,845 new arrivals were received Thursday at the Mudende camp and given a 4-day ration. Reception at Nkamira has been suspended since 23 January to facilitate the registration of the persons already there. The Rwandan Government provided blankets and plastic sheeting for the IDPs in the camp.

(d) Two UNDAC team members took up positions on 23 January in the WFP office in Kigali, to coordinate the information flow for the receipt and forwarding of non-food items at Kigali airport. A logistics hub to handle both food and non-food items has been established in Gisenyi.

2) Angola

(a) Intense military movement close to the Angolan border with Zambia has resulted in large population movements from the interior into the Moxico province capital of Luena. In other parts of the country, the security situation during the week was considered relatively stable, despite reports of military incidents in Bié, Benguela and the Lundas, as well as accidents with landmines in some major thoroughfares.

(b) A comprehensive assessment by the Malange suboffice of the agricultural situation in the province indicates that several populations will become self-sufficient in maize by the March harvest. The lack of rain in Uige province continues to be a major worry for the local agricultural situation.

(c) At least 6,606 IDP families in Bengo province are scheduled to receive parcels of land in early February, according to WFP partner NGO Trinidade. As of 21 January, in Bié province there are 126,000 IDPs in Kuito, 50,000 in Kamacupa and 5,000 in Kunhinga. At least 1,517 new IDPs arrived in Waku Kungo, Kuanza Sul province, during the last week. At least 792 persons are displaced by conflict in Lunda Norte province, some of which are returnees from the DR Congo, arrived in Saurimo, Lunda Sul province. 360 new IDPs (100 families) were registered in Luena, Moxico province, for a total 2,510 people (682 families) registered so far in January.

(d) 3,554 children under five years were assisted with 3.34 tons of food in the pre-school kitchens (PICs), managed by MINARS in Lobito and Benguela. 347 children under five years were assisted with 1.59 tons of food in the therapeutic centers of Benguela and Cubal.

(e) In Namibe province food for work projects shared by WFP and FAO, supporting the flood victims of Girau de Cima and Girau de Baixo have recently come to an end. The project lasted from July 2001 until now, and benefited 276 flood-affected victims. Despite the late start of the project, it greatly boosted agricultural production in the region.

3) Namibia

(a) On 17 January WFP approved the emergency operation (EMOP) for Namibia to assist Angola refugees in the country at a total cost of USD 2.2 million for the provision of food assistance to 23,000 beneficiaries, from 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2002.

(b) Food pipeline breaks for CSB and sugar are expected to occur in February 2002, and feeding will be interrupted in March without urgent donor support for the new EMOP.

B) East and Southern Africa: (1) Ethiopia, (2) Kenya, (3) Tanzania, (4) Uganda

1) Ethiopia

(a) The situation in Ethiopia has shown marked improvement from the recent crisis years of 1999 and 2000, but humanitarian needs are substantial. The population that need external assistance to meet minimum food needs has fallen from 6.2 million in 2001 to 5.2 million in 2002, which is slightly lower than the 1995-2001 average of 5.5 million people. The people targeted for food assistance will need relief rations for around six months of the year. The decline in the affected population is in spite of a slightly lower crop production: two relatively good harvests in succession have allowed some degree of recovery.

(b) The Ethiopian Government's Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC) presented its assistance requirements and implementation strategy for the year 2002 to donors, UN agencies and NGOs on 23 January 2002. This summarized the results of the annual needs assessment by the DPPC in conjunction with donors, NGOs, UN agencies and regional authorities. The regions with the highest affected populations are Amhara (1,724,800); Oromiya (1,051,400); Tigray (917,200); Somali (894,800); SNNPR (303,300); and Afar (225,400).

(c) Relief food aid requirements for 2002 are estimated at 557,000 tons. Taking into consideration carryover contributions, the outstanding requirements are 427,000 tons (369,000 tons of cereals, 30,000 tons of blended food and 28,000 tons of vegetable oil). WFP has an ongoing EMOP and a new operation will be approved for assistance to the end of the year. With donor support, WFP will be able to cover part of the overall needs, with the remainder met from donations bilaterally to the DPPC or to NGOs. The relief food pipeline covers the needs only until mid-March. Furthermore, some carryover contributions are already earmarked for particular regions and cannot be used for emerging crisis areas. New pledges are urgently required and, on confirmation, loans from the Emergency Food Security Reserve can be used to meet immediate needs. Given the availability of cereals and proven capacities of agencies to procure locally, donors are urged to consider meeting some of the food aid need from purchases in Ethiopia.

(d) The estimate of relief food aid requirements includes the needs of IDPs and Ethiopian Returnees from Eritrea displaced by the border conflict who have returned to their places of origin but as yet are unable to either produce or purchase sufficient food. However, the estimate does not include the needs of the IDPs in Tigray that have resettled but have no or little access to land and those that cannot return due to security concerns. These are being assessed separately and WFP provisionally estimates that around 75,000 people will continue to be targeted for specific assistance and 17,000 tons of relief food aid are needed for these IDPs in 2002. While there are sufficient commodities available to enable continued distributions through March 2002, with a monthly requirement of 1,400 tons, pledges are required to enable distributions to continue beyond that period.

2) Kenya

(a) Cases of banditry and cattle raids were reported in Turkana and Meru districts between 20 December- 25 January. In Tana River clashes between the Pokomot and Wardeis still continue. A security meeting was held in Dadaab, where the area Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) gave statistical evaluation on crime for 2001, indicating there were less reported cases of crime than in 2000. The decline was attributed to increased security patrols in the camps and greater coordination between aid and refugee personnel.

(b) A final report on the short rains assessment was endorsed by the Kenya Food Security Meeting (KFSM) on 24 January. The assessment found that most areas of Kenya have started to recover from the droughts of 1999 and 2000. The food security situation in the country has improved, but some parts of the country, mainly arid and semi-arid areas, will continue to need relief food assistance until October 2002. The total relief food requirement for 2002 is estimated to be 111,527 tons, 90,227 tons for general food distribution and 21,300 tons for food-for-work. The number of beneficiaries for general food distribution is about 1.5 million in January, declining gradually to 500,000 in October. An estimated 48 percent of the population in the assessed districts will be beneficiaries of food aid.

(c) The Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) has a resourcing shortfall of 10,800 for the next six months. WFP is appealing to donors for urgent pledges in order to avoid a food crisis amongst refugees in Kenya. In January 2002, a total of 2,539 tons of food was distributed to 219,201 beneficiaries at both Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps under the PRRO. The 84,943 beneficiaries at Kakuma camp received one and a half month's worth of food aid, timed to last until the middle of February 2002. A population increase of 1,392, approximately 6 per cent, was reported in January. Due to resourcing shortages, the January food distribution will provide only 1400 kilocalories per person, per day, at Dadaad camp and 1224 kilo calories for refugees at Kakuma camp.

(d) A total of 11,974 tons of commodities will be distributed in January to 1,533,910 beneficiaries under the EMOP.

(e) The Global School Feeding Initiative has targeted 1,330,911 primary school children for the first school term of 2002. A total of 18,166 tons of food has been allocated and is in the process of being delivered to schools. Maize, vegetable oil and Corn Soya Milk (CSM) has been dispatched to some 4,700 schools, in sixteen districts since the opening day of the new school term on 7 January.

3) Tanzania

(a) On 10 January 2002, a car ambush about 6 kilometers from Kitali Hills camp resulted in money and passports stolen but no injuries. The security situation was reported calm throughout the reporting period in all camps except for an incident on 15 January, when armed bandits attacked and robbed refugees between Nyarugusu and Heru-Ushingo village. One refugee was seriously injured and was sent to the camp dispensary for treatment.

(b) During the reporting period, 182 Rwandese were voluntarily repatriated to Rwanda. Since January 01 to January 11, 2002, a total of 182 Rwandese have been assisted in returning home. Refugee influxes included 246 Burundian, 1,362 Congolese, and 50 Rwandese.

(c) From 1-13 January, a two-week ration of cereals, pulses, CSB and vegetable oil was distributed in Kigoma Region camps, and a three-week ration in Ngara Camps. The total number of extremely vulnerable refugees is 2,821 in Kasulu, 1,138 in Lugufu and 1,286 in Kibondo (Ngara figures not available). A total of 4,399 tons of food were distributed to 500,972 refugees. An additional 71 tons of food were distributed to 15,594 beneficiaries through supplementary feeding programmes.

4) Uganda

(a) WFP distributed 2,952 tons of food to a total of 311,482 beneficiaries in 10 districts during the month of December 2001. The security situation remained relatively calm during December in most programme areas.

(b) WFP distributed agricultural tools to residents of seven camps in Bundibugyo, in collaboration with Coopi, an Italian NGO, who were distributing seeds. This is a step towards enhancing self-reliance on food acquisition by the IDPs. Significant results from seed multiplication through food-for-work and food-for-training projects in Kitgum district have resulted in the expansion of the project to cover a total of 300 acres of land in 2002 from 8 acres earlier cultivated.

(c) IDPs who had settled in the neighbouring districts of Kasese/Kabarole and Mubende continue to return to Bundibugyo district. With resettlement expected in the first half of 2002, a focus from primarily relief to more development-oriented programmes will be adopted by WFP in Bundibugyo. In Adjumani, Moyo and Arua Districts, the Office of the Prime Minister has secured some land from nationals for allocation to refugees settled in agriculturally unproductive areas. Transfers will be finalized at a later date.

C) West Africa: (1) Guinea

1) Guinea

(a) The overall security situation remains stable in Guinea. Unconfirmed reports indicate that there are growing numbers of Liberians waiting to enter Guinea. This past week, a new incoming group of 487 Liberian refugees have been registered.

(b) In Kissidougou region, WFP in collaboration with Prèmière Urgence distributed rations in the Boreah refugee camp to 12,600 beneficiaries. On January 8, a total of 205 Sierra Leonean refugees from the Kountaya and Telikoro camps were repatriated. In N'Zérékoré region, WFP in collaboration with Organisation Catholique pour la Promotion Humaine distributed food to a total of approximately 19,500 refugees in the Kouankan and Kola refugee camps. From 7-10 January, WFP in collaboration with Première Urgence in Dabola region, carried out its first general food distribution in the Sembakounya refugee camp to 7,000 refugees.

(c) WFP food distributions were carried out in the prefecture of Dinguiraye, Dabola region, to 3 cooperatives (86 beneficiaries; 80 percent women) involved in food-for-work gardening activities. The sub office in Kissidougou distributed family rations to 150 food-for-work beneficiaries, who are working on rehabilitating local roads and evacuation canals in Gueckedou town. WFP food distributions were carried out in the prefectures of Dabola and Dinguiraye in 19 cooperatives (630 beneficiaries; 60 percent women) involved in food-for-work activities (gardening and reforestation).

(d) In the Kouankan nutritional center, WFP in collaboration with the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) distributed food to 14 children and 173 pregnant and nursing mothers. In the Kola nutritional center, the IFRC distributed WFP dry rations to 14 children and 27 pregnant and nursing mothers. WFP in collaboration with Action Contre la Faim (ACF) distributed food to 53 moderately malnourished beneficiaries at the Sembakounya nutritional feeding center.

(e) A total of 3,500 tons of Bulgur is urgently needed to cover refugee needs for February through April 2002.

D) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Pakistan

1) Afghanistan

(a) The labour market and grain trade field survey has been completed in Kabul, Hirat, Faizabad, and Mazar, and the compilation of data has begun. Market prices for wheat and wheat flour have shown a slight decrease (roughly 10 percent) in Kabul, Mazar, and Hirat over the last week. In the same cities, an approximate 15 percent appreciation of the Afghani to the US dollar has been recorded.

(b) In Mazar-I-Sharif WFP has been meeting with the government to discuss implementing procedures. A new commission is being established to work with the humanitarian community. Following reports of food shortages and hunger in the Kari Valley in Faryab Province, WFP is doubling the deliveries of corn soya blend and vegetable oil to the region.

(c) In Kandahar, the overall security situation in the city and its surrounding area is reportedly calm. There are roadblocks in the city as part of the drive to disarm the population. WFP food distributions amount to approximately 6,000 tons in Kandahar and neighbouring provinces this month, which is sufficient to provide food for about 720,000 people.

(d) On 19 January WFP surveyed the IDP camps in Spinboldak south of Kandahar. The population in the five camps is about 60,000 people. About 40 to 50 percent of them are nomads (Kuchi) who have been affected by the drought and lost their livestock. The rest had to leave their villages because of the conflict. WFP has been concerned about these people as they are extremely vulnerable and little assistance has been available to them from the international community because of security restrictions. WFP is investigating the modalities of a three-month package for the population of the camps.

(e) A two-member mission from the Kabul office has gone to Hazarajat for 10 days to monitor WFP supported projects. The mission will visit Shibar, Saighan, Kahmard, Yakawlang areas.

(f) The urban distribution in Hirat, which targeted 430,000 people, in collaboration with World Vision, ended this week. This is the second urban distribution WFP has completed after Kabul. Preparations for a third distribution in Mazar-I-Sharif are proceeding.

2) Pakistan

(a) Over the past 2 weeks, some 2000-2500 families (13,000 individuals) had gathered in a 'no-mans land' to cross the Pakistani border from Afghanistan. On 15 January the Pakistani authorities finally granted permission for them to enter Pakistan. UNHCR has established a new refugee camp at Dara close to the Chaman border and WFP has supplied food to these new refugees on an emergency basis. UNHCR plans to move at least 200 to 250 families per day to the camp.

(b) The Pakistani Authorities on the border of Chaman have provided data on repatriations to Afghanistan since the establishment of the interim Government. Most repatriation is believed to have been from urban areas of Balochistan where refugees had taken temporary refuge with relatives. The data indicates that repatriation decreased from 1 January 2002 whereas the number of refugees waiting to enter into Pakistan had increased significantly.

E) Asia Region: (1) DPR Korea

1) DPR Korea

(a) Provincial authorities in South Hamgyong province expressed concern about inadequate snowfall as it will have negative consequences for natural fertiliser compost and consequently the early crops of winter wheat and barley.

(b) New population figures as of end 2001 have been provided by the Central FDRC for all accessible counties in DPRK. With total population now indicated at 22.3 million, this reflects a 1.9 percent increase over the end 1999 figures. The revised figures are already being used in the preparation of WFP distribution plans.

F) Latin America and the Caribbean Region: (1) Guatemala, (2) El Salvador, (3) Honduras

1) Guatemala

(a) Due to the alarming nutritional deterioration in several areas of Guatemala, WFP may consider the use of an Emergency Operation (EMOP) to address the situation. UN agencies and government sources estimate that some 7,000 severe malnourished children are in risk of death.

(b) A cold front has affected grain production, particularly maize. In the western areas of the country, temperatures reached minus 7 degrees Celsius. A government agency (Instituto de Sismología Vulcanología e Hidrología) has warned farmers of the possibility of El Niño phenomena affecting rainfall patterns.

(c) Two additional Nutritional Rehabilitation Centers are operational since August 2001 in El Quiche and Jalapa provinces distributing milk and oil to 1,475 children. The original five centers currently assist 1,040 children.

2) El Salvador

(a) Increased seismic activities have been reported near the San Miguel volcano although no eruption warnings have been issued. WFP is prepared to act immediately in case of an emergency, as is planned with the interagency contingency plan.

(b) Some 21,500 families will be assisted by the two emergency operations to commence in early February. As the dry season begins and stocks diminish, updated information will clarify where assistance is most needed to drought-affected families.

3) Honduras

(a) The Country Office is coordinating with the new Government authorities and other institutions in order to prepare for natural disasters that may emerge this year, such as El Niño phenomena and floods. Based on the experience during 2001, the more vulnerable areas in terms of droughts and floods have been identified.

(b) From 14-21 January, 4,805 tons of maize, beans and oil were distributed in the Marale and Orica districts in the Francisco Morazan province to 30,000 families affected by the drought.

(c) The initial distribution phase has now been completed to flood victims of the tropical storm Michelle. The Morazan, Jocón, Yoro and Yorito districts were assisted in the province of Yoro. 265 tons of WFP food was distributed in collaboration with World Vision to 1,500 families.

G) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Northern Caucasus, (2) Balkans

1) Northern Caucasus

(a) According to the Danish Relief Council (DRC), on 15 January, there were about 140,000 IDPs from Chechnya registered in Ingushetia, of whom 21,430 were staying in camps, 30,900 in spontaneous settlements and 87,600 with host families. The WFP Household Survey indicates that there are around 115,000 members of very poor and poor households living in WFP-targeted areas of Chechnya.

(b) During 1 to 15 January, WFP distributed a total of 178 tons of food to 37,600 beneficiaries in Ingushetia and Chechnya. DRC and Islamic Relief (IR) conducted general food distribution for IDPs in Ingushetia, supplying 24,210 displaced persons with a total of 160 tons of food. As a result of a WFP food pipeline break due to late arrival of food shipments, WFP had to reduce the monthly ration of wheat flour in Ingushetia from 13.5 kg to 5 kg. Similarly, the ration scale of sugar was reduced from 1 kg per IDP per month to 0.5 kg.

(c) In January, WFP's Chechnya relief distribution cycle took place during the second part of the month. WFP, in collaboration with IR, continues a bread distribution project in Grozny to 3,830 members of vulnerable beneficiary groups. As a part of WFP's school feeding project in Chechnya, IR has also been delivering sweet buns to 9,580 primary schoolchildren in schools of Grozny City.

2) Balkans: (a) Kosovo, (b) Serbia, (c) Montenegro, (d) Albania

(a) Kosovo

1. WFP has delivered food to 47,000 vulnerable persons covered under the food Safety Net programme, to cover the period January to March. This figure does not include 6,500 targeted beneficiaries living in inaccessible areas, who received a five-month winter food supply during November and December 2001. This delivery is part of WFP's phasing out of food assistance in Kosovo; it will allow local distribution partners (LDPs) to focus on their "phase-in" activities. The current number of refugees from FYROM stands at 10,500; of these, 1,000 received 5-month winter food stocks during November and December 2001.

2. WFP facilitated an inter-LDP consultation. At that meeting, LDPs identified the needs and problems facing their constituencies as well as possible interventions to address them. CARE International, WFP's implementing partner for "phase-in" activities, will conduct strategic planning workshops with each LDP in order to assist in developing a mid-term strategy for March to December 2002.

(b) Serbia

1. Action plans for reducing the number of WFP beneficiaries in Serbia have been sent to all the relevant parties. The reductions are planned in accordance with the JFNAM recommendations and the findings of the Pensioners' and Refugee Vulnerability surveys.

2. The harshest winter in decades has affected the financial situation of the local population as well as the distribution of WFP food aid, since many roads are inaccessible and frozen and many villages are cut off.

(c) Montenegro

1. Prepositioning of stocks for January/February distribution to 14,300 IDPs and 6,450 refugees is ongoing. Logistics problems and adverse weather caused some delays in distributions. It is expected that distributions will be completed by 3 February.

2. As a follow-up to WFP-organized Food Storage Workshop held in December 2001, WFP monitors have been inspecting the conditions of warehouses in which WFP commodities are stored. They have noted that most warehouses accepted the new procedures as required at the seminar.

(d) Albania

1. WFP food was distributed to 5,200 beneficiaries belonging to unassisted-unemployed households (1,040 heads of household), 1,670 participants (8,500 beneficiaries) in the Communal Forestry Project and to 140 workers (700 beneficiaries) undertaking food-for-work activities.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 4).