Afghanistan + 21 more

WFP Emergency Report No. 04 of 2004

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published


This report includes:
A) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Iran, (2) Afghanistan

B) East and Central Africa: (1) Burundi, (2) Eritrea, (3) Ethiopia, (4) Republic of Congo (ROC), (5) Somalia, (6) Sudan, (7) Uganda

C) West Africa: (1) Liberia, (2) Côte d'Ivoire

D) Southern Africa: ) Regional, (2) Angola, (3) Lesotho, (4) Madagascar, (5) Malawi, (6) Mozambique, (7) Swaziland, (8) Zambia, (9) Zimbabwe

E) Asia: (1) Indonesia, (2) DPRK

E) Latin America and the Caribbean: No inputs received

F) Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: (1) Regional, (2) Ingushetia, (3) Chechnya

From David Morton, Director of the Transport, Preparedness and Response Division (OTP); available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (www.wfp.org), or by e-mail from Carlo.Scaramella@wfp.org, Chief of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit (OEP).

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 Brenda.Barton@wfp.org, telephone +39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

A) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Iran, (2) Afghanistan

1) Iran

(a) The use of UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) passenger aircraft to provide transport services for UN staff, NGOs relief workers and donor representatives from Tehran to Kerman and Bam has been extended until 31 January.

(b) The first 26 temporary schools set up by UNICEF are reopened in Zone 10, as of 21 January.

(c) Six prefabricated units for office accommodation in Bam are on the way from Herat to Bam; 3 units will be used for WFP Office, while the remaining 3 units will be used by sister agencies. Norwegian Civil Defence Force will erect additional tents to complete the UN camp at Bam.

(d) Meetings were held with IRCS to discuss details on re-packing of WFP commodities, bread baking capacity in Bam and registration of beneficiaries. At the end of January, WFP will deliver to IRCS commodities meeting 50% of overall EMOP 10332.0 requirements. The First WFP commodities under the EMOP have been delivered to IRCS warehouse at Kerman.

(e) WFP monitors from Zahedan sub-office are overseeing distribution in Bam. They will rotate with newly recruited food-monitors in view of the difficult working conditions in Bam. Latrines and showers are still major priority for both Bam population and relief workers.

(f) The New Head of Bam Field Office took up assignment on 19 January replacing WFP's Programme Coordinator. Assistant Programme Coordinator, who will be on TDY for one month to assist the CO with the implementation of the EMOP and other programming activities, has an ETA of 23 January. WFP Bam staff consist now of Head of Sub-office, one Field Monitor, one staff assistant and two drivers, while a second field monitor is under recruitment.

(g) Under the EMOP, the Dutch Post & Courrier Company TPG donated and facilitated transportation for 4 mobile storage tents of a capacity of 300-400 MT from Brindisi to Kerman. Australia made a cash contribution of USD 746,268. The Government of India donated 559 MT of High Energy Biscuits (HEB), for a total value of USD 516,168. Some 109Mt are already in Bam, 300 MT will be taken from the Iranian port of Bandar-Abbas while the remaining 150 Mt will be produced by India.

2) Afghanistan

(a) In all eastern provinces, all UN missions remained suspended as well as in the northern Gusfandi and Kohistanat districts in Saripul province. In Mazari Sharif, a hand grenade exploded in the compound of the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), an international NGO, causing minor injuries to one person.

(b) Moreover, UN missions to south eastern and southern provinces remained suspended due to insecurity on the Kabul-Gardez road and at Lashkargar district in Hilmand province. Several incidents took place during the week, including a hand grenade explosion and a missile attack in Gardez and a mine explosion in Chamkani district in Paktya. Explosions also occurred near Chaman airfield (missiles), at Sabari district in Khost province (a bomb), and in Ghazni province (two bombs).

(c) In the west, travel on the Shindand-Dilaram highway and to Bakwa and Bala Buluk districts in Farah province remained suspended. A UNHCR vehicle with three staff members was shot at on the Qalay-I-Now-Hirat highway with no damage.

(d) A snow avalanche in the vicinity of the Salang Tunnel led to the death of two Afghans. The road through the tunnel has been closed since 18 January.

(e) During the reporting period, 364,026 beneficiaries received 2,000 MT of food. Some 1,404 MT of food commodities were dispatched from external logistics hubs to extended delivery points inside Afghanistan. Some 1, 967 MT of wheat procured in Pakistan were received in Peshawar and some 957 MT in Quetta. Moreover, some 498 MT of sugar were dispatched from Port Qasim to Peshawar and some 487 MT to Quetta. WFP participated in an inter-agency mission to flood-affected villages in Guzara district in Hirat province, together with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Guzara District Governor, UNAMA, UNICEF, WHO and IFRC. Some 200 houses out of 500 in the village and an estimated 260 hectares of land cultivated with wheat and potatoes were damaged. The families affected have been evacuated to villages nearby. WFP will provide a one-month food ration to 500 families.

(f) WFP attended a UN prioritization workshop for Kandahar province, designed to facilitate joint planning of phase IV of the Ogata initiative.

(B) East and Central Africa: (1) Burundi, (2) Eritrea, (3) Ethiopia, (4) Republic of Congo, (5) Somalia, (6) Sudan, (7) Uganda

(1) Burundi

(a) The overall security situation in the country has been calm in most of the provinces although fighting and looting were reported in Bujumbura Rural and Bururi provinces. UNSECOORD has downgraded the UN Security Phase in the provinces of Rutana and Makamba and the town of Bururi (from Phase IV to III). Security Phase IV remains in force in Bujumbura Rural, Bubanza and Cibitoke (except Cibitoke town which is phase III).

(b) The first talks between the government and Force pour la defense de la democratie (FNL), an armed movement still fighting the Government troops in Burundi, took place in Amsterdam on 18-20 January between the Head of State and a high level FNL delegation.

(c) The Forum of Partners for Development in Burundi took place on 13-14 January in Brussels. The donors pledged over USD 1 billion towards government plans over a period of three years for the alleviation of multilateral debt, rehabilitation of returnees, reinforcement of good governance and reform of the defence and security forces.

(d) WFP distributed more than 1,600 tons of food commodities to over 158,000 beneficiaries through different food aid activities. A cereal pipeline break is expected to occur in February, if the 8,000 tons of USA cereals does not arrive as scheduled. WFP is nevertheless checking on loan possibilities to prevent this and the pulses pipeline break expected in March.

(e) Preliminary findings of the inter-agency crop and food supply assessment indicate that the food aid requirement of approximately 90,600 tons will be needed for year 2004. The report is expected soon.

2) Eritrea

(a) The UN Country Team is negotiating with the Government to find an acceptable solution to the new regulation limiting travel for UN Agencies, Embassies and International Organizations based in Eritrea. The new regulation has raised serious concerns among UN Agencies, as it greatly hinders operations and the monitoring of humanitarian activities, including concerns on staff security and issues with respect to UN agreements with the Government.

(b) Rainfall continued in the Northern Red Sea region this week, but was limited to only a few sectors. There was no rainfall in other parts of the region. Increased and continuous rain is needed to ensure sufficient fodder for livestock in this mainly pastoral region.

(c) Confirmed pledges for the drought EMOP 10261.0 amount to approximately 39,000 tons of mixed commodities (81% of the 2004 requirement). A total of 32,180 tons of mixed commodities, representing 37% of the needs for 2004 have been resourced for the PRRO 10192. WFP is increasingly concerned about the resource situation for 2004. Given its current carryover and the lack of additional pledges, a pipeline break is expected from March 2004.

3) Ethiopia

(a) A draft version of the WFP Food Aid Use and Impact Survey, is circulating to regional government offices for their comments, and will be released following this process. The survey was carried out by WFP, in consultation with the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC), in six regions (Afar, Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR, Somali and Tigray).

(b) The objective of the above survey is to measure the performance of the WFP Emergency Operation (EMOP) against its stated objectives. In particular, it provides specific measures of household welfare - poverty measures, coping strategies, expenditure analysis, asset holdings; food aid related issues - community perceptions of distribution, target efficiency, opportunity costs of food aid distribution, food aid utilization; and the impact of food aid distribution on local markets.

(c) A total of 21,880 individuals, in 32 zones, 83 woredas, 185 PAs and 374 villages were covered under this survey. A large majority of the households (82%) reported as having received food aid (general ration) between January and August 2003. Households assisted during the period January-August 2003 received 51% of the food aid through relief distributions and 49% through the Employment Generation Scheme (EGS). Water harvesting (24%), road construction or maintenance (22%), soil/bund construction or maintenance (17%) and public building construction or maintenance (15%) were among the most frequent EGS activities. The average general ration received during the period January-August 2003 was reported to be 9.5 kg of cereal per person per month, when the official ration size was 12.5 kg in January-July and 15 kg in August.

(d) It is planned that the survey methodology be mainstreamed into ongoing routine WFP monitoring as a way to help track changes in food insecurity over a period of time and contribute towards WFP efforts to institutionalize the Result Based Management methodology and improve performance measurement.

4) Republic of Congo (RoC)

(a) The Government is planning to launch the "IDP's Return Plan" to the war torn Pool region on 24 January 2004. The plan includes the facilitation of transport and the provision of food and non-food items upon their arrival at their places of origin. In addition, 500 Internally IDPs will be transported by train from campsites around Brazzaville to the district of Kinkala in the Pool region. All returnees are volunteers. WFP will provide food to this returning population. Government authorities expect that this "return plan" will facilitate the closure of IDP sites in Brazzaville within 3 to 4 months.

5) Somalia

(a) The security situation worsens again all over Somalia. Recent incidents have been reported from Mogadishu, Hiran and the Sool-Sanag area. Fighting in three districts of the capital Mogadishu left 14 people dead and led to the movement of a significant number of residents to seek a safe haven in other parts of the city. In Beletweyne along the Shebelle river in Hiran district of South Somalia, two militias clashed with 17 persons reportedly killed. Tension has been rising between the self-declared autonomous states of Somaliland and Puntland ever since Puntland forces took control of the Sool regional capital Las Anod late last month. The first clash resulted in the death of at least three Somaliland militia members. Somaliland is reportedly moving heavily armed troops towards the disputed area and a major clash is expected soon.

(b) As a response on the severe drought in the Sool plateau, WFP distributed last December a total of 732 MT of food reaching close to 13,000 households of the most vulnerable population. Based on UNICEF nutritional survey results, WFP has prepared a next relief distribution of some 455 MT food targeted to 8,040 households in 46 villages and approximately 3 tons of blended food for pregnant and lactating women in the same area. The distribution cannot, however, take place yet because of the tense security situation in major parts of the distribution area of the Sool plateau.

(c) In the Baidoa area WFP is assisting displaced persons and the villagers affected by the influx with food-for-work (FfW). Some 62 MT of food are being distributed this month under these activities. In December 2003, WFP distributed approximately 1,500 MT of food to over 125,000 beneficiaries all over the country.

6) Sudan

(a) In mid-December violence erupted in the Gambella region after eight people travelling in a UN vehicle were killed in an ambush. The Anyuak tribe was blamed for the attack and this sparked a wave of reprisal killings and the looting and burning of Anyuak homes. As a result approximately 5,000 Sudanese and Ethiopian Anyuaks including about 100 unaccompanied children have fled from western Ethiopia to Pachala in Southern Sudan. Between 100 and 200 people arrive daily. Local residents are providing some assistance to the new arrivals who are also foraging in the countryside for food. An inter-agency assessment is currently being conducted to determine the type and scale of assistance required.

(b) The Government and the SPLM/A have renewed a truce in Sudan's central Nuba Mountains as they move closer to ending their 20-year civil war. The fifth six-month cease-fire went into effect on 19 January and will last until 19 July 2004. The truce was originally concluded in Switzerland on December 19, 2001 as part of confidence-building measures designed to help end the war. The international group monitoring the cease-fire, Joint Monitoring Mission and Joint Military Committee (JMM/JMC), is preparing to hand-over their duties to a UN mission if negotiations in Kenya produce a peace settlement.

(c) The situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate. However, WFP was able to distribute approximately 130 tons of assorted food commodities to 8,640 beneficiaries (6,019 females and 2,621 males). Authorities in Nyala, South Darfur closed two camps housing 10,000 displaced people on Thursday, following a failed attempt to relocate them to new camps without their consent. The new camps were located about 20 km outside of Nyala "in an area considered unsafe" due to ongoing fighting, difficult to access for humanitarian workers, and where there was neither shelter, food, nor sufficient access to water and latrines. According to MSF, some of the families that were forced to leave have severely malnourished children.

7) Uganda

(a) Under a tripartite agreement signed by the Governments of Uganda and Rwanda and UNHCR, an initial 242 Rwanda refugees in Uganda were repatriated on Monday, 19 January 2004. A total of 1,600 of the estimated 25,000 refugees have registered for voluntary repatriation.

(b) WFP, district authorities and implementing partners are conducting a verification exercise of IDPs in 17 camps in Kitgum and 12 camps in Pader Districts.

(c) In Lira district, WFP, district authorities and Christian Children's Fund (CCF) are conducting registration of IDPs in 21 IDP camps in Lira Municipality. WFP has extended food assistance to the therapeutic feeding center at the Lira government hospital.

(d) WFP food distribution continues to reach over 1.4 million displaced persons, 160,000 refugees and other vulnerable persons. During the week of 12 to 17 January, WFP distributed over 2,800 MT of food to approximately 250,000 IDPs in six camps in Gulu, two camps in Kitgum, four camps in Pader; refugees in three settlements in Arua and vulnerable persons at feeding centres. Low trucking capacity affected distributions in Gulu District.

C) West Africa region: (1) Liberia, (2) Côte d'Ivoire

1) Liberia

(a) During the reporting period, food distribution to IDPs and refugees in camps targeted some 133,731 beneficiaries (2,326 MT distributed).

(b) In addition, WFP provided 7.2 MT of food assistance to 636 IDPs relocated to 5 officially recognized IDP camps in Montserrado. On 17 January, WFP carried out a food distribution in Tappita, Nimba County. YMCA, WFP implementing partner, provided a 2-week ration (8.3 MT) to 1,000 beneficiaries. All were registered and those who did not receive food, will be targeted during the next distribution scheduled to be carried out early next week. It will target 7,000 people.

(c) On 20 January, UNMIL launched an extensive 15-day national information and sensitisation campaign for all combatants. Representatives from UN agencies including WFP, NGOs and the donor community travelled to Tubmanburg where they informed LURD combatants on the various components of the DDRR programme. A briefing by UNMIL Military, UNMIL DDRR and representatives of the three factions was followed by an outreach performance by traditional communicators.

2) Côte d'Ivoire

(a) During the reporting period, 618 MT of various food commodities were distributed to over 64,000 people.

(b) WFP assisted over 2,000 IDPs and host families in Man. Food distributions continue to over 7,000 returnees in Bin Houye. UNHCR will undertake assessment of the refugee situation in the area in collaboration with WFP and the local authorities. WFP will provide food aid to these newly arrived refugees upon completion of UNHCR's ongoing registration.

(c) The number of refugees in the Nicla camp has increased by 1,000 over the last two weeks. Food distribution will begin early next week with an estimated 6000 refugees.

D) Southern Africa: (1) Regional, (2) Angola, (3) Lesotho, (4) Madagascar, (5) Malawi, (6) Mozambique, (7) Swaziland, (8) Zambia, (9) Zimbabwe

1) Regional

(a) Recent rainfall in Southern Africa has brought temporary relief following a prolonged dry period in the region. However, rains failed during the start of the agricultural season in November and December, and it now may be too late to plant additional crops. Worst hit by the drought are areas of South Africa, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland and parts of Mozambique. Regions in Zimbabwe and Zambia are less seriously affected. Large areas have received less than 60 percent of their average rainfall and crops, pastures and livestock are in poor condition.

(b) In South Africa, the gravity of the situation was highlighted last week when President Mbeki declared parts of six of South Africa's nine provinces disaster areas. The proclamation will allow the government to appropriate additional funds for emergency relief. The provinces affected are KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, the North West, Free State and the Northern Cape. A seventh province, Limpopo, was already declared a disaster area in October 2003. At present, four million South Africans in rural areas are receiving emergency water from trucks. The Government has also begun to distribute food in the worst affected provinces. Food shortages are likely to be exacerbated further if the price of maize meal, a staple crop, continues to rise. The drought is reported to be the worst to affect South Africa in almost a century.

2) Angola

(a) The preliminary results of the Vulnerability Analysis (VA) conducted for the period between May and October 2003 have been released. Results indicate that more than 500,000 people are currently food insecure and need immediate food assistance. Furthermore, about 1.2 million are highly vulnerable to food insecurity and their situation is likely to become critical during the lean period (November 2003 to April 2004). The largest concentrations of food insecure and highly vulnerable people are found in the central and southern maize-based farming areas, whereas more moderate levels of food insecurity were found in the northern provinces, where cassava is the main staple crop. People who remain displaced or have only recently resettled are generally facing the highest levels of food insecurity.

(b) Damaged bridges in Bié Province continue to hamper WFP's logistic operations for Kuito and Menongue. The two bridges damaged by rains between Huambo and Kuito, as reported in last week's situation report, have been repaired by the Government. However, two additional bridges between Chinguar and Kuito have also been damaged by torrential rainfall, meaning road access between Huambo and Kuito remains impossible. Another bridge between Chinguar and Chitembo en route to Menongue has also been rendered impassable by heavy rains cutting off road transport of WFP food to Menongue. WFP is relying on the urgent repair of these bridges by the Government to allow for the critical replenishment of WFP food stocks in Kuito and Menongue.

3) Lesotho

(a) The ongoing drought in the lowlands and foothills has resulted in total failure of winter crops and vastly reduced summer crop yields. While previous beneficiary numbers were envisaged for a planned average of 375,000 people, heightened vulnerability and increased food insecurity indicate that around 600,000 people will require food aid.

(b) From 14 to 20 January, WFP distributed 308 MT of food to 25,747 beneficiaries through supplementary feeding programmes in health clinics and other targeted vulnerable group feeding projects.

4) Madagascar

(a) Due to insufficient rainfall, the 2003/04 agricultural season has been jeopardized and an increased period of household food insecurity is foreseen this year. Prices of basic food commodities, in particular maize and rice continue to rise in rural market places. The price of potable water, delivered to villages, also remains high. Intensive Nutrition Care Centres throughout the south are reporting increased referrals of malnourished children.

5) Malawi

(a) The Government has appealed for urgent international assistance to help feed more than 3.5 million people. The Second Vice President and Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Food Security reported that 32 percent of the population, most of them in the southern region, have run out of food and require urgent assistance. WFP is monitoring the situation. Additional statements released by the Minister of Agriculture note that due to unstable rainfall and continuing dry conditions, the only option for the region is to declare a disaster. According to a January SADC Regional Early Warning System report, given the short remaining length of the agricultural season, it is unlikely that any maize planted in January in the Southern Region would realize a good harvest". While limited amounts of maize are available in local markets, prices are steadily increasing and are further aggravated by informal cross border trade with Tanzania and Zambia.

(b) From 15 to 21 January, WFP dispatched approximately 2,500 MT of food to implementing partners.

6) Mozambique

(a) SADC's Special Agromet update of January 2004 reports that the 2003/04 agricultural season is evolving into what could give southern and central Mozambique yet another year of drought. The African Weather Hazards Assessment report also highlights below normal rainfall during the 2003/04 rainy season resulting in reduced groundwater levels, low reservoirs, low stream flows and reduced soil moisture in southern Mozambique. WFP field monitors and implementing partners also report that most of the first crops planted in the southern parts of Maputo Province have failed and the surviving crops are severely water stressed. In central Mozambique, which is normally very productive, poor rains have also compromised the current season. During the reporting period, heavy rainfall was registered in northern Manica and southern and western Tete Provinces. While pre-positioned commodities will ensure food is available for distribution to WFP's targeted beneficiaries, some food deliveries from the WFP central warehouses to replenish the EDP stocks have been halted.

(b) WFP, the Provincial Disaster Management Institute (INGC) and the Provincial Agricultural Directorate (DPADR) carried out an assessment of food security in Dondo District, Sofala Province. Dondo District was not identified as extremely vulnerable in the July and November Vulnerability Assessment Committee mission reports. However, preliminary findings of the recent assessment confirm that this agricultural season has been severely affected by the lack of rainfall and indicate that approximately 30,000 people are facing severe food insecurity. Particularly vulnerable groups such as vulnerable children (OVC), people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), the disabled and elderly may require urgent food assistance.

(c) The cholera epidemic has now spread into Nampula and Zambezia Provinces in northern Mozambique with three deaths reported. Previously, the epidemic was limited to Maputo City and Province, Beira City and Massingir District in Gaza Province. The total death toll has now risen to 17. Maputo City continues to be the most affected area. Health authorities have expanded the Maputo Cholera Treatment Centre by installing 4 more tents to hold 80 additional beds. WFP has met with the Ministry of Health to discuss the need for its involvement as the Ministry expects the number of cholera cases will increase over the next 90 days.

7) Swaziland

(a) According to pipeline projections, there will be a shortfall of cereals in February with additional shortfalls during April, May and June. A shortfall of pulses is also anticipated in March. Should the situation not improve and as a result of the ongoing drought and anticipated poor crop yields, household food insecurity will heighten.

(b) Rainfall was received in most parts of the country during the past week. According to the meteorological station based in the Big Bend, Siphofaneni, Kalanga and Ndzevane in the Lowveld received 29mm, 91.5mm and 40 mm respectively. In order to take advantage of the rains, the National Disaster Task Force has strongly advised farmers to get in touch with local agriculture extension officers for advice on suitable crops to be planted at this time of year.

8) Zambia

(a) The availability of maize has remained stable, but accessibility has decreased due to rising prices. Food insecurity in some districts remains poor and preliminary calculations indicate that approximately 262,000 people in 16 districts will require food aid from February to May.

(b) Work on a climatic database for the 2003/04 agricultural season is underway. The database contains ground and remotely sensed satellite data to monitor the progression of the agricultural season. Trends deduced from initial analysis indicate that an imminent drought is likely to affect southern parts of the country due to erratic rainfall. Negative rainfall will be of significant impact to farmers who completely depend on rain fed agriculture. Updates of rainfall patterns will continue.

(c) WFP's Urban Intervention programme is currently feeding 60,400 vulnerable children a hot breakfast every morning in 179 community schools and drop-in centres. 39,000 host families are also benefiting from the programme. However, possible breaks in the food pipeline have caused WFP and implementing partners to examine ways of targeting only extremely vulnerable guardian households that receive monthly rations. Possible strategies also include the temporary provision of food only to child-headed households (CHH) and households headed by the very elderly with dependents, or the provision of split-rations to female-headed households and full rations to CHH. In addition to the Urban Intervention programme, WFP is providing food for 19,000 school children and rations for 62, 500 farmers engaged in food for assets and training projects.

9) Zimbabwe

(a) Food distributions for the January cycle are ongoing while verifications and pre-positioning of food commodities were undertaken in districts that have yet to begin distributions. WFP in collaboration with Save the Children UK and Care International is undertaking a pilot project to respond to food aid needs for vulnerable households living in former commercial areas in Mwenezi District (Masvingo Province) and Zvimba District (Mashonaland West Province). As the school year commenced, the WFP feeding project opened in about 340 primary schools in 20 districts. Some 210,000 children will receive assistance in January, increasing to 500,000 by March/April.

(b) The Government announced a reduction in the annual rate of inflation from 620 percent in November to 599 percent in December. However, food prices have increased by 14 percent since November. In spite of the reported limited inflation, availability and access to basic food commodities remain a concern in both rural and urban areas. There has been no improvement in retail supplies to rural areas from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), the Government's monopoly grain trader and rural residents have to walk long distances in search of maize. In contrast to rural areas, availability of maize has improved in urban areas, though at prohibitive and rapidly rising prices.

(c) Below average rainfall and continuing dry spells have raised concern over this year's harvest. Most parts of the country have received erratic rainfall that has caused crops to wither. Worst affected areas are parts of Manicaland, and most of Masvingo and Matabeleland Provinces. Erratic rains have also affected crops in parts of the most productive zone, the Mashonaland region. Some communal farmers are attempting to replant but lack adequate stocks of seed. Coupled with the shortage of seeds and other inputs that have resulted in a reduction of land under cultivation, farmers unions are predicting a poor harvest. Maize production by commercial farmers dropped from 800,000 tons in 2000 to 80,000 tons in 2003 and could be as low as 55,000 tons this year. In addition to poor rains and dry conditions, an army worm invasion is reportedly destroying crops in Guruve District (Mashonaland Central Province

E) Asia: (1) Indonesia (2) DPRK

1) Indonesia

(a) Heavy floods swept through dozens of villages in the Jambi and Riau provinces of Sumatra, killing 15 people, affecting an area of 21,200 sq km. An estimated 350,000 people were displaced. In south Sulawesi Province, Majene district experienced flood and landslides. Food assistance was provided by the Government, along with non-food contributions from OCHA, US and Australia. Flood Early Warning Bulletins were prepared by the WFP in Indonesia and circulated to all national and international agencies.

(b) During December 2003, about 1.74 million targeted beneficiaries, mostly women and children, received WFP assistance, amounting to 7,250 MT of food, under the programmes in support of urban poor and IDPs.

(c) An MCH (Mother Child Health) expert from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA's), visited OPSM/NP (Urban Poor, Subsidised Rice Program/Nutrition Program), sites in Bekasi district on 24 December. It is foreseen that JICA's MCH handbook will be utilised under the new Posyandu pilot project.

(d) In Central Sulawesi, due to the security situation, CWS (Church World Service), suspended its program in the area, which resulted in low food distribution during the month. CWS distributed some 63.8 MT of rice, 12.72 MT of beans and 6.36 MT of oil to 5,336 people through FfW and relief activities in December. In West Kalimantan, Catholic Relief Service distributed 91.20 MT of rice to 9,346 persons in December. In East Java, 597.2 MT of rice and 1.39 MT of beans were distributed to 57,975 people. WFP food relief program to the IDPs in Madura has been closed. Assistance to the IDPs and host communities will be delivered through FFW in 2004.

(e) In West Timor, CARE distributed 98.87 MT of rice, 62.7 MT of beans, 10.42 MT of vegetable oil and 14.22 MT of Delvita to 10,985 people in December 2003. Another 19.84 MT of rice were distributed to 2,239 resettled ex-refugees by UNHCR. WFP Indonesia received the shipment of 2,944 MT of USA rice on 31 December 2003 in Surabaya.

(f) Food for Peace, USA confirmed a contribution of US$ 164,143.

2) DPRK

(a) Under EMOP 10141.02 all beneficiaries with the exception of some 80,000 pregnant nursing women and young children in baby homes will be deprived of cereal rations in February and March. With the expected arrival of 38,000 MT maize and 40,000 MT wheat in March-April, core beneficiary groups will receive from two to four months cereal rations starting in April. Even with those contributions, over 1 million (April-May) and 1.7 million (June) beneficiaries will not receive any cereal rations, and by July, 2.5 million will be cut off again. In addition, most local food production factories on the east coast will stop production in June due to a lack of wheat flour. Food-for-work projects for the spring season will have to be drastically reduced unless new pledges are immediately confirmed.

(b) Counties are responding to the WFP pipeline breaks in nurseries and kindergartens in a variety of ways: in some places the children have to bring their own food, in others the nurseries close, elsewhere half of the child's Government ration is transferred to the nursery, and in some rural areas cooperatives are providing or lending the food.

(c) The cut in cereal rations means that beneficiaries will receive an average of 800 Kcal less caloric intake per day. This represents a third of the WHO/WFP recommended minimal daily intake of 2,300 Kcal and comes at the time when temperatures are well below freezing and other food sources scarce. Two months without the WFP cereal rations will have a negative impact on the acute malnutrition level of the youngest children (below 5 yrs of age) and can only be recovered if full rations are reinstated and maintained afterwards.

F) Latin America and the Caribbean

No inputs received

G) Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: (1) Regional North Caucasus, (2) Ingushetia, (3) Chechnya

1) Regional - North Caucasus

(a) In December, the security situation remained tense in Chechnya and Ingushetia. On 5 December, a suicide attack on a commuter train in Stavropol district, bordering Chechnya, caused 42 fatalities. Two land mine explosion incidents took place near the IDP camp "Satsita" in Ingushetia. Sporadic fighting between the Federal Forces and Chechen rebels continued, including in the neighbouring republic of Dagestan. Terrorist attacks were prevented in several districts of Chechnya on the eve of the New Year festivities.

(b) The number of the registered Chechen IDPs (WFP beneficiaries), in Ingushetia decreased from 69,900 on the 30th November to 66,996 on the 31st December. The return of IDPs from Ingushetia to Chechnya amounted to a total number of 1,664 in December.The "Alina" IDP camp in Ingushetia, with some 1,170 IDPs, was closed on 11 December by the Government.

(c) On 7 - 10 December, WFP Executive Director (ED), Mr. James T. Morris, visited Moscow at the invitation of the Russian Government. The visit was aimed at developing co-operation with the Government and attracting support from Russia's private sector. Mr. Morris held talks in Moscow with senior government officials, including Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Minister of Emergencies Sergei Shoigu, on the ways of strengthening the Russian government's co-operation with WFP. The ED also met with key members of the Russian Business community.

(d) Under EMOP 10128.0 Emergency Food Assistance to Conflict Affected Internally Displaced Persons and Vulnerable Households in the North Caucasus, WFP has in December locally procured over 1,500 MT of food commodities. Existing food stocks and commodities in transit will allow WFP to start food distribution in both Ingushetia and Chechnya without interruption. Beneficiaries will be provided with food rations including all basic food items in planned quantities.

(e) In December WFP distributed in Chechnya and Ingushetia about 3,115 MT of food through relief distribution, school-feeding and food-for-work programmes.

(f) WFP plans to expand the school-feeding programme in the Kurchaloy district are pending UNSECOORD decision, expected by end of this month.

(g) During 2003, six donors contributed a total of USD14.8 mln. to EMOP 10128.1 against USD 16.5 mln. required. Donors' generous support allowed to resource over 28,000 tons of various commodities, part of which will be utilized in early 2004. In December USA and Switzerland confirmed contributions of a total of USD 5.5 mln. towards the same EMOP. The US in-kind donation of over 8,700 tons (8,510 tins of wheat flour and 210 tons of edible oil), is due to arrive to Russia by the end of March 2004.

2) Ingushetia

(a) Under EMOP 10128.0 in December, more than 100,000 rations were distributed to IDPs from Chechnya. WFP implementing partners, Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Islamic Relief (IR), and Saudi Red Crescent Society (SRCS), distributed about 1,180 MT of food commodities to the IDPs during the reporting period.

3) Chechnya

(a) In December WFP beneficiary lists of relief distribution programme included 142,800 residents of poor and very poor categories in the districts of Achkhoi-Martan, Grozny city, Grozny rural and Sunzha (including 2,400 returnees in all districts of Chechnya), over 70% of the population of these districts. WFP implementing partners, DRC, IR, and People In Need Foundation (PINF) delivered and distributed about 1,650 MT of food commodities for relief distribution during December.

(b) In December WFP made two monitoring visits to Chechnya and interviewed 150 beneficiaries for end-use monitoring. The most frequently mentioned sources of income, according to beneficiaries, are children allowances, pensions, salaries and trade.

(c) Within the WFP school feeding programme, some 66,000 pre- and primary school children are receiving hot meals in 261 schools and kindergartens in Grozny city, the districts of Achkoi-Martan, Argun, Grozny rural, Gudermes, Shali, Sunzha and Urus-Martan.

(d) Seven WFP implementing partners delivered and distributed a total of 197 tons of food to 261 schools and kindergartens. In December all schools received cleaning supplies and those lacking kitchen utensils received them from WFP. To address the heating concern during winter in school canteens, WFP requested ICRC to provide stoves. Within WFP Food-For-Work activities, some 355 tons will be distributed to 3,070 participants (approximately 15,000 beneficiaries), for FfW activities carried out in December in Chechnya through PINF.

(e) Monitoring visits to 215 schools and kindergarten by "Vesta" took place. In certain schools assistance for water supply and heating was needed. Only two schools were reported to be distributing take-home dry rations to the children due to lack of the conditions for cooking the meals.

Note: All tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tonnes

(END WFP Emergency report No 4)