WFP Emergency Report No. 09 of 2003

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 28 Feb 2003


This report includes:
(A) Global Food Aid

(B) Asia Region: (1) DPR of Korea

(C) Eastern and Central Africa Region: (1) Ethiopia, (2) Eritrea, (3) Uganda, (4) Burundi

(D) West Africa Region: (1) Côte d'Ivoire (2) Sierra Leone, (3) Central African Republic

(E) Southern Africa Region: (1) Regional overview, (2) Lesotho, (3) Malawi, (4) Mozambique, (5) Swaziland, (6) Zambia, (7) Zimbabwe, (8) Madagascar, (9) Tanzania, (10) Angola, (11) Namibia

(F) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Colombia, (2) Guatemala, (3) Ecuador

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

From Carlo Scaramella, Chief of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit, under 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.

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) Global Food Aid

(a) On 25 February, the WFP Executive Director James T. Morris, speaking to the US Congress, called for "stronger and more consistent funding for humanitarian aid." While WFP funding has risen, global food aid has dropped from 15 million to 10 million tons from 1999 to 2002. Although the international community has successfully countered potential famines now for nearly two decades, more funds are essential. All the major donors need to make a political commitment to a food aid system that works and is not dangerously reliant on surpluses, last minute appeals or a single donor.

(b) Despite poverty being reduced by 20 percent worldwide during the 1990s, the number of food insecure people (excluding China) actually rose by 50 million across the developing world. Added to this, the number of victims of natural disasters has tripled compared to the 1960s, averaging 136 million a year and the poorest among them need food assistance.

(c) The scale of WFP's activities has risen in line with increasingly abnormal weather phenomena. The past two years have brought the highest number of weather related disasters in the decade. Against a backdrop of declining official development assistance for agriculture, from USD 14 billion in 1988 to barely USD 8 billion in 1999, any hope of food security for future generations is dependent on massive new investment by governments. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has also dramatically affected the food security of Africa.

B) Asia Region: (1) DPR of Korea

1) DPR of Korea

(a) Delays until early March in the expected arrival of about 47,000 tons of food have resulted in the suspension of cereal distributions to children in nurseries, kindergartens and pregnant and nursing women, for some regions since late last year. WFP distributions are expected to resume in mid-March and will last until April. In late April however, distributions on the west coast may have to be suspended again unless stocks are replenished.

(b) Despite indications of new contributions arriving in-country in the year's second quarter, the DPRK EMOP remains heavily under-resourced for all commodities in the latter half of 2003. It is imperative that additional donor contributions, including cereals, pulses, Corn Soya Milk, oil and sugar, are confirmed as soon as possible.

C) Eastern and Central Africa Region: (1) Ethiopia, (2) Eritrea, (3) Uganda, (4) Burundi

1) Ethiopia

(a) Food donations are urgently needed for refugees in Ethiopia. At present, WFP has only received enough donations to cover 44 percent of the total food needs for refugees in 2003. Unlike last year when WFP managed to provide full rations to refugees, WFP may now face its most serious pipeline break in four years for the refugee operation. Cereals represent the bulk of the daily ration, and the consequences of a shortage would be devastating to the nutritional state of refugees. WFP urgently requires 13,600 tons of cereals and 1,000 tons of supplementary foods. Additional requirements for enabling 25,000 refugees to return to their country of origin, include 900 tons of pulses, 250 tons of oil and 26 tons of salt.

(b) For the drought emergency operation, contributions through WFP, Government and NGO channels currently stand at around 800,000 tons, 55 percent of the annual requirements of over 1.4 million tons. The current contributions can meet requirements until end-June, though at a reduced ration rate of 12.5 kg/person/month (instead of 15 kg/person/month). For supplementary food, the pipeline is weaker and only covers around half of the requirements between January and June.

(c) Despite some delays in food transportation to the distribution sites early in the month, dispatches for January distributions reached around 90,000 tons, benefiting around 7 million people. Out of this tonnage, 50,000 tons were distributed by the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC) and WFP and 40,000 tons by NGOs. In February, food distributions are expected to reach 110,000 tons benefiting around 8 million people. In March, over ten million people are targeted for relief food assistance. Between April and June over 11 million people will be targeted and food distributions are expected to total around 160,000 tons per month.

(d) Though the Ethiopian Emergency Food Security Reserve has been under pressure due to increasing requirements and outstanding loans from late-2002, the accelerated shipments of cereal donations are boosting the levels of the reserve for the next three months. Current physical stocks, scheduled repayments and confirmed shipments are sufficient to maintain distributions at planned levels until May. In addition, the shipment dates for substantial donations must be confirmed.

(e) WFP and other relief agencies were able to off-load and transport 114,000 tons of relief food from Djibouti port into Ethiopia in January and 73,000 tons in February. The highest bulk discharge rate so far recorded was 6,800 tons per day on a vessel in early January.

2) Eritrea

(a) From 17 to 21 February, WFP conducted an assessment to determine the need for Therapeutic and Supplementary Feeding Programmes (TFP and SFP) in the Debub region. The mission confirmed alarming trends in terms of the prevalence of malnutrition. In the Mai Mine Health Centre, 76 percent of the children monitored through the Extended Programme of Immunization (EPI) during January were registered as moderately malnourished according to weight for age indicators. In the Mendefera Hospital, 15 of the 25 children admitted in January in the Paediatric Ward were severely malnourished, up from only two such cases in 2002. WFP plans to begin immediate support to the Ministry of Health to initiate TFP in five hospitals as well as SFP in targeted Health Centres in the Debub region.

(b) Livestock continue to be seriously affected by the drought. The Ministry of Agriculture in the northern Red Sea area reported 6,670 livestock deaths in the sub region of Shieb during 2002, which represents 41 percent of the total number of livestock in the sub region. Other reports confirmed serious livestock problems due to lack of fodder and water, and an increase in livestock distress sales in the local markets.

(c) The UN convened a donor meeting on 20 February to share information on the drought situation, the level of response from the international community and to appeal for further urgent assistance. The Deputy Commissioner of the Eritrean Relief and Refugee Commission (ERREC) indicated that two thirds of the population are facing acute food and water shortages. Local grain prices have increased by 100 percent in the last 4 months, while people in rural areas are walking an average of 3-5 hours to collect drinking water. The Government and the UN Agencies appealed to donors to continue to contribute the resources needed to address the ongoing drought crisis. The importance of both food and non-food inputs should be equally stressed. In particular, ERREC noted the need for a substantial amount of seeds and basic agricultural inputs for the 2003 planting season.

(d) WFP supports 900,000 drought-affected beneficiaries through EMOP 10261 and approximately 500,000 vulnerable people through PRRO 10192. In light of both operations' present low level of resourcing and minimal existing food stocks, various possible scenarios have been determined. The first version would allow support to the PRRO beneficiaries and 400,000 of the planned 900, 000 drought beneficiaries, but would leave stocks at zero level by April/May 2003. By eliminating support to the entire 900,000 drought affected population and concentrating solely on those under the PRRO scheme, stocks would still be entirely depleted by August/September 2003.

3) Uganda

(a) Despite some improvements in the food pipeline situation following generous local contributions, WFP expects to face further pipeline breaks over the next six months. Shortfalls of 35,847 tons of food are anticipated, including 21,148 tons of cereals, 6,691 tons of Corn Soya Blend, 3,028 tons of pulses, 2,746 tons of vegetable oil as well as salt, sugar and high energy biscuits.

(b) WFP, together with the Government and NGO partners, concluded an emergency food needs assessment in 20 new isolated IDP camps in Pader District (northern Uganda) to assess the food and non-food needs of the displaced population. The mission also assessed the security situation and logistical aspects and envisaged some strategies for addressing the needs of the IDPs.

(c) The displaced population in Pader district has been isolated in congested camps, without any tangible humanitarian assistance due to fighting in the district. Access to health services and facilities has been limited as a result of insecurity. The food security situation has deteriorated due to inadequate coping mechanisms and a lack of access to the fields. According to a study conducted among 400 children in Kalongo hospital, 14 percent of the children were found to be acutely malnourished and 29 percent were at risk.

(d) A Joint Needs Assessment Mission composed of WFP, UNHCR and the Department of Disaster Preparedness/Office of the Prime Minister is planned for early March. In preparation, WFP is conducting a rapid food needs assessment in Arua, Adjumani and Moyo Districts to provide a basis for the joint assessment.

(e) The food security situation in the Karamoja region (Moroto, Kotido and Nakapiripirit), northeast Uganda, continues to deteriorate due to last year's poor harvest and drought. Current household food reserves are likely to be depleted by the end of March. In response, WFP is planning to expand food assistance in the most affected sub-counties of the region. The security situation in the Karamoja region remains unstable, with increasing inter-clan strife. This week, WFP delivered the first consignment of food aid.

(f) New refugees from southern Sudan continued to be registered in Morubi Settlement in Moyo District. Over 1,400 persons were registered by UNHCR and the Department of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees in January. This represents a significant increase of the number of new arrivals from southern Sudan compared to the 110 refugees registered in December 2002.

4) Burundi

(a) With the recent confirmation of a 2 million Euro contribution, WFP's pipeline situation has improved but still remains fragile. In addition to pipeline constraints, insecurity continues to hamper WFP operations. Last week, the security situation remained volatile in different provinces, with regular reports of attacks by various rebel factions on civilians and government positions.

(b) Last week, WFP launched the distribution of the Seeds Protection Rations (SPR) campaign. This programme will reach over 851,500 beneficiaries located in the most food insecure provinces (Bujumbura Rural, Gitega, Muramvya, Kayanza, Ruyigi, Bubanza, Ngozi and Kirundo). Almost 9,400 tons of food are expected to be distributed. The first distributions under the seeds protection campaign took place in Ngozi province, in collaboration with CARE and covered 14,900 persons.

(c) In addition, WFP reached over 61,600 vulnerable people through targeted and emergency distributions in Kirundo, Bujumbura Mairie, Bubanza and Bujumbura Rural provinces. Almost 680 tons of food were supplied in collaboration with CARE. Over 8,400 Congolese refugees hosted in Cibitoke and Bujumbura Mairie provinces as well as 600 returnees from Tanzania temporarily hosted in Ngozi and Muyinga provinces were also assisted by WFP, in collaboration with UNHCR and GTZ. The refugees in Bujumbura Mairie were transferred from Muyinga province to enable their children to attend school. Finally, WFP continued to provide assistance through a number of Food for Work (FFW) projects and through its School Feeding Programme.

D) West Africa Region: (1) Côte d'Ivoire (2) Sierra Leone, (3) Central African Republic

1) Côte d'Ivoire

(a) This week, an inter-agency mission composed of WFP, UNHCR, WHO and UNICEF conducted a rapid security and needs assessment mission to the western part of Côte d'Ivoire (Man, Danane and Zouan Hanouen), where access had been prevented for nearly three months and the humanitarian situation is a cause of concern. Widespread looting of private homes, health facilities and shops was reported. Although markets are open, people have no money and poverty is increasing. Almost all medical personnel have left. All schools are closed and teachers have fled. WFP food distributed under the school feeding programme has been looted. Large movement of people have occurred from urban to rural areas in search of food. With food stocks expected to be exhausted by end of March, the food situation is expected to deteriorate sharply, especially for vulnerable groups (displaced persons including Burkinabés, Malians and Guineans, Liberian refugees, children, mothers and elderly people).

(b) To facilitate its response to the humanitarian crisis in the western area, WFP plans to establish an office in Man. Plans are underway to assist an estimated 3,000 Burkinabés and other civilians that are displaced from the Cavally-region along the border with Liberia. In Danané, an estimated 10,000 people remain in the town, but the security situation is too volatile to start food distributions. There are unconfirmed reports of looting of food stocks in villages by armed groups.

(c) In Bondoukou, the situation of numerous families hosting IDPs is getting increasingly difficult. Many households have increased from 7-8 people to 12-20 people. The food situation in Korhogo remains stable. The market is well supplied with stable prices. There is however a pressing need for cash, as banks remain closed. In Korhogo, some schools have reopened with volunteer teachers and children attended classes. WFP is considering assisting health workers involved in the MSF Belgium programme.

(d) In Guiglo, food was distributed to a total of 4,900 IDPs. A mission confirmed the presence of 226 Ivorian IDPs at the Mayor office, and 4,700 Burkinabés in the Prefet Office, the Catholic Mission and at a transit centre.

(e) A WFP mission to San Pedro and Tabou assessed the possibilities of opening of a new office in San Pedro. To address the urgent needs of the displaced population in the area, WFP has decided to resume food distributions as soon as possible, in collaboration with CARITAS and Red Cross. The initial caseload will include 2,600 IDPs staying at the Catholic Mission or with host-families.

(f) This week, WFP has delivered 40 tons of food from Yamoussoukro to several partners, including Red Cross, the Centre Mie N'Gou and the Catholic Mission in Duékoue. Almost 5,000 IDPs and refuges benefited from WFP assistance in Duékoue, Yamoussoukro and Tabou. As at 26 February, over 1,500 IDPs were receiving food at the Centre Mie N'Gou, representing an increase of about 100 people since last week.

(g) In Daloa, WFP staff has been deployed again after one-month break due to insecurity. The number of IDPs in the area is being reassessed, and distribution is planned for the end of this week.

2) Sierra Leone

(a) From 10 to 23 February, WFP supported 120,400 people with 733 tons of food, through vulnerable group feeding programmes, emergency school feeding, TFP and SFP, mother and child health, food-for-training and safety net programmes.

(b) Following renewed fighting in Liberia, a major influx of Liberian refugees was reported in Sierra Leone. Within a day, WFP provided assistance to 3,000 refugees en route to the Zimmi Way Station. Additionally, high-energy biscuits were dispatched to UNHCR for refugees who would eventually be on convoy movements towards Kenema District. As of 23 February, approximately 9,000 Liberian refugees and a few hundred Sierra Leoneans had entered the country. The humanitarian community monitored the influxes, with particular concern for child combatants and separated civilian family members.

(c) An interagency assessment mission estimated that an additional 17,000 refugees could cross into Sierra Leone over the next few weeks. If that should occur, the ability of the humanitarian community to respond effectively, given the current level of resources, would be severely handicapped, particularly in the areas of WATSAN and shelter. In addition to food aid provided to 13,000 Liberian refugee in the Jembe and Gerrihun camps, WFP also provided resettlement packages to 365 returning Sierra Leonean refugees from Guinea at the Kailahun Way Station.

(d) In preparation for the 1 March deadline for WFP to assume responsibility for food provision to all refugee camps throughout the country, WFP closely collaborated with UNHCR, OCHA, Catholic Relief Service, World Vision, CARE and other NGOs.

(e) The general security situation was calm throughout the country with normal social and economic activities. However, due to the currently unstable situation in the Grand Cape Mount County in Liberia, the Pujehun border crossing in Sierra Leone remained closed to all, except for refugees on the move.

3) Central African Republic

(a) On 26 February, WFP participated into a joint assessment mission to Damara and Sibut, respectively 70 and 200 km north of Bangui. These areas have been under the control of rebel groups between November 2002 and February 2003. Although the situation in Sibut appears to have improved since the end of February, one third of the 22,000 residents and the local authorities have yet to return and homes and properties have been systematically looted.

(b) The mission observed a high number of malnourished persons in Sibut. Young children and pregnant and nursing women are among the most vulnerable groups. The population is also suffering from various diseases including malaria, diarrhoea and respiratory infections. The paediatric clinic is treating patients with available materials.

(c) With the harvest interrupted by fighting in October 2002, the process of choosing and conserving planting seeds was disturbed. Local markets are also affected by the limited circulation of commercial vehicles and the taxes imposed on them by the soldiers. The situation in Damara was found similar to the one described in Sibut. However, most of the residents have not yet returned to their homes and no local health workers are present. MSF is providing services twice a week.

(d) WFP intends to resume and expand food assistance to the local health centre and the paediatric clinic in Sibut, targeting malnourished young children and pregnant and nursing women under a Supplementary Feeding Programme.

E) Southern Africa Region: (1) Regional overview, (2) Lesotho, (3) Malawi, (4) Mozambique, (5) Swaziland, (6) Zambia, (7) Zimbabwe, (8) Madagascar, (9) Tanzania, (10) Angola, (11) Namibia

1) Regional overview

(a) Cash contributions of USD 9.5 million towards WFP's Southern Africa Regional EMOP were confirmed this week. With these contributions, EMOP 10200 is now more than 76 percent funded until March.

(b) A joint FAO/WFP crop prospect review of the 2002/3 agricultural season in Southern Africa is currently visiting Malawi, following a regional tour. The report will be presented in mid-March.

2) Lesotho

(a) From 19 to 26 February, WFP distributed 931 tons of food to over 67,900 beneficiaries in seven districts. In addition, 167 tons of food were distributed under emergency school feeding projects in four districts.

(b) The vegetative state of standing crops is reported to be good, while irregular rains in the southern districts have damaged maize production. Heavy rain affected access to most areas in Thaba Tseka, and to a lesser extent in Maseru Rural.

3) Malawi

(a) From 19 to 26 February, WFP dispatched 6,470 tons of food to implementing partners. Parts of Mzimba and Rumphi Districts (Northern Province) were affected by flooding during the week, particularly areas located along Rukuru, Luviri, Kasitu and Chagumukili rivers. Extensive crop damage was reported.

(b) Estimates predict that 1,500 hectares of various crops were destroyed and some 3,000 households were affected in Rumpi District. Around 700 hectares of various crops were damaged and 300 households were affected in Mzimba District. Distribution of the Nelson Mandela Foundation donation started on 21 February. The donation of 25 tons of assorted commodities will be distributed to HIV/AIDS affected households in the southern region.

(c) WFP, UNICEF, implementing partner Action Against Hunger and the Consortium for Southern Africa Food Security Emergency (C-SAFE) agreed to form a working group which will explore possibilities for establishing a joint sentinel sites system. An agreement has been finalised with UNICEF for a donation of 85 learning kits and balls to WFP assisted primary schools under the country and EMOP programmes.

4) Mozambique

(a) From 19 to 26 February, WFP dispatched 1,323 tons of food. The food security situation in the drought-affected areas continues to deteriorate, with internal areas of Inhambane and Gaza Provinces and southern Tete Province being most affected. WFP continues to monitor the situation to ensure that food assistance is reaching the most vulnerable people.

(b) A joint WFP, National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER) mission visited four districts in Nampula Province during the week to review the need for emergency food assistance. The mission found the areas affected by tropical depression 'Delfina' to be recovering well, and food assistance in the province is not recommended after April. WFP is currently assessing the food security situation in two localities in drought-stricken Maputo Province following reports of deaths from malnutrition.

5) Swaziland

(a) From 19 to 26 February, WFP dispatched 717 tons of food to implementing partners. Four rail wagons carrying 136 tons of maize derailed at Siphofaneni. The food was recovered and transported by road.

(b) WFP conducted a training workshop on targeting and monitoring for its implementing partners, in which WFP Food Aid Monitors, Women's Relief Committees, the National Disaster task Force and community leaders participated. On 24 February, WFP started training the Women's Relief Committees on targeting, beneficiary selection criteria, WFP commitment to women, roles of responsibility and emergency food aid policies. All seven implementing partners, covering 179 food distribution sites, will undertake similar training.

6) Zambia

(a) From 19 to 26 February, WFP dispatched 4,650 tons of food to implementing partners. 1,355 tons of GMO food was dispatched from Zambia to Malawi during the reporting period where it will be milled before distribution. WFP is planning to have workshops to refine targeting for the Western, Southern, and Eastern Provinces as well as Lusaka.

(b) Former President Chiluba has been arrested on charges of corruption and the plunder of natural resources. Any allegations implicating the current Government could intensify calls for new elections.

7) Zimbabwe

(a) WFP distributed over 42,000 tons of food through implementing partners from 1 to 22 February. Fieldwork for the joint WFP, Ministry of Health, UNICEF and NGO health and nutrition survey was completed on 23 February. The preliminary findings will be presented in mid-March.

(b) Substantial rains were recorded in most parts of the country during this period, affecting roads and delaying some food distributions.

(c) Communities in Hurungwe District (Mashonaland West Province) are reportedly resorting to the consumption of wild roots and leaves as an extended coping mechanism. School enrolment is reported to have declined, and one primary school reported a drop in students from 476 last year to 235 this year, a decrease attributed to hunger by the deputy headmaster.

8) Madagascar

(a) As of 18 February, WFP's EMOP 10236 was 55 percent resourced with a shortfall of USD 4,196,450. Through this EMOP, WFP is responding to the emergency needs resulting from a combination of various shocks. Given the growing needs, WFP is preparing another appeal to donors for additional support to the EMOP 10236.0.

(b) In 20 districts of Antananarivo, WFP, in collaboration with CARE, is assisting flood-affected populations through various FFW activities. In addition, 40,000 people affected by intense rains and Tropical Storm "Fari" still require WFP assistance in the South-East. WFP and its partners have been identifying possible FFW projects to assist the most vulnerable people. The rehabilitation of a secondary road started and family rations are expected to be distributed at the end of this week, in collaboration with CARE. Agro Action Allemande has also identified FFW activities aiming at clearing agricultural fields and involving the use of 170 tons of food.

(c) Finally, the situation in the South is worsening due to scarce rainfall coupled with strong winds impeding planting for the next agricultural season. The coping mechanisms of beneficiaries such as the consumption of cactus leaves during the lean period are degrading. In addition, prices of staple commodities such as rice are on the rise by 60 percent. This rise coupled with the lack of purchasing power at the household level has had a critical impact of the food security situation.

(d) Water supplies are also scarce and WFP has already been approached by community leaders with FFW proposals to assist the most vulnerable people. The Government through the General Commission for Integrated Development, has purchased 95 tons of Maize to be immediately distributed by WFP to the affected population. Distribution of 1,090 tons of maize will start within the next days in 13 drought-affected communes.

9) Tanzania

(a) Due to insufficient cereals and CSB stocks, WFP was forced to reduce the food rations for refugees by 50 and 75 percent respectively in early February. This reduction, however, did not affect special feeding programmes and rations to extremely vulnerable groups. From 27 January to 9 February, WFP distributed over 2,600 tons of food to over 520,200 Rwandan and Burundian refugees in Kigoma, Kasulu, Kibondo and Ngara Districts. In addition, WFP continued to support an average of 18,000 malnourished persons through a SFP in these areas, supplying almost 80 tons of food.

(b) Local authorities in Ngara and Kasulu Districts held meetings with Rwandan and Burundian refugees to encourage them to return to their country of origin. Refugees were advised not to leave Mtabila and Muyovozi camps without permission and were warned that those staying illegally in villages would be taken back to the camps.

(c) From 11 January to 2 February, over 1,350 refugees from Ngara camps voluntarily repatriated to Muyinga and Kirundo Provinces in Burundi. At the same time, almost 800 people were registered in Kibondo. They were reportedly fleeing fighting in Ruyigi and Cankuzo Provinces.

(d) Although rains stopped during the first week of February, many roads are likely to become impassable for heavy trucks due to erosion. In particular, repairs of the Kidahwe to Lugufu road have become urgent.

10) Angola

(a) WFP, in conjunction with World Vision, carried out a rapid food needs assessment in Bimbe (Huambo province). Given the critical food needs observed in this area, WFP is planning an emergency intervention shortly. In Chitata, there is a need for agricultural tools and food rations to ensure seed protection for the low land planting.

(b) In Kuando Kubango, the collapse of a key bridge has halted all road transport between Menongue and Cuito Cuanavale and between Menongue and Mavinga. As a consequence, WFP will be unable to carry out food distributions to around 3,700 vulnerable IDPs concentrated in Cuito Cuanavale for this month.

(c) After three weeks of heavy rains and logistical difficulties, the airstrip of Mavinga has been repaired thanks to the joint efforts of WFP, MSF and a private contractor. Urgent cargo flights to Mavinga have resumed and food stocks, which were running dangerously low, are being replenished and distributed to beneficiaries.

(d) Under an innovative project to promote long-term food security, WFP, in collaboration with ADRA-A, began distributing over 1,000 bundles of cassava cuttings to newly returned food insecure populations in Kiwaba Nzoji. The cassava cuttings were produced under an agricultural multiplication project, supported by WFP.

(e) Despite the recent confirmation of a contribution of USD 500,000 towards the WFP's operation, Logistics Services to the Humanitarian Community (SO 10149.1), further donations to the PRRO and the two logistics-related Special Operations are still urgently needed.

(f) In Huila province, despite transportation difficulties due to the bad road conditions, WFP and its partners have completed food distributions for approximately 25,000 people located in Galangue Family Gathering Areas for the months of February and March. Transport is under way to assist an additional 20,500 people in Galangue and Vikungo (Kuvango Municipality). 4,400 beneficiaries in Sangueve (Chipindo Municipality) remain out of reach due to poor access.

11) Namibia

(a) UNHCR is currently verifying the number of Angolan refugees willing to be repatriated from Osire camp to Angola in 2003 and 2004. A number of Angolan refugees spontaneously repatriating from Zambia are transiting through Namibia on their way to Angola. This route is reportedly preferred to southern Angola, due to better road and infrastructure conditions.

F) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Colombia, (2) Guatemala, (3) Ecuador

1) Colombia

(a) By the end of February, WFP will have delivered 190 tons of food as part of its FFW and community kitchen projects under its PRRO 6139. In the province of Sonson (Antioquia Department), where WFP implements a complementary nutrition project, local authorities requested additional food security kits, medicines and tents for provisional shelters, following the displacement of 400 persons in the area.

(b) Insecurity continues to hamper WFP operations in various areas. In Remedios province (Antioquia Department), clashes between armed groups led to the killing of one and the displacement of 150 persons. As a result, only 25 percent of WFP's FFW rations could be distributed in the area. In addition, WFP could not deliver food rations to the municipality of Murindo in Choco Department, due to road blocks mounted by armed groups. This may additionally delay the deliveries of more than 3,000 food rations scheduled for next week. Finally, in Barrancabermeja, armed groups issued threats to any organization working with displaced populations, leading to heightened alerts.

2) Guatemala

(a) The continuing crisis in the coffee sector, mainly in the Departments of San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango and Santa Rosa, and some municipalities of the eastern Departments of Chiquimula and Jutiapa, is resulting in increased poverty and migration to urban centres. The Government has initiated a food assistance programme, planned to reach 5,000 families in the most affected zones.

(b) WFP has been assisting drought-affected families through EMOP 10174.0 during the months of January and February, using existing stocks. However, due to shortages of oil, the ration was reduced by half to ensure regular distributions until the end of the operation on 28 February. From 1 March, malnourished children and their families affected by recurring natural disasters and the coffee crisis will continue to receive WFP support under the new regional PRRO 10212.0 for Central America.

(c) The nutritional situation among the most vulnerable groups is expected to deteriorate as a result of the worsening socio-economic situation. To ensure an adequate response, national hospitals and Nutritional Recuperation Centres are being supplied with therapeutic formula to cover the needs of malnourished children for the next 3 to 6 months.

3) Ecuador

(a) The number of Colombian refugees and asylum seekers rose to 840 by mid-February as a result of the intensification of the armed conflict in the Putumayo Department of Colombia, contiguous to the border with Ecuador. Over 11,600 Colombian refugees are currently living in Ecuador. WFP and UNHCR signed an agreement to provide food assistance to Colombian refugees in Ecuador from January to March. WFP is preparing an expansion of this operation to cover the increasing food requirements of the refugees until the end of the year.

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

1) Pakistan

(a) The Tripartite Consultations on 20 February between the Government of Pakistan, the Authorities of the Transitional Government of Afghanistan and UNHCR, attended by WFP, confirmed the urgent need for donor contributions to enable WFP to continue to support an estimated 230,000 Afghan refugees at the new camps in the North West Frontier Province and Balochistan Province in Pakistan. So far only 30 percent of WFP's requirements under EMOP 10228 have been met. Recent cash contributions have enabled WFP to quickly purchase food, particularly wheat and vegetable oil, to ensure implementation of this EMOP until April or May. However, further pledges, either in cash or in kind, are urgently required.

2) Afghanistan

(a) The security situation was calm across the country except in the Eastern region, where tensions in the five poppy cultivating districts of Nangarhar province have persisted, and in the Southern region where fighting was reported in Uruzgan province.

(b) On 23 February, thousands of tons of food commodities were lost in a fire that destroyed the warehouse of a local company in Jalal Abad. It is anticipated that this incident will impact food prices in the region and that food shortages might be experienced.

(c) From 20 to 26 February, 847,880 beneficiaries received more than 3,186 tons of food commodities through various WFP activities. These included FFW and Food For Asset Creation projects in Hirat, Kandahar, Kabul, Mazari Sharif and Fayz Abad, where 297,800 beneficiaries received 1,910 tons of food; Food For Education in Kandahar, Kabul and Fayz Abad, where 291,600 beneficiaries received 272 tons of food; relief and resettlement of IDPs and refugees, where 59,180 IDPs in Hirat received 111 tons of food and over 5,000 returning refugees in Kabul received 72 tons of food; urban vulnerable bakery projects, in which 149,800 beneficiaries in Kabul, Mazari Sharif and Kandahar received 264 tons of food; supplementary feeding, where 4,000 beneficiaries in Mazari Sharif, Hirat, Kandahar and Kabul received 37 tons of food; and free food distribution to 40,300 beneficiaries in Fayz Abad and Mazari Sharif, receiving 520 tons of food.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 9).