WFP Emergency Report No. 11 of 2003

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 14 Mar 2003


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

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

(C) West Africa Region: (1) Côte d'Ivoire (2) Liberia (3) Sierra Leone (4) Guinea

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

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

(F) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Guatemala, (2) Colombia (G) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Azerbaijan, (2) Armenia, (3) Albania, (4) Serbia and Montenegro

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

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

1) Ethiopia

(a) On 14 March, the Ethiopian Government's Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC) and the UN Country Team launched an addendum to the "Emergency Assistance Requirements and Implementation Options for 2003" calling for further donor support to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis affecting the country. The Government and the UN estimate that approximately 20 percent of the country's population is at risk in the crisis brought on by the drought. In addition to food, needs span all principal sectors including health, water, agriculture (especially seeds) and livestock.

(b) Millions of subsistence farmers and pastoralist families are faced with a desperate food situation. Relief food needs for 2003 will peak between April and June, with a possible respite for some areas if there are good February-June rains. The multi-agency assessment teams in November and December 2002 concluded that a peak of 11.3 million people will need food aid in 2003 while just over 3 million people are expected to be able to cope but will remain under close monitoring. There are indications that some of the populations under close monitoring already need food assistance. Multi-agency teams led by the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC) are being deployed in March for a rapid re-assessment of selected districts. Food aid requirements may be adjusted on the basis of these re-assessments and results will be communicated to donors.

(c) The estimated relief food needs for 2003 have increased from 1.44 to 1.46 million tons of food, including 1.3 million tons of cereals and 132,000 tons of fortified blended food and vegetable oil as supplementary food. The reduction in rations and the shortage of blended food has meant that some of the nutritional requirements so far in 2003 have not been met: distributions for January to March are estimated to reach 80 percent of planned levels, or 332,000 tons against requirements of 414,000 tons; the shortfall has contributed to high rates of malnutrition in some parts of the country. The current pledges of food assistance meet 58 percent of requirements. This can cover food need only until end of June, even if lower cereal ration rates are used and supplementary foods are targeted only to the worst-affected districts. The consequences of delays or breaks in food distributions in the remainder of the year will be grave, both for cereals and supplementary food. Current schedules for arrivals of food aid shipments have led to concerns about the availability of cereals in June, when the Emergency Food Security Reserve will be severely stretched to cover distribution requirements.

(d) Voluntary resettlement activities are under way in some regions. The DPPC is making efforts to ensure that resettlement, which is being implemented under other government departments, does not cause food distribution delays. Some areas of the country become inaccessible between July and September, at the height of the main rainy season. Thus there is a need to pre-position relief food for certain districts during May and June for the requirements between July and September. 80,000 tons of food would be required; current pledges, however, would not allow this to happen.

2) Eritrea

(a) The drought situation is worsening and is spreading rapidly throughout the country. In Anseba Region the Ministry of Agriculture reported that livestock had died from lack of water and fodder. A field visit to Hagaz revealed severe water shortages and people are obliged to walk for several hours in search of water. The Gensel River in Debub is currently providing water to both people and livestock in 7 villages but the riverbed is quickly drying up and both livestock and population will suffer as a consequence. In the Northern Red Sea Region, a few showers were experienced and some harvesting of maize has been reported from the lower lying spate irrigation area. Interviews with farmers confirmed that food would only last for 4 to 5 months. In Gash Barka, local administrators confirmed an acute shortage of food (grain) in the area, confirmed by WFP monitors. Implementation of the wet-feeding programme under the WFP School Feeding Programme is also becoming difficult due to lack of sufficient water.

(b) The international response to the food crisis remains low. The reduced number of beneficiaries targeted by WFP can only be supplied for a further two months. A break in supplies is now inevitable and WFP is urgently appealing to donors to accelerate their response.

3) Burundi

(a) A recent government and UN inter-agency Food and Crop Yields Assessment report indicated that the number of people in need of relief food during the first six months of this year, exceeding one million, has doubled in comparison with the same period in 2002. The assessment also noted a decline in the nutritional situation of the population, with a marked increase in the number of children being admitted to therapeutic feeding centres. Late rains in October 2002 and the early cessation of rains in January have led to significantly reduced harvests throughout the country. Insecurity is further exacerbating the situation, particularly in eastern and southern Burundi. During the first half of February, at least 54,000 people were unable to receive relief food due to prevailing insecurity.

(b) The crisis is threatening the next agriculture season. As food prices increase due to the scarcity of basic commodities combined with the depreciation of the local currency, hungry populations might resort to eating seeds earmarked for planting. In an attempt to offset the consumption of seeds meant for planting, WFP has recently begun distributing 9,356 tons Seed Protection Rations (SPRs) to some 851,520 food insecure people in the country. Food aid donations received so far allow WFP to provide assistance for another four weeks. Immediate pledges of 16,000 tons of cereals, pulses and vegetable oil, valued at USD 9 million, are urgently required to feed the country's 1.2 million vulnerable people until the end of June.

4) Republic of Congo

(a) WFP has assisted 2140 people affected by the Ebola virus in Kelle and Mbomo in the Cuvette region with rice, vegetable oil and yellow split peas. Food will be distributed by the Congolese Red Cross and their network of local volunteers and will assist beneficiaries for seven days. Since the outbreak of the disease 100 people have died and another 119 people are reported to be seriously ill. The area has been sealed off and the population is becoming completely reliant on food assistance. WFP is making contingency plans to respond to the potential need for further food assistance. The level and timeframe of further assistance will be decided according to the information being collected by Congolese Red Cross teams working in the area.

(b) The outbreak of Ebola and consequent need of food assistance is putting additional strains on WFP's already limited resources in the Republic of Congo. WFP is already facing a serious shortfall to assist some 34,000 displaced persons in Brazzaville and Bouenza Plateaux and Niari districts, with an additional estimated 60,000 people hiding and trapped in the forests. WFP only has 30 percent of the 19,400 tons of food, valued at USD 17 million, required to assist the 34,000 IDPs.

5) Uganda

(a) From 17 to 22 February, WFP participated in the joint Pader District Assessment Mission, together with the Government of Uganda, local authorities, UNICEF, OCHA, Caritas and the NGO Forum. The mission was facilitated by WFP and led by the Minister for Disaster Preparedness. The Mission's findings provide a comprehensive overview of the current humanitarian situation in Pader District, following the intensified Lords Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency and the concentration of displaced people into camps.

(b) The people of Pader District are presently facing their worst humanitarian crisis for years. An estimated 74 percent of the total district population has been displaced to 13 camps as result of insecurity. The number of camps has reduced in recent weeks as people have concentrated into larger camps located at major trading centres and towns guarded by the Ugandan Peoples' Defence Force (UDPF). Food insecurity in the IDP camps is exacerbated by a combination of lack of access to fields due to extreme insecurity, and ineffective coping mechanisms. 1,984 tons of food is needed every month to meet the requirements of the 241,216 IDPs in the district, until the next harvest in August. WFP will conduct training activities in Pader from 21 to 25 March and will commence food distribution on 26 March if security escorts are available.

6) Rwanda

(a) Following the prolonged dry season Nyarubuye and Kibungo districts may be facing severe food insecurity. The district authorities requested WFP for food assistance. After a joint assessment conducted by WFP, the Provincial Food Aid Committee and Kibungo Sub-Office, the mission found that 67,801 people were at risk.

(b) WFP provided food to 11,944 provisionally released detainees in so called "solidarity camps" for civic education. The detainees are undergoing a civic education training programme before their reinsertion into communities of origin. The repatriation of Rwandan refugees from Tanzania continued during February. A total of 916 Rwandan refugees were repatriated from Tanzania. Of these 485 Rwandan refugees, who settled in Tanzania in 1959, were forcibly repatriated via the Rusumo border. WFP assisted 29,141 refugees at the three camps in Rwanda. Food was distributed to 513 refugees at Kigeme camp in Gikongoro province; 14,984 beneficiaries at Kiziba camp in Kibuye province; and 13,644 refugees at Gihembe camp in Byumba province.

(c) WFP is currently reviewing the draft report of a WFP led tripartite mission (also comprising UNHCR and MINALOC) to Gihembe and Kiziba camps in late January. The objective of the mission was to assess the situation in the camps and initiate a pilot programme for the takeover of food distribution.

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

1) Regional overview

(a) In Mozambique, heavy rains from tropical cyclone 'Japhet' caused flooding in Inhambane and Sofala Provinces. WFP emergency teams continued their visits to flooded areas and WFP is exploring possibilities of airlifting food into the area.

(b) In Madagascar, the Prime Ministers Office declared an emergency situation in five districts in the south, due to increasing food insecurity caused by the devastating effects of poor rains. An action plan for immediate response and longer-term strategies to address the situation has been established, following a general meeting called by the General Commission for Integrated Development in the South (CGDIS).

2) Mozambique

(a) In northern Inhambane, flooding has displaced an estimated 1,500 people. WFP has responded to the situation by undertaking beneficiary registration and wet feeding activities. High floodwaters and a damaged bridge have temporarily blocked road access to the town of Nova Mambone. An estimated 9,000 people in Govuro District, not covered through the regional EMOP, will need one month of food assistance. Flooding has also affected southern Sofala Province. WFP, the Government and implementing partners are assessing the situation and are distributing food to displaced people by boat. In Machanga town, 2,000 families have received WFP food aid distributed by implementing partners.

(b) In February WFP distributed 3,917 tons of food to 263,000 beneficiaries. 1,679 tons of food was dispatched to implementing partners. WFP received a request from the Government for the provision of food assistance for 650,000 people from April to June. 27 members of WFP, UNDP/UNFPA and UNICEFs Executive Boards will be undertaking a joint field visit from 10 to 20 March to assess interagency cooperation and implementation of UN reforms in the field. WFP attended the annual meeting hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER) on the drought action plan update.

3) Madagascar

(a) Tropical cyclone 'Japhet' left some rains in the southern area, but arrived too late to affect the crop yields. The situation has led to the consumption of cactus fruits which have become a scarce and expensive commodity. The situation is reported to have affected school attendance in areas where school feeding activities are not implemented.

(b) WFP food aid monitors and implementing partners have reported increasing malnutrition and tuberculosis rates among children under five, particularly in remote areas such as Tanandava-South. A joint WFP, CRS, USAID, EU and CGDIS mission to evaluate food needs will visit the affected area from 18 to 21 March. Starting next week, a joint FAO/WFP rolling assessment of food needs will take place in the affected areas.

4) Zambia

(a) Flooding following torrential rains affected over 15,000 people and 1,200 acres of crops in the Central and Southern-Central Provinces. Flooding of the Kafue River resulted in the opening of the river floodgates, leading to crop and property losses along the riverbanks. WFP dispatched a Food Aid Monitor to the area.

(b) WFP, Government representatives and implementing partners conducted workshops on identification of beneficiaries in the post-March period in Livingstone, Mongu and Chipata.

5) Zimbabwe

(a) On 07 March the President declared a state of disaster in Matabeleland South, where drought has decimated livestock herds. Matabeleland will reportedly receive special mitigation measures to alleviate the situation, but the specific nature of these measures is yet to be announced. Torrential rains affected the eastern and southeastern regions where rivers burst their banks and submerged bridges, causing loss of lives and extensive damage to infrastructure. The worst affected areas were Mashonaland, Masvingo and Manicaland Provinces. WFP is monitoring the situation.

(b) From 01 to 09 March WFP dispatched 7,689 tons of food to implementing partners. Workshops on the prevention of sexual exploitation and child abuse in humanitarian crises were completed for WFP staff. A total of 725 field staff, 70 percent of whom are male, attended the training in 42 workshops around the country.

6) Malawi

(a) During the week, WFP and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS-NET) conducted a rapid field survey to assess the status of maize availability and production prospects for the 2002/2003 season in the southern Region.

(b) The school feeding baseline survey was initiated 10 March, covering 122 schools in eight districts.

(c) WFP dispatched 4,164 tons of food to implementing partners and met with the National AIDS Control Programme (NAC), National Statistics Office (NSO), Economic Planning and Development Commission (EPD), Malawi Social Action Fund (MASAF), Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, UNICEF, CARE and the Consortium for Southern Africa Food Security Emergency (C-SAFE) to discuss the concept paper on post-EMOP planning.

7) Angola

(a) Traveling in Halo Trust armoured vehicles, WFP completed a rapid food needs assessment and beneficiary registration in Tchicala-Tcholohanga municipality in Huambo Province. Food insecurity was confirmed in Upunda, a major area of return for internally displaced people and inaccessible to UN personnel due to suspected landmines. Returnees have not been able to cope without assistance, and disease and hunger has reportedly claimed over 50 lives this year. WFP has initiated general food distribution to 12,000 beneficiaries registered during the week. In Cunene Province, 8,000 people have been identified as affected by food insecurity due to irregular rainfall and theft of livelihood assets. WFP will assist with Food For Work activities.

(b) WFP received a donation of USD 2.2 million towards a bridge project in 4 provinces. The temporary bridges will provide access to returnee and resettlement areas.

8) Namibia

(a) During the week, WFP accompanied a delegation from the Angolan Repatriation Tripartite commission on a visit to Osire refugee camp. Other delegates included representatives of the Namibian and Angolan Government, UNHCR and NGOs. The refugee committee informed that more than 15,000 Angolan refugees in Namibia have expressed their interest in repatriation. While the poorest refugees have expressed interest in leaving this year, others have expressed concerns over the political instability in Angola and would either wish to await the election outcomes or apply for resettlement in Namibia.

9) Swaziland

(a) WFP distributed 332 tons of food to 20,717 beneficiaries during the week and launched its mid-term review of the 2002/2003 Consolidated Appeal (CAP) for the crisis in Swaziland. Special emphasis was placed on the urgent need for non-food items to combat the HIV/AIDS crisis.

(b) WFP and the National Early Warning Unit (NEWU) accompanied representatives from USAID on a four-day crop performance and beneficiary household visit to the four agro-ecological regions of Swaziland.

10) Lesotho

(a) During the week, WFP distributed 492 tons of maize meal, pulses and vegetable oil to 40,733 beneficiaries in five districts. In addition, 8,7 tons of pulses and vegetable oil were distributed under emergency school feeding projects in Mafeteng District.

(b) WFP held consultation meetings with hospital staff in Maseru District on awareness and support activities for vulnerable groups in 31 clinics in rural Maseru. Food aid and support will be provided to poor and vulnerable pregnant mothers attending pre- and postnatal clinics, and vulnerable people attending training on home based care, HIV/AIDS awareness and counseling.

C) West Africa Region: (1) Côte d'Ivoire (2) Liberia (3) Sierra Leone (4) Guinea

1) Côte d'Ivoire

(a) WFP received reports from Action Contre la Faim (ACF) on the food security situation in urban and rural Odienné, Korhogo and Man. The three towns are held by insurgents and are characterized by a general lack of access to cash, public services and markets. The populations are surviving using alternative surviving and coping mechanisms, including reducing food rations. The reports recommend that a Food for Work (FFW) programme is launched, targeting vulnerable people. From 06 to 09 February, WFP conducted a mission to Man to identify UN office premises planned to open within the next two weeks. First priority is to start a programme similar to that running in Bouaké, providing ready-made meals to children under six. In Man, more than 10 percent of children are in risk of malnourishment and immediate food needs for 6,000 children were identified by ACF.

(b) A mission to Grabo in the south-west was undertaken on 28 February with military escorts from Tabou. About 5,000 refugees were reported to be stranded in surrounding villages due to insecurity. 1,925 refugees and IDPs will receive food rations on 14 March.

(c) In Bouaké, WFP distributed food to 7,485 beneficiaries. 1,000 mental patients were supported as well as 1,325 urban vulnerable. Supplementary feeding was given to 45 malnourished children. From Yamoussoukro, 2834 IDPs in Tabou, Daloa and Bonoufla were supported.

(d) Support to 220 new school canteens with 26,640 displaced children in government held regions started. Total number of displaced children receiving school lunches from WFP was 32,140, of which 7,500 were in Abidjan.

2) Liberia

(a) Fighting between Government troops and LURD rebels continued during the week. The most serious contention was over the town of Bo along the border with Sierra Leone. To date, the entire western part of the country (north and south western) remains inaccessible to civilians and humanitarian actors. Following a build up of tension in Zwedru itself, WFP and other humanitarian agencies have relocated staff from that town to safer localities. WFP staff was relocated to Harper, from where they continue to monitor the situation. Over the past week, tension was reportedly mounting in Harper also following reports of an imminent attack on the city. A contingency plan will be activated to relocate from Harper should the situation deteriorate. This would temporarily suspend WFP operations.

(b) A large number of people continue to be displaced as a result of the war, which now rages in several parts of the country; from the North, West and now also from the Eastern boarder with Cote d'Ivoire. Displaced persons are still arriving daily in displaced camps from areas in Cape Mount and Bomi Counties, other are reported having crossed over into Sierra Leone as well. WFP is preparing to assist an estimated 270,210 people, 71 percent of whom would be IDPs, and an estimated 190,855 people registered in camps in various parts of the country. More than 94,960 Ivorian refugees and third country nationals were registered by UNHCR and its partners crossing the border into Liberia. Ivorian refugees and third country nationals account for approximately 54 percent of all arrivals. Some 9,307 people are in transit facilities receiving regular WFP food assistance.

(c) In view of the continuous increase in the number of people in need of WFP assistance, a great deal of pressure is being exerted on available stocks and expected arrivals. Despite efforts to mobilize necessary resources, a break in the pipeline for pulses is anticipated in March and for cereals in May, unless new resources are found.

3) Sierra Leone

(a) From 24 February to 09 March, WFP supported 66,684 people with 612 tons of food, through its Vulnerable Group Feeding, Emergency School Feeding, Therapeutic Feeding, Supplementary Feeding, Mother and Child Health, Food-For-Training and Safety Net programmes. On 01 March, WFP took over responsibility for the provision of food in all refugee camps in the country. Currently, there are some 47,000 refugees in camps. Letters of Understanding (LOU) were signed with three implementing partners for the distribution of food on behalf of WFP.

(b) An outbreak of Lassa fever occurred in the Largo, Jimmy Gbagbo and Gerrihun refugee camps. This is the first time that an outbreak of lassa has occurred in Jimmi Gbagbo, which is outside the known endemic area. WFP and implementing partners are collaborating to address health and nutrition issues linked to the outbreak and both old and newly arriving refugees, as well as humanitarian personnel, were sensitized on precautionary measures.

(c) A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between WFP, UNDP, UNOPS, CRS and the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) to construct and/or rehabilitate 250 km of feeder roads in the Kailahun and Kambia districts, which suffered severe infrastructure damage and population displacement as a result of the civil war. The project will link villages to larger roads, giving them access to much needed markets and services. Under the agreement, which will continue until July, with possibility of renewal for an additional two months, WFP will provide some 650 tons of food over a six-month period, through its Food for Work programme. CRS will also contribute 350 tons of food. UNDP has committed a total of USD 250,000 to meet the actual construction and rehabilitation costs, while SLRA will provide technical assistance, training and supervision.

(d) From 24 February to 09 March, WFP suspended most Food-For-Work activities in order to reserve resources for vulnerable group feeding. There is the possibility that some components of the Emergency School Feeding and Food-For-Training programmes may also have to be suspended if the resource situation does not improve in the coming weeks.

4) Guinea

(a) Guineans and other nationals continue to flee the Ivory Coast, entering Guinea at N'Zérékoré and Kankan regions. Transit centers in N'Zérékoré are overcrowded (4,000 present over the reporting period) and transfers to camps have been extremely delayed. UNHCR is preparing to transfer 34,000 Liberian refugees from Kouankan to Albadariah camps starting 17 March. The operation should end by mid-June 2003. A meeting between UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF, OCHA and implementing partners took place on 24 and 25 February in Kissidougou. Three working groups were created to develop an operating plan to try to transfer refugees before the beginning of the rainy season. Repatriation of Sierra Leoneans continues from Sembakounya and Albadariah camps. 350 were repatriated by UNHCR on 27 February. An awareness campaign to encourage Sierra Leoneans to return home is underway in the Albadariah camps, with support from a visit to the camps by Sierra Leone's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Objective is to repatriate 30,000 refugees by June 2003, bringing the total number of Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea down to 10,000.

(b) From 23 February to 10 March, WFP assisted 39,436 beneficiaries with 583 tons of food in the framework of its PRRO; 7,884 beneficiaries were assisted with 146 tons of food in the framework of WFP's Country Programme. A mission of WFP's Executive Board examined WFP's performance and operations in Guinea. The mission met with members of Guinea's government cabinets, donors and UN country team members before flying to N'Zérékoré and Kankan to see how the programmes operate in the field.

(c) Stocks available in country and expected arrivals are sufficient to cover requirements until August. To ensure emergency and recovery activities after August, new contributions should be confirmed by April 2003 at the latest. Failing that, some 100,000 refugees will remain without food. Outstanding requirements amount to 4,500 tons of cereals, 400 tons of pulses, 500 tons of oil, 80 tons of salt and 900 tons of CSB.

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

1) DPR of Korea

(a) A new donation of 46,000 tons of wheat arrived during the week. With this shipment, cereal distributions to children in nurseries, kindergartens and pregnant and nursing women, suspended in some regions since late last year, will now be resumed. Food distribution needs for all beneficiary categories (pregnant and nursing women, children in orphanages, nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools, the elderly and caregivers at children's institutions) can now be met until late April.

(b) However, EMOP 10141.1 remains with no resources in the pipeline for the latter half of the year. It is imperative that additional contributions, including cereals, pulses, Corn Soya Milk, oil and sugar, are confirmed as soon as possible to cover the third and fourth quarters. Without immediate additional contributions, elderly persons and caregivers in child institutions on the east coast will not receive WFP cereal rations and, starting from May, distribution cuts will again begin to affect core beneficiaries: children and pregnant/nursing women. Food For Work activities for the spring season have already been curtailed to about 70% of initially planned levels.

(c) Donor allocations of 32,500 tons are urgently required to cover the WFP operation from April to June, including 18,200 tons of cereals. Pledges for the latter half of the year of about 245,000 tons are also required, including 204,000 tons of cereals, 5,000 tons of DSM, 11,000 tons of CSM, 4,000 tons of sugar, 15,000 tons of pulses and 6,000 tons of oil.

2) Indonesia

(a) Torrential rains caused widespread flooding, submerging crops and homes across the country and destroying some 576 hectares of corn. Large areas in Java and Sumatra were affected, with Palembang in South Sumatra being the worst affected area. In Jambi six villages and 50 hectares of crops were flooded, forcing 3,000 people to flee. WFP made contingency plans with its local implementing partners to provide assistance in case of new displacements. Chikungunya, the mosquito-borne disease, has infected hundreds of people in several towns in West and Central Java. Due to the rainy season, outbreaks of chikungunya and Dengue fever are expected in the country.

(b) In February, WFP distributed 5,390 tons of food to 1.3 million beneficiaries, mostly women and children, under its Subsidized Rice for Urban Poor (OPSM), Nutrition Programme (NP) and Internally Displaced Person (IDPs) programmes. Following recent contributions, PRRO 10069 is currently 47 percent resourced.

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

1) Afghanistan

(a) The security situation remained volatile, with increased tension in the Eastern and Southern regions. Access to the five poppy-cultivating districts in Nangahar province continued to be suspended.

(b) From 06 to 12 March, 459,780 beneficiaries received 1,055 tons of food, including 500 tons of food to 56,800 beneficiaries under the Food for Work/Food for Asset Creation, 144 TONS of food to 208,100 beneficiaries under the Food for Education, 130 tons of food to 53,400 IDPs and refugees under the Relief and Resettlement of IDPs and Refugees, 268 tons of food to 139,120 beneficiaries under the Urban Vulnerable Bakery Projects, and 13 tons of food to 2,360 beneficiaries under the Supplementary Feeding scheme. As of 09 March, 36,800 tons, amounting to 77 percent of planned food commodities, were distributed to beneficiaries under the Winterization programme.

2) Pakistan

(a) On 10 March the joint FAO/WFP Food and Crop Assessment Mission Report 2002 was presented to donor representatives. Drought scenarios were reviewed. The most recent meteorological data suggests that intermittent showers of recent weeks are unlikely to bring much needed relief to the drought affected population. Several years of normal rain would be required to return severely affected areas to the pre-drought situation. Donors were asked to consider providing resources for at least 45,500 families, which the mission identified as severely affected and at a high risk. A vulnerability survey of drought-affected areas will be undertaken under the auspices of UNDP.

(b) On 12 March WFP opened a new Field Office for Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) in Muzaffarabad. WFP helps about 9,000 rural women in AJK develop skills to increase their earning power and recently began its education programme for girls in over 250 schools in AJK.

(c) Food distribution under EMOP 10171 continued in Sindh and Balochistan provinces. Action Contre La Faim (ACF) and UNHCR are currently conducting a nutrition survey among refugees in camps in Balochistan. Preliminary results will be available in early April and WFP will review its Supplementary Feeding and its Supplementary Food Ration projects in light of the results. The pipeline situation of EMOP 10171 remains vulnerable. Food commodities for general food distribution, as well as for anticipated supplementary feeding activities in Afghan refugee camps, are urgently needed if requirements are to be met beyond May.

3) Palestinian Territories

(a) In the city of Hebron, bulldozers destroyed the vegetable market and access to other local markets was restricted due to roadblocks. The Fsituation in Nablus remained critical. WFP and the Ministry of Social Affairs visited Nablus to assess the devastation caused by Israeli incursions. Emergency food aid was requested for 200 families whose houses had been destroyed. Following the closure of all towns and villages in Salfeet, 60,000 people faced a difficult situation and many residents resorted to coping mechanisms to survive.

(b) In February, WFP distributed 2,185 tons of food to 209,085 beneficiaries in the Palestinian Territories. The Ministry of Agriculture cooperated with WFP to purchase 272 tons of olive oil to beneficiaries in the Gaza Strip. WFP will participate in a joint mission with international NGOs to deliver food aid and noon-food items to residents in El-Mawasi in the Southern Gaza Strip, which has been kept under strict closure for several months.

(c) From March to July, WFP will face a shortfall of 8,157 tons of food under EMOP 10190.

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

1) Guatemala

(a) According to a national meteorological analysis, the phenomenon of El Niño is resulting in dryer than average conditions and is expected to increase the possibilities of drought in 2003. The continuing crisis in the coffee sector is affecting more than 300,000 agricultural workers, mainly in the Departments of San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango, Santa Rosa, Chiquimula, and Jutiapa. WFP continues to carry out activities in these Departments through EMOP 10174.0 ("Emergency Assistance to Families Affected by Drought with Acute Malnourished Children").

(b) WFP is preparing an impact evaluation of EMOP 10174.0. Five workshops will be carried out in various parts of the country to train local staff in support of the emergency operation. Operational aspects of the Central America Regional Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) "Targeted Food Assistance for People Affected by Shocks and for the Recovery of Livelihoods", which follows up on the assistance provided through the EMOP to malnourished children and their families, will also be on the agenda.

2) Colombia

(a) A fire in a Medellin slum, where WFP carries out nutrition, food-for-work/food-for-training, and community kitchen activities under PRRO 6139.0 ("Assistance to Persons Displaced by Violence), completely destroyed 650 makeshift homes. 2,129 people, 500 of them children, were affected by the fire. More than 3,700 food rations, as well as a community kitchen and a mattress factory under the food-for-work scheme were lost in the fire. WFP and counterparts quickly set up telethons to replace lost commodities and assist families in restarting the projects. Support has been sought from local authorities to relocate IDPs away from high-risk areas, in order to avoid conflicts with recipient communities. WFP field staff liaised with protection agencies to provide support for community leaders who are being threatened by armed groups.

G) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Azerbaijan, (2) Armenia, (3) Albania, (4) Serbia and Montenegro

1) Azerbaijan

(a) PRRO 10168 ("Targeted Food Assistance for Relief and Recovery of Displaced Persons and Vulnerable Groups in Azerbaijan") commenced on 1 January. The PRRO will promote food security among vulnerable groups, particularly in rural areas with high concentrations of IDPs, through primary school feeding and employment-generating schemes. In January and February, WFP provided 1,780 tons of food assistance to 132,270 beneficiaries, including 131,540 IDPs and 730 other vulnerable individuals. A total of 53 percent of beneficiaries were women.

(b) As of 28 February 2003, a total of 5,970 tons has been pledged against the 43,090 tons required under the PRRO, leaving a shortfall of 37,120 tons or 86 percent of the total requirements.

2) Armenia

(a) Irregularities were reported during the first round of presidential elections held on 19 February. On 26 February a march by thousands of protesters in Yerevan was halted by riot police and Interior Ministry troops.

(b) In February, WFP distributed 1,125 tons of food to 10,600 children under its school feeding programme and 8,650 participants in food for training and food for work. Despite heavy snowfall and adverse weather conditions, food was delivered to 229 destinations throughout the country.

(c) Projected food shortfalls until June, including cereals, pulses and vegetable oil, amount to 5,740 tons.

3) Albania

(a) The security situation remained stable during the reporting period. In February, WFP continued its activities under PRRO 10165.0 ("Assistance to Vulnerable Groups in the Construction of Community Assets"), including Communal Forestry and Pasture Management, Social Sector Assistance, and Community Asset Building through Food-For-Work. Around 218 tons of food, including wheat flour, vegetable oil and salt, was distributed to 3,830 persons under the Communal Forestry and Pastures Management scheme, 1,460 women under the Social Sector Assistance scheme and 2,500 workers engaged in Food-For-Work activities.

(b) The current pipeline situation is sufficient to meet food requirement until June. If no further resources are secured, there will be a break in the pipeline after that date.

4) Serbia and Montenegro

(a) The Serbian Prime Minister was assassinated on 12 March and a nationwide state of emergency was proclaimed. The UN Resident Coordinator expressed concern over a new wave of violence in southern Serbia and warned that it could lead to the suspension of foreign aid to the region. The US Congress has frozen USD 110 million worth of aid to Serbia until 15 June. The blockage may be lifted if Belgrade cooperates with The Hague War Crimes Tribunal.

(b) From 17 February to 7 March, WFP and UNHCR carried out a Joint Assessment Mission in order to further improve targeting mechanisms. The Mission recommended an extension of WFP's feeding programme until the end of the winter 2003-2004. The draft report will be issued in late March. In February, an expected 121,020 beneficiaries received food assistance under PRRO 10116.0. For March, the planned number of beneficiaries is 119,265.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 11).