WFP Emergency Report No. 12 of 2003

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 21 Mar 2003


This report includes:
A) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Iraq, (2) Iran, (3) Afghanistan

B) Eastern and Central Africa Region: (1) Eritrea, (2) Ethiopia, (3) Sudan, (4) Burundi, (5) Uganda

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

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

E) Asia Region: (1) DPR Korea

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

G) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Russian Federation, (2) Armenia

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

1) Iraq

(a) WFP intends to launch a phased series of humanitarian operations to ensure that the Iraqi people will continue to receive their basic food needs over the coming weeks and months. With possibly the entire population of Iraq requiring food aid, the full operation could cost over one billion US dollars and could become "the largest humanitarian operation in history". WFP has already prepositioned sufficient supplies in neighbouring countries to feed two million people for one month. These stocks will help cover the initial phase of the conflict, when WFP faces the potential flow of Iraqi refugees into neighbouring countries. In this period of the operation, WFP estimates that about 2.1 million people may require emergency assistance. This stage will also include as many cross-border operations as required and as possible to help those people inside Iraq who might be in dire need of food aid. WFP may at a later stage be called upon to sustain the monthly food rationing system in Iraq. After 12 years of economic sanctions, this distribution system offers a lifeline for the majority of Iraqi's; WFP might be called upon to assist the entire population of Iraq, about 27 million people. It is hoped that after some months of providing such assistance, Iraq would be able to re-organize its own food rationing system and WFP could scale down its operation. At that stage, WFP could continue to support up to a potential five million refugees sheltering outside Iraq as well as displaced and vulnerable populations inside the country.

(b) During hostilities, some 800 national WFP staff members will continue to work inside Iraq as long as security conditions permit and food supplies last. In the centre and south of Iraq, where the Iraqi Government is responsible for the Oil-for-Food Programme, warehouses are almost empty. WFP believes that most people have enough food to sustain them for a maximum of six weeks. The humanitarian operation for Iraq is logistically difficult and filled with unknowns and uncertainties. These include: the war's duration, the intensity of military operations and the state of silos, mills and roads. WFP has made extensive plans for the crisis. With staff members already in place, contracts with trucking companies drafted and communication equipment installed, a very complex transport network is ready to spring into action at a moment's notice, if so required.

2) Iran

(a) WFP preparations to provide emergency food assistance for a possible influx of Iraqi refugees were per 18 March in an advanced state. A WFP sub-office has been established in Kermanshah near Iran's border with Iraq and the establishment of another sub-office in Ahwaz in Khuzestan province is under way. 12 plots of land have been set aside for up to 500,000 Iraqi refugees and BAFIA and UNHCR have prepared three sites to shelter an initial 60,000 refugees in Khuzestan province.

(b) As of 16 March, a total number of 267,542 Afghan refugees had been repatriated from Iran since April 2002. A further 135,114 Afghans returned on their own, making a total of 402,656 Afghan returnees.

(c) The pipeline for WFP's PRRO for Afghan and current Iraqi refugees is solid until July, but additional funds are urgently required for the Iraqi crisis.

3) Afghanistan

(a) Following US air strikes against Iraq on 20 March, all UN offices in the country were closed for 48 hours, as requested by UNSECOORD.

(b) From 13 to 19 March, 880 tons of food was distributed to 82,160 beneficiaries through the Food for Work/Food for Asset Creation scheme; 190 tons of food was distributed to 296,800 beneficiaries through the Food for Education scheme; 230 tons of food was distributed to 120,620 beneficiaries through the Urban Vulnerable Bakery Projects and 13 tons of food was distributed to 2,360 beneficiaries through the Supplementary Feeding scheme. As of 16 March, a total of 37,400 tons of food, amounting to 78 percent of planned commodities, were distributed to beneficiaries of the Winterisation programme.

B) Eastern and Central Africa Region: (1) Eritrea, (2) Ethiopia, (3) Sudan, (4) Burundi, (5) Uganda

1) Eritrea

(a) The ongoing drought continues to have widespread effects across the country. WFP field monitors reported that villagers in Gash Barka have begun to migrate to neighbouring areas in search of day labour in order to survive. As a consequence of parents withdrawing their children from school in order to migrate, student drop-out rates in January and February have risen to 10 percent, compared with 2 percent during the same period last year. Villagers have noted that food security problems have been compounded in recent months by limited spending power and a lack of cereals available on local markets. In Anseba region the price of available food has nearly doubled. The limited relief food available is shared among community members, resulting in households receiving an average of only 4 to 5 kg of wheat per month. Similar findings have been reported in the Debub region, where coping mechanisms have included collecting leaves of the wild trees to supplement food supplies. Water shortages continued to worsen in many parts of the country and severe water shortages are feared by April. The lack of available fodder and water is having critical effects on livestock across the country. In the Gela Nhefi (Maekel region), the Ministry of Agriculture reported that 1,500 cattle and 2,000 goats and sheep, amounting to 20 percent of livestock in the area, have died due to the drought.

(b) On 18 March, WFP held its quarterly meeting with donor representatives. WFP presented a frank picture of the present situation and offered three scenarios for discussion. The first scenario would allow WFP to support 1,341,000 beneficiaries targeted under EMOP 10261 and PRRO 10192, excluding 200,000 demobilized soldiers and 40,000 expected returnees. Currently there are only enough resources available in stock and in the pipeline to allow these operations to continue until the end of May. Scenario II proposes the current caseload of 841,145 beneficiaries comprised of half of the originally targeted drought beneficiaries and most of those under the PRRO (such as IDPs in and out of camp, primary school children, malnourished children under five and other vulnerable groups). Resources are available to proceed at such a level only until the end of July. The third scenario would not target any drought-affected beneficiaries, and would cover only 254,145 of the planned beneficiaries under the PRRO. This would allow operations to continue until the end of December 2003. Given the limited availability of resources, the general view of the meeting appeared to favour the second option. WFP will further discuss with the Government to determine the most acceptable and realistic course of action.

2) Ethiopia

(a) Confirmed contributions cover only around 59 percent of requirements, with cereals 60 percent covered and blended food 40 percent covered. There is a need to pre-position supplies in May and June for remote areas inaccessible during the main rains in July, August and September. In some areas a rapid reassessment is being undertaken which is expected to result in a marginal increase in the number of people in need of assistance between April and September.

(b) The Emergency Food Security Reserve has been under pressure in recent months. Donors have accelerated shipments for March and April which will speed up repayments to the Reserve and make cereals available for loans against future contributions. Nevertheless, it is crucial that repayments from local and regional purchases, as well as international purchases, keep to agreed schedules.

3) Sudan

(a) Heavy fighting took place between SSMU forces and SPLA around Mankien area in Mayom province, Unity State. Several clashes between SSIM and SPLA forces also took place in the State during the first week of February, resulting in the capture of Bau by SPLA forces. The security situation in western Darfur around Jebal-marra Mountain worsened significantly during the last week of February, as an armed group invaded the town of Gulu, 185 km northwest of Nyala, killing 36 persons and injuring about one hundred. The security situation in the refugees' settlement area continued to be unsatisfactory. As a precautionary measure, residents of locations close to the Sudan/Eritrea border were advised by the government to relocate to other areas, resulting in some population displacement.

(b) On 19 March WFP and UNICEF issued a joint statement saying that efforts had begun to deliver humanitarian supplies to 115,000 drought and war-affected persons in the Blue Nile State, eastern Sudan. A joint Government, UN and NGO assessment in February concluded that more than 90 percent of the population is in need of food assistance. The initial intervention will target both government controlled and SPLM/A controlled areas. WFP will truck and airdrop 934 tons of food to cover the needs of more than 79,000 people for one month. UNICEF will provide essential medicine, water and sanitation supplies.

(c) WFP distributed 7,744 tons of food to 756,725 beneficiaries, with 3,446 tons of food distributed to 226,725 beneficiaries in the Northern Sector and 4,298 tons distributed to about 530,000 beneficiaries in the Southern Sector. A total of 1,580 tons of mixed commodities were distributed to cover all refugee activities. 20 refugee camps in four States were covered by PRRO 10122.00 with a total population of 91,103 refugees. Coordination meetings were held in Kassala town between UN agencies and NGOs to coordinate efforts to provide assistance to new refugees in Kassala State.

(d) At present, there is a break in the pipeline for EMOP 10048.01 of mixed commodities including Oil, Corn Soya Blend (CSB), Sugar and Salt. A break in the pipeline of Pulses is expected in April. A recent contribution of 25,000 tons of wheat is estimated to last until June. For PRRO10122.0, there is currently a break in the pipeline of CSB, Salt and Sugar and a break in the pipeline of Pulses is expected in April. In addition, there will be a break in the pipeline of Cereals in May 2003.

4) Burundi

(a) The security situation deteriorated in various provinces. From 03 to 09 March fighting factions of both the FDD and the FNL continued attacks, robbery and looting of rural households. Army pursuit operations provoked confrontations with rebels and caused displacement of civilians. From 10 to 16 March Ruyigi province remained inaccessible to humanitarian aid workers. Incursions took place in Muyinga and armed robberies were reported in Gitega, Cibitoke, Bujumbura Rural and Bujumbura Mairie provinces. Implementation of the provisions of the Arusha Peace Accord remained a major preoccupation. A working session of the accord's Implementation Monitoring Committee opened on 17 March. On 04 March WFP signed a Letter of Understanding (LoU) with the Minister of External Relations and Cooperation for the implementation of the 36-months Great Lakes regional Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation, PRRO 10062.1.

(b) From 03 to 09 March, WFP distributed 2,122 tons of food to 199,770 beneficiaries. 205 tons of food was provided to 3,640 participants through WFP's Food For Work projects. A planned 690.87 tons of food to 62,800 recipients in Bujumbura Rural, Kayanza and Gitega provinces could not be delivered due to lack of security. From 10 to 16 March WFP, in partnership with CARE, distributed 1,956 tons of food to 201,130 vulnerable people in four provinces. 66 tons of food was provided to 1,208 participants through FFW projects and 46 tons was distributed to 2,729 vulnerable individuals in social centres.

(c) Insecurity and insufficient stocks of pulses and cereals continued to hamper distributions. As of 18 March, in-country stocks stood at 3,486.76 tons. Urgent new dispatches are needed to respond to food requirements.

5) Uganda

(a) The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) declared a unilateral ceasefire on 02 March in order to start negotiations with the Government of Uganda (GOU) to end the conflict. The GOU agreed on a five days ceasefire with effect from 10 March, which was extended to 20 March. The Presidential Peace Team (PPT) has to date not met with the LRA rebels after two futile appointments through the Acholi religious leaders in northern Uganda. It is too early to predict an outcome, but the timing of the ceasefire is crucial to allow Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to access their fields for the March/April planting season after missing two consecutive planting seasons in a row.

(b) An assessment mission by UN agencies, NGOs and District officials was carried out from 11 to 15 March in Katakwi District to assess the humanitarian situation among the displaced population in the district as a result of renewed raids by the Karimojong. A food needs assessment is planned in Chwa County, Kitgum District to assess the effects of drought, LRA incursions and the incessant raids of the marauding Karimojong warriors in the district.

(c) In February WFP started distributing 1,000 tons of food commodities on a monthly basis to avert acute hunger among 59,000 drought-affected pastoral households in the three districts of Karamoja region. Distributions are carried out at the parish level to enhance targeting of the most vulnerable. Cyclic drought, crop failure, commercial cattle rustling and low returns from the pastoral way of life has compounded the food insecurity situation in Karamoja. Commercial cattle rustling is resulting in a loss of assets and desperation among poor pastoral households. The recently concluded Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum predicts below normal March-May rainfall in Karamoja for 2003. WFP is closely monitoring the situation.

(d) WFP is planning to reduce food rations from 100 percent to 50 percent among 1,600 refugees in Arua as a result of the improvement in the food security situation. A joint assessment mission in southwest Uganda recommended a phase out of food rations to non-new arrivals. On 01 April WFP is taking over food distribution responsibility for refugee operations on a 12- month pilot basis.

(e) WFP will face a pipeline shortfall from March through September 2003 of 35,248 tons of food aid, including 21,840 tons of cereals, 2,433 tons of pulses, 2,894 tons of vegetable oil, 417 tons of salt, 6,191 tons of corn-soya blend, 1,412 tons of sugar and 60 tons of high energy biscuits. New in-kind pledges or cash resources are needed.

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

1) Mozambique

(a) WFP launched an emergency operation in Mozambique to airlift over 200 tons of food to areas affected by the recent flooding caused by tropical cyclone 'Japhet'. On 16 March, a WFP helicopter made its first delivery to families stranded by the flood in four villages located along the Save River, which burst its banks on 11 March. The airlift operation will deliver food to 15,000 people in Machanga District.

(b) Cyclone 'Japhet' and subsequent flooding has affected an estimated 25,000 people in Machanga District (southern Sofala Province). Roads into the affected areas in Javane and Machanga town have been washed away or remain under water. The National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) has evacuated people from two localities outside Machanga town by boat. WFP and NGO Jesus Alive Ministries (JAM) provided hot meals prepared in community kitchens in temporary camps in one of the localities. The situation is reported to have stabilised in Machaze, Buzi and Chibabava Districts (southern Sofala Province).

(c) WFP dispatched 3,797 tons of food to implementing partners during the week. In northern Inhambane Province, WFP and JAM continued feeding activities for some 1,000 displaced people in Maluvane camp. WFP is providing food assistance to some 25,000 people affected by the floods in and around Nova Mambone town where WFP already provides emergency food for 16,000 drought-affected people. On 15 March, food distributions were initiated to an additional 9,000 people affected by the floods. The flooding also affected over 400 families in four localities in Mabote District, of which 170 have received food assistance. Access to the remaining population is difficult, and implementing partner German Agro Action (GAA) is exploring possibilities of positioning food in suitable locations.

(d) During the week, the Government requested WFP and FAO to undertake a Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission and a detailed study of the impact of HIV/AIDS on food security.

2) Madagascar

(a) The food security situation in the drought affected southern areas is reported to be deteriorating. From 18 to 21 March a joint WFP, NGO, USAID, EU and Office for the Development in the South (CGDIS) mission to assess food needs visited the drought affected areas, in the south. Alternative food commodities which are consumed during the lean season, such as cactus fruits and leaves, continue to remain excessively expensive and are becoming scarce.

(b) From 12 to 19 March, WFP distributed 180 tons of food in the drought affected areas. WFP is currently discussing proposals for World Bank funded Cash For Work activities in the worst affected areas with the Development Intervention Fund (FID) and Seecaline. FAO has provided funds for assessing the needs of the drought-affected population. WFP will participate in these assessments, expected to be carried out next week.

3) Zambia

(a) Flooding continues to affect Gwembe, Monze, Mazabuka and Kafue District where populations have been rendered homeless and lost crops. Areas have been cut off due to impassable roads, and the Government has responded by supplying airlifted food and non-food assistance.

(b) During the week, the tripartite committee of UNHCR and Governments of Angola and Zambia visited Mayukwayukwa refugee camp in preparation for the repatriation exercise. Consultations conducted by WFP with relevant implementing partners and authorities on post-March beneficiary groups around the country have been forwarded for consolidation. Findings will be discussed with implementing partners and the Government.

4) Zimbabwe

(a) Harare city was largely deserted on 18 March due to the calling of a mass stay away by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to demonstrate public displeasure at the Government. Disturbances were reported in Bulawayo city where crowds damaged property in the business district.

(b) From 01 to 15 March WFP distributed 20,689 tons of food. The WFP pilot urban intervention programme, targeting children under five demonstrating signs of 'growth faltering', was initiated in collaboration with implementing partner Help Germany and the Municipal health department in Bulawayo city on 14 March. Parents of children who qualify for the aid receive a monthly ration of corn soya blend (CSB) and oil from WFP. Similar activities will be implemented with Harare city.

(c) A WFP distribution site in Manicaland Province received a visit from UNAIDS, UNICEF and the Governor for Manicaland Province who were briefed on the interlinking aspects of hunger and HIV/AIDS.

5) Angola

(a) During the week, WFP registered 42,250 new beneficiaries in two areas in Huambo Province and food assistance will be provided shortly. WFP conducted a proxy nutritional survey in Chilata, revealing almost 7 percent severe and 30 percent moderate cases of malnutrition. The impact of chronic malnutrition stunting growth was observed in many children.

(b) Following a successful harvest in Chipindo municipality (Huila Province), WFP is planning to transfer 25,000 beneficiaries from general food distribution to Food-For-Work programmes. Implementing partner Action Against Hunger (ACF) will provide non-food items assistance.

6) Namibia

(a) WFP provided monthly food rations to around 19,900 refugees in Osire camp and Kassava transit centre. According to UNHCR, around 15,700 Angolan refugees have expressed an interest in repatriation in 2003/2004. Refugee committee members will undertake a fact-finding mission in April/May. Refugee repatriation is expected to begin in June 2003.

7) Malawi

(a) On 14 March, WFP and the Joint Emergency Food Assistance Planning (JEFAP) consortium NGO's held a workshop on the EMOP phase-out strategy. It was agreed that the beneficiaries' coverage from April/May would be reduced according to harvest output.

8) Swaziland

(a) WFP is currently evaluating food aid requirements for the next three months and further needs until 2004. Preliminary estimates indicate that some 190,000 people could be affected by food shortages over a four to seven months period in the Lowveld and Lumbo Plateau areas. The impact of adverse weather conditions indicates a near crop failure for the Lowveld region and 30 percent of normal production in the Lubombo Plateau. Reports from the Official Central Statistics Office indicate a 44 percent reduction of long-term cultivation average in Lowveld, and a 59 percent reduction in the Lubombo plateau.

(b) From 12 to 19 March WFP distributed 255 tons of food to 16,958 beneficiaries. On 11 March WFP attended the first Food Security Coordination Meeting chaired by the National Disaster Task Force (NDTF). WFP and Save the Children conducted a workshop on school feeding attended by the Ministry of Health, relief committee members, schoolteachers and kitchen staff from 15 schools in the Lumbo Plateau.

9) Lesotho

(a) Irregular rains have affected the southern districts of the country, possibly resulting in crop losses. The vegetative state of standing crops throughout the rest of the country is reported to be promising.

(b) From 12 to 19 March, WFP distributed 898 tons of maize meal, pulses and vegetable oil to 91,973 beneficiaries in seven districts. An additional 128 tons of food was distributed under school feeding activities in two districts. Since January this year, WFP has distributed food to over 90,000 students in 578 schools in eight districts. WFP, in collaboration with implementing Partner Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL), distributed 46 tons of maize meal and pulses to 649 beneficiaries in four health centres during the week.

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

1) Central African Republic

(a) A coup d'etat took place on 15 and 16 March. Around 1,000 rebels captured Bangui and General Bozize declared himself President. A curfew was imposed and administrative buildings and schools were closed. UN security phase 3 was introduced throughout the country and international non-essential staff was withdrawn, leaving two WFP international staff to implement emergency operations. It is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain basic supplies due to the looting of the city's shops and insecurity has hampered traffic along the Bangui-Douala road and prevented farmers from planting crops, leading to food shortages and increased prices of basic goods.

(b) During the first day of the coup, WFP's warehouses in Bangui were overrun by hungry crowds. 1,800 tons of commodities were taken away. The looted foodstuff is equivalent to eight months worth of food aid to children in schools and health centres and represents two thirds of the yearly requirements for development operation 5837.0, which supports the country's health and education sectors. WFP also provides relief and recovery assistance to around 170,000 beneficiaries including 15,000 IDPs, 15,000 returnees, 10,000 people with HIV/AIDS and about 22,000 women and children in Mother Children Healthcare programmes.

(c) WFP requires urgent funding for 8,000 tons of food to maintain its programmes. Last week, WFP relaunched its appeal for USD 6.1million, not having received funding for its original appeal two months earlier.

2) Côte d'Ivoire

(a) WFP is participating actively in the preparation of the new Consolidated Appeal (CAP) for Côte d'Ivoire and the sub-region, covering humanitarian activities from April to December 2003. Food security, health, education and protection have been identified as priority sectors. Reports from Liberia and Guinea indicate that a higher number of people than projected have sought refuge there as a result of fighting in western Côte d'Ivoire. The new appeal will therefore include all five neighbouring countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, Ghana, Liberia and Guinea. The CAP is planned to be launched in mid April.

(b) During the past week WFP distributed 60.6 tons of food to 8,760 IDPs, covering a 15 day period. Planned humanitarian assistance to the town Zouan-Hounien had to be cancelled for security reasons. In view of deteriorating household food security and living conditions in Korhogo, WFP is working with local partners to avoid major food problems. WFP is assisting medical staff working in hospitals and clinics in Korhogo, in collaboration with Doctors Without Borders (MSF). WFP has agreed to support seven villages, based on recommendations by the NGO Action Against Hunger (ACH) and WFP support to HIV/AIDS affected families is being planned on the request of the NGO "Lumière et Action".

(c) Shortfalls for EMOP 10244 will begin in June with rice and pulses, followed by shortfall of other commodities, including oil, sugar and corn soya blend, in July. Recent contributions will be used to purchase rice and pulses.

E) Asia Region: (1) DPR Korea

1) DPR Korea

(a) Contributions amounting to USD 15.51 were confirmed, with shipments expected to arrive in July. The food will be distributed to the most vulnerable beneficiaries, including young children and pregnant and nursing women.

(b) WFP provided food assistance to 136 people affected by a fire in Chongjin. A total of 1.2 tons of wheat and oil was provided to the families.

(c) Immediate pledges of 32,500 tons are needed to ensure that requirements are met through the first half of 2003. Requirements include 18,200 tons of cereals, 1,700 tons of Dried Skimmed Milk (DSM), 6,000 tons of Corn Soya Milk (CSM), 500 tons of sugar, 5,300 tons of pulses and 800 tons of vegetable oil. Pledges of about 214,000 tons of food are required for the second half of the year, including cereals, DSM, CSM, sugar, pulses and vegetable oil.

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

1) Ecuador

(a) On 28 February an IRA/EMOP (immediate response) of USD 176,640 was presented to cover the food needs of refugees and asylum seekers fleeing armed conflict in Colombia. The EMOP calls for 1,360 individual food rations to be distributed each month for a period of nine months. The total number of beneficiaries will be monitored over the nine months. This type of operation is expected to be continued under the Regional Project for Refugees covering Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador, planned to start in January 2004. WFP and UNHCR have been coordinating food assistance for refugee activities since last year. In January 2003, the agencies entered into a three-month cooperation agreement to assist 650 families per month identified as Colombian refugees in five provinces.

(b) A new peak of volcanic activity was registered at Tungurahua Volcano last week, with gas emissions affecting 3,000 farmers in the counties of Quero and Pelileo. A layer of ash covering more than 400 hectares would threaten the loss of crops and pastureland. WFP the Civil Defence are monitoring the situation and have developed an immediate plan of action in case of an emergency.

2) Nicaragua

(a) Food distribution to 590 primary schools and pre-school centres in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) began in order to initiate school feeding activities for 49,846 boys and girls of indigenous communities affected by floods. The programme will this month extend to an additional 13,786 boys and girls in 259 schools. Poor road conditions and the remoteness of many communities have hampered food deliveries.

3) Colombia

(a) Threats by armed groups to WFP contracted transporters on the Manizales-Quibdo and Medellin-Quibdo road have halted deliveries for pre-school nutritional recovery activities. Efforts to negotiate access through these areas remained unsuccessful. (b) Access to the municipalities of San Luis, San Carlos, Cocorná, Granada and San Francisco in Eastern Antioqueño remained blocked. Food deliveries, and the corresponding food-for-work and supplementary feeding activities, were consequently temporarily suspended.

G) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Russian Federation, (2) Armenia

1) Russian Federation

(a) Mop-up operations in central districts of Chechnya made it impossible for the NGO 'Vesta', which monitors WFP's activities in the Republic, to carry out its activities. Based on the security assessment undertaken by UNSECOORD, no UN monitoring missions will be carried out in Chechnya from 07 to 31 March. The establishment of polling stations in schools for the coming referendum on 23 March on the Chechnyan Republican Constitution has lowered the attendance of schoolchildren. In Grozny 30 percent of enrolled schoolchildren were reported absent from classes.

(b) In Ingushetia WFP carried out relief food distribution to 92,520 IDPs and in Chechnya 970 tons of food was provided to 135,000 beneficiaries. In March WFP started its bakery project in Chechnya through which bread is supplied daily to 720 disabled people, orphans and semi-orphans. 43,800 children were targeted in schools and kindergartens through the school feeding programme. In Grozny city and rural district 324 tons of food was provided to 1,110 participants (5,550 beneficiaries) through WFP's food for work activities.

(c) Recent donations have brought WFP's resources to USD 6.06 million, amounting to 39 percent of total requirements of USD 15.7 million.

2) Armenia

(a) On 14 March, WFP warned that it will run out of food for 300,000 beneficiaries by the end of April. WFP has received USD 10 million of the USD 32 million required for its three-year operation launched in 2001. An estimated 55 percent of the population in Armenia lives below the poverty line and many beneficiaries are dependent on WFP food aid.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 12).