WFP Emergency Report No. 13 of 2004

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 26 Mar 2004


This report includes:
(A) Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Iran, (3) Serbia and Montenegro

(B) East and Central Africa: 1) Burundi, (2) DR Congo, (3) Djibouti, (4) Eritrea, (5) Ethiopia, (6) Kenya, (7) Republic of Congo, (8) Rwanda, (9) Somalia, (10) Sudan, (11) Tanzania

(C) West Africa: (1) Chad, (2) Côte d'Ivoire, (3) Liberia (4) Guinea (5) Sierra Leone

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

(E) Asia: (1) DPR Korea, (2) Myanmar

(F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Colombia, (2) Haiti, (3) NIcaragua

From David Morton, Director of the Transport, Preparedness and Response Division (OTP); available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (www.wfp.org), or by e-mail from Carlo.Scaramella@wfp.org, Chief of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit (OEP). For information on resources, donors are requested to contact Valerie.Sequeira@wfp.org at WFP Rome, telephone +39 06 6513 2009. Media queries should be directed to Brenda.Barton@wfp.org, telephone +39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

A) Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Iran, (3) Serbia and Montenegro

1) Afghanistan

(a) The security situation was relatively calm throughout most of the country. However, in the west, as a result of factional fighting in Hirat on 23 March, the Afghan civil aviation minister was shot dead. The clashes led to the death of more than fifty persons and injured about thirty others. In the south, during a military operation in Urozgan and Kandahar provinces, two US soldiers and three Taliban were killed. Areas to which United Nations missions remain suspended include: Kohistanat and Balkhab districts of Sari Pul province and Sholgara district of Balkh province in the north; Rodat district of Nangarhar province in the east; Barmal district of Paktika province in the southeast; Zabul and Urozgan provinces in the south; and Farah province in the southwest.

(b) From 18 to 24 March, 450,942 beneficiaries received 2,050 tons of food.

(c) In partnership with the Government, WHO and UNICEF, WFP started a national deworming campaign to improve health and hygiene conditions of Afghans, targeting primary school age population of 4.5 million (six to twelve years old). The initiative will reduce morbidity in primary school-age population, enhance physical and intellectual growth among the targeted age group and ensure the effectiveness of the school-feeding programme.

(d) As part of the WFP's government capacity building initiative, a newly constructed school building was handed over to the department of education in Hirat on 18 March.

2) Iran

(a) From October to date, approximately 30,000 Iraqis have repatriated. Initially repatriation movements were spontaneous, but as of December, UNHCR began organized convoys. From March 2004, UNHCR has been organizing 2 repatriation convoys per week, expecting to repatriate 1000-1500 Iraqis per month. The overall Camp caseload decreased from 65 640 in November 2003 to 45,110 in March. Organized repatriation of Afghan refugees living outside camps is also continuing.

(b) The Household Food Economy Survey (HFES), conducted in December 2003 in Afghan and Iraqi Kurd Camps, recommended that WFP assistance under PRRO 10213, Food Assistance and Support to Education of Afghan and Iraqi refugees, should be extended to all Afghan camp residents, implying an increase of about 5,000 new beneficiaries. In addition, supplementary feeding may be added to the general food ration to the most vulnerable categories.

(c) Since the first PRRO distribution,the number of WFP Zahedan's beneficiaries have been increasing steadily from 1,000 in October 2003 to 8,000 beneficiaries in March this year. Expansion of the recovery component to women attending Literacy and Skills training classes in Khorassan province is foreseen during the months of April and May. This would add approximately 3,000 new beneficiaries to the caseload.

(d) Close to 2,900 tons of commodities have been borrowed from PRRO stocks for the Bam Emergency Operation, EMOP 10332.0, and have to be replenished to avoid premature interruptions of WFP assistance to refugees. One year after the beginning of the PRRO, only 51.5 percent of the funds have been raised. New resources are urgently needed to ensure continuation of the project until March 2005, due to the foreseen increase in the number of encamped Afghan beneficiaries.

3) Serbia and Montenegro

(a) During the three-month extension-in-time of the PRRO 10116.00 (January-March 2004), WFP activities in Serbia and Montenegro have focused on the closure of the WFP Country Office in Belgrade and Sub-offices in Kraljevo, Nis, Novi Sad and Podgorica.

(b) All food commodities were dispatched from EDPs to FDPs throughout December 2003. The last distribution at FDPs to beneficiaries was conducted from 15 January to 20 February 2004. Beneficiaries were informed in advance that this would be the last distribution and that it would contain a three-month food entitlement. They came on time to collect their rations and the result was that 93 percent of the planned beneficiaries were reached. The remaining (left-over) food quantities were distributed to other vulnerable refugees and former refugees identified by WFP, UNHCR and local Red Cross representatives.

(c) An information campaign was conducted to inform the public of WFP's closure. A press release was issued by WFP Rome, translated into Serbian and distributed to local and international media on 5 March 2004. The press release was widely circulated by the local media. The WFP Senior Emergency Coordinator made a statement concerning the WFP closure at a UNHCR TV show aired on RTS (national television) in mid-March 2004.

(d) WFP has established with UNHCR and the Serbian Government (Ministry for Social Affairs and Commissioner for Refugees) a working group to identify the best solution for the remaining vulnerable refugee caseload after the phase-out of WFP food aid. WFP and UNHCR did a screening of WFP beneficiaries and provided detailed beneficiary lists for cross-checking against the existing UNHCR refugee database. The working group produced a project proposal recommending post-WFP support that has been agreed to by all concerned parties. UNHCR will present the proposal to donors for funding in the near future.

(e) In preparation for the formal closure of the Country Office on 31 March, the ODC Deputy Regional Director will visit Belgrade and meet with the Government and WFP partners. He will also discuss the population movements ensuing from the violence that erupted 17 March in Kosovo, to explore whether a WFP presence and assistance in any form would be required after the closure of the Country Office.

B) East and Central Africa: (1) Burundi, (2) DR Congo, (3) Djibouti, (4) Eritrea, (5) Ethiopia, (6) Kenya, (7) Republic of Congo, (8) Rwanda, (9) Somalia, (10) Sudan, (11) Tanzania

1) Burundi

(a) Armed confrontations between the national army and the Front for National Liberation (FNL) rebels continued in Bujumbura Rural provinces. In addition, the two wings of Force pour la Defense de la Democratie (FDD) based in the southern province of Bururi, resumed sporadic skirmishes in Buyengero commune of the same province.

(b) Following the upsurge of fighting and the displacement in Bujumbura Rural province, WFP and OCHA have undertaken an emergency assessment. Government sources revealed that between 8,000 and 10,000 families have been displaced and some 6,000 displaced households were registered. WFP is providing assistance to this caseload and will continue to monitor the situation and assess needs. Subsequent analysis of the data collected in Kayanza and Bujumbura Rural provinces resulted in the recommendation to provide food assistance to more than 10,000 households affected by the hailstorm and internal conflict.

(c) From 14 to 21 March, WFP distributed over 1,100 tons of food aid to approximately 175,000 beneficiaries through different food aid activities.

(d) WFP has completed the distributions of the Seeds Protection Rations (SPR) in 12 of the 17 provinces of the country. Provisional figures indicate that over 609,000 persons, representing 84 percent of the planned beneficiaries, benefited from this programme despite various constraints such as the cereals pipeline break, insecurity in Bujumbura Rural province and targeting problems in Ngozi province.

(e) WFP received confirmation of a contribution amounting to close to two million US Dollar for 3,000 tons of in-kind rice distribution.

2) D.R. Congo

(a) The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) supported operation, encouraging the return of illegal arms to designated military authorities, continued in Bukavu. Meanwhile, rural areas of South Kivu remained insecure after the kidnapping, robbing and release of two humanitarian workers in Uvira. Reports of military road blockades for illegal taxes in Bunyakiri generalized insecurity in Walungu impeding humanitarian assistance. In Ituri district, MONUC continued to dismantle militia factions in Bunia. In North Katanga province, reports on gender-based violence perpetrated by armed soldiers continue to be received.

(b) Over 1,000 tons of food commodities were distributed to approximately 156,000 beneficiaries under the various WFP activities. With the beginning of the Kalemie airlift, WFP dispatched over 2,000 tons of food commodities to inaccessible areas in North Katanga. The second airlift of approximately 1,300 tons will begin in a couple of weeks.

(c) Emergency school feeding activities, which were launched in Bukavu at the beginning of March, have expanded to other provinces. During the reporting period, 4,000 primary school children received school lunches in Bukavu, and 11 primary schools with over 9,000 school children were targeted in Rutshuru through a WFP partnership with World Vision International. The two Kivus have been targeted for this activity because of the low enrolment rate of primary school children (34%).

(d) According to WFP's implementing partner Médecins Sans Frontières Holland (MSF-H), there has been an increase in the number of new admittances in Walikale supplementary and therapeutic feeding centres in North Kivu. MSF-H further indicated that most of the newly admitted originated from rural areas of Walike. Screening exercises carried out in areas located in the vicinity of Walikale centre showed that 30 children out of 40 were malnourished.

(e) A delegation of 15 members from the UNICEF Executive Board visited Bukavu on 19 March with the objective of evaluating the situation of children with particular emphasis on children associated with combating forces and groups for whom UNICEF had planned support through transit centres.

3) Djibouti

(a) Under the current PRRO, WFP and UNHCR signed an agreement with the Association of Medical Doctor of Asia (AMDA) regarding the provision of food-for-work (FFW) targeting health workers in the Ali Addeh and Holl-Holl refugee camps. WFP also signed another agreement with the implementing partner OUI à la VIE for the provision of food to HIV/AIDS orphans and their caretakers.

4) Eritrea

(a) The Ministry of Agriculture in Southern Red Sea reported minimal precipitation in the region during the recently completed rainy season. Lack of flooding from the highland areas as well as the low rainfall led to poor crop production. Only 10 percent of the sorghum planted in the Sirura area was harvested, with the yield in the Kirura totalling less than three percent of the sorghum originally planted.

(b) Shortage of flour in the Debub region has led to a greatly reduced supply of bread available in Mendefera, Decamhare and Adi Keih. The only factory supplying flour is currently under maintenance and the situation is not expected to change in the coming month.

(c) In Gash Barka, a convoy with over 560 Eritrean returnees arrived from Sudan last week. To assist with the repatriation process, WFP is providing food assistance to returnee households until they are able to obtain their first successful harvest.

(d) The Third Consultation Forum between the Government of the State of Eritrea, donors and UN agencies took place on 19 March. Participants discussed the 2004 Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP), Draft Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, Draft Food Security Policy as well as the Integrated Recovery Programme.

(e) Confirmed pledges for the 2004 WFP Drought Emergency Operation amount to approximately 63,800 tons of food commodities - 54 percent of this year's requirement. A total of approximately 47,000 tons of commodities, representing approximately 62 percent of the 2004 requirement, has been resourced for the PRRO 10192.0. The UN Country Team is planning a revision of the 2004 CAP in the coming month.

5) Ethiopia

(a) Reports of the start of main season "gu" rains in the pastoralist areas of Somali Region have been received from the badly drought-affected area of Shinile zone in the north of the region. Other areas of concern, waiting for "gu" rains to arrive later in the month, are Fik, Warder, and Korahe zones, and parts of Gode zone. Dispatch of food for March distributions has been speeded up, to compensate for delays in some distributions earlier in the year in parts of the region. WFP locally purchased maize in Gode is being used for cereal distributions for Gode zone and nearby zones, while blended food and pulses are being sent from Dire Dawa. Other areas will receive cereals from stocks in Dire Dawa and Nazareth as usual. WFP and UNICEF are checking reports of malnutrition in pocket areas.

(b) The UN and regional authorities of Somali Region have issued a special alert to highlight the deteriorating situation of 15,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in Fafen and Hartisheik camps in Jijiga zone. Funds are sought from donors to assist these drought-displaced populations to return to their home areas. Under the coordination of UNDP, the return of IDPs from the camps will be managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), with WFP and UNICEF providing support with food and non-food items at the return sites.

(c) Planning is proceeding for WFP support of the project "Integrating Food Assistance in the UNICEF Enhanced Outreach Strategy for Child Survival" which is to link supplementary feeding with Maternal Child Health (MCH) activities in 54 affected woredas in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR). The targeted group for supplementary ration will consist of malnourished children between 6-59 months old and malnourished pregnant women and nursing mothers. Beneficiaries are expected to be a total of 163,000 children and 139,000 pregnant women and nursing mothers. The total food requirements for 2004 are 23,000 tons of fortified blended food and 3,600 tons of vegetable oil.

(d) The UNICEF Child Survival interventions will be executed twice annually during which they will carry out vitamin A supplementation, deworming, measles vaccination, soap distribution, IEC (information, education and communication activities) and malnutrition screening. WFP in collaboration with the government's Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC) will make available the fortified blended food and oil to the targeted beneficiaries at quarterly intervals, two of which will coincide with the UNICEF Enhanced Outreach activities and two in between. UNICEF and WFP will actively promote the dissemination of key health and nutrition messages through community women "food agents" based at the distribution sites. The key areas for education will include basic nutrition information: breastfeeding, complementary feeding and blended food recipes, environmental hygiene and HIV/AIDS. In the first stage, it is anticipated that the 'capacity test' will commence in May, working towards the inclusion of all 54 woredas in December 2004.

6) Kenya

(a) The Kenya Meteorological Department forecasted enhanced probability of near normal rainfall with slight tendencies toward above normal rainfall in several key areas, including the 'grain-basket' districts and the drought-affected western agro-pastoral districts. The same situation is expected in the drought-affected lakeshore and coastal districts. Favorable rains are expected to not only improve crop output in key areas, but to also improve substantially availability of key grazing resources. The northwestern pastoral districts in particular, have experienced poor seasons throughout 2003 and would likely suffer elevated food insecurity in the event that the long rains are poor. Vulnerability to food insecurity is highest among the pastoralists and small-scale agriculturalists in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) in Kenya.

(b) WFP distributed nearly 2,000 tons of food commodities, to cover a two-week requirement to some 222,000 refugees living in Dadaab and Kakuma camps.

(c) In response to the results of the recent food security and nutrition assessments, which confirmed growing hunger and malnutrition rates in Turkana and Marsabit Districts, the Government is distributing free relief food to the affected households. In addition, WFP together with the Government is planning to scale up food-for-work activities in the two districts. Meanwhile, WFP, Office of the President and the Ministry of Water signed a tripartite agreement for the implementation of up to 15 food-for-assets projects in the refugee host community outside the Kakuma refugee camps in Turkana. This project is expected to get underway in Kakuma in May and will address food insecurity in these areas. The project is also expected to contribute towards conflict mitigation between the refugees and the host population. Following the pilot phase in Kakuma, the project will be extended to Dadaab.

(d) The food resource situation for the refugee operations in Dadaab and Kakuma camps continues to face critical pipeline breaks with maize, pulses and vegetable oil expected to last only through June 2004. If new contributions are not received urgently, WFP will be forced to reduce the food rations. This will affect the nutrition status of the refugees especially of children under five years and pregnant and lactating mothers, which is currently critical. In addition, the school feeding programme is still under-resourced with current resources expected to last only through the second school term of 2004.

7) Republic of Congo (RoC)

(a) Despite the start of the resettlement programme for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Brazzaville to return to their areas of origin, the security situation in Pool Region continues to be very fragile. The region remains in UN Security Phase IV and some areas are still inaccessible due to the large presence of rebel forces (Ninjas).

(b) The returning populations are totally dependent on food aid and their food security status is precarious, with cases of malnutrition being reported by authorities in a number of areas. The most vulnerable populations are the returnees in the Pool Region including IDPs in the adjacent regions of Brazzaville.

(c) Assistance to returnees is provided through the PRRO, of which as of March only 47% is resourced.

8) Rwanda

(a) According to the latest WFP/FEWS Net food security update, the March to May season is expected to benefit from near-normal rainfall across much of Rwanda, sufficient to support a good harvest. The report stated that an assessment mission in March determined that while sorghum crop should do well this season, poor bean crop production is likely if the rains stop pre-maturely in April.

(b) The food insecurity situation continues to be precarious in certain regions of the country. The Government of Rwanda distributed some 160 tons of beans and maize to over 4,000 households in drought-affected sectors in Umutara and Kibungo last week. A Government official reported that the ration is estimated to sustain beneficiaries for at least three weeks. Meanwhile, admissions to therapeutic and supplementary feeding programmes at nutrition centres in Bugesera region remain relatively high due to the shortage of food.

(c) WFP began providing family rations for three months to beneficiaries under the therapeutic or supplementary feeding programmes. A total of 170 tons were distributed to over 1,900 families for the month of March. WFP's FFW projects also continue to play an important role in alleviating hunger in food-insecure regions and providing an employment based safety net.

9) Somalia

(a) One GTZ staff member was killed and another one injured during an ambush while traveling from Berbera to Hargeisa in the self-declared autonomous state of Somaliland. As a consequence, most international staff members of NGOs, UN and other agencies have been withdrawn from Hargeisa. In Lasanod, the two international staff members of Norwegian People's Aid (NPA), who were under house arrest by Puntland authorities last week, were released after four days. Subsequently, the NPA office in Lasanod closed. In another incident in Galgadud region in central Somalia, new fighting erupted between two clans in Abudwak district, killing over 40 and injuring another 70 people (mostly militia members).

(b) Distribution in Sool region resumed after an interruption of more than two months, because of the prevailing insecurity. WFP restarted the distribution of some 190 tons of emergency relief food in part of the drought stricken North Somalia, targeting 20,000 vulnerable beneficiaries, mostly women and children. The border conflict between Somaliland and Puntland authorities still remains high on the agenda of both administrations, and a strong military presence is evident in the disputed frontline since December 2003.

(c) Another 50,000 beneficiaries are targeted in the bordering Sanag region with an emergency distribution of 500 tons of relief food commodities.

10) Sudan

(a) The security situation in the three Darfur states remains tense and volatile. Military operations and Jenjaweed attacks of civilians continued to take place during the reporting period. A Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) truck loaded with food items was looted on 15 March between Nyala and Zalingi. In addition, two Chinese workers were attacked by the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) in Buram. On 19 March, a commercial truck carrying WFP food commodities, traveling in a convoy of six vehicles, was ambushed in Azalya. Food, plastic sheeting and fuel were looted in the attack. Following these incidents, drivers of commercial trucks carrying WFP food items are hesitant to travel through a number of roads.

(b) WFP staff successfully completed registration exercises in six IDP centres in El-Geneina. The initial estimate of the IDP population in the six locations based on the distributed tokens is close to 15,000.

(c) Joint WFP/SRC (Sudanese Red Crescent) teams distributed close to 180 tons of WFP mixed food commodities to over 16,000 beneficiaries in Delieje town, West Darfur. The food will cover the IDPs requirements for two weeks. WFP has so far distributed approximately 4,000 tons of assorted food commodities to some 277,000 war-affected beneficiaries in Darfur region.

11) Tanzania

(a) Results from the Government rapid assessment carried out in February concluded that 3.5 million people require food assistance in March 2004, with the number declining to around 1.8 million in April and 900,000 in May as households' own food supplies improve.

(b) To date, seven regions, including Singida, Dodoma, Shinyanga, Mtwara, Mwanza, Iringa and Tabora have received relief assistance. In addition, Ruangwa district in Lindi region has also received food aid. Distribution is ongoing in Mara, Arusha, Manyara, and Lindi. WFP has received pledges amounting to over 29,000 tons and 22,000 tons have already been distributed.

(c) WFP provided some 500,000 refugees with over 7,000 tons of various food commodities. Approximately 170 tons of various commodities were used for supplementary feeding programmes that reached 23,000 beneficiaries. Therapeutic feeding covered over 5,000 beneficiaries. The 4,000 refugee host area beneficiaries received a total of 54 tons of various food commodities. The repatriation process included facilitated repatriation of 10,000 refugees and another 720 spontaneously repatriated refugees (96 percent were Burundians).

C) West Africa: (1) Chad, (2) Côte d'Ivoire, (3) Liberia (4) Guinea (5) Sierra Leone

1) Chad

(a) The resettlement exercise is speeding up and 2,200 refugees have been transferred during the reporting period: 916 refugees to Kouloungo camp and 1,292 to Farchana camp. To date, the total number of refugees in 3 camps (Farchana, Kounoungo and Touloum) is 12,957 refugees out of which 7,613 are female. Mille camp is confirmed to have a capacity of more than 8,000 refugees. CARE international will be managing the camp and carrying out distributions. The newly identified camp Iridimi is currently accommodating a limited number of refugees until sufficient water availability is confirmed. It is now considered as a transit center. Finding water remains a challenging issue and thus has been halting the relocation process.

(b) Food distribution to 6,000 refugees scattered along the border in Bahai site started. WFP, under EMOP 10325.0 and 10327.0 Emergency Assistance to Sudanese Refugees in Eastern Chad, provided 15-day rations. From 15 to 21 March, 132 tons were distributed to beneficiaries in camps as per the established daily ration of 400 grs of MML, 20 grs of oil, 50 grs of beans and 50 grs of CSB, which brings the cumulative quantities of food distributed to 661 tons. To avoid a delay of dispatches during the rainy season, WFP is pre positioning food and mobilizing staff to manage these newly erected mobile storage units near camps.

2) Côte d'Ivoire

(a) On Thursday 25 March, the opposition political parties went ahead with a demonstration in the in Abidjan, despite a presidential decree prohibiting public protests. Several protesters were killed in different parts of the city as security forces tried to disperse crowds. The ex-rebel forces (Forces Nouvelles) have suspended their participation in the reconciliation government.

(b) The United Nations will open its peacekeeping mission of 6,240 peacekeepers in Cote d'Ivoire on 4 April. Forces Nouvelles have announced earlier this month that they would not disarm before the 2005 elections.

(c) The crops in the Bouake area are meagre, as farmers have not gone back to their fields due to insecurity. There is also a shortage of manpower as many young men have joined the Forces Nouvelles.

(d) WFP provided school feeding rations for schools in Toulepleu. This area was the scene of conflict during the height of the crisis and many schools were damaged. The schools have been opened by volunteer teachers and administrators.

(e) WFP participated in an inter-agency mission to visit the peninsula of Sakassou to assess the feasibility of IDPs returning to their homes in the area. The peninsula is still short of potable water. The mission also noted the absence of medical staff in the local health center and a lack of teachers in schools. Post distribution monitoring exercises were carried out in Nicla refugee camp and in Molonou (Bouake) to verify that WFP food aid reached its intended beneficiaries and had an impact on food security. A further objective was to evaluate the feasibility of IDPs returning to their villages of origin.

3) Liberia

(a) Sporadic firing of weapons, looting and attacks on civilians erupted in Buchanan on Saturday 20 March. The situation has now calmed down although the city remains tense. WFP staff members who were in Buchanan supervising food distribution have returned safely to Monrovia, escorted by UNMIL troops. UNMIL continued its deployment of new troops. A company strength of troops from Bangladesh was deployed in Saclepea on 24 March 2004. Out of the planned 15,000 troops, 13,900 are now deployed on the ground. Most of Liberia remains under security phase V. However, Margibi and Montserrado Counties, the road from Gbarnga to Ganta, including the town of Ganta, and the road from Tappita to Zwedru, including the towns of Tappita and Zwedru were recently downgraded to phase IV.

(b) During last week, a total of 60,000 beneficiaries received WFP food amounting to 800 tons. They included internally displaced persons, Sierra Leonean refugees and patients at therapeutic and supplementary feeding institutions in Montserrado, Grand Bassa and Grand Gedeh Counties.

(c) Data collection for the VAM survey continued in parts of Nimba County. The survey is expected to provide information on food security and vulnerability of the populations (IDPs and hosts) thus enabling enhanced targeting in food aid supported interventions. The sampling covered 249 households (HH) in four major towns - Tappita, Saclepea, Sanniquellie and Karnplay and satellite towns and villages. All HH were interviewed and anthropometric data of children under 5 years were collected to give an indication of the nutritional situation.

(d) Assessment of schools to be included in the programme have continued in Montserado. Following intense preparation by WFP and staff of implementing partners (IP), a workshop for 80 School Food Management Committees members was conducted on 24 March. Plans are also underway to carry out assessments of schools in Nimba and Bomy counties. The number of beneficiaries in schools under the programme has reached 258,000.

(e) A rapid assessment was conducted in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County on 20 March. The team had working sessions with the civil authorities, representatives of community-based organizations and international NGOs (ICRC/Merlin/SC UK/MSF) that are present on the ground.

(f) The West Africa Coastal PRRO evaluation mission completed the Liberia leg of its evaluation. During its stay in the country, the team held meetings with implementing partners of WFP, donor representatives, and UN agencies, and also held discussions with IDPs in camps in Monrovia, Buchanan and Zwedru. The mission members departed Liberia for Cote d'Ivoire on Tuesday 23 March.

4) Guinea

(a) The last HCR statistics update of 4 March 2004 indicates that the quantity of refugees residing in Guinea's 7 refugee camps totals some 107,815. Registration for voluntary repatriation of Sierra Leonean refugees will end on 31 March. Repatriation will go on until 30 June.

(b) A mid-term evaluation of the Country Programme ended on Friday 19 March with an official presentation of its findings. In addition, the evaluation mission of the West Africa Coastal PRRO visited Guinea from 8 to 15 March. The evaluation team met authorities and partners before going to the N'Zerekore region for 3 days to visit the camps and the emergency school feedings programs.

(c) A regional VAM mission arrived on Monday 15 March to work on the preparation of a household food security survey, which will take place in the refugee camps from 29 March to 12 April. The survey will be carried out in order to get a better knowledge of the self-reliance at the household level in view of adjusting food rations.

5) Sierra Leone

(a) The security situation in the country remained calm. A UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) team recently completed an assessment in Sierra Leone to review the impact of the withdrawal of UNAMSIL forces in the country and the possibility of maintaining a form of possible follow-on force. Repatriation of Sierra Leonean returnees from Guinea to various chiefdoms in Kailahun district continued with a total of 159 returnees repatriated.

(b) A nutrition baseline survey started in the pilot district Tonkolili, preceding the commencement of the integrated MCH pilot project. The main objective of the survey is to ascertain the prevalence of malnutrition among women and children in the pilot district, focusing on anthropometric assessment, anemia prevalence, dietary intake, immunization status and cultural beliefs/customs. Data collection will be based on the cluster sampling methodology. The survey, which will be carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH), UNICEF, WHO and CARE, will take nineteen days in the field.

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

1) Regional

(a) The ongoing Angolan PRRO requires approximately USD 143 million this year to assist a monthly average of 1.75 million people, mainly newly resettled internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees (74 percent of WFP's current caseload). However, only 24 percent of this amount has been raised. Unless WFP receives urgent contributions, particularly in cash, reduced rations will need to be introduced in the near future, given the fact that a pipeline break in cereals is foreseen by June.

(b) Following consecutive seasons of bad harvests, food aid requirements for Lesotho, Malawi and Swaziland have increased. A shortfall for maize toward the end of the Regional Emergency Operation in May and June is foreseen. Swaziland will experience a complete pipeline break for CSB in May and June. Additional donations are required in order to avoid disruption to the pipeline.

(c) The Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) reports that the current white maize crop is up 9 percent on February figures, now estimated at 7.4 million tons for 2003/04. This is significantly lower than last years crop of approximately 9.4 million tons, however, better than anticipated as a result of improved rains in February and March. In addition, the SAFEX white maize price has remained constant in March at USD 160/mt, down from USD 216/mt in February.

2) Angola

(a) Excess rains, which have exacerbated the situation in highland areas, have damaged crops and could leave another 200,000 people in need of assistance from May - September.

(b) In Cunene, WFP and partners have begun to assist 1,000 Angolan refugees from Namibia at the Namacunde Transit Center. Preparation is also underway to receive additional refugees under the repatriation plan commencing 25 March.

(c) The short-term consequences of the looming resource shortfall include a severe shortfall of cereals when only 24 percent of needs for the year are covered. Without additional contributions, ration reductions will need to be introduced for returnees. The new School Feeding programme will be restricted to 45,000 children compared with 235,000 planned this year in the PRRO, and Food for Work (FFW) activities will be reduced by 30 percent.

(d) This pipeline situation could be further aggravated by a recent decision of the Government of Angola to impose a ban on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). Although the ban is yet to become law, if it does go ahead in its present form, it could have very serious implications for WFP's pipeline in Angola.

3) Lesotho

(a) Following consecutive seasons of bad harvests, food aid requirements for Lesotho from March to June 2004 have increased. WFP Lesotho faces a maize shortfall of 41 percent in May, with a complete break in June. Additional donations are required in order to avoid disruption to the pipeline.

4) Madagascar

(a) The joint UN inter-agency flash appeal for Emergency Assistance in Response to Cyclone GAFILO was launched on Friday 19 March. The Government CNS office (Centre National Des Secours - National Centre for Relief) is serving as the central coordinating body for the response and continues to work closely with UN Agencies and NGO partners.

(b) Assessments are ongoing in the region. However, based on preliminary reports, WFP alongside implementing partners is assisting approximately 42,400 beneficiaries in Antsalaha and Maroentsetra, north east of Madagascar, and approximately 67,500 beneficiaries in Majunga, Antsohiyi, Mampikoni, Ambato Boeni, Morondava and Morombe. WFP is also providing direct implementation of food distribution in the Fort Dauphin affected localities of Tongobory and Betroka to approximately 7,500 people.

5) Malawi

(a) From 18 - 24 March, WFP and implementing partners distributed 2,476 tons of food.

6) Mozambique

(a) Deaths from Cholera continue to be reported. Maputo City remains worst hit by the epidemic. The number of cases treated at the Cholera Treatment Centre (CTC) in Mavalane General Hospital since the start of the outbreak now stands close to 9,450, of whom 37 have died. WFP provides CSB and cereals to the treatment center to assist the government with the current epidemic. In addition, WFP is currently distributing food aid to 175 flood-affected families along the Pungue River.

7) Namibia

(a) The Namibian Government and the international community are monitoring the rise of the Zambezi River which rose above the six-meter mark last weekend. The river is almost at last year's peak level, when it burst its banks and displaced 12,000 people in the floods that followed. WFP continues to monitor the situation closely.

8) Swaziland

(a) Despite an improved cereal pipeline for the months of March and April, a complete break for CSB is foreseen for May and June. CSB is a key commodity given the high number of HIV oriented activities that depend on it. With recent assessments from Botswana showing the HIV infection rate to have dropped slightly, Swaziland now has the world's highest rate of HIV infection, at 38.6 percent.

(b) Household visits at Shewula community in the Lubombo Plateau indicate that the number of children left with elderly family members, and children on their own, is increasing. This appears to be common in most operational areas. Food Aid Monitors (FAM) carrying out post-distribution monitoring frequently find that household heads and ration cardholders have died. Children and the elderly left alone in this way are extremely vulnerable to food insecurity.

9) Zambia

(a) The food security situation continues to be generally favorable throughout the country. Most crops have reached maturity in many parts, thereby offering an opportunity for harvesting green maize and vegetables. In urban and peri-urban areas, the price of maize meal continues to rise.

10) Zimbabwe

(a) The food security situation in most urban areas of the country continues to be very serious. In Bulawayo city, destitute children are reported to be waiting around schools in anticipation of receiving left over food from the school feeding programme. Many households cannot afford to buy food in the current inflationary climate. In Kadoma District, more people are now unemplyedt after the closure of two major companies that employed thousands of people. It is estimated that unemployment in Zimbabwe currently stands at 70 percent. Fuel supplies in Zimbabwe are once more dwindling. Most service stations report that they have not received fuel in the last ten days. The fuel shortage has triggered public transport problems.

(b) A recent donation of USD 917,000 will allow for buying CSB and vegetable oil, in order to make porridge for primary school children assisted by the WFP programme. More than 270,000 children are currently benefiting from the WFP programme in Zimbabwe.

(c) Field reports indicate improved enrolment and attendance at primary schools in the Midlands Province that benefit from WFP's supplementary school feeding programme. During post-distribution monitoring, school heads and teachers reported a reduction in the number of dropouts since the feeding programme began.

E) Asia: (1) DPR Korea, (2) Myanmar

1) DPR Korea

(a) Some 2.6 million out of 3.8 million core beneficiaries (children, women and elderly people) are presently receiving WFP cereal rations under EMOP 10141.02. With the arrival of scheduled shipments over the coming weeks, all but 600,000 core beneficiaries will receive rations in April. However, severe shortages persist, with vegetable oil shortage seriously affecting the health of young children. Additional contributions remain urgently required.

2) Myanmar

(a) On 7 March, a fire broke out in Panzi, Badaga Village Tract, Buthidaung in North Rakhine State (NRS), which affected some 249 people. WFP provided emergency food assistance to these fire victims with 50 kg of rice per family. UNHCR and NGOs operating in the area provided with non-food items.

(b) On 18 March, WFP started the first food distribution to HIV/AIDS patients and chronically ill persons in Pakokku and Pauk of Magwe Division in central dry zone of Myanmar. Under this programme, WFP provides a monthly ration of 65 kg of rice for nine months to approximately 400 families, as a food support to community home based care programme being carried out by the Myanmar Nurses Association.

(c) Under PRRO 10066.1, food distribution in NRS for the month of March is ongoing. Since the beginning of March, about 1,300 tons of rice have been distributed among 32,000 beneficiaries including 1,207 tons for 26,820 schoolgirls as part of their three months ration of 45 kg of rice for the second cycle food distribution for the 2003-2004 school year.

(d) Following the approval of EMOP 10345.0 on 5 March, WFP started preparations for the implementation of this emergency operation in Northern Shan State aiming at providing food assistance to 180,000 ex-poppy farmers and their families. Preparatory works include the signing of MoUs with government and implementing partners, the establishment of sub-offices and warehouses in Kokang, Wa and Lashio regions, and staff deployment. The first food distribution in Kokang will start on 30 March.

F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Colombia, (2) Haiti, (3) Nicaragua

1) Colombia

(a) Colombian troops have killed 157 members of illegal armed groups and captured 181 in a month-long offensive aimed at cutting rebels' control over drug-producing areas. Troops in western Antioquia, Tolima, Cauca, Choco and Huila provinces, central Boyaca, northern Guajira, and Cesar provinces have freed 15 kidnapped civilians, while 12 soldiers have died in action. Authorities stepped up security in the Colombian capital Bogotá after police prevented an attempted car bombing in the city center last Friday morning.

(b) New displacements were reported in the department of Antioquia, municipality of Dabeiba and in Choco Province. Fifty-five families have been reallocated by local authorities after they, and there crops, were affected by flood and heavy rainstorms in the village of Chivigidó, department of Choco. According to the Colombian Red Cross, 94 families that were displaced from different municipalities in the department of Choco and have temporarily settled in the municipality of Santa Cecilia, department of Risaralda, want to return to their communities of origin.

2) Haiti

(a) The new Haitian government was confirmed on 18 March. The Minister of Health and the new Prime Minister are former UN officials. The Multinational Interim Force (MIF) has established a Civilian-Military Operations Coordination center (CIMOC) in the UN compound in Port-au-Prince and is meeting regularly with the humanitarian organizations. WFP is taking the lead among the UN agencies in logistics and communications coordination. A security and logistics assessment mission was carried out by WFP from Cap Haitian to Dajabon, Dominican Republic. The mission crossed the border into Dominican Republic and returned to Cap Haitian the same day. Although no problems were encountered along the route, there is no regular police presence and traffic is scarce.

(b) Haiti's capital Port au Prince is still under security phase III. However, the MIF confirmed on 19 March that the Port-au-Prince port is now fully secure, operational, and ready to receive commercial cargo The security situation remains precarious in the North East Department with most of the area still under the control of various armed groups, including former prisoners in the case of Fort Liberte. Although in some parts of the north the situation appears to be gradually returning to normal, most food distributions originally scheduled for mid-February are still delayed for security reasons. The presence of French troops of the MIF in Cap Haitian has not yet extended into the port or beyond the city.

(c) In addition, as a result of the on-going drought affecting the North-West, maize and sorghum crops in the area have produced much lower yields than expected. Food is becoming scarcer and prices in the local market continue to rise. The current agricultural cycle should have begun in early March but no rain has fallen. Seeds are difficult to obtain due to the increase in the cost of living and many households are solely occupied with finding enough food to eat. The availability of potable water also continues to pose major concerns, forcing HH to travel.

(d) WFP Haiti Emergency Operation (EMOP 10347.0) was approved on 23 March and will provide food assistance to 140,000 children under three years old and expectant and nursing mothers and their families, for a total value of USD 7.9 million (9,800 tons). The goal of the EMOP is to prevent a further deterioration in the food security of the most vulnerable groups affected by civil unrest in the North and North East Departments and metropolitan areas of Port-au-Prince.

(e) WFP partners supporting the PRRO food-for-work and mother/child health activities in Jean-Rabel have not returned since the onset of civil unrest. No food was distributed in the North West during last week. WFP stocks of some 200 tons of food at Bombardopolis warehouse are intact.

(f) According to food aid monitors, 40 of the 120 schools assisted by WFP reopened on 22 March. The remainder is still closed primarily due to lack of security, and monitors have received reports that 65 school warehouses storing WFP food were looted. The second school feeding distribution to schools in the North Department was carried out (7,800 children / 54 tons). Schools reached included those in the Cap Haitien area as well as the villages of Limonade, Plaine du Nord, Balan, Bord de Mer de Limonade et Quartier Morin. Sixty-three tons were distributed to 11 schools in Croix des Bouquets, Ganthier, Thomazeau and Fond-Parisiens to 7,150 school children. Another 162 tons were distributed to 8,690 malnourished children and expectant and nursing mothers in 18 of the 27 health centers assisted by WFP in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area.

(g) WFP receives many new requests from schools, orphanages, and homes for the elderly to provide nutritional support. The local NGOs or missionaries which normally support these institutions are currently unable to do so. It has been reported that in some health centers, especially those near the border with Dominican Republic, displaced people are requesting assistance.

3) Nicaragua

(a) On the night of 19 March, former President Arnoldo Aleman, who was found guilty on criminal charges, was moved to a federal prison. Supporters gathered outside his house to protest the sudden judicial decision. A riot was created between those who protested the sudden judicial decision and the police.

(b) During this week, Central American and Mexican presidents met in Managua to celebrate the Tuxtla Summit, discussing topics such as migration, security, economy and cooperation. At the same time, series of protests were expected to take place during this week. These include protests of students, the transport sector and disarmed groups.

(c) WFP, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education planned to sign an agreement this week between in order to provide de-worming medicine to more than 57,000 school boys and girls in the Northern Atlantic Region (RAN) that are currently being assisted under PRRO 10212.0. The de-worming medicine will be distributed to a total of 508 school centers in the RAN during the months of April and October in order to contribute to the improvement of the school children nutritional condition. At the same time, training will be given to the Parents and Teachers Associations on the use of the medicine and on topics related to health, hygiene and nutrition.

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

(END WFP Emergency report No. 13, 2004)