(A) Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan
(B) East and Central Africa: (1) Burundi, (2) DR Congo, (3) Djibouti, (4) Eritrea, (5) Ethiopia, (6) Kenya, (7) Rwanda, (8) Sudan, (9) Tanzania, (10) Uganda
(C) West Africa: (1) Chad, (2) Côte d'Ivoire, (3) Liberia
(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,
(F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Colombia, (2) Guatemala, (3) Haiti, (4) Nicaragua, (5) Peru
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
(a) The security situation remained relatively calm throughout most of the country. In the north, factional fighting and subsequent demonstrations in Faryab province affected UN operations in the area. Missions to the province have since been suspended. UN missions are also suspended to Kohistanat district of Sari Pul province in the north and to Uruzgan province in the south. In Ghor province in the west, missions are suspended due to bad road conditions and high water levels.
(b) A swarm of locust attacks took place in Baghlan, Kunduz, Samangan and Balkh provinces. Aid agencies in collaboration with the Department of Agricultural and Animal Husbandry are currently working to contain the outbreak by spraying chemicals in the affected areas.
(c) During last week, WFP provided some 443,155 beneficiaries with almost 3,280 tons of food.
(d) In Kabul, WFP joined the HIV/AIDS working group, together with the Ministry of Health, UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO. At the working group meeting, opportunities to integrate HIV/AIDS issues in existing interventions were explored. WFP is currently endeavoring to incorporate food and nutritional needs of those affected by HIV/AIDS into national and local AIDS strategies.
B) East and Central Africa: (1) Burundi, (2) DR Congo, (3) Djibouti, (4) Eritrea, (5) Ethiopia, (6) Kenya, (7) Rwanda, (8) Sudan, (9) Tanzania, (10) Uganda
(a) During the last week, the security situation worsened in Kabezi and Mutambu communes of Bujumbura Rural province. Confrontations between the Front for National Liberation (FNL) and the national army resumed, resulting in human casualties and the displacement of an estimated 30,000 persons.
(b) From 5 to 11 April 2004, WFP distributed a total of over 1,540 tons of food aid to 150,570 beneficiaries through different programme activities. WFP continued to face a major shortage of pulses and most distributions were therefore carried out without this commodity.
(c) Following the requests for food assistance to persons in Gihanga and Rugazi communes of Bubanza province by the local administration, WFP conducted rapid assessments that revealed that over 6,300 households are in need of assistance. WFP also carried out monthly food security monitoring in Karusi, Cankuzo, Muyinga and Kayanza provinces. Monitoring results indicated that food reserves were very low, resulting in an increase of prices for some commodities in certain areas.
2) DR Congo
(a) Overall, the rural population remained the prey of uncontrolled armed factions. Lootings and illegal roadblocks were still reported in areas such as Rutshuru and Masisi in North Kivu province.
(b) Since 10 April, WFP's field office in Kahemba in Bandundu province is on alert, following an announcement made by local authorities of a vast movement of Congolese who have been expelled from Angola. Large numbers of those returnees have been demanding food assistance from WFP and the first group of about 900 persons has received a 15-days ration. The returnees are said to be in bad shape and are reportedly threatening the 3,600 Angolan refugees encamped in Kahemba who are receiving WFP assistance. While looking into plans to deal with this large movement of returnees, WFP has been securing its warehouses and staff.
(c) In Beni, North Kivu province, WFP's implementing partners SOLIDARITE, a French NGO, and CESVI, an Italian NGO, distributed 590 tons of food to 94,620 IDPs. In the Ituri district, food distributions carried out in partnership with SOLIDARITE and the German Agro Action mainly targeted returnees and provided them with seeds protection packages. Some of the returnees were also given agricultural inputs.
(d) Further to the training on vulnerability assessment and mapping (VAM) in Goma, North Kivu province, conducted during the first week of April, WFP staff have now begun implementing surveys that will cover the entire province by collecting primary data, and looking into available secondary data on vulnerability.
(a) On 13 April, floods caused by heavy rains officially claimed at least 55 lives and about 200 people are still reported missing. French and US army helicopters were trying to save a number of people whose homes have been swept away by flash floods from the Ambouli wad. Djibouti town is a flood prone risk zone during the rainy season from November to March/April, because it is situated below sea level. UN agencies are currently preparing a mission to visit sites affected by the flood in order to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims.
(b) The fourth convoy of the second voluntary repatriation phase of refugees left Djibouti on Saturday, 10 April, to various destinations in North Somalia (Somaliland). WFP has provided nine-month food packages to all 616 repatriated refugees from Ali Addeh camp. The next convoy is scheduled to leave Djibouti on 20 April with some 500 refugees.
(a) There has been some rainfall in the Debub and Maekel regions as part of the "Azmera" short rainy season. Farmers are preparing their fields in anticipation of the upcoming long rainy season, due to begin by early June.
(b) Over 1,000 Eritreans returned from Sudan last week as part of the ongoing voluntary repatriation process. WFP will supply food assistance to the returnees until the completion of their first successful harvest.
(c) Access to water continues to be a serious problem in the Anseba region. WFP field staff reported severe shortages in many areas, forcing villagers to walk increasingly long distances in search of water.
(a) Substantial "Belg" (short season) rains have been falling in most parts of the country in recent weeks, with heavy rain reported in recent days. In Afar Region in the east, floods have been reported along the Awash River; regional authorities will assess the situation as soon as they can. The main city in the eastern part of the country, Dire Dawa, received over 30 mm of rain in 24 hours, a very exceptional situation for this usually dry location. Countryside surrounding Dire Dawa has been suffering from drought for the past two years. Good rains are reported in the nearby eastern highlands of East and West Hararghe, where there had been some concern about the late start of the "Belg" rains. Torrential rains, which fell in Djibouti at the beginning of the week, resulted in interruptions in the transport of food from Djibouti port to Ethiopia.
(b) Heavy "Gu" rain has also been reported in Jijiga and surrounding parts of Somali Region. The extent and coverage will be better known once authorities in remote areas of the Region report by radio to the SC-UK/Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Early Warning Project in Jijiga over coming days. Recently the southern locations of Mustahil and Kelafo in Gode zone of the region had been reported as not having received any of the rain that had been improving pasture and water conditions in northern parts of Gode zone and surrounding areas. The river level of the Wabe Shebelle will be monitored closely at Gode town for early warning signs of flooding further downstream.
(c) In Belg-crop producing parts of the country, such as North and South Wollo in Amhara Region and much of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR), the rains of the past two weeks have been helping to revive crops which had been wilting due to an earlier dry spell, though there are pocket areas where problems remain. In most of the country, where planting takes place at a later date, with the main "Meher" (or "Kiremt") rains starting in June, Belg rains are used for land preparation. (d) Relief food operations continue to be undertaken by the government, WFP and NGOs. The overall relief food requirements for April-December 2004 total 697,000 tons. This comprises of 551,000 tons of cereals, 70,000 tons of micronutrient-fortified blended food, 55,000 tons of pulses, 19,000 tons of vegetable oil and 1,500 tons of iodized salt (this includes commodities for emergency school feeding). Against these requirements, confirmed commodities in-country and in transit currently total 372,000 tons; these commodities can cover the requirements for cereals until mid-June, vegetable oil until early-August, and pulses and blended food until mid-September. The current shortfall for April-December is 325,000 tons. However, there are substantial contributions under negotiation that are anticipated to cover a significant part of this shortfall.
(e) Total food allocated for distributions in March covered 85 percent of needs, at 71,600 tons compared to the planned 84,700 tons. Planned beneficiaries for March were 4.4 million people. In April, planned beneficiaries increased to 6.7 million, requiring 126,000 tons of food aid. During 2004, WFP aims to cover approximately half of the needs.
(a) The 2004 long rains have started in earnest in various parts of the country. Traditionally, parts of the low-lying areas in Lake Victoria basin of Kenya are flood-prone and are affected every year. This year is not different, and so far reports indicate that the heavy rains in western Kenya have caused extensive flooding, affecting nearly 10,000 people especially in Nyando District where a river burst its banks. The floods have reportedly killed at least two people in Nyando as well as destroyed roads. The water level in the river is still rising and more flooding is expected in the nearby Budalangi area.
(b) The Kenya Red Cross Society, the Office of the President and WFP are closely monitoring the situation. The Kenya Red Cross is also setting up temporary camps on higher grounds to accommodate some of the people. The government has pre-positioned food in seven districts (Busia, Nyando, Homa Bay, Tana River, Kisumu, Rachuonyo and Migori) in anticipation of more flooding.
(c) Also affected by the heavy rains are the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps in northeastern and northwestern Kenya respectively. Trucks carrying WFP food and other suppliers to Kakuma are stuck at the diversion in Ortum River in Turkana District. In Dadaab, up to five trucks with WFP food (pulses) for the refugees are stranded somewhere between Garrisa and Dabaab. WFP does not have enough pulses in the camps for the next food distribution scheduled to start in the next few days.
(d) Recent nutritional surveys by Oxfam in Turkana and by UNICEF in Marsabit Districts found under-five years old children malnutrition rates were very high, requiring immediate assistance. An estimated 184,000 people are currently highly food insecure in these two districts. The most urgent food aid needs for Turkana amount to over 3,070 tons while those of Marsabit amount to some 4,320 tons. The available Government stocks for famine relief and strategic grain reserve so far are sufficient to meet the most urgent relief needs. Oxfam and World Vision will distribute the food in Turkana while in Marsabit distributions will be carried out under a FFW modality for the Arid Lands Resource Management Project/WFP's Disaster Preparedness Facility.
(a) Normal rainfall from March to May across much of Rwanda is expected to support a good harvest for most crops, according to a food security update issued by WFP and FEWS Net. A good crop for beans and sorghum is therefore expected if rainfalls continue beyond April in the drought-affected Bugesera region.
(b) Meanwhile, WFP continues to distribute family rations to malnourished people visiting Bugesera nutrition centres as part of a three-month assistance plan. The family ration, as well as existing WFP activities in FFW, school feeding and HIV/AIDS, is expected to reduce food insecurity in drought-affected areas.
(a) The Darfur crisis continued to occupy the attention of the Sudanese Government, humanitarian agencies and the international community throughout last week. On 8 April, the Government, the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) and the Sudan Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) signed a cease-fire agreement in N'djamena, the Chadian capital. The three sides agreed on ceasing hostilities for 45 days in order to allow access to humanitarian agencies. The parties also agreed to hold further peace talks within two weeks. The UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan, a day earlier warned that an international force may be needed to prevent a genocide in the Darfur region if hostilities continued.
(b) The overall question of protection for IDPs remained largely unresolved. IDPs are extremely concerned about their security and protection. The humanitarian situation is reportedly deteriorating with regards to health. Malnutrition rates are escalating in those areas where insecurity has impeded food deliveries. The upcoming rainy season is expected to further complicate the situation, especially if protection issues are not resolved by then. Although the recently signed cease-fire is considered as a positive step, de-arming of Janjaweed remains a concern and a condition for IDPs to return home before the rainy season sets in.
(c) Since last January, WFP has distributed 8,235 tons of assorted food commodities to almost 496,098 war-affected beneficiaries in Darfur region as follows: 2,488 tons to 206,061 beneficiaries in West Darfur; 4,925 tons to 243,661 beneficiaries in North Darfur; and 822 tons to 46,376 beneficiaries in South Darfur.
(d) Cereal, the main commodity in the Eritrean refugees' food basket, is dangerously low. The pipeline will break at the end of May if new pledges are not received. This is also true for corn-soya blend (CSB) and sugar, important commodities for the under-fives and therapeutic feeding. A total of some 7,155 tons of cereals, almost 1,370 tons of CSB and over 415 tons of sugar are required to cater for the refugees till the end of December. If no pledges are received, and subsequent purchase and rapid delivery of these three very important commodities are not done soon, lives of vulnerable groups will be at great risk.
(a) As a result of the cross-border visit to Burundi (Giteranyi and Muyinga provinces) a significant increase in facilitated repatriation has been noted. In Ngara, a total of 1,389 refugees repatriated to Muyinga, Kirundo and Ngozi provinces, and in Kasulu 9,376 repatriated to Cankuzo, Gitega, Karuzi, Bujumbura Marie, Kayanza and Ruyigi provinces. Facilitated repatriation in Kasulu totalled 892 Burundian refugees and in addition, 189 refugees spontaneously repatriated, both Congolese and Burundians. From Lugufy camps, 26 Congolese refugees spontaneously repatriated. The total number of facilitated and spontaneous repatriated persons for last week was 11,659 and 215 respectively. With continued sensitization by those who participated in the cross-border visit, a better result may be achieved in the coming weeks.
(b) Drought relief interventions are ongoing. While in Kilimanjaro region distribution in Mwanga district were completed,distributions are still continuing in Bunda district in Mara region, and in Kiteto and Simanjiro districts in Manyara region.
(a) Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel attacks continued in the northern Acholi and Lango sub-regions throughout the week. Groups of rebels are infesting five districts (Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Lira and Adjumani), sowing continuing panic and fear. In a daring attack in Lira district, the LRA attempted to attack the convoy of the First Deputy Prime Minister/Minister for Disaster Preparedness. Five people were reportedly killed in an incident in Atiak IDP camp, when Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) opened fire to "ward off an LRA rebel attack". The UN Security Council received a briefing on the crisis in northern Uganda on 14 April from UN Emergency Response Coordinator, Jan Egeland, who stressed the urgent need for a peaceful resolution of the conflict and the urgency for continued WFP assistance.
(b) Preliminary IDP figures in Kitgum and Pader districts in the Acholi sub-region following recent verification indicate a current population of 267,078 persons in 18 camps in Kitgum district, and 279,589 persons in 13 camps in Pader district. Preliminary figures from an IDP verification exercise recently conducted by implementing partner Action Aid in Katakwi district in the eastern Teso sub-region, indicate an IDP population of 148,795 persons.
(c) WFP food distribution continues to reach over 1.5 million displaced persons, 144,000 refugees and other vulnerable persons. During the week from 5 to 10 April, some 2,320 tons of WFP relief food assistance reached over 213,270 persons, including IDPs sheltering in camps in Gulu, Kitgum, Pader and Lira districts in the northern Acholi and Lango sub-regions as well as IDPs in Soroti, Kaberamaido and Katakwi districts in eastern Teso sub-region, school children and vulnerable persons at feeding centres. Distribution of food commodities in Kitgum district was not possible from 5 to 8 April owing to a pipeline break in pulses.
(d) April planting season was almost all missed due to constrained access to fields, resulting in an urgent need for continued life-saving food assistance until December 2004. However, WFP stocks of cereals and blended food for children will be completely exhausted in June 2004 unless generous contributions are received.
(e) WFP faces a serious impending pipeline break. There is a shortfall of 124,966 tons of food commodities (93,193 tons cereals, 8,119 tons pulses, 21,048 tons CSB, 2,369 tons vegetable oil and 238 tons sugar) from April through December 2004. WFP urgently requires contributions amounting to USD 66,107,014 to continue providing relief assistance to over 1.5 million displaced people through December of this year. Without such assistance, increasing childhood malnutrition and mortality are anticipated.
C) West Africa Region: (1) Chad, (2) Côte d'Ivoire, (3) Liberia
(a) The 45-day cease-fire agreement signed in N'djamena between the Government of Sudan and the SLA and the JEM came into effect on 11 April. Both sides agreed on ceasing hostilities to ensure access of international humanitarian assistance to the region before the rainy season begins.
(b) The UNHCR relocation exercise of Sudanese refugees from the border areas to more secured camps has intensified. To date some 26,046 refugees are settled in five camps (6,081 in Farchana, 5,804 in Touloum, 5,869 in Kouloungo, 5,429 in Iridimi and 2,863 in Goz Amer).
(c) WFP general food distributions for refugees continued under EMOP 10325.0 and 10327.0, Emergency Assistance to Sudanese Refugees in Eastern Chad. From 5 to 11 April, a total of 94 tons of assorted commodities were distributed. Cumulative distributions in camps amount more than 1,035 tons. Coordination between WFP and UNHCR logistics units has been reinforced to ensure prompt delivery of food from Abéché to extended delivery points (EDP) or directly to camps. As part of the strategy to increase its storage capacity in eastern Chad, WFP has so far erected 6 mobile storage units near camp sites.
(d) The first rainfalls started last week in Goz Beida (southern eastern region of Chad) and in the Northwestern part of Farchana causing serious road damages between one EDP in Koukou Angarana and two refugee sites (Goz Ameir 1 & 2). This situation raises the concern over pre-positioning enough food before the roads become impassable. However, WFP and INTERSOS are planning some FFW activities to rehabilitate this road to make it useable during the rainy season. Furthermore, 300 moderate and 60 severely malnourished children were registered in Goz Amer 1 & 2 camps. WFP through COOPI will implement a supplementary feeding programme to provide food rations to moderate malnourished children during 4 weeks, while severely malnourished children will receive food rations for 8 weeks.
(e) Some 3,475 tons of regionally procured and 2,150 of locally procured food in N'djamena are being dispatched to Abéché. First consignments are expected in Abéché by the end of April. Current stocks in Abéché amount to 3,500 tons of assorted food.
(f) MSF-Belgium launched a vaccination campaign against meningitis and 13,000 persons were reached in Tine. WFP HAS organized an air cargo of vaccines from N'djamena to Abéché.
2) Côte d'Ivoire
(a) All of Côte d'Ivoire is now designated as UN Security Phase III.
(b) During the period from 7 to 13 April, 240 tons of various food commodities were distributed to approximately 22,000 people.
(c) Following one month of restricted access, WFP has regained access to the villages of Bin Houye and Zouan Hounien and distributions there to approximately 5,500 beneficiaries will soon commence.
(a) With the resumption of Disarmament and Demobilization of combatants on 15 April, WFP is resuming both the feeding of ex-combatants during their stay in cantonment sites and the provision of settlement packages upon the completion of this process.
(b) Approximately 150,000 IDPs, returnees and Sierra Leonean refugees have received food thus far in April. WFP has registered IDPs at three additional spontaneous settlements (Bensonville, Bernard's Curve and Kingsville); distribution of ration cards and food in these settlements will commence during the second half of April.
(c) Schools resumed sessions on 13 Tuesday after a 10 days break. WFP continues to extend the school feeding programme into counties where UNMIL has deployed recently, particularly in parts of Nimba and Grand Bassa counties. It is expected that World Vision and Catholic Relief Services will soon become partners in an additional four counties where a good number of schools have opened and the programme could be initiated (Grand Cape Mount, River Cess, Grand Bassa and Sinoe).
D) Southern Africa: (1) Regional, (2) Angola, (3) Lesotho, (4) Madagascar, (5) Malawi, (6) Mozambique, (7) Namibia, (8) Swaziland, (9) Zambia, (10) Zimbabwe
(a) According to the March 2004 FEWS Net report, the 2003/04 season has been very challenging for southern Africa's agriculture, with countries experiencing drought and flood conditions within the same crop-growing season. Although most of the region has apparently received normal rains overall, its temporal and spatial distribution has been inadequate, resulting in lower than expected crop yields. The FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions (CFSAM) and national Vulnerability Assessments will take place (April-May) in the most-affected countries in the region: Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. The assessments will provide more accurate information and will form the basis for future operations in the region.
(b) Current estimates from the FEWS Net report indicate a 54 percent reduction in crop yields in Lesotho; a 4 percent reduction in maize production in Malawi, with severe flood damage in Angola reducing maize yields in Huambo province by one third. Although improved rainfall in South Africa since January has increased maize production estimates for 2003/04 from 6.7 million tons in February to the current estimate of 7.672 million tons, this is still down 18 percent from last year's production of 9.4 million tons.
(a) Due to the severe funding shortfall, WFP will only be able to provide 50 percent rations to returnees (both internally displaced persons and refugees) and FFW beneficiaries in April and May. These groups make up the vast majority of the 1.9 million beneficiaries. Without additional donations, WFP will have no cereal to distribute after May and only 50 percent of other commodities. WFP will continue with a full ration for school feeding but numbers will be limited to 45,000 in two provinces rather than 200,000 allowed for under the PRRO for 2004.
(a) Following consecutive seasons of bad harvests, food aid requirements for Lesotho from February to June 2004 have been increased from 3,634 tons to 6,915 tons per month, with an increase in beneficiaries from 362,000 to 600,000. WFP Lesotho faces a maize shortfall of 41 percent in May, with a complete break for vegetable oil and maize in June. Additional donations are required in order to avoid disruption to the pipeline.
(a) The government has requested FAO to undertake an assessment in the regions affected by cyclone Gafilo in order to estimate the level of agricultural damages and food needs. WFP is working in collaboration with FAO to undertake the assessment.
(b) WFP, alongside implementing partners (Catholic Relief Services and CARE), is assisting approximately 35,000 cyclone-affected people in Antsalaha and Maroentsetra, northeastern Madagascar, and approximately 67,500 in the southern regions of Majunga, Antsohiyi, Mampikoni, Ambato Boeni, Morondava and Morombe.
(a) From 6 to14 April, WFP and implementing partners distributed 1,593 tons of food.
(b) Due to erratic rainfall in some parts of the country, food aid requirements for Malawi have increased from some 2845 to over 5415 tons in May and from about 2255 to 5195 tons in June. As a result of these additional requirements, WFP Malawi faces a pulses shortfall of 73 percent in May with a complete break in June, and a vegetable oil shortfall of 21 percent in May with a complete break in June. Additional donations are required in order to avoid disruption to the pipeline.
(a) FEWS Net has placed Mozambique on 'watch' status as a result of the two to three month delay to the main planting-season rains. While continued rainfall has permitted crops to develop, households in the semi-arid southern provinces of Gaza, Inhambane, Tete, Maputo, Manica and Sofala are only now beginning to recover from three years of continuous drought, and thus some groups remain potentially food insecure.
(b) WFP monitors in Inhambane province report increased food availability on the market, increased consumption of cassava and more meals per day being consumed at the household level. In Tete province, WFP monitors report that there have been no rains in the drought-affected districts over the past week. Conversely, road access is limited in areas of Maputo, Gaza and Manica provinces due to recent heavy rains, and is temporarily affecting deliveries.
(c) From 6 to 12 April, WFP and implementing partners distributed some 1,270 tons of food.
(a) The regional Emergency Management Unit (EMU) in Caprivi has reported that the high water level of the Zambezi river has remained constant over the past week, but reports also indicate that the water is moving quickly towards the south of Ngoma (border with Botswana). Ngoma could be hit as large volumes of water stream into lake Liambzi. The lake dried in 1985 and has since only received small inflows, which usually dry up quickly. According to the EMU the second wave could reach Caprivi by the weekend.
(b) The Regional EMU in Caprivi also reported that rescue teams are still evacuating residents in eastern areas - ahead of the predicted second flood. Villagers and school children from Mpukano, Muzii and Nsundwa are being airlifted to safety, as travel by boat is proving too slow. On 12 April, some 1,400 people were transported to safe areas following the total evacuation of Ivilivinzi, Nankuntwe and Itomba. This number excludes those villagers who moved by themselves. Government has made temporary accommodation arrangements for those evacuated and is providing immediate assistance.
(c) As Caprivi is one of the regions earmarked for WFP food assistance under drought EMOP 10344.0, WFP Namibia will coordinate with the EMU and provide assistance, presently scheduled for end of April 2004. The Vulnerable Assessment Committee (VAC) plans to meet next week to discuss and coordinate the response. Donations for this EMOP are urgently required.
(d) Following the tripartite commission meeting (governments of Angola, Namibia and UNHCR) in Luanda on 1 April 2004, UNHCR Namibia has confirmed that the repatriation of Angolan refugees will resume on 17 May.
(a) There is mounting concern that 30,000 people who are directly employed in the textiles industry could be left unemployed in coming months. The US Congress is yet to pass a law that enables manufacturers in selected developing countries to set competitive prices in the exportation of textiles. Foreign buyers traditionally place orders twice a year in April and September. Should Congress fail to pass the African Growth and Opportunity Act 3 (AGOA 3) in April, manufacturers may be forced to close for up to five months from September. WFP and the international community continue to monitor the situation, as the possible closures would have a devastating effect on an already vulnerable country with high unemployment and the world's highest rate of HIV infection, at 38.6 percent.
(b) Following consecutive seasons of bad harvests, in February WFP increased food aid requirements for Swaziland from April to June from 1907 to 2863 tons per month, with an increase in beneficiaries from 141,450 to 191,450. Due to the necessary increase in beneficiary load, there are shortfalls for vegetable oil and CSB for April distributions, with a complete break for CSB in May and June. In addition, there will be a shortfall for pulses in June. CSB is a key commodity for Swaziland given the number of adult HIV-oriented activities that depend on it. Additional donations are required in order to avoid disruption to the pipeline.
(a) The supply of maize on the market continues to be good and has helped to keep the price of grain and maize meal relatively low for this time of the year. In addition, as crops start to reach full maturity, the food security situation has improved in rural areas.
(b) The cholera outbreak that has been affecting WFP operations continues to ease and the suspension has been lifted on 12 out of the 83 schools in the Urban Intervention sites.
(a) WFP assisted approximately 403,755 beneficiaries with over 5,645 tons of food in the first week of April. WFP aims to reach more than 3,5 million people in 48 of the country's 58 districts during the month of April. The figure is for both general and targeted interventions. With the onset of the harvesting period, WFP is preparing to reduce its beneficiary figures for May and June.
(b) Field reports indicate a general improvement in food security throughout the country, with m