WFP Emergency Report No. 20 of 2003

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 16 May 2003


This report includes:
A) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Iraq, (2) Iran, (3) Afghanistan, (4) Palestinian Territories

B) East and Central Africa: (1) DR Congo, (2) Burundi, (3) Rwanda, (4) Uganda, (5) Kenya, (6) Sudan, (7) Eritrea, (8) Ethiopia, (9) Somalia

C) West Africa: (1) Côte d'Ivoire, (2) Guinea-Bissau

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

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

F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Bolivia, (2) Colombia, (3) Ecuador, (4) El Salvador, (5) Nicaragua

G) Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: (1) Armenia, (2) Georgia

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) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Iraq, (2) Iran, (3) Afghanistan, (4) Palestinian Territories

1) Iraq

(a) WFP Executive Director James T. Morris was the first Head of a UN Agency to visit Baghdad on 11 May. Mr. Morris met with representatives of the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Affairs (ORHA) in Baghdad to discuss arrangements between WFP and ORHA. Addressing the press after the meeting Mr Morris informed that by June the Public Distribution System (PDS) would be operating again. Mr Morris used the occasion to remind donors that WFP still requires about one third of the USD1.8 billion cost of the six-month Emergency Operation.

(b) The Swedish Rescue Services Agency (SRSA) team crossed the Jordan-Iraq border on 09 May, overnighted on the Iraqi side of the border and arrived in Baghdad on 10 May to establish the UN base camp at the Canal Hotel. The camp was expected to be ready for staff to deploy to Baghdad on 14 or 15 May. There will be a total of 55 international staff members, including 12 WFP staff members.

(c) WFP was part of the first inter-agency mission to Kirkuk on 08 May. The mission visited the WFP warehouse for the first time since the end of hostilities. The proximity of Erbil has meant that national staff working out of Kirkuk (and Mosul) has been able to travel there to discuss preparations for the receipt of the food commodities and resolve problems. WFP currently has food stored in the Kirkuk warehouse that used to serve as 'transit' warehouse for food from the former Iraqi-controlled areas. The mission also visited the Ministry of Trade warehouses, grain mills, and silos. Arrangements were made to clean and repair the compound that was looted so that it can begin to receive food. The most pressing issue facing the MOT in Kirkuk is the need for security.

(d) On 08 May a WFP team visited the southern governorate of Missan to carry out a first Rapid Assessment with a programme and logistics component. The Assessment Mission was informed that the ration centre in Nasiriyah had safeguarded a master copy of its database and is willing to provide it to WFP. On 10 May WFP national staff from the southern governorates met in Basrah to exchange information on all known information on the PDS. Reports on the PDS in each governorate are under preparation.

(e) The WFP Regional VAM officer visited Basrah this week. In addition to training staff on assessment procedures, WFP presented to NGO implementing partners the Rapid Assessment Database, as well as the findings of the Chronic Poverty Ranking that was conducted before the outbreak of war. WFP will share the detailed report as soon as finalized.

(f) The WFP implementing partner in Nassirya, Goal (Ireland) undertook a rapid assessment on institutional feeding in Nassiriya and Muthana between 02 and 08 May. A preliminary overview of the assessment indicates that staff in hospitals and Community Child Care Centres (CCCUs) is eager to re-establish and believe that a nutritional programme would be quickly reactivated. These CCCU's operate within communities. Prior to the war the community advised the CCCU of cases of malnourishment and a home visit was conducted to assess the children. The Goal rapid assessment also found that some hospitals were still self-financing and were using their own funds to buy food from the market, which was then prepared for patients.

(g) Goal distributed a two-week ration of 10,000 units of Kuwaiti-donated pre-packed meals to five hospitals, three in Muthana and two in Thiquar.

(h) WFP visited households in Basrah on 08 May and the interviewed households raised concern over significant price increases of food commodities. During the previous week, WFP held a meeting with the Director General of Education to discuss high-energy biscuits distribution to primary schools in Erbil city to commence on 13 May. A total of 106 tons of high-energy biscuits will be distributed to 158 schools to cover 106,481 students for the remaining period of the current scholastic year.

(i) WFP logistics team met with Ministry of Trade (MOT) officials in Basrah on 10 May, to discuss working modalities and logistics, including allocation of wheat grain. MOT confirmed that it would provide enough space for forthcoming shipments of rice and wheat flour. WFP logistics team agreed with the Coalition Force in Basrah to use MOT local guards to protect the warehouses from theft.

2) Iran

(a) As of 14 May, no cases had been reported of Iraqi refugees crossing the borders with Iran. A vessel carrying 15,000 tons of bagged wheat flour arrived to the port of Imam Khomeini on 11 May. This is the first consignment shipped through the Iran corridor. More shipments may follow, if the corridor would keep up the pace.

(b) From 08 to 14 May, a total of 2,774 tons of food was dispatched to Iraq. Out of the 10,000 tons of wheat flour borrowed from the Government of Iran, 9,021 tons has been dispatched to Iraq. From the beginning of trans-border operations on 16 April to date, a total of 11,252 tons of food has been dispatched into Iraq, 8,785 tons of which has already been received by WFP in Suleymanieh.

(c) According to UNHCR and the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrant Affairs of the Ministry of Interior (BAFIA), as of 14 May a total of 438,983 Afghan refugees have repatriated from Dogharoun (northeast) and Milak (southeast) borders since the start of the operation on 09 April 2002. UNHCR has invited WFP to hold initial discussions about repatriation of Iraqi refugees

(d) Food availability in the camps is currently rather precarious, as a result of the late confirmation of donations. However, since the overall resourcing situation is stable, the stock balance in the camps should improve soon.

3) Afghanistan

(a) The UN Security Management Team designated lower Ghazni province in the Central region, Uruzgan, Zabul, Kandahar, Hilmund and Nimroz provinces in the South, and upper Farah and lower Ghor provinces in the West as "no-go" areas due to the volatile situation there. In the North, UN missions to Gosfandi district of Sari Pul province remain suspended due to the tense security situation. Tensions also remain high in Maymana city of Faryab province. In the East, Kunar province remains volatile with the activities of the Coalition forces. Security clearances and armed escorts are required for all the UN missions to the province. In the Central region, three demonstrations took place, one against the government, one relating to school conditions of Kabul University and one relating to salary increase and privatisation of the fuel industry. In the West, the security situation was relatively quiet, but increased crime rate and poppy cultivation raised some concerns. In the South, the road between Ghazni and Kandahar provinces remains closed.

(b) From 08 to 14 May, WFP assisted 577,457 beneficiaries with 1,708 tons of food through various projects, including Food For Work/FoodAC, Food For Education, Relief and Resettlement of IDP's and refugees (RRIR), Urban Vulnerable Bakeries, and Supplementary and Institutional feeding activities.

(c) Food and nutrition training took place in Kabul from 11 to 15 May, with participation from the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, FAO, UNICEF and WFP Country Offices in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan. During the training, participants were able to gain a better understanding of food and nutrition, including the types of malnutrition, their public health significance and their underlying causes in emergencies, and to practice basic relevant skills. In Kabul, data collection training took place for the school-feeding programme, with participation from the Ministry of Education.

4) Palestinian Territories

(a) The Gaza Strip was brought under a strict closure policy by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) during the second half of April. As a result, those Palestinians able to work in Israel have lost their livelihoods since they are unable to reach their work place. Humanitarian agencies were denied access to provide assistance except in the Northern part of the Strip. The closure is effective for commercial and humanitarian goods entering Gaza including WFP commodities.

(b) There was an increase of military operations, incursions, curfews and restrictions during April, particularly in the West Bank cities of Jenin, Tulkarm and Nablus. Jenin residents were unable to reach their work for a period of two weeks during the month. Families particularly affected are farmers whose livelihoods depend on employment in the Jordan Valley area. The working environment for WFP staff became more unpredictable and stressful as the level of military operations increased. The lack of accountability displayed by the IDF for actions often involving international staff and infrastructures is of great concern and the recent escalation has prevented WFP staff from moving freely and entering areas, which are considered high risk.

(c) FAO and WFP's joint assessment on food security and nutrition in the West Bank and Gaza Strip continued. During April, the fieldwork and data entry of the findings were completed. The team of international experts are in the process of analysing the results and preparing the draft report.

(d) On 07 April, WFP signed a Letter of Understanding (LoU) with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) formalizing collaboration on the purchase of 270 tons of olive oil from 16,000 poor farmers in the West Bank. During April, olive oil was collected by selected farmers in the designated warehouses in the 6 olive producing districts of the West Bank. On 27 April, some 14 tons of olive oil provided by 87 farmers was delivered on to Hebron, after being quality approved, for distribution to WFP beneficiaries under the supplementary feeding programme. During April a total of 1,890 tons of food was distributed to some 106,625 beneficiaries in 21,325 families in Gaza and West Bank.

(e) 17 shipments carrying 7,270 tons of food arrived in April. Israeli national holidays, port and custom strikes and closure of the entry point for commodities to Gaza, seriously delayed food deliveries and resulted in extra cost in storage, double handling and transportation.

B) East and Central Africa: (1) DR Congo, (2) Burundi, (3) Rwanda, (4) Uganda, (5) Kenya, (6) Sudan, (7) Eritrea, (8) Ethiopia, (9) Somalia

1) DR Congo

(a) The security situation remained volatile in the eastern parts of the country, where military activities were rampant, despite the ongoing process of establishing a transitional government of national reconciliation. The areas of greatest concern were Bunia in Ituri district and Uvira and Shabunda in South Kivu province. An estimated 40,000 to 140,000 members of the rural population of Bunia were said to have crossed the borders to Uganda to escape the wave of violence currently being unleashed on Bunia. Many of the displaced people were reported in the Ugandan districts of Nebbi and Bundibugyo. Some other 15,000 to 20,000 people were reportedly displaced towards Eringeti and Beni in the North Kivu province.

(b) The increased climate of insecurity in Bunia resulted in the withdrawal of international humanitarian NGO's from Bunia and the cessation of relief activities, except the United Nations Mission of Observers in DRC (MONUC). Looting of WFP food stored in warehouses of implementing partners was reported, including 8 tons stolen from COOPI and 300 kg of oil stolen from German Agro Action. Some 100 tons of WFP food en route from Uganda to Mahagi was taken away by a Hema gang leader on the run.

(c) On 11 May, MONUC distributed WFP food, stored at German Agro Action's warehouse, to some 4,300 local people who had fled into MONUC's compound in Bunia. On the Beni-Eringeti axis, WFP's implementing partner SOLIDARITE carried out food distribution to 41,472 IDP's. In Goma, WFP distributed 397 tons of food to 62,099 persons through its implementing partners. Activities included nutrition programmes through feeding centres, general distribution to IDP's, support to children in difficult circumstances receiving training in centres, vulnerable groups and to a lesser extent food for work relating to road rehabilitation. In Bukavu, some 22 tons of food was delivered to the NGO Malteser, which should distribute the food in nutritional centres in Walungu, a territory affected by the April fighting between Maï Maï militiamen and RCD soldiers.

2) Burundi

(a) The new Head of State visited Uganda and Tanzania to meet his counterparts and held discussions on the continuation of the implementation of the Arusha peace process notably the implementation of the cease-fire agreement signed last December between the Government and the fighting wing of Forces pour la Defence de la Democratie (FDD).

(b) During the week, security did not improve and clashes between the army and FDD fighters continued in Bubanza and Bujumbura Rural provinces. Battles were fought near and inside the Kibira forest. Access to some communes of Ruyigi province remained impossible due to reported incursions. The impact on WFP operations was that 32,845 people in 3 provinces did not benefit from planned distributions.

(c) WFP in agreement with UNHCR has authorised 8 tons of food to assist spontaneous returnees entering through Ruyigi province. WFP received reports that some 4,800 Congolese refugees have crossed into Burundi fleeing fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

(d) During the week, two riots at distribution points aimed at stealing food were reported in Rutana and Bujumbura Rural provinces. Distribution in Rutana was suspended after 500 of the planned 2,610 people received their ration.

(e) Through the week WFP distributed 1,497 tons of food through various programmes. However, 407 tons planned for targeted distributions were not carried out due to insecurity in Gitega, Rutana and Ruyigi provinces.

3) Rwanda

(a) Rainfall has been fairly well distributed in April with the exception of the Bugesera region, parts of Kibungo and Umutara provinces. Close monitoring of these areas reveal that there is hope for a fair harvest for some farmers. However, indications are for a failed bean crop and significantly reduced yields for sorghum for many others. Beans and sorghum are the two main staples for season "2003B". WFP is in the process of initiating Food For Work projects in the worst affected areas, the main coping mechanism that the affected population has relied upon since the poor "2003A" season. The harvest in January has afforded opportunities for the sale of labour in neighbouring, more food-secure areas. However, it must be noted that the possibility of these agricultural activities will greatly reduce after the harvest in June. Households that have had total crop failures will find it increasingly difficult to find opportunities for engaging in manual labour and may well face acute food shock during the months of July, August and September.

4) Uganda

(a) Following the complete collapse of the Government of Uganda/Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) efforts to begin a dialogue, the humanitarian situation in northern Uganda continues to deteriorate rapidly as a result of heightened insecurity, increased levels of abductions and the total disruption of economic activities. A recent announcement by the LRA banning all civilian movements outside the IDP camps, and increasing food needs due to poor harvest prospects, will exacerbate the already serious food insecurity problems in protected camps.

(b) Approximately 11,000 refugees fleeing ethnic strife in Bunia, Ituri region, Democratic Republic of Congo, have temporarily settled in four locations in Bundibugyo District, western Uganda. The refugees have not yet been registered by UNHCR and are yet to receive humanitarian assistance. WFP is monitoring the situation closely. The Government of Uganda and UNHCR are in the final stages of relocating 16,000 former Achol-Pii refugees temporarily settled in Kiryandongo Settlement (southwestern Uganda) to Madi Okolo and Ikafe Refugee Camps in West Nile Region. WFP has prepared for the relocation by increasing the buffer stocks in the region.

(c) As a result of the increasing food needs in northern Uganda and drought in Karamoja, WFP faces a pipeline shortfall of 53,147 tons of food commodities to meet the needs of IDP's, refugees and other vulnerable groups from May through December.

5) Kenya

(a) As heavy rains continue in most parts of Kenya the number of people affected by floods in the low-lying areas around Lake Victoria in Nyanza and Western Provinces of Kenya is increasing. Latest assessments estimate that the floods in western Kenya affect some 60,000 people. It should be noted that at the same time last year, the floods in the same areas affected some 150,000 people. The main concern is to provide essential non-food items to the flood victims. The Government has compiled a list of the most urgent needs and remaining gaps. Priority items still needed are cooking kits, mosquito nets, shelter material, chlorine tablets, water containers and latrines. The Kenya Red Cross is the lead agency in coordinating relief operations on the ground. They are working with several NGOs who are present in western Kenya, such as MSF, World Vision, ADRA and AMREF. The Kenyan army is heavily involved in the relief operation and is transporting the relief items to the affected areas.

(b) WFP is closely monitoring the food requirements but so far the Government is able to meet the most urgent relief food needs from its own resources, as was the case last year. WFP has contributed 25 tons of oil to contribute vegetable oil to complete the food basket (maize and beans) provided by the Government. WFP has all basic food commodities in stock which can be donated/loaned for the flood relief operation, if and as necessary. In addition, WFP is providing the Government with two Land Cruisers with drivers for the relief effort.

(c) The heavy rains have cut off road access to Dadaab refugee camps. However, WFP has pre-positioned food stocks in the camps which cover the requirements of the 130,000 refugees for over a month. Due to reduced rains, the Garissa-Dadaab road condition has improved and some WFP trucks have been able to deliver food to Dadaab. However, if heavy rains resume the road may not remain passable.

6) Sudan

(a) El Fasher town, Darfur State, remains under curfew with heavy military presence following the attack on the airport and army garrison on 25 April, which resulted in 72 casualties and the destruction of 5 aircrafts. Security Phase III was declared in South Darfur. Over 40,000 persons returned from the Northern Sector to Nuba Mountains and 20,000 refugees return from Ethiopia back to locations in Southern Blue Nile State. A tripartite agreement between the GoS/SPLM/UN was signed to approve the cross-border barge food delivery operation between Malakal and Juba

(b) WFP distributed 12,467 tons to 916,111 beneficiaries in both Northern and Southern sectors of Sudan. 4,532 tons of food aid was distributed to 351,139 beneficiaries in the Northern Sector while 7,935 tons was distributed to 564,972 beneficiaries in the Southern Sector.

7) Eritrea

(a) WFP Field Monitors reported that land preparation is underway in many parts of the country, despite the relative lack of rainfall to date. The Ministry of Agriculture is preparing to distribute seeds in the Anseba region at the end of May, in anticipation of the June planting season. Many farmers were forced earlier to consume their seed stocks due to the ongoing drought situation. Livestock prices continue to be far lower than average, while grain prices in markets across the country tend to be higher than normal for this time of the year. Water continues to be a serious problem, with shortages reported in all regions of the country.

(b) WFP accompanied a New York Times reporter on visits to various WFP supported projects in the Maekel and Debub regions on 14 and 15 May. The mission visited Therapeutic Feeding, HIV/AIDS and School Feeding sites, as well as drought-affected areas, in order to gain an understanding of the current humanitarian situation in the country. The nutritionist at Mekane Hospital in Asmara noted that the number of severely malnourished children has increased since January, largely due to the effects of the present drought.

(c) WFP continues to appeal for the resources necessary to support its Eritrea operations in 2003. Last week, a contribution of USD 500,000 was confirmed, which will be used to purchase 1060 tons of corn-soya blend for EMOP 10261. So far, only 122,822 tons of commodities out of a total of 259,263 tons have been resourced for WFP's PRRO and EMOP's in Eritrea in 2003.

8) Ethiopia

(a) Belg or short season rains, which normally fall from mid-February to May, were generally poor in March, but improved in April, which is normally the month when the short rains peak. Rain in April extended over most parts of the country, including the southern lowlands and the northern belg growing areas. Although the first ten days of April saw below normal precipitation in most parts of the country, the rest of the month was characterized by extensive rains across all but the northwestern corner of the country. Much of the rain in the south and east was heavier than normal, leading to flooding along the Shebelle River in Somali Region.

(b) Assessment of the full extent of the floods in Kelafo, Mustahil and West and East Imi of Gode and Afder zones of Somali Region is still on going. Access remains a serious problem and very little assistance has been reaching the victims to date. Resources are being positioned in Gode town by the federal and regional Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission offices (DPPC), UNICEF, ICRC and some NGO's. Non-food emergency items including tarpaulins, blankets, cooking pots, jerry cans and UNICEF emergency medical kits have been airlifted to Gode town, along with 71 tons of high energy biscuits. ICRC is moving food to the area by road from Dire Dawa, to provide food rations to 20,000 people, including 250 tons of wheat, 80 tons of pulses and 20 tons of vegetable oil, with a contingency capacity to cover further needs, based on the findings of current assessments taking place in the area. An estimated total of up to 100,000 people have been affected, but some were able to move to high ground ahead of the floods, with their animals and food supplies. DPPC is making arrangements to transport May drought operation rations from DPPC/WFP stocks to the area, some of which will be going to flood victims. A helicopter provided by the Ministry of Defence arrived in Gode on 13 May and commenced operations on 14 May, taking 120 cartons of biscuits and 10 rolls of plastic sheeting to Mustahil, where many communities are still cut off by flood water. Relief items were also sent by two trucks to Kelafo on 12 May.

(c) Port operations for Ethiopia through Djibouti have been performing well. Confirmed April 2003 food aid shipments through Djibouti were 157,400 tons, all of which was for the drought emergency operation. Total food expected through Djibouti in May is 194,600 tons, with an even higher amount of 266,000 tons expected in June, though some food scheduled to arrive late June may slip over into July.

9) Somalia

(a) UNHCR reported that thousands of Somali refugees at Dadaab in northeastern Kenya have been left homeless after heavy rains destroyed hundreds of shelters. FSAU has issued a flood warning for the Juba and Shabelle rivers following heavy rains in the Eastern Highlands of Ethiopia. Floods so far affected up to six regions of Southern Somalia along the rivers of Juba and Shabelle. Main threat is to Lower and Middle Shabelle regions.

(b) The first batch of 2,880 Somali refugees began returning to Somalia, more than a decade after they fled their war-torn country. UNHCR started the return operation on 13 May, with the airlift of 50 refugees to Galkayo, northeast Somalia (Puntland). UNHCR is also expected to assist the return of a further 300 refugees to Bossaso and Galkayo over the next five days.

(c) Recent assessments indicate that the cereal production in Somalia has been good. The Deyr rains have been good throughout Southern Somalia. This has greatly improved the condition of crops and livestock, while farmers in the sorghum belt switched from ratoon planting to new sorghum plantings, which have enhanced the final production figures.

(d) Pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in Middle and Lower Juba are experiencing food insecurity due to conflict and insecurity. This has disrupted their normal migration patterns and has led to looting of assets. Similar problems have also been observed in Baidoa and Burhakaba. In North Gedo, the region remains precarious despite the fact that livestock have benefited from the good Deyr season.

(e) WFP distributed a total of 860 tons of food, of which 201 tons was for relief food aid in the Northwest; 351 tons in the social sector support and 308 tons in rehabilitation activities.

C) West Africa: (1) Côte d'Ivoire, (2) Guinea-Bissau

1) Côte d'Ivoire

(a) The humanitarian situation is getting worse for the population in the North. WFP encounters difficulties targeting only the most vulnerable, as the demand for food aid has amplified. The strict targeting criteria used are women in single parent families, sick, disabled persons, nursing mothers, and the elderly. As a response to the precarious humanitarian situation in Korogho, WFP has started registration of critical vulnerable cases in Koni and Bodonon. Letters of Understanding (LoU's) are being drafted with the Koni/Bodonon health centres to set up a therapeutic feeding programme for children on admission to the health centres. WFP plans to visit Dassoungboho village next week to identify the most vulnerable. During the week, Houssabougou Church received food items to cover full rations for 1,794 registered beneficiaries.

(b) For the first time, a convoy with humanitarian cargo succeeded to access Man through Duekoue. The number of internally displaced people (IDP) in Man city is estimated at 1,731 persons not residing at the Transit Centre. As soon as verification is completed by Red Cross volunteers, WFP will start food distributions. During the week, WFP carried out a field visit in Biankouma town, from where WFP had received a request for food assistance for over 32,000 IDP's. The mission was not able to verify this IDP number and follow-up visits are required. WFP food distributions to 5,305 IDP's started in four IDP centres in Guiglo on 12 May. WFP has continued a census of IDP's in Zagne and Blolequin this week. In Zagne, 316 IDP's that reside at the Catholic Mission are receiving WFP assistance.

(c) WFP this week launched the support to the Pilot Programme "Ecole pour Tous" in Bouaké to more than 17,000 children. The activity will provide a daily hot meal to the children participating in this educational programme. A total of 34,199 beneficiaries received food assistance in Bouaké this week including the afore mentioned 17,000 children. On 12 May, canteens finally resumed their activities after more than 7 months of interruption. Rice, corn-soya blend and oil was delivered to the 12 "groupes scolaires". Maize meal will at a later stage be provided to enable some change in the diet. Moreover, 13,120 children in Bouaké received WFP support through ACF's programme for children under 6 and mothers. ACF is considering closing down this programme next month, as they wish to focus their resources in the West, where the need is higher. If this happens, WFP would have to support that specific category of the population through other activities. In Yamoussoukro, WFP delivered food to seven implementing partners (IP's) this week for food distributions to an estimated 8,470 beneficiaries.

(d) Shortfalls in the pipeline are expected at the end of May for Oil and corn-soya blend, and in June for Sugar and Cereals, using a caseload of 175,500 beneficiaries. New contributions are therefore urgently required. The new Cote d'Ivoire EMOP 10244.1 covering the period May to December was approved on 14 May. It will target 588,600 beneficiaries in Côte d'Ivoire and 275,000 transit population and returnees to Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali. Total budget is USD 15,651,715.

2) Guinea-Bissau

(a) The political situation remained tense during April as the dismissal of the Minister of Interior and the dismissal and detention of the Minister of Defence caused serious concerns in the capital. The National Elections Council claimed lack of funds to undertake the preparation of the legislative elections to be held on 06 July. On the other hand the opposition parties set pre-conditions before going to the polls, including the promulgation of the Constitution by the President of the Republic and elections in the Supreme Court of Justice. The Government requested assistance for the preparation of the upcoming agricultural campaign, following a bad harvest last year due to a rain deficit. The total assistance requested was estimated at about USD 80,000.

(b) During April WFP assisted 95,028 beneficiaries, including 41,071 women, through the distribution of 1,096.055 tons of food. WFP positioned 800 tons of food in the EDP in Bafatá Eastern Region of Guinea-Bissau.

(c) WFP received the MCHC Appraisal Mission for evaluation of the current WFP intervention in the health and nutrition areas. The mission visited nutritional centres in the regions of Oio and Biombo and met with government institutions, UN Agencies and NGO partners.

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

1) Namibia

(a) In Namibia, floods in the northeastern Caprivi Strip region are reported to be the worst in 21 years. According to the government's Emergency Management Unit (EMU), the floods, caused by the Zambezi River bursting its banks, cover approximately 400 square kilometres. Preliminary assessments undertaken by the EMU and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies revealed that thousands of people have been affected, agricultural fields and grazing areas are flooded and livestock is at risk. The EMU reported that they are currently unable to transport government-provided food to the area as the floods have rendered the roads impassable. According to their report, 8,600 people inhabiting the 22 flooded villages require urgent humanitarian assistance. Health officials are concerned that water stagnation may result in a malaria epidemic and become a host to other waterborne diseases. So far, two villagers have died and 13 schools have been closed as a result of the floods. Government authorities have reported that at least USD 680,000 will be made available for the rescue operation, medical aid and food rations. The information ministry also released a statement saying, "In addition to pledges for assistance from the international community, which should henceforth be accepted, be they in cash or kind, a declaration of natural catastrophe should be issued."

2) Angola

(a) Approximately 185,500 demobilised soldiers and their families remain in 20 gathering areas and a further 27,450 are in 45 transit centres. All are waiting for transportation to their areas of origin. WFP has initiated short-term emergency feeding in the transit centres on a case-by-case basis. Upon arrival at an area of final settlement, people are entitled to receive a WFP family-ration, provided they are able to present a ration card to one of WFP's implementing partners in the area. Beneficiaries will continue to receive rations until the end of the April/May 2004 harvest. At that time further distributions will be determined by a vulnerability assessment.

(b) A Swedish-funded emergency bridge construction team is in Huambo and Bie Provinces undertaking bridge site evaluations. A total of 14 bridges will be built under WFP 'Logistics Services to the Humanitarian Community' Special Operation SO 10149.1 in Huambo, Bie, Kuanza Sul, Moxico and Kuando Kubango Provinces, to facilitate access to rural areas and vulnerable communities.

(c) WFP's PRRO is now 60.5 percent resourced following an in-kind donation of maize and pulses equivalent to USD 13 million. Despite this, pipeline breaks are expected for maize around the end of October and further contributions are required. WFP is funding the establishment of a domestic maize meal fortification project in Lobito using micronutrients donated by UNICEF. The fortified maize meal will be distributed to WFP beneficiaries in Bie Province as a pellagra prevention measure. The fortification unit is now under construction and production is expected to begin in September 2003.

3) Zambia

(a) Severe flooding on the Barotse Plain in the Western Province is reported to be the worst in 25 years and has swept away homes and crops. A more detailed report will follow subsequent to a WFP assessment in the area.

(b) From 07 to 14 May, WFP and implementing partners distributed 778 tons of food. During the month of April, WFP distributed 17,000 tons of food to 1.3 million people in collaboration with the Government of Zambia and implementing partners.

(c) WFP's Urban Intervention programme is underway in 64 community schools and youth drop-in centres. Currently 25,714 orphans and vulnerable children receive a wet ration at school in the morning while their host families receive a take-home ration. A pilot rural project is being implemented by Lutheran World Federation and is targeting 2,560 households in the Eastern Province with WFP Food for Training. Under this programme, 65 fishponds have been constructed, 37 woodlots and 32 orchards have been established, 35 wells have been dug and two dams have been rehabilitated.

4) Malawi

(a) From 08 to 14 May, WFP and implementing partners distributed 5,673 tons of food to beneficiaries. Transportation challenges continue in some districts due to poor road conditions and higher competitive transport offers from tobacco industries.

(b) Strategic planning meetings continue with implementing partners and NGOs to discuss WFP's future programmes in 2003/04 and ensuing NGO collaboration. Over 290,000 households have been entered into a beneficiary database, which is now approximately 50 percent complete.

5) Zimbabwe

(a) The food security situation has improved in the central areas of the Mashonaland region; however, pockets of food insecurity remain in marginal areas of the Zambezi Valley running across the districts of Guruve, Centenary, Mt Darwin and Rushinga. In Masvingo Province, food assistance will be provided to 61 out of 160 wards for the combined May/June distribution. The harvest of small grains has been poor due to a shortage of seeds, and crops were further affected by infestations of quelea birds and armyworm. WFP met with stakeholders in the districts of Gokwe North and Kwekwe to discuss the reduced food aid distributions in May and June. Food aid will be provided to those areas that have either no harvest at all, or only a one-month's harvest. In Bulawayo town, food availability has improved as evidenced by people openly carrying maize meal, however, maize meal is still not available in retail stores. Another indicator of improving access is the growing queues at grinding mills.

(b) Contrary to what was mistakenly reported in last week's emergency report for Zimbabwe, government price controls remain in place for maize grain, maize meal, bread, wheat and flour. The governmental Grain Marketing Board (GMB) continues to face transportation problems in delivering maize to the rural areas due to the national shortage of fuel. Although the GMB is still able to distribute grain to urban wards, residents complain of erratic supplies.

(c) WFP has handed over an initial consignment of vehicles and equipment to 11 partner NGOs as part of a capacity-building programme supported by ECHO. The contribution is designed to enhance the operational capacity of WFP's implementing partners through equipment and training and to strengthen their presence for beneficiary targeting, registration, verification and monitoring of food distributions.

(d) WFP, implementing partners, and stakeholders are working to re-target food aid for the post-harvest months of May and June. The overall targeted number of beneficiaries for this period is expected to be 30 percent of the 4.4 million people fed during April's distributions. A one-month ration will be provided to vulnerable households and distributions will begin later this month and will stretch into June.

6) Mozambique

(a) From 06 to 12 May, WFP distributed 1,170 tons of food in collaboration with implementing partners. During the month of April, 331,000 people were assisted with 5,993 tons of food. WFP signed or extended Letters of Understanding with 14 implementing partners during the reporting period.

(b) FAO plans to provide Food for Work beneficiaries that are working on the rehabilitation of an irrigation network system project in Panda District with General Network Management Training to enhance monitoring of the project. The irrigation network system will allow larger and more diverse crops to be harvested in the future.

7) Swaziland

(a) From 06 to 12 May, WFP distributed 184 tons of food to 11,446 people. The Ministry of Agriculture has started promoting the growing of drought-tolerant crops such as cassava and sweet potatoes in the dry Middleveld as maize crops have failed for the third consecutive season. Farmers are in the process of securing funds to purchase fencing for the newly planted crops.

8) Lesotho

(a) From 07 to 13 May, WFP distributed 537 tons of food to 42,627 people through general distributions. In addition, a total of 1,923 HIV/AIDS, mother-child health and tuberculosis patients received 54 tons of food in 15 health centres. In Mafeteng District, 22 primary schools received 77 tons of food and provided mid-day meals for 7,622 students. In Maseru Rural and Mohale's Hoek, 43 tons of food was distributed through six primary schools to 751 students as a take home ration. Food for Work projects began in Mokhotlong and Quthing Districts and 1,650 project participants received 17 tons of food.

9) Madagascar

(a) At least 20 people have died and thousands have been left homeless by tropical storm "Manou", which battered Madagascar's east coast on 09 May. WFP along with CARE International and the EU conducted an aerial survey on 10 May and found the village of Vatomandry in Taomasina District severely hit with houses damaged and the community's agricultural fields flooded. Although the weather bureau warned residents to prepare for a moderate tropical storm, average winds reached 150 kilometres per hour with gusts as strong as 210 kilometres per hour when the cyclone struck. Local authorities have appealed for medicines to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases. WFP will release pre-positioned food stocks for use by CARE for Food for Work repair activities along the national road.

(b) A WFP rolling assessment is underway in the drought-affected areas of the south. Initial findings have confirmed that the majority of families have sold their household belongings and livestock in order to purchase food. Residents expressed concern over the outcome of the next harvest in June/July and farmers are already harvesting sweet potatoes and cassava before they are mature. Despite the rains in the south, access to drinking water continues to be problematic. Due to the delayed arrival of WFP commodities and a lack of any in-country stocks, distributions did not take place during the week, however the Ministry of Education has confirmed that 390 tons of government donated food will be distributed through schools in the drought-affected areas. WFP is working with the government to improve beneficiary targeting and distributions as well as assisting local NGOs and church organizations with storage and distribution of food donated by the government.

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

1) DPR Korea

(a) Owing to the SARS restrictions imposed by the Government and risk during travel, the Resident Coordinator has put forward a proposal for Voluntary Repatriation for dependents of UN staff for review by headquarters. Contingency measures are being discussed at agency level in case humanitarian operations continue to be restricted. Most resident NGO's reported difficulties in operating conditions as some field visits were cancelled. UN, NGO and diplomatic missions scheduled to come into the country have been postponed, with the exception of the Swiss Foreign Minister, who will arrive on 16 May for a three-day visit. Seven WFP staff members in quarantine in Anju were released in the past 10 days.

(b) Household stocks of alternative foods, such as wild edible grass, etc, collected before the onset of winter, have run out in most areas. These foods supplement Government rations and are a primary coping measure for urban households during the harsh winter months. With the start of warmer weather, families have begun to gather spring herbs and wild vegetables in the inland areas, and fish and seaweed on the coast. Urban populations living in mountainous regions have no access to herbs and vegetables at this time, as cooler temperatures have slowed spring vegetation. With limited assistance from rural relatives due to scarce arable land, urban families in these areas are the most vulnerable to food insecurity, especially at the start of the lean season. Some counties have distributed vegetables through state shops, while others plan on providing both vegetables and alternative food, including a mix of edible grass and cereals, to the most vulnerable groups, such as the elderly who live alone, disabled persons, or larger families.

(c) The most common causes of child hospitalisation at paediatric wards and hospitals were reported by monitors to be malnutrition, diarrhoea, bronchitis and pneumonia. Drug supplies remain limited and doctors often use traditional medicines to treat illnesses. Children suffering from malnutrition are provided with WFP-supplied high-energy, fortified rice-milk-blend. The above mentioned health institutions do not have sufficient resources to provide meals or snacks for in-patients and families are expected to bring food from home for their hospitalised children. Visits to nursing mothers confirmed that the trend of low birth weights (less than 2,500 grams) generally results from various illnesses affecting the mothers during the pregnancy period.

(d) A confirmed contribution of USD 2.5 million was received for the purchase of about 5,500 tons of pulses. The pulses, expected to arrive by the end of June, will be used for vulnerable group feeding activities and LFP operations. Production of corn soya blend and corn soya milk had been suspended in the factories as soybean stocks had run out. Funding for WFP's Special Operations project, which covers port operations, LFP equipment and spare parts, and FFW non-food items, remains a concern. Purchases of NFI's for the coming Food For Work autumn season have had to be put on hold. As there is a severe shortage of basic working tools and equipment in the country, with harsh weather and physically demanding labour conditions, lack of NFI's will negatively impact on effective implementation of Food For Work activities and worker safety and participation in the projects. Further, WFP has not been able to set up strategic stores at main ports owing to lack of funds.

(e) To ensure WFP food is available for the most vulnerable groups - young children and pregnant and nursing women - cereal rations have been suspended in May to the elderly, caregivers, and some child institutions on both east and west coasts. However, cereal distributions to all targeted groups should be restored in June with the expected arrival of a pledged maize donation. Further cuts in cereal distributions are expected in the fourth quarter unless additional contributions are received. Pipeline shortfalls of about 120,000 tons for the remainder of the year are projected if no new contributions are received. Commodities yet to be resourced to avoid a pipeline break include 95,000 tons of cereals, 9,500 tons of pulses, 9,000 tons of corn-soya milk, 3,500 tons of sugar and 3,000 tons of oil.

2) Indonesia

(a) The security situation in Aceh continued to deteriorate, especially after the cancellation of a Joint Council meeting between the Government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) planned for 25 April. WFP is closely monitoring the situation, which may warrant a temporary suspension of food distribution. A bomb blast at the Jakarta International Airport on 27t April injured 11 people. Tropical storms and incessant rains caused floods and landslides in the Flores island of NTT and Jayapura, Papua. The Government has been providing adequate humanitarian assistance to the needy people in both areas.

(b) During April, WFP distributed 6,734 tons of food to 1.42 million beneficiaries, mostly women and children, under its Subsidized Rice for Urban Poor (OPSM), Nutrition Programme (NP), and Internally displaced Person (IDP's) programmes. Beginning on 14 April, a three-week long FAO/WFP mission visited East Timor to assess the food and crop situation. At WFP's Food Aid Coordination meeting, USAID briefed on its mission to West Timor, raising concerns about the acute malnutrition among the children in the province. WFP is providing rice and Delvita through CARE's National Emergency Feeding Project. Due to lack of security clearance, WFP could not join the mission.

(c) With no new donor contribution, the current operation PRRO10069 faces a shortfall of 47 percent.

(d) WFP's El Nino assessment indicates a weakening of the El Nino through April and a possible onset of cold ENSO, La Nina, during the second half of 2003. NTT and surrounding areas risk facing increased levels of food insecurity in the course of the year. Continued risks of forest fires in east Kalimantan and south Sumatra and high risks of floods and/or landslides in Sumatra and Papua are forecasted.

F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Bolivia, (2) Colombia, (3) Ecuador, (4) El Salvador, (5) Nicaragua

1) Bolivia

(a) A UNDMT interagency mission composed of WHO/PAHO, UNICEF and WFP accompanied by local and regional health authorities travelled to the municipality of Gutiérrez and confirmed World Vision's report of malnutrition among children under 5 years of age. As an immediate action, WFP will intervene to improve children's nutrition with a training plan using food aid as an incentive to teach families in water management skills, nutrition and improvement of water reservoirs. 83 percent of child deaths carried signs of malnutrition.

(b) WFP sent 20 tons of food aid to be distributed by World Vision in coordination with local authorities.

2) Colombia

(a) According to latest CODHES (Consultoría para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento) data, 412,553 people were internally displaced in 2002, which was 20 percent more than the previous year. People were displaced from 85 percent of the country's municipalities. The report cited the department of Sucre as having received the greatest number of IDP's on the Atlantic Coast, namely some 17,404 families. Sincelejo, the capital, hosts 11,199 displaced families.

(b) In Antioquía, an illegal roadblock by armed groups affected the delivery of WFP food rations to community kitchens in two municipalities. In Soacha, WFP beneficiaries, NGOs and community leaders have been threatened and blackmailed by guerrilla groups. Problems with the appointment of teachers continue to affect school children in some municipalities where WFP provides assistance.

(c) After two weeks of delays due to roadblocks and other constraints, WFP has recommenced deliveries. A total of 236 tons of food was delivered to food-for-work projects and 53 tons to community kitchens.

3) Ecuador

(a) Strong rains since 06 May have caused the overflowing of the Cayapas, Onzole and Santiago Rivers near the Eloy Alfaro and San Lorenzo Cantons, affecting 12 communities or approximately 7,905 people. Initial reports indicate 11 houses destroyed and 1,027 flooded, 2 health centres and 3 potable water systems damaged, 502 hectares of crops affected, and 881 animals lost. WFP and other UN agencies, the Civil Defence and the Provincial Committee for Emergencies are assisting families in shelters and evacuation zones with food, water and medicine.

(b) 180 Colombians crossed the Ecuadorian border last week due to the latest armed confrontations in southern Putumayo and sought refuge in households in Puerto Nuevo. WFP and UNHCR are assessing the needs of these people.

4) El Salvador

(a) Violent demonstrations in the capital have followed the Presidential veto of the decree that was in favour of the Instituto Salvadoreño del Seguro Social (ISSS) workers and medical unions.

(b) Activities under PRRO 10212.0 will commence this month in the departments affected by the coffee crisis and the 2002 drought. Emergency food assistance in the departments of Sansonate and Ahuachapán is coming to an end. Two operational agreements are in the process of finalization with partners. WFP and the Ministry of Health are discussing an agreement to support malnourished children between ages 0-5, especially those suffering moderate and severe malnutrition. An agreement based on a Catholic Relief Services project proposal entitled "Integral Rehabilitation for the Families Affected by the Coffee Crisis in the Occidental Area of El Salvador" is also pending signature. CRS has requested WFP collaboration in developing productive projects with the parents of beneficiary children under the modality of food-for-training.

5) Nicaragua

(a) The organization process under PRRO 10212.0 for 6 Community Health Houses in the municipalities of Matagalpa, El Tuma-La Dalia and San Ramón, Department of Matagalpa, has commenced. Each house will attend to an average of 25 malnourished boys and girls under the age of 3, as well as 25 pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers at nutritional risk. The mothers will participate in educational discussions on nutrition, preventive health, gender, and community organization. Participating women will receive food rations, and boys and girls will receive early and active stimulation. UNICEF and the Ministry of Health will also participate in this initiative.

(b) PRRO 10212.0 will also focus on mitigation and disaster prevention activities in the municipalities of the 'Drought Corridor' and flood zones, as well as reinforcing nutrition among pre- and primary school children. Transportation of 322 tons of food rations destined to WFP's school-feeding programme in six municipalities of the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) from the Port of Corinto will initiate this week. The programme assists 57,510 boys and girls in 507 elementary schools and pre-schools in communities with high risk of flooding.

G) Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: (1) Armenia, (2) Georgia

1) Armenia

(a) Adding to the effects of frost, floods from heavy rains and extensive snow melting in early April and strong winds and snowfall later in the month, further damaged winter crops as well as houses, roads, bridges, drinking water and irrigation networks. The Government has developed a programme to provide refugees with apartments. At present, 12,000 refugee families have no permanent homes.

(b) Activities in April included the school-feeding programme for 10,600 children, food-for-training sessions for 11,440 participants in 440 groups in 190 communities and some 120 food-for-work projects, active after winter conditions slowed down activities.

(c) The operation is slightly less than 48 percent funded, together with carry-over stocks from the previous PRRO. Donations of 1,108 tons of wheat flour and 500 tons of vegetable oil arrived at the Port of Poti in Georgia at the end of April for onward passage to Armenia. WFP's operation will face a pipeline break following planned distribution in May. A donation of 4,000 tons of wheat flour, 1,000 tons of vegetable oil and 500 tons of pulses is expected to arrive in September.

2) Georgia

(a) Agricultural field-works in East Georgia were significantly delayed due to the unusually cold weather during March-April. Frost in late April seriously damaged orchards. WFP is planning to launch recovery activities in Samegrelo and Upper Svaneti region in West Georgia. The security situation in the region remains volatile due to its bordering with Abkhazia. WFP requested the Regional Field Security Coordinator's Office (RFSCO) to carry out a threat assessment in the region; the assessment is planned for May 2003.

(b) A total of 667 tons of food was distributed as follows: 40 tons of wheat flour was delivered for 4,000 refugees, covering March-April; 201 tons of food covering April-May distribution round was delivered for 7,989 beneficiaries in soup-kitchens and 1,300 inmates of institutions under the Ministry of Health; 411 tons of food was distributed to 5,590 participants in Food For Work projects for 123,000 workdays accomplished; and 304 participants in Food For Training activities received 15.2 tons of wheat flour.

(c) Total contributions towards the new PRRO 10211.0, which started in April, reached 23 percent of total food committed. Resourcing for sugar and iodised salt still remains critical. The stock of sugar carried over from the previous phase of the PRRO will be exhausted in July. A total of 5,097 tons of wheat flour was recently purchased and is expected to arrive in June-July.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 20).