WFP Emergency Report No. 20 of 2004

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 14 May 2004


This report includes:
(A) Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Azerbaijan, (3) Iraq, (4) Pakistan

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

(C) West Africa: (1) Liberia, (2) Cote d'Ivoire

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

(E) Asia: (1) DPR Korea, (2) Myanmar, (3) Nepal

(F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Colombia, (2) Guatemala, (3) Haiti, (4) 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

(a) In the east, WFP in Fayz Abad came under a rocket attack and small arms fire on 9 May, with no casualties. In the central region, two foreigners were found dead on 9 May in Kabul. A rocket landed at the international security assistance forces military camp on 11 May in Kabul, injuring a soldier. Areas to which UN missions remain suspended include: Gurziwan and Bilchiragh districts of Faryab province in the north; Nuristan and Kunar provinces in the east; Paktya and Paktika provinces in the southeast; and Ghor province except Chaghcharan district in the west. The security situation remained relatively calm throughout the rest of the country.

(b) From 6 to 12 May, over 501,140 beneficiaries received 2,940 tons of food.

(c) As part of the national deworming campaign, training of teachers was launched in Mazari Sharif on 11 May. The campaign aims to reduce disease, improve physical and intellectual growth and ensure the effectiveness of school feeding programmes, targeting the country's entire primary school-age population of 4.5 million six-to-twelve year olds. The campaign was also launched in Badghis, Ghor, Farah and Hirat provinces on the same date.

(d) Through recently completed food-for-work (FFW) projects in Bamyan, 215 km of roads were rehabilitated, and 509 'karezes (i.e. underground irrigation channels)' and springs were cleaned. National NGO's Bashardost Rehabilitation Team and Development and Rehabilitation Services for Afghanistan were WFP partners in the implementation of these projects. The projects have contributed to easing transport difficulties of the local community and provided them with better access to surrounding areas. The cleaning of 'karezes' has strengthened the irrigation system for increased productivity.

(e) In Hirat, WFP is conducting a baseline survey on Enhanced Commitments to Women (ECW), aiming to support the reduction of gender gaps and ultimately to improve household food security for the most vulnerable. In Mazari Sharif, representatives of the Ministry of Women's Affairs are being trained to take part in the ECW baseline survey, on nutrition, education, human and political asset creation, relief food distribution, participation in decision making, mainstreaming gender perspective, advocacy and human resources.

2) Azerbaijan

(a) Under PRRO 10168,Targeted Food Assistance for Relief and Recovery of Displaced Persons and Vulnerable Groups in Azerbaijan, a pilot school feeding programme was introduced to minimize a drop-out in school attendance among IDP children, especially girls, and to address their malnutrition. As of last February, this component has been expanded to cover over 3,000 primary schoolchildren in 44 schools.

(b) Last February, WFP Masalli sub-office had been relocated to Imishli (39 staff), with the responsibility to arrange food distribution to IDPs living in the adjoining six districts, in addition to the nine districts previously covered from Masalli base. The Masalli sub-office was closed in mid-March after all food commodities in the warehouse were utilized.

(c) During the second round of food distribution in March and April 2004, a total of about 1,465 tons of mixed commodities were distributed to 126,480 beneficiaries (125,761 IDPs plus 719 other vulnerable groups). In addition, a total of 18 tons were distributed under the school feeding programme.

(d) Regular monitoring of food distributions and the food security situation was undertaken by a total of 12 field monitors of WFP and World Vision International. Furthermore, WFP continuously reviews its contingency plan for Azerbaijan, which reflects on political events, broad security issues and economic circumstances.

3) Iraq

(a) Recent events in Iraq indicate a deterioration of security conditions which has led to an increase in humanitarian needs in crisis areas. Reports from all 18 governorates, however, indicate that food distribution to the entire population under the Public Distribution System (PDS) for April is almost complete and that food availability is not a major issue. Only in Falluja, until recently one of the most unstable areas, was distribution of the April monthly food entitlement delayed, but the Ministry of Trade (MoT) resumed it on 3 May.

(b) Reports also indicate that, at the beginning of April, large parts of the population left Falluja. Most of them took refuge with relatives, though some moved to camps set up in Baghdad and close to Falluja. Most of those IDPs have now returned. Since April 2003, WFP, in collaboration with other UN agencies, NGOs and the MoT has facilitated food distribution and enrolment in the PDS of IDPs, returnees and refugees in Iraq. In light of the increased instability, WFP renewed advocacy efforts with MoT to provide assistance to IDPs until registration in the PDS at the location of displacement takes place. Noting previous agreements, MoT is acting to speed up food assistance to this group. In addition, WFP has supported MoT distribution of one-off rations to more than 10,000 refugees from Saudi Arabia and Iran, repatriated by UNHCR. WFP provided MoT with a list of UNHCR repatriated returnees to facilitate enlistment at MoT Registration Centres. WFP also assisted spontaneous returnees in obtaining PDS ration cards.

(c) WFP continues to support local authorities in the three northern governorates (NGs) with school feeding activities. The programme in the three NGs targets over 700,000 students (around 400,000 boys and 300,000 girls) between 6 to 13 years of age, enrolled in more than 2,500 urban/rural primary schools. In the center/south, WFP, the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Education (MoE) are involved in a school feeding pilot project that began in March for the distribution of High Energy Biscuits to 105,000 students in 365 schools in seven governorates. At the beginning of April, increased instability in crisis areas led to a 2 week disruption in project implementation. MoE and MoH officials reported the positive impact of the project on students' attendance.

(d) The household data for the VAM Baseline Food Security Assessment covering Sulaimaniyah and the 15 centre/south governorates is being analyzed. The survey covered 95 districts and 28,500 households. The report will be ready later this month.

(e) At the end of 2003, the CPA and the MoT had formally requested WFP to continue its assistance to the PDS. Pursuant to this request, at the end of March, WFP concluded the procurement of 1.6 million tons and subsequently began dispatching commodities. Capacity building initiatives for MoT staff foreseen under the PDS support initiative are ongoing.

4) Pakistan

(a) Repatriation is on-going and according to an UNHCR report some 100,000 refugees returned to Afghanistan during the past two months. As a follow-up to UNHCR's High Commissioner's recent visit to Pakistan, the Government of Pakistan, UNHCR and WFP will be meeting next week to review and devise a strategy for refugees in new camps in light of the High Commissioner's request for the discontinuation of assistance by the first of September of this year.

(b) In North West Frontier Province, food dispatches are underway to feed 16,000 refugees in Kurram Agency, which still remains a "no go area" as declared by UNSECOORD. Special arrangements were put in place involving local administration and national NGO staff to oversee food distribution.

(c) A workshop was organized by UNHCR on formation and standardization of sectorial committees in the new camps. WFP, in consultation with UNHCR, shared its new strategy to meet the objectives on Enhanced Commitment to Women whereby women would be given priority to collect their food entitlement from the distribution points. During the first three hours of the day, distribution would only take place for women in the identified blocks in the camps.

(d) A multilateral contribution of USD 2.0 million is expected to be confirmed soon. The contribution will cover most of the requirements of EMOP 10228.0, Food Assistance to Afghan Refugees in the North West Frontier Province, until its planned expiry date in September.

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

1) Burundi

(a) Sporadic clashes between the army and the Front for National Liberation (FNL) rebels continued in Bujumbura Rural province.

(b) From 2 to 9 May, WFP distributed a total of 1,225 tons of food aid to some 131,555 beneficiaries through different programme activities. Among these beneficiaries, over 117,200 persons were assisted with targeted food aid in Bujumbura Rural, Gitega, Kirundo and Makamba provinces. However, distributions planned for 32,480 persons could not be carried out in Bujumbura Rural, Makamba and Gitega due to logistic problems and insecurity in Bujumbura Rural. Some 70 tons of food were delivered to over 1,190 persons working on eight FFW projects carried out in Muramvya, Ngozi and Muyinga provinces. Of these beneficiaries 71 percent are female workers.

(c) WFP Household Food Economy Assessment (HFEA) teams conducted a rapid assessment in Ruyigi province with regard to families affected by hailstorm in three communes. The teams reported that those communes have not only been affected by hailstorm, but as well by other disasters such as floods, animal and crop diseases and heavy rains that have jeopardised food security. The same teams carried out monthly food security monitoring in three communes of Muramvya province and reported that heavy rains and livestock diseases have reduced food reserves and caused scarcity of foodstuffs at the market. In Cankuzo and Muyinga provinces, results of the monthly monitoring indicate that crop yields will drop, due to the early rains and farm diseases that affect different subsistence crops.

2) Djibouti

(a) The WFP Djibouti Portfolio Evaluation mission ended on 10 May. The mission primarily looked into issues pertaining to food insecurity and the role WFP plays towards contributing to the country's Poverty Reduction and Strategy Paper and other global frameworks (Common Country Assessment, United Nations Development Assistance Framework, Millennium Development Goals). The results of the evaluation will benefit beneficiaries, the Government, as well as WFP and its partners in Djibouti.

3) DR Congo

(a) Lendu/Ngiti militiamen attacked a patrol of the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) at Kombokola, 25 km south west of Bunia. The attack occurred while representatives of various Ituri militia groups travelled to Kinshasa for peace talks. Armed clashes between soldiers from the transitional government and militiamen reportedly occurred in the Katanga province.

(b) In the North Kivu province, the security situation remained extremely volatile. Numerous violent clashes were reported in Butshori, Rusekera, Maroba, Tshajinge, Kagando, Kirumba and Shomi in the Rutshuru territory. As a result, over 4,115 families were displaced to Tongo. Other confrontations were reported in the Masisi territory, causing the displacement of local populations to Sake. Opposing combatants are reported to be Interahamwe and Mai Mai militiamen. Tension, particularly among students, has also increased in Goma. This situation adversely affects the activities of humanitarian actors including WFP. The increasing insecurity prevents access to thousands of beneficiaries in Masisi and Rutshuru territories.

(c) New crossing points, where Congolese expellees from Angola are gathering, continue to be discovered. Local authorities registered some movements on the Kisenge-Kapenga axis in the Dilolo Territory, Katanga province. An additional 7,640 have been registered by local NGOs in Luiza, a small locality near Kananga, Western Katanga province. Expellees - the majority of them (i.e. 78 percent) are men - reported that many people drowned while crossing the Kasaï River between the DR Congo and Angola. A UN/NGO mission is planned to take place from 15 to 17 May to collect information that is necessary to organise the transportation of expellees back to their place of origin and to distribute emergency kits. Thus far, there has been no indication of the need for food assistance.

(d) WFP distributed around 230 tons to over 22,175 beneficiaries, mostly returnees and IDPs, in Djugu and Bunia (Ituri district). In the Katanga province, WFP released 51 tons to over 6,655 beneficiaries, the majority of whom were children covered under the school-feeding programme. In addition, 7,000 beneficiaries, including malnourished children and their families, received 31 tons of food. Some 195 tons were provided to 27,367 beneficiaries in Goma. However, thousands of beneficiaries could not be reached due to the increasing insecurity in the Rusthuru and Masisi territory

(e) In the North Katanga area, WFP is planning to resume food assistance in Manono. Recent persisting confrontations between Mai Mai and Government soldiers have reversed the results of implemented nutritional programmes. WFP is looking forward to partnering with the British NGO GOAL.

4) Eritrea

(a) Publicly expressed differences between the Government of Eritrea and the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) peacekeeping mission have caused considerable disquiet in the international community and have given rise to a number of security concerns.

(b) In the Debub region, planting of long cycle crops such as sorghum, maize and finger millet is now underway. In the Gash Barka region, land preparation was observed in the Haikota, Tessenei and Gulij areas; it is expected that other areas of the region will follow by the end of the month.

(c) Access to particular food commodities in commercial markets continues to be difficult in some parts of the country. In the Northern Red Sea region, availability of milk and sugar has been sporadic during the last week. When available in the region, purchase of sugar has been rationed to two kg per person.

(d) Confirmed pledges for 2004 for the WFP Drought Emergency amount to approximately 63,800 tons of food commodities - some 54 percent of this year's requirement. The Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO 10192.0) has received a total of over 47,575 tons of commodities, representing 63 percent of the 2004 requirement.

5) Rwanda

(a) The number of new admissions to supplementary and therapeutic programmes in nutrition centres in Bugesera has stabilized. This can be attributed to family rations that beneficiaries receive at the nutrition centres, activity that will continue until next month. Meanwhile, farmers in Kigali, Ngali, Kibungo and Ruhengeri provinces have started harvesting beans, which may contribute to a reduction in food prices.

6) Sudan

(a) Seven commercial trucks carrying WFP food from El Fasher to Kuttum were stopped by armed men in Kofkof area. The attackers emptied the drivers' pockets, but allowed them to continue to their destination with all their cargo. Another commercial truck was also attacked and burned by armed groups in an area 25-km west of Abuzeriga in Dar El Salam locality.

(b) IDPs remain in a precarious state, as concrete steps to improve security and protection are yet to be taken by the Government of Sudan. Reports that the Janjaweed militias are being absorbed into the Popular Defence Forces to provide security and protection in West and South Darfur states, continue to be received from the field. Meanwhile, the security situation in North Darfur state remains rather tense and volatile. Fighting was reported between Government forces and the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) in Abu Gamra area, 160-km south of Kornoy. The number of casualties was not reported.

(c) Since January 2004, WFP has distributed over 17,632 tons of assorted food commodities to 709,333 war-affected beneficiaries. Food distribution was undertaken as follows: 6,792 tons to 320,459 beneficiaries in West Darfur; 9,242 tons to 286,727 beneficiaries in North Darfur; and 1,599 tons to 102,147 beneficiaries in South Darfur.

7) Tanzania

(a) In Ngara, during the month of April, no security violations were reported in refugee camps. There were a few incidents in the surrounding villages. The improved security status is attributed to the increased police patrol and a newly introduced system whereby police and refugee volunteers are guarding all unofficial entrances to the camps. Two carjacking incidents took place in Kigoma and Lugufu, respectively. No one was injured. In Kibondo, a total of three homes were burgled and in some cases the families were injured.

(b) An outbreak of cholera was reported in Lugufu and Kasulu refugee camps. UNHCR, in collaboration with health agencies, immediately reacted to the situation through mobilization of medicine and medical doctors. In Kasulu, seven suspect cases of cholera were admitted to the Nyarugusu camp hospital. Following the outbreak, an emergency preparedness response team was formed, including the Ministry of Home Affairs, police, NGO's and UN agencies working in Lugufu and Kasulu camps. The situation appears to be under control at this time.

(c) UNHCR confirmed that the biometrics model for refugee re-registration exercise will not be utilized in the refugee camps due to its cost implication and the ongoing repatriation of Burundians. A combined re-verification and continuous registration approach will be discussed and implemented in the Lugufu camps.

(d) Repatriation figures in April under PRRO 10062.02 total 9,127 returnees to Burundi, out of which 2,105 were repatriated from Kagera and 7,022 from Kigoma. In April, WFP fed some 447,805 beneficiaries, of whom over 23,045 beneficiaries were reached through the special feeding programme.

(e) Distributions are now completed for the drought relief interventions under EMOP 10313.0, for which WFP received pledges amounting to some 29,070 tons. The EMOP has been extended in time until 31 December of this year for reporting purposes only.

8) Uganda

(a) The humanitarian situation in northern Uganda continues to deteriorate. The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels continue to kill, abduct and torture civilians in the Acholi and Lango sub-regions (Gulu, Kitgum, Pader and Lira). On 4 May 2004, the LRA rebels attacked Orom displaced persons' camp, forcing over 4,000 people to flee and seek shelter at Orom sub-county headquarters.

(b) In the West Nile region, a total of 1,695 refugees are confirmed to have fled Adjumani to settlements in Arua following recent attacks by the LRA on the refugee community in eastern and southern Adjumani. As a result, farming activities, as well as food distribution in the areas, have been disrupted. In response, WFP, together with partners, conducted a rapid food needs assessment for the displaced refugees.

(c) Recently, the LRA reportedly issued a threat against US citizens, warning of possible attacks. In response, the US government issued a security alert on 7 May to all US citizens living in Uganda.

(d) WFP food distribution continues to reach over 1.6 million IDP's, 148,000 refugees and other vulnerable persons. During the period from 30 April to 8 May, over 2,465 tons of WFP relief food distribution reached some 234,100 beneficiaries, including IDPs sheltering in camps in Gulu, Kitgum, Pader and Lira districts in the northern Acholi and Lango sub-regions; eastern Teso region; refugees; school children; and vulnerable persons.

(e) WFP faces a serious shortfall of 106,338 tons of food commodities (81,840 tons cereals, 15,722 tons pulses, 7,868 tons CSB and 908 tons vegetable oil) from May through December of this year. A pipeline break in fortified blended food is anticipated for this period. WFP urgently requires USD 56 million in generous contributions to continue providing relief assistance to over 1.6 million people through the end of this year.

C) West Africa Region (1) Liberia, (2) Cote d'Ivoire

1) Liberia

(a) From 6 to 12 May, over 1,695 tons of various food commodities were distributed to 102,000 people. This included the distribution of 140 tons of commodities to approximately 10,000 ex-combatants and dependents, who are being assisted through the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programme.

(b) During this period, WFP provided emergency food assistance to Liberian returnees who are either spontaneously returning from Sierra Leone or being transported by UNHCR. In order to better assist the spontaneous returnees, WFP is delivering 10 tons of assorted food commodities to be pre-positioned at Bo Waterside.

(c) An assessment mission in Gbarpolu County found the security situation and the access to the county to be fair, and recommended the launching of additional projects to assist both the resident and returnee populations.

2) Cote d'Ivoire

(a) The security situation within the country remained calm during last week.

(b) From 4 to 11 May, WFP distributed approximately 680 tons of various food commodities to around 62,000 people. After almost 2 months suspension (due to militaries forces not allowing WFP trucks to pass through checkpoints), food distributions started again in Bin Houyé.

(c) WFP Assessment missions were conducted throughout the country. The missions evaluated several issues, including nutrition, food security, agricultural situations, HIV and education. The results of these assessments will feed into the planning of WFP operations for 2005.

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

1) Regional

(a) The presentation to the Executive Board of Regional PRRO 10310, Assistance to Populations in Southern Africa Vulnerable to Food Insecurity and the Impact of AIDS, has been postponed from the May to the October 2004 session. The postponement will enable WFP to incorporate more precise information on relief requirements during the first year of the PRRO into the project document based on the outcomes of the current round of Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions (CFSAM) and Vulnerability Assessment Committee (VAC) missions. WFP will extend the current Southern Africa Regional EMOP 10290 until 31 December of this year, with a planned start date for PRRO 10310 of 1 January 2005. The PRRO will be implemented for three years ending in December 2007.

(b) Donors are encouraged to continue to provide resources towards Regional EMOP 10290 as there are again drought-related relief requirements within the region, with much of Lesotho and parts of Malawi, Mozambique and Swaziland being of particular concern. There is still a strong need to prevent severe food shortages for those households that have not yet recovered from the recurrent and multifaceted shocks of the past two years and are again facing reduced harvests.

2) Angola

(a) WFP Angola's two-year PRRO 10054.2, Food Assistance to War Affected People, is presently only 14 percent funded. This serious resource shortfall has meant that the return and resettlement caseload is receiving only half of planned rations for all commodities. Unless donations are urgently received cereals will be taken entirely out of the food basket for this category of beneficiaries in the post-harvest period of June to August. There will be a major reduction in the School Feeding Programme since only 40,000 children will benefit as compared to 220,000 initially planned; Furthermore, WFP will be unable to initiate dry season FFW proposals, which include road rehabilitation, school construction, and water/irrigation infrastructure improvements.

(b) The monthly Food Aid Coordination (FAC) meeting took place on 11 May. The critical pipeline situation was shared with participating representatives of UN agencies, donors and implementing NGOs.

(c) The FAO/WFP Joint Food Supply and Crop Assessment Mission is scheduled to take place from 18 May to 5 June to assess the harvest and food deficit situation in the country. The mission will include a food security specialist to look into broader food security issues.

3) Madagascar

(a) The Nutritional Recuperation Center (CRENI) of Tsihombe has reported 15 malnourished children and 23 moderate malnutrition cases in Betioky. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is opening 1 CRENI in Antaritarika.

(b) From 6 to 12 May, WFP and implementing partners (CRS) distributed about 404 tons to 12,400 beneficiaries in six districts (Ambanisarika, Ambonaivo, Erada, Ambazoa, Antaritarika, and Ambondro)

(c) Recent donor contributions have been confirmed in support of WFP's efforts to deliver emergency assistance under EMOP 10236.0, Assistance to Victims of Cyclone Gafilo in Madagascar. An estimated 11,000 farming families affected by Cyclone Gafilo will receive rice and cooking oil for six months, during which time they will be repairing infrastructure and planting new crops.

4) Malawi

(a) Malawi, where HIV/AIDS has cut life expectancy to 36, launched its first programme to provide free antiretroviral drugs. So far 6,000 Malawians are on antiretrovirals, but 150 000 citizens are in need of this therapy. An estimated 760,000 adults in Malawi are infected with HIV/AIDS, of which 56 percent are women.

(b) According to the FEWS Net report for April, many parts of the southern region are at increased risk of hunger this season, and prices of maize are increasing in most of the local markets, putting them beyond the reach of vulnerable populations.

(c) The Joint FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM) is back from the field and began consolidating its findings. Debriefings were carried out on 13 and 14 May for Government, donors, NGOs and UN counterparts.

5) Mozambique

(a) This week, WFP and the Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER) signed the operational contract for the Country Programme Food for Development Fund (FDF). The FDF, with a 5-year duration, is designed to enable communities in chronically food insecure districts to create sustainable assets that will render them less vulnerable to natural disasters. The programme is implemented in collaboration with MADER and district authorities. It targets around 40,000 beneficiaries a year.

(b) During this week, the WFP/FAO Crop and Food Supply Assessment mission (CFSAM) teams are working in Inhambane, Sofala, Manica, Zambezia and Gaza provinces. The mission report is expected by the end of May.

6) Namibia

(a) WFP planned to provide three-day rations to 14,000 Angolan refugees in Osire and Kassava scheduled for repatriation on 17 May.

(b) On 11 May, WFP, UNDP, and UNICEF met with the local donors to update them on the current funding situation for the Government's drought appeal. WFP and UNICEF reported on the lack of direct contribution to their programmes for targeted assistance for drought affected orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) and continued to urge that support be provided to help address priority needs.

7) Swaziland

(a) The joint VAC mission, comprising representatives from various ministries, WFP and NGOs, held a debriefing to present the preliminary findings of the recent vulnerability assessment in Swaziland. Overall maize production in the country is projected to be below the long-term average and the capacity of households to access food and income has dramatically reduced since last year. This is due to increased vulnerability created by consecutive years of drought, poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

8) Zimbabwe

(a) On May 4, the Government of Zimbabwe recalled its field officers who were jointly participating in the FAO/WFP CFSAM, at the invitation of the Ministry of Agriculture to assess the level of food production for the 2003/2004 agricultural season. As noted by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Zimbabwe, "Since the CFSAM is only conducted with the agreement and participation of the Government, this action effectively cancelled the mission".

(b) In the statement issued this week by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, concern was expressed that should a food assistance need be required later in the year, and the Government were to issue an appeal at that time, that a very rapid response may not be possible for the following reasons:

-The UN will not have been in a position to carry out an assessment of needs at the time of harvest - and hence the international community might be hesitant to respond; and -WFP would have scaled back operations and would need time to build up the necessary operational capacity.

(c) Government estimates of national maize production at a level as high as 2.4 million tons, made public this week, are considered by many independent observers to be overly optimistic, given factors such as erratic rainfall in the first quarter of the rainy season; limited availability and accessibility of improved seeds and fertilizers in some districts; and lack of adequate labor or draught power in some areas.

(d) WFP is aiming to reach approximately 650,000 beneficiaries in May and June through carefully targeted food distributions among the most vulnerable groups (e.g. orphans, households affected by HIV/AIDS, malnourished). This is a substantial reduction from April when WFP assisted 4.5 million people in Zimbabwe. This scaling down is due to the main maize harvest now becoming available and had been foreseen as a normal phase in the emergency operation's implementation strategy. It is not due to recent Government announcements about crop production and/or its ability to meet national emergency food requirements.

E) Asia: (1) Korea, (2) Myanmar, (3) Nepal

1) Korea

(a) The second batch of non-food items for the Ryongchon train disaster victims was delivered this week, a total of 2,000 buckets, 1,000 hoes, 500 earthwork stretchers, and 500 back-buckets. A WFP team is still dispatched to the area to observe and monitor relief distributions in hospitals and in Ryongchon. A Government proposal for the reconstruction of some 1800 family homes under a FFW project is currently being finalized. WFP has also donated toys to the injured children in the hospitals, bought with funds from a voluntary collection amongst WFP staff in various levels of the organization.

(b) Due to cereal shortages, distribution cuts again have affected more than one million core beneficiaries of EMOP 10141.02 since the beginning of May. Unless additional contributions are pledged immediately, by October, all 3.8 million core beneficiaries will be deprived of their cereal rations. Moreover, loans received to help repair the cereals pipeline break still need to be reimbursed from future contributions. Cereal allocations for FFW projects during the spring season have had to be reduced from a planned 32,000 to 8,300 tons.

(c) New pledges of about 127,000 tons of mixed commodities (mostly cereals) are urgently required to cover needs over the next six months.

2) Myanmar

(a) While WFP is in the final stages of signing a LOU with implementing partners for EMOP 10345.0, emergency food distributions were carried out in three locations in Northern Shan State during the first two weeks of May. Six tons of rice were distributed to almost 1000 storm victims (158 families) from HonAi village, five tons to the vulnerable families of ex-poppy farmers in two of the poorest villages in Namtit area in Northern Wa region and a further five tons for FFE and FFW activities through implementing partner German Agro Action/Metta Foundation in Kaung Kar in Northern Shan State. WFP has been negotiating for local purchase of 4,000 tons of rice for the EMOP, which is currently awaiting approval from the Trade Council. In the meantime, all preparations, such as transportation and warehouse arrangements, have been finalized for the start up of the implementation phase.

(b) Under PRRO 10066.1, WFP is still experiencing a food shortage due to pending approval from the Trade Council for the local purchase of 3,000 tons of rice. WFP distributed 23 tons of rice to 1,950 beneficiaries through FFW, FFT and relief during the fortnight.

(c) In the central dry zone, WFP organized a community home based care training to volunteers from 13 to 14 May. Training was conducted for 35 volunteers who provide care and support to people living with HIV/AIDS.

3) Nepal

(a) Over the past few weeks, some Maoists in Nepalganj and Dhangadhi have made serious demands and threats against a number of development agencies. Bombs were put in offices of NGOs, and staff and property were threatened.

(b) As a result of these actions, with effect from 16 May, SNV (Netherlands Development Organization), GTZ and DFID will be forced to suspend their support to various programme activities, including those that are part of the Rural Community Infrastructure Works Programme in Humla, Jumla, Mugu and Dolpa. WFP, in the absence of the required technical assistance normally provided by these agencies, will also have to suspend its support to the Programme in the affected districts.

F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Colombia, (2) Guatemala, (3) Haiti, (4) Nicaragua

1) Colombia

(a) The security situation in the country remained volatile. A car bomb killed an 8-year-old boy and an adult and wounded 34 others in Tame, a small town in the province of Arauca that has been the scene of numerous clashes between Colombian army and illegal armed groups in the past years. On 4 May, in Ocaña, Norte de Santander province, food of a WFP school feeding programme for 200 children was stolen from a rural school.

(b) New displacements have been reported in the province of Caqueta, where more than 1,500 people have been forced to flee.

(c) Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, visited Colombia. He visited IDPs and victims of the conflict in activities assisted by WFP in Cartagena and Soacha. WFP subofice in Cartagena delivers food aid to almost 230,000 beneficiaries in 7 provinces. WFP Bogota suboffice assists more than 33,500 beneficiaries in 165 different activities.

(d) In Medellin, on 5 May, Governors from 18 Colombian provinces signed an agreement to develop joint activities to fight against hunger and malnutrition, improving nutritional conditions of individuals, families and communities in these provinces.

(e) In the context of PRRO 10158, Assistance to People Displaced by Violence, last week WFP distributed 506 tons of food in 8 provinces to over 71,700 beneficiaries, especially through activities related to pre-school and school feeding, nutritional recovery, expectant and nursing mothers and emergency food aid.

2) Guatemala

(a) On 3 May, a moderate earthquake with a magnitude of 4.7 occurred. No damage or injuries were reported.

(b) Several thousand ex-members of the Civil Self-Defense Patrols or ex-PAC marched in the capital to demand second and third compensation payments committed to during the previous administration. Although no major incidents were reported, this issue may evolve into a potential security threat.

(c) The Constitutional Court in Guatemala confirmed its decision to provisionally suspend a bi-ministerial agreement between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Agriculture to implement the government's school feeding programme. Both Ministries announced that they will revoke the agreement if required and will establish alternative implementation mechanisms in order to continue providing school feeding.

(d) In Guatemala, a new food distribution under the relief component of regional PRRO 10212, Targeted Food Assistance for Persons Affected by Shocks and the Recovery of Livelihoods, is under preparation. The food distribution will benefit malnourished children, pregnant and lactating women and their families, through Therapeutic Feeding Centers and Community Distribution Centers of the Ministry of Health. It is expected that the food distribution will start in two weeks, upon completion of the transport tender.

(e) A Food and Nutrition training was provided to WFP staff and government counterparts.

(f) As of 30 April, shortfalls of CSB for the next six months under the PRRO in Guatemala amount to 887 tons. Urgent CSB donations are required in order to avoid the distribution of unbalanced and micronutrient deficient rations.

3) Haiti

(a) The security environment remains uncertain and volatile. Reports of criminal activities (kidnapping and burglaries) continue in some parts of the country. The rebel group Armee du Nord is still operating in the North and North East Departments. Three schools supported by WFP were looted in the North Department. Haitian National Police are still absent from some municipalities in the Far West, including Baie-de-Henne and Bombardopolis, where WFP suboffice premises are located. Most areas in the country continue to be in UN security Phase III (except the South, which is in Phase II). The city of Gonaives remains in Phase IV. Port-au-Prince, where curfew was lifted on 4 May, is still in Phase III and dependants of UN staff in the country remain in the Dominican Republic.

(b) In the North West Department, WFP monitoring reports continue to show rising food insecurity especially in Baie-de-Henne and Bombardopolis. Access and availability of food has been affected by the recent crisis; food stock and animals, which were the last resort of households as savings, are increasingly disappearing. The Evangelique Hospital in Bombardopolis and the Jean Rabel Hospital reported 17 new cases of malnourished children. The WFP flash vulnerability assessment has been finalized in the North and North East Departments and will continue in the West Department. Preliminary results will be ready by next week

(c) A workshop was held in Port-au-Prince to start the preparation of the Haiti Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF) to be submitted to the donors during a meeting scheduled for mid July. WFP is providing support to three of the ten thematic groups: Agriculture and Food Security, Health and Nutrition and Rapid Employment and Safety Nets.

(d) Last week, under the EMOP, the PRRO and the Country Programme, distributions amounted to a total of 630,7 tons, assisting some 75,985 beneficiaries.

(e) In the North West Department, in Passe Catabois, PRRO FFW activities in secondary road rehabilitation (50 Km) are well underway. With the new food monitors that were hired in April, WFP has scaled-up monitoring of distributions in project sites and in WFP warehouses, especially in Baie-de Henne and Bombardopolis.

(f) WFP signed three agreements with international NGOs to cover more than 14,400 beneficiaries under the EMOP and the Country Programme in the North, the North East and in Port-au-Prince. With the NGO Food for the Poor, WFP signed an agreement to reach 7,500 orphans in the North, North East and Port-au-Prince.

4) Nicaragua

(a) Poor rural families, especially landless agricultural peasants, continue their protests in temporary road shelters -"plantones"- in order to request mainly the tenure of land. It is estimated that some 5,000 persons have already migrated to these shelters. The first agreements reached with government officials include the concession of more than 8,000 hectares of land, which was expected to become effective during the past week.

(b) In Nicaragua, food distributions under PRRO 10212.0 continue. However, logistics difficulties (road conditions, low levels of rivers) during the first quarter of the year, especially in the Northern Atlantic Region of the country (RAAN), caused delays in the delivery of food. Part of the commodities intended for the second school feeding distribution have already been pre-positioned in the RAAN.

(c) Currently, a total of over 67,465 school children are being assisted in the RAAN and more than 12,000 school children in the municipality of Matagalpa under the PRRO. In addition, some 10,030 vulnerable children under 2 years of age, almost 8,730 expectant and nursing women, and 2,000 poor rural families are also being assisted in the northern region of the country.

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

(END WFP Emergency report No. 20, 2004)