Afghanistan + 14 more

WFP Emergency Report No. 22 of 1999

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
This report includes: A) FR Yugoslavia and region - Kosovo crisis B) Afghanistan C) Ethiopia - EMOP as Supplement D) East Africa: Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda E) Sudan F) Sierra Leone G) Guinea.
From Manuel Aranda da Silva, Chief, Technical Support Service. Available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page at http://www.wfp.org/ or by electronic mail from Deborah.Hicks@wfp.org or Natasha.Nadazdin@wfp.org (fax 39 06 6513 2854). For information on resources, donors are requested to contact Aleesa.Blum@wfp.org or Marius.deGaayFortman@wfp.org at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2004 or 06 6513 2250. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

This issue of the Emergency Report was prepared by Natasha Nadazdin.

PART I - HIGHLIGHTS
(Details below in Part II)

A. FR YUGOSLAVIA AND REGION - KOSOVO CRISIS

1. Update - information as of late 3 June

a) On 3 June, FR Yugoslav Parliament accepts peace plan on Kosovo proposed by Group of Eight.

b) On 2 June, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs briefs UN Security Council on findings of UN humanitarian mission to FR Yugoslavia on 19-27 May; inside Kosovo immediate humanitarian needs great (food, health care, water), to be followed by assistance for reconstruction of housing and infrastructure, recovery of production; in Serbia, economy suffered serious damage from NATO air strikes, possible forthcoming humanitarian crisis, most affected vulnerable groups and refugees from Croatia and Bosnia; in Montenegro, local population affected by food shortages due to irregular supply and blocked borders hampering food imports.

c) Albania: On 3 June, Government, UNHCR, Red Cross and WFP sign an agreement relative to division of responsibilities for food aid distributions to refugees; four new WFP-sponsored bakeries in Shkoder operational as of 1 June; WFP is currently providing basic food commodities for 243,000 refugees.

d) FYR of Macedonia: WFP delivered 4800 humanitarian daily rations to Emergency Council in Odri on 30 May for new refugees crossing at Jacince.

e) Republic of Montenegro (FR Yugoslavia): In May, WFP provided 50 percent of total food needs of IDPs, while MCI and CRS provided the rest.

B. AFGHANISTAN

1. Update - information as of 3 June

a) FAO/WFP crop assessment mission forecasts low 1999 production in northern regions due to lack or rain and snow; serious problem of rust infection of wheat in the north and reports of red locusts in the north-east.

b) Central Highlands: first WFP shipment of 600 tons of wheat and high energy biscuits distributed in Waras and Panjao to 3,874 families.

C. ETHIOPIA

1. Update - information as of 3 June

a) New WFP emergency operation (EMOP 6143) to provide 103,250 tons of food aid to assist 1.2 million people in drought-stricken areas of Ethiopia; total WFP cost: USD 40.5 million; duration: June-December. Donors' contributions requested.

b) EMOP 6143 is forwarded as a Supplement to WFP Emergency Report No. 22.

D. EAST AFRICA: BURUNDI, RWANDA, TANZANIA AND UGANDA

1. Update - information as of 3 June

a) WFP urgently needs USD 13 million necessary for procurement of 20,000 tons of food and related costs to avoid break in food pipeline in July for WFP regional operation for IDPs and refugees; unless contributions received, the operation may come to a halt in August; rations now reduced by 20-30 percent.

E. SUDAN

1. Update - information as of 31 May

a) A meeting of Technical Committee on Humanitarian Affairs (UN, Sudanese Government, SPLM) on 25-27 May in Oslo; parties agreed to expansion of road and rail corridors, extension of ceasefire, and provision unlimited humanitarian access to affected populations in Sudan.

b) WFP proposes standard post-distribution monitoring format at Mapel conference on activities in Bahr el-Ghazal.

c) Some WFP activities in Western Upper Nile scaled down, others put on hold following May security incidents.

F. SIERRA LEONE

1. Update - information as of 3 June

a) A WFP-chartered vessel carrying 800 tons of assorted food aid and for WFP and other agencies left Freetown for port of Nitti on 3 June; for delivery from Nitti to Bo, road repaired through WFP food-for-work activities.

b) HACU organized a humanitarian mission to Daru, Kailahun district.

G. GUINEA

1. Update

a) WFP hosted logistic workshop on 15-16 May in Gueckedou on relief operation for 450,000 Liberian and Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea; new strategy defined.

PART II - DETAILS

A. FR YUGOSLAVIA AND REGION - KOSOVO CRISIS

1. UPDATE - information as of late 3 June

1.1 On 3 June, the Parliament of FR Yugoslavia accepted a peace plan for Kosovo submitted by the European Union's envoy, Martti Ahtisaari, and the Russian emissary Viktor Chernomydin. The outlines of the plan had been agreed on 6 May by the Group of Eight and details were further discussed in successive rounds of talks between Chernomyrdin, Ahtisaari and US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott.

1.2 On 2 June, Mr. Viera de Mello, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, briefed the Security Council on the UN inter-agency mission which assessed the humanitarian needs throughout the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in late May.

a) In Kosovo, the mission saw widespread evidence of systematic destruction. In some areas up to 80 percent of homes had been burnt. Humanitarian needs of the estimated half a million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and remaining civilian populations in Kosovo are urgent and immense, the most pressing ones being food, health care, clean water. Medium and longer term assistance will in addition have to include reconstruction of destroyed and damaged housing, water and sanitation, electricity, heating; rehabilitation of services such as schooling, health system, telecommunications; recovery of agricultural and livestock production; repairs of infrastructure, etc. The most imminent, however, is the need for security.

b) In Serbia (excluding Kosovo province), the assessment mission observed evidence of serious damage inflicted by the NATO air strikes on an economy already debilitated by UN sanctions and the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. In the absence of a peace agreement, this situation may soon bring about a complex humanitarian crisis, affecting the entire population, but hitting hardest the most vulnerable members of society: children, women, elderly persons, large segments of the population depending on social safety nets. In addition, some 500,000 Serb refugees from Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina require similar levels of assistance as refugees in Albania and Macedonia.

c) In Montenegro, local population is affected by food shortages due to irregular supplies and exhausted stocks in the country, which results in growing animosity of the local population towards the IDPs receiving food aid. The border is still closed by the FRY Army and shipments through the port of Bar and the Croatian-Montenegrin border are blocked; limited agricultural production in Montenegro provides only for a part of the needs of its population and food situation is expected to worsen unless new supplies arrive from the outside.

d) The detailed report to the UN Secretary-General is under preparation.

1.3 Albania

a) On 3 June, the Government, UNHCR, the Red Cross and WFP signed an agreement relative to food aid to refugees in Albania. According to the agreement, the Red Cross Movement will provide food parcels for 225,000 refugees living with host families, and for all the host families in the months of June and July. During the same period, UNHCR and WFP will provide basic food rations to all the refugees in collective centres and camps, and to those refugees living with host families not covered by the Red Cross distributions.

b) Four new local bakeries in Shkoder are sponsored by WFP and operational as of 1 June. Currently, WFP has 75 local bakery agreements in addition to its own bakery in Shkoder, the War Child bakery in Kukes and the Turkish bakery in Fier. Daily production varies in accordance with the number of refugees.

c) WFP is currently feeding 243,000 refugees with basic food commodities. WFP beneficiary caseload has lately increased in Tirana and in Korce. The local administration in each prefectures anticipates refugees moving from host families to camps and collective centres. In Durres alone, some 15,000 refugees are in camps and collective centres, while 70,000 are with host families.

1.4 Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: WFP delivered 4800 humanitarian daily rations (HDRs) to the Emergency Council in the village of Odri on 30 May, so that one-day food rations can be further distributed to the hundreds of people crossing close to the Jacince border post as an immediate help until they are accommodated by host families or moved to camps. In June WFP will provide the basic food basket for 160,000 refugees accommodated with host families, while CRS will provide the basic food basket for 27,000 host families. MCI will provide salt rations for both refugees and host families.

1.5 Republic of Montenegro (FR Yugoslavia): In May, WFP provided 50 percent of the total food needs of IDPs in Montenegro while MCI and CRS jointly provided the rest. Current WFP stocks of wheat flour, oil and beans in country suffice to meet the requirements of IDPs in June. Since late March (beginning of the crisis), WFP distributed some 1,272 tons of food commodities to IDPs from Kosovo.

B. AFGHANISTAN

1. UPDATE - information as of 3 June

1.1 The overall security situation in Afghanistan remains relatively stable, although some military activity has been reported on the front lines in the central and northern regions in recent days. The fourth UN Field Security Officer is expected in Jalalabad towards mid-July which would permit WFP international staff to return to this area on a permanent basis.

1.2 Initial results from the FAO/WFP crop and food supply assessment mission suggest that crop production is expected to be low for 1999, particularly in the northern regions. The main problem seems to be a lack of rain and snow fall in the surplus crop production areas. As a result, the three Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) teams currently in the field will re-direct their activities to rain-fed areas at risk (Ghor, Badghis and Jawzjan) and their findings should be available within a month. In addition, there are indications of a serious problem of rust infection of the wheat in the north and reports of red locusts in the north-east of the country.

1.3 Central Region: In the provinces of Parwan and Kapisa (areas cut off by a Taliban-imposed military blockade since 1997, and where 1998 crop production was much below average due to a lack of agricultural inputs and rust infestation of the wheat), market prices for cereals are now reported to have increased by 100 percent over normal inflation since the blockade was set up. If the crop production for 1999 does not improve, families dependent on purchasing their food will be unlikely to attain their minimum food needs, this may possibly create an emergency situation.

1.4 Central Highlands: The first shipment of 600 tons of wheat and high energy biscuits has been distributed in Waras and Panjao to some 3,870 families. The second convoy carrying 550 tons of wheat has left Kabul and is expected to arrive on 3 June in the Hazarajat region targeting an additional 4,000 families.

1.5 Northern Region: The Vulnerability Analysis Mapping exercise in Mazar-e-Sharif concludes that most vulnerable households are those whose income comes from male casual labour. The labour market is currently saturated bringing wages down and excluding potential labourers. These families earn 70 percent of their minimum food and non-food expenditure needs equivalent to USD 4.00 per month.

C. ETHIOPIA

1. UPDATE - information as of 3 June

1.1 New WFP emergency operation (EMOP 6143) for Ethiopia was jointly approved by WFP's Executive Director and the Director General of FAO on 2 June, to provide approximately 103,250 tons of food aid to assist 1.2 million people in drought-stricken areas of Ethiopia. Total WFP cost of the operation is USD 40.5 million for a period of seven months, from June through December. WFP requests donor contributions.

1.2 This emergency operation is to alleviate food insecurity due to the failure of the belg rainy season ending in May. The extended dry spell hindered crop planting, germination and growth. Furthermore, lower than expected crop yields after the meher rainy season, ending in September, have compounded the problem. Drought-prone areas such as Tigray, Wello and Hararghe are most severely affected by food insecurity, but some of the high rainfall regions such as Arsi and highland Bale have transitory food insecurity caused by erratic rainfall.

1.3 The full text of the WFP Emergency Operation (EMOP 6143) is provided as a Supplement to the WFP Emergency Report No. 22. The document will also be available on the Web on the WFP home page <http://www.wfp.org> go to field operations, click on Ethiopia.

D. EAST AFRICA: BURUNDI, RWANDA, TANZANIA AND UGANDA

1. UPDATE - information as of 3 June

1.1 WFP appealed on 3 June for additional donor contributions for the WFP regional operation to provide food assistance for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees in the Great Lakes region. The operation is facing a break in the food pipeline end of July due to delays in delivery of food commitments. This may bring operations to a halt in August. In order to make the available stocks last longer, country offices in Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda have been requested to reduce rations by 20-30 percent with immediate effect, or to reduce distributions.

1.2 WFP urgently needs USD 13 million necessary for procurement of 20,000 tons of food and related costs in order to bridge the gap between June and September, at which time WFP is expecting the arrival of over 36,000 tons of food commodities. Should that shipment be delayed, the shortfall will increase by a further 17,000 tons for the month of October. The current WFP regional operation provides food to 1.4 million beneficiaries (IDPs in Rwanda and Burundi, refugees in Tanzania and Uganda).

E. SUDAN

1. UPDATE - information as of 31 May

1.1 The Technical Committee on Humanitarian Affairs, including the UN representatives, the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), met in Oslo, Norway, from 25-27 May. The Government and SPLM reached a consensus on several important humanitarian issues of major concern to Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), such as to expand rail and road corridors (initial road access Loki-Kapueta, with potentially more road corridors to open later) and to extend the ceasefire. In the final communique which was co-signed by UN, both the SPLM and the Government of Sudan committed themselves to provide unlimited humanitarian access to the affected populations in Sudan.

1.2 A conference on the humanitarian activities in the Bahr el-Ghazal region was held in Mapel (Wau County) from 29-31 May. WFP representatives presented a draft protocol on post-distribution monitoring (a standard post-distribution monitoring format that can be used by all OLS agencies) as well as a WFP position paper on distribution of food aid.

1.3 A recent mission to various locations in Gogrial County (Bahr el-Ghazal) carried out towards the end of April by the WFP Regional Liaison Officer for Gogrial and Twic counties, examined, amongst other issues, the acceptability of WFP relief food to beneficiaries and established that wheat was the preferred grain amongst beneficiaries in Alek, Atukuel and Ajiep (Gogrial County). The mission was undertaken following concerns raised by OLS Agencies and donors as to the acceptability of wheat grain in South Sudan.

1.4 Insecurity in May in Western Upper Nile has seriously affected WFP operations in the area, and limited access to vulnerable populations in need of food aid. Food distributions have been scaled down and food economy assessments planned for June in Upper Nile as a whole are currently put on hold pending an improvement in security.

F. SIERRA LEONE

1. UPDATE - information as of 3 June

1.1 The peace talks continue between the Government and the RUF representatives in Lome, Togo. The Government has signed an undertaking to release Foday Sankoh, the imprisoned RUF head, as soon as a peace agreement is signed.

1.2 A WFP-chartered vessel left Freetown port on 3 June, carrying 800 tons of assorted food stocks (300 tons of WFP relief food and 500 tons of food for other agencies). The food is intended for IDPs in Bo and Kenema. The vessel was scheduled to arrive in Nitti on 4 June. The Nitti-Bo road, previously repaired through WFP food-for-work activities, will be used for delivery to Bo and Kenema.

1.3 A one-day humanitarian mission, organized by the UN Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit (HACU) comprising a UN Field Security officer, HACU, UNICEF and two WFP staff, travelled by helicopter to Daru, Njaluahun chiefdom, in the Kailahun district. This trip is the farthest east humanitarian agencies have travelled since late 1998. The mission reported a relatively stable food situation in the area, but a need for immediate medical assistance. WFP and UNICEF are looking into the possibility of beginning a supplementary feeding programme for children and mothers in Daru, particularly needed among the IDP population.

1.4 In Freetown and in the Western Area, WFP is currently supporting four IDP camps/settlements (Waterloo, Parade Grounds, Mandela and the National Stadium) and will expand its assistance in June to two additional camps: Trade Centre and Grafton. WFP also provides food aid to the Amputee Camp run by MSF France (for amputees undergoing therapy and their families) and, through food aid provided to NGOs such as CCSL, CMSL, Merlin, as well as Sierra Leone Red Cross, continues to support institutional feeding programmes and food assistance to some 3,600 Liberian refugees in Freetown.

G. GUINEA

1. UPDATE

1.1 On 15 and 16 May, WFP organized a logistic workshop in Gueckedou to find durable solutions for the problems encountered in the implementation of the relief operation for 450,000 Liberian and Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea. WFP and its operational partners including UN agencies, local authorities and the transport trade union, defined a new management, monitoring and evaluation strategy for the refugee operation. Recommendations include increase of storage capacity at distribution points, opening of additional distribution points in the large camps along the Gueckedou-Kissidougou national highway, and reorganization of camps in order to reduce their number. A committee was formed consisting of UNHCR, WFP, GTZ, CARE, SECADOS and BTGR representatives to oversee the implementation of the recommendations of the workshop.

Note: all tonnage figures in report above refer to metric tons

(End WFP Emergency Report No. 22 of 1999 - June 4, 1999)