WFP Emergency Report No. 23 of 2003
This report includes:
A) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Iraq, (2) Iran, (3) Afghanistan, (4) Pakistan
B) East and Central Africa: (1) DR Congo, (2) Burundi, (3) Rwanda, (4) Tanzania, (5) Uganda, (6) Eritrea, (7) Djibouti, (8) Ethiopia
C) West Africa: (1) Central African Republic, (2) Côte d'Ivoire, (3) Liberia, (4) Sierra Leone, (5) Guinea, (6) Guinea-Bissau
D) Southern Africa: (1) Namibia, (2) Angola, (3) Zambia, (4) Tanzania, (5) Malawi, (6) Zimbabwe, (7) Swaziland, (8) Lesotho, (9) Mozambique, (10) Madagascar
E) Asia: (1) DPR Korea
F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Ecuador
G) Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: (1) Albania, (2) Russian Federation, (3) 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) Pakistan
(a) Security restrictions on WFP operations have been eased during the week. Ninewa and Tameem governorates have been declared Phase IV, and an UNSECOORD security assessment to Tikrit (Salah-al-Din) was conducted on 04 June. WFP will send its international staff to Tikrit as soon as the city has been declared 'permissive' by the Coalition Forces, possibly in the coming days.
(b) The focus of activities of WFP in Iraq this week has been on the first post-war Public Distribution System (PDS) cycle that began on 01 June. The ration cycle takes place over a period of approximately 20 days. The Ministry of Trade (MOT) continues its announcements through radio and TV telling the food agents (FAs), who distribute the rations to the people, when and where to collect their food. The ration, which is based on availability of stocks contains 9 kg of wheat flour, 3 kg of rice, 2 kg of sugar, 0.200 kg of tea, 1.0 kg of vegetable oil, 0.250 kg of pulses, 0.250 kg of soap and 0.500 kg of detergent. Infants under the age one get 3.6 kg of infant formula, 0.250 kg of soap and 0.500 kg of detergent. In many areas of the country there are separate food agents for flour and for other commodities and for logistical reasons the population receives the wheat flour component first.
(c) In Baghdad WFP/MOT and the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) continued to meet daily to discuss issues related to the distribution cycle. This week discussions have centred on the need to have closer exchange of information, which from WFP would mean on incoming shipments and from MOT would mean information on existing stocks and the inter-governorate transfers. Also discussed is the printing and reissue of a new ration card that will take place later in the year.
(d) WFP field offices report that distributions have begun in 17 out of the 18 governorates. WFP is still not able to send staff to the governorates of Salah-al-Din or Diyala due to security restrictions imposed on UN agencies and access to Kirkuk is often restricted because the situation there remains volatile. Thus far there are no major problems affecting the distribution system.
(e) During the first week of PDS distribution, a total of 2,779,961 beneficiaries have received 34,582 tons of food. In the three northern governorates of Erbil, Dahuk and Sulaymaniyah, where WFP is responsible for the distribution, the distribution of wheat flour began this week and distributions of the remaining commodities will begin in the coming days. While these distributions are ongoing, the population database is being updated to reflect changes to the population that occurred between March and May, such as newborn infants, transfers from infants to adults, etc. In the northern governorates 10,968 metric tons of wheat flour were released to some 810 flour agents and distributed to 1,201,349 beneficiaries. As at 04 June, the wheat flour requirements of the June PDS in Erbil, Dahuk and Sulaymaniyah were covered to 24, 43, and 36 per cent respectively.
(f) In the central governorates of Baghdad, Anbar and Diyala, the distribution is proceeding and 11,755 metric tons of food has been distributed to some 771,396 beneficiaries. In Baghdad, the number of beneficiaries covered represents 11 per cent of the governorate population, whereas the numbers for Dyiala and Anbar represent 3 and 2 per cent, respectively. The number of FA's that have collected food in Baghdad is 1,382 (15 per cent of existing FAs in the city), while in Anbar it is 170 (10 per cent) and in Dyiala it is 246 (15 per cent).
(g) The governorates covered by the lower north WFP area office in Mosul report that in Mosul the June PDS started on 03 June 2003 and during the first two days some 1,820 metric tons of wheat flour were released to flour agents. As reported above, security constraints mean that information from Tameem and Salah-al-Din is more difficult to obtain. We have learned that PDS rations have begun, but no figures are available.
(h) In the southern governorates PDS distributions are progressing well. In Basrah, Thi-Qar, and Muthana some 10,040 metric tons of mixed commodities were distributed to some 813,900 beneficiaries. Due to minor problems, such as the warehouse loading capacity in Basrah, the process is slower than anticipated and desired.
(i) The process of finalizing agreements with NGOs continues. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) as WFP's implementing partner for IDP issues and assistance to other vulnerable groups in Tameem governorate was signed on 04 June. In consultation with WFP it has been agreed that NRC will focus on monitoring sites where IDPs are located and concentrate their assessments on urgent needs and individual/family plans for the future, in particular with regard to further movements, plans to return to their place of origin, etc. The assessment coverage will be gradually extended to areas outside Kirkuk. The MoU with World Vision International, WFP's implementing partner for IDP issues in Mosul/Ninewa, will be signed in the coming days. As at 02 June, World Vision International in cooperation with WFP national staff has registered some 833 IDP families (7,409 individuals) in the city of Mosul.
(j) Four of the planned five WFP area offices at Basrah, Hilla, Mosul and Erbil are now operational. The Baghdad area office is operating out of the country office at the Canal Hotel. The Hilla Area Office became operational on 02 June and there are now seven international staff assigned to this area, including staff from WFP's standby partners Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and NRC. Sub-offices have been established in Najaf, Kerbala, Wassit, Qadissia, but staff continue to return to Kerbala each day due to the security situation and hotel restrictions.
(k) Installation of the WFP dedicated commodity-tracking programme (COMPAS) continue. Two officials are training national staff. COMPAS has now been established in Erbil, and is anticipated to be operational by end June in all six northern governorates of Erbil, Dahuk, Sulaymaniyah, Ninewa, Tameem, and Salah-al-Din. It will then be rolled out to all governorates in the Centre and South.
(a) Food deliveries to Iraq through Iran are gradually increasing, with more than 1,300 tons of wheat flour and rice dispatched on 03 June. It is expected that the availability of trucks and drivers will increase food dispatches further in the coming weeks. 4,915 tons of food was dispatched from Iran to Iraq between 29 May and 04 June. A total of 21,524.149 tons of food has been dispatched into Iraq since the start of the trans-border operation on 16 April, 16,614.149 tons of which has already been delivered to Basra, Nassariyah, Suleymanieh, Baghdad and Baquba, and 4,910 tons of which is still in transit.
(b) WFP has purchased 6,234 tons of soybean oil from Iranian suppliers for Iraq. 3,000 tons were purchased in Kermanshah for dispatch to Nassariyah, Basra and Samawa, and 3,234 tons were purchased in Tehran for Amara, Samawa, Nassariyah, Basrah and Kirkuk. Dispatch of the stock will begin 05 June, with a planned daily dispatch of 100 tons from Kermanshah and 200 tons from Tehran, all to have been dispatched by 5 July.
(c) The repatriation process continues. WFP has allocated the necessary stocks of wheat flour for the repatriation of Afghan refugees to Afghanistan for the next three months. A total of 456,968 Afghan refugees have repatriated through Dogharoun (northeast) and Milak (southeast) borders since the start of the operation on 9 April 2002. From 29 May to 03 June, 4,963 persons repatriated with assistance, and 1,783 returned spontaneously, using the Dogharoun border crossing and Milak respectively. A Dutch Parliamentary Committee, accompanied by an Iranian Majlis representative, the head of the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrant Affairs of the Ministry of Interior (BAFIA) of Kerman province and WFP, visited the Bardsir Afghan refugee camp in Kerman province on 29 May. Refugees' needs and plans to return to Afghanistan were discussed. UNHCR and WFP are holding further talks on the repatriation of Iraqis and are planning to produce a project proposal in the near future.
(a) A number of security incidents were reported during the week. Although none of them was directed at the UN, these incidents remain a cause of concern. The situation in Gosfandi in Sari Pul province and Dara-I-Suf in Samangan province in the north remained calm, but tense, and UN road missions remain suspended. In the east, various warnings and threats to the international community in Jalal Abad as well as in Kunar province were received. UN agencies were advised to limit their movements both in the city and in the field. The situation in the south-eastern provinces of Ghazni, Paktia, Khost and Paktika remains highly unpredictable. In the south, the newly implemented escort arrangement has been operating successfully, facilitating UN staff's travelling. Due to the security situation, all Food For Work activities implemented by Kandahar Area Office remain suspended.
(b) From 29 May to 04 June, 547,106 beneficiaries in Fayz Abad, Mazari Sharif, Kabul, Kandahar and Hirat received 3,034 tons of food through various WFP projects, including Food For Work and Food For Asset Creation, Food For Education (FFE), Relief and Resettlement of IDPs and Refugees (RRIR), Urban Vulnerable Bakeries and Supplementary and Institutional Feeding
(c) WFP signed a Letter of Understanding (LOU) with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for two years (2003-2005) to assist over nine million Afghan women, men and children under the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation. The beneficiaries will receive nearly 620,000 tons of mixed commodities. Two meetings were organised in Badakshan to improve coordination of development activities in the province. On 29 May, the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) in collaboration with WFP organised a technical working group meeting. MRRD, UN agencies and NGOs presented updates of their activities in Badakshan province and it was agreed that the agencies would keep MRRD regularly informed on the progress of their activities. From 02 to 04 June, a MRRD delegation from Kabul chaired a planning workshop for UN agencies, NGOs and district officials to identify the priority projects for the communities in Badakshan province. USAID officials visited a WFP bakery project in Kabul and interacted with the beneficiaries and bakery workers during their official visit to Afghanistan.
(d) Due to renovation work, the Salang tunnel, the main route to transport food commodities from Peshawar to Mazari Sharif, Kunduz and Fayz Abad, is currently closed during daytime and will close completely in mid-June. Night movement for UN personnel is not permitted. WFP is identifying alternative routes for supply of commodities.
(a) A meeting of Government of Balochistan representatives, donors, UN and NGOs was held on 30 May in Quetta to discuss the issues related to drought. It was recognized that medium and long-term sustainable interventions are needed to mitigate the effects of drought. The need for better management of water resources and technical assistance for arid area development was identified. Under EMOP 10170, WFP continues its assistance to drought-affected persons in three districts, including 157,000 people in Sindh and 108,000 people in Balochistan Province.
(b) The Secretary of SAFRON, the Chief Commissioner, UNHCR and WFP representatives visited Chaman camp on 30 May and shared with the elders of "waiting area" the three distinct options under the relocation plan, namely a) to repatriate to Afghanistan, b) move to Zarey Dasht IDP camp in Zarey Dasht or c) re-locate to Mohammad Khel Camps near Quetta.
(c) New contributions consisting of 1,100 tons of pulses and 970 tons of vegetable oil were confirmed for EMOP 10228 "Food Assistance to Afghan Refugees". WFP was obliged to cut the ration of pulses to half for the month of June in view of the tight resource situation. 216,000 Afghan refugees in Balochistan Province and North West Frontier Province continue to receive food assistance from WFP.
B) East and Central Africa: (1) DR Congo, (2) Burundi, (3) Rwanda, (4) Tanzania, (5) Uganda, (6) Eritrea, (7) Djibouti, (8) Ethiopia
1) DR Congo
(a) Insecurity prevailed in the east with continuous turmoil particularly in Bunia in Ituri province, in areas north of North Kivu province, South Kivu province and areas bordering North of Katanga province. In South Kivu province ongoing military activity of armed factions prevented humanitarian interventions. OCHA reported peasant farmers having deserted their villages in Kanyola, Izege, Ikoma, Ninja and Budodo to escape widespread rapes, assaults, looting and kidnapping.
(b) Human rights abuses have been reported in areas of Ngweshe in the territory of Walungu, located 55 km southwest of Bukavu. The UN Field Security Officer (FSO) confirmed that slave trade has become a lucrative market. Civilian women are captured by militia fighters and sold at the cost of USD 50 to USD 100 per head to be used for hard labour or as sex slaves.
(c) In Bunia, the situation was tense following threats by soldiers from the Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC) towards thousands of IDPs who had found refuge in MONUC's compound. The seriousness of the threats resulted in MONUC issuing a press release revealing the intention of UPC. Humanitarian workers foresaw the possibility of a new wave of violence/massacres emerging in Bunia. Areas located south of Bunia considered safe by IDPs have now become insecure due to the fighting between troops of the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Democratie (RCD)-Kisangani and militiamen, thus creating further massive displacements. This was the case on 29 May when hundreds of thousands of IDPs from Bunia fled out of Butembo following clashes between RCD-Kisangani soldiers and militia troops.
(d) The persisting insecurity in Ituri province put strain on WFP's logistics response from Goma. Over 50,000 IDPs from Bunia have settled in Beni and environs since the end of 2002. The violence, which was unleashed since the beginning of May 2003, caused an influx of another 50,000 IDPs into Beni. In its intervention strategy for 2004/2005, WFP considered the eventuality of opening an antenna in Beni to enhance its assistance and monitoring capacity.
(e) The shortage of food stocks in WFP-supported nutritional centres in Northern Katanga requires the renewal of an airlift operation, as the land infrastructure remains impassable. WFP in Kindu is therefore preparing to deliver 1,502 tons of food commodities by air to provide implementing partners with sufficient stocks for 4 months. A total of 21,780 people will benefit from this airlift operation, which should be operated from Kalemie.
(f) The level of food distribution has been increased from 7,000 tons to 9,377 tons per month in order to absorb incoming shipments. Requirements until December are estimated at 182,268 tons. To date 138,729 tons have been received, leaving a shortage of 43,539 tons. Between October and December, additional contributions from donors will be required for maize meal, pulses and oil to avoid a rupture in the pipeline.
(a) The new Head of state and his Deputy began a campaign in rural areas to explain to the population the new political orientation for this 18-month transition government.
(b) WFP completed distributions of emergency food assistance to 18,775 persons displaced by the increased fighting in Bubanza province. A total of 89 tons of food was distributed for seven-day rations and a rapid assessment was conducted to determine the food needs in areas affected by the clashes. Distributions to people displaced by fighting, targeting some 16,000 persons in Kabezi commune, are currently underway. A total of 60 tons of food commodities were distributed as a seven-day emergency rations before a rapid assessment is conducted in their hills of origin.
(c) From 26 May to 01 June, WFP distributed 1,454 tons of food including 1,289 tons of targeted rations to 112,200 persons in Bujumbura Rural, Cankuzo, Makamba, Gitega, Ruyigi and Bubanza provinces, 62 tons of food to social centres including HIV/AIDS victims, 65 tons to food-for-work (FFW) projects and 38 tons to returnees.
(a) WFP continues to monitor the food security situation in Bugesera province. The current pipeline situation remains a concern, as programmes are only covered until the end of August. Pipeline breaks for cereals, pulses and corn-soya blend are projected from August and oil and sugar are expected to run out from September. New donations for existing activities are urgently required to ensure distributions in the coming months.
Note: Please refer to the Southern Africa section of the Emergency Report.
(a) WFP's comprehensive regional nutritional surveillance survey in Karamoja region was completed. In response to the high global acute malnutrition reported in the nutritional assessment, food allocation has been increased from 1,000 tons to 3,900 tons per month to be distributed to 535,000 people (95,683 households) suffering extreme hunger.
(b) The Government of Uganda and UNHCR are currently conducting an assessment mission in Bundibugyo among Congolese refugees. The mission will initiate the registration of the refugees in preparation for their relocation to Kyaka II Refugee Settlement in Kyenjojo District, southwestern Uganda. As a contingency measure, WFP has pre-positioned a 30-day ration for the 3,000 refugees.
(c) In northern Uganda, WFP has completed the first phase of 1,930 tons of relief food distribution to 237,760 beneficiaries in 11 out of the 12 IDP camps in Pader District. The distributions were conducted amid great difficulty and under armed military escort.
(d) WFP conducted a programme review of emergency assistance in Kitgum and Gulu Districts, northern Uganda between 12 and 23 May. The objectives of the review were to assess the humanitarian situation and the effectiveness of WFP assistance in the region, assess the food needs of the affected population and establish their net food gaps and review and assess WFP's social support programmes.
(a) During the week, WFP organized a one-day donor mission to the Anseba region to familiarize participants with the humanitarian situation arising from the current drought. Representatives from USAID, the Netherlands and Italy participated and were accompanied by WFP, UNICEF, Eritrean Relief and Refugee Commission (ERREC) and Ministry of Education and Ministry of Agriculture staff. WFP-supported supplementary and therapeutic feeding programmes were visited and interviews were held with beneficiaries in the Gheleb sub-region. They emphasized their continued lack of access to sufficient food and water and their ongoing need for food assistance. Beneficiaries also raised concern over the increasing mortality of livestock in their area.
(b) In Debub, normally the main cereal-producing region of the country, the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed that the delay of the "Azmera" short rains has hindered the planting of long cycle crops such as maize and sorghum. Farmers are concerned that they will experience a successive year of drought and failed crops if the rains do not commence soon. In the Anseba region, farmers are also anticipating rain for the upcoming agricultural season, but face a severe shortage of seeds and tools in order to adequately prepare the land.
(c) The UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, will be travelling to Eritrea and Ethiopia from 08 to 13 June. The aim of her mission will be to assess the effects of drought and the overall humanitarian situation and lend support to the UN Country Team's continuing efforts to mobilize urgently needed resources for relief operations. WFP has now resourced 123,239 tons (49 percent) of the commodities needed for its 2003 operations in Eritrea; the current food shortfall remains at 136,000 tons.
(a) After several months of suspension (since October 2002), the second voluntary repatriation phase for some 5,000 Somali refugees residing in Ali Addeh camp, resumed on 21 May. 126 refugees were repatriated with the first convoy. Between June and August, UNHCR expects to repatriate 3,000 refugees. Under its current PRRO 10134.00, ending on 31 August, WFP is supplying a 9-month food repatriation package to refugees returning to their areas of origin. As of end May, the number of beneficiaries in Ali Addeh and Holl holl camps is estimated at 11,534 and 9,642 refugees respectively.
(b) The last distributions under the drought EMOP 10099.00 launched in August 2001 are currently being conducted simultaneously in the five districts of Djibouti. WFP assisted some 92,100 beneficiaries.
(c) A budget revision for an extension in time for DEV. 5875.00 (Promote health and education for vulnerable groups) is currently being undertaken to allow for the distribution of balance stocks of cereals.
(d) WFP delivered over 979 tons of food commodities to 23,292 beneficiaries under general feeding, drought victims, vulnerable groups, undernourished children and food-for-work projects. There was no general distribution of vegetable oil ration due to a break in the pipeline.
(e) As results of the recent strengthening of post-distribution monitoring, the number of women heads of family, involved in the "food management and distribution committees" in rural areas, has increased. WFP expects the presence of more women in these committees to improve the recovery process of nomadic drought victims.
(a) High media attention on the drought situation and the relief operations continued over recent weeks, with international journalists and television crews covering a music concert locally organized to raise money among the Addis Ababa population, and the subsequent visit on behalf of UNICEF by Bob Geldof, designed to bring attention to not just immediate needs but also longer term problems in the country such as HIV/AIDS.
(b) The on-going relief operation reached 11 million people in April and more than this number in May. The total number of people in need of relief food is now 12.4 million, the peak number for the year, coinciding with the traditional hunger season in the northern highlands. While numbers decline slightly in July to around 11 million, additional beneficiaries may be added for the rest of the year following the annual mid-year joint government, UN and NGO assessment in late June. This assessment examines prospects for the belg or short season harvest in belg crop-growing areas (roughly 10-15 percent of the country) and the general food security situation for the pastoralist populations of Afar and Somali Regions. While belg rains from February to May have been normal to above normal in many parts of the country, dry spells at various points during the season are reported to have had a negative impact on crops in some areas, and a detailed picture will not be known until results of the assessment are released in July. Early forecasts for the main season rains, which begin in June, are generally positive.
(c) Currently, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR) with 1.4 million beneficiaries is the worst-affected region, however there are large populations in all regions in need of assistance, the other main ones being Oromiya with 3.8 million, Amhara with 3.3 million, Tigray with 2 million, and Somali with 1.1 million. With unprecedented donor response allowing widespread and regular relief food distributions, the food crisis is being controlled in most areas; SNNPR is the exception, where malnutrition rates are alarming. Thus SNNPR has been a focus of stepped-up WFP monitoring over recent weeks, looking for ways to improve the management of relief food aid and targeting within the communities in the affected districts of this region. Some of the issues identified by the monitoring teams can be rapidly addressed through improved communication between officials of the Disaster Prevention Preparedness Commission (DPPC) at the district, zonal, regional and federal level, and the humanitarian agencies involved. Other issues, such as inadequate targeting and subsequent dilution of food aid rations, will require continuous follow up. WFP, DPPC, the UN's Emergency Unit for Ethiopia and NGOs will be maintaining intensive monitoring in the area to help ensure that relief food aid, especially for supplementary food, reaches the most vulnerable households. Further nutritional surveys are being conducted by NGOs in the area.
(d) As expected, the high monthly arrivals of food aid being shipped to meet relief needs (distribution requirements are now over 140,000 tons a month) have presented challenges to the port of Djibouti. Off-take rates are still impressive, but solutions are being sought with the help of the Ethiopian government to deal with bureaucratic delays in clearing customs documents, which are extending the time ships need to spend in port and in some cases delaying berthing. Total arrivals in Djibouti in May were 151,000 tons; in June nearly 300,000 tons are expected. The total arrivals from January to May 2003 were 613,400 tons.
(e) Recently announced pledges when confirmed will greatly improve the global food pipeline. For the period June-December, the food needs are currently 713,000 tons. For this period, the confirmed contributions total 474,000 tons. However, the recent pledges that have been announced but are still under negotiation total 171,000 tons. Assuming these pledges materialise the projected shortfall to the end of the year is 68,000 tons.
C) West Africa: (1) Central African Republic, (2) Côte d'Ivoire, (3) Liberia, (4) Sierra Leone, (5) Guinea, (6) Guinea Bissau
1) Central African Republic
(a) Both the humanitarian and security situations in Central African Republic remain precarious. Following six months of fighting, WFP, FAO and UNICEF jointly undertook an emergency assessment mission in early May to the most affected areas. Most of the 1.3 million inhabitants were still in hiding. The health and food situation was poor, and still deteriorating. One of the most important findings of the mission was that only 50 percent of the fields were effectively planted compared to normal years. Furthermore, access to the affected area is difficult due to the reigning insecurity.
(b) WFP has recently worked along with OXFAM-Québec and Coopération Française in Kemo prefecture, providing a seed-protection ration accompanying the distribution of planting seeds and agricultural implements. Meals for orphans, and nutritional support for malnourished children and pregnant women, are being provided in the easier-to-access areas near the capital. As the Government begins to exert control over the interior, WFP plans to intervene for the most severely affected segments of the population.
2) Côte d'Ivoire
(a) The humanitarian situation for the 15,000 newly arrived mainly Liberian refugees in western Côte d'Ivoire is critical. An UN inter-agency mission was conducted in Tabou and Prollo on 29-30 May. The mission visited the transit centre for refugees, an IDP site run by the Catholic Mission in Tabou, and the site at one border point of entry from Liberia (Prollo). Refugees and IDPs, Liberian, third country nationals (TCNs) and Ivorians have entered (or re-entered) the country through twelve border entry points. IDPs fleeing the fighting in Grabo, Neka, Man and Danane have also sought refuge in Tabou town and villages. A total of 15,271 refugees have reportedly been registered so far. Of these, 2,266 persons are residing in Tabou Transit Centre. As the capacity of the Centre is 700 persons, it is severely over-crowded. It is urgent that a more permanent solution be found for these refugees. Plans for an expansion of the transit centre and/or construction of a refugee camp are being considered for security and humanitarian reasons. UNHCR has negotiated permission with the local authorities for the use of the surrounding land to expand the capacity of the transit centre to a total of 5,000 residents.
(b) Further to the massive influx of Liberian refugees, a WFP mission was fielded to Tabou from 20 May with the task to carry out a quick needs assessment, identify refugee communities and locations of displacement and organise a response for an emergency assistance together with UNHCR and other partners on the ground. As a first emergency response to the refugee crisis, WFP and UNHCR distributed a total of 200 kg of High Energy Biscuits to incoming refugees, exhausted by long walks at the border crossing along the Cavally River.
(c) In Man WFP supplied a total of 50 tons of food to over 6,200 beneficiaries. The main distribution targeted 530 families with an average family size of 3 persons in Bangolo who have been registered and assisted by WFP between 29 and 30 of May. Over 90 percent of the recipients were women. The distribution was orderly with no presence of armed men and was closely supervised by WFP monitors to ensure fair distribution. IDPs continue to arrive at the Ste Thérèse Transit Centre in Man for emergency food distribution registration by the WFP registration and distribution team. Since the first WFP distribution on 17 May, a total of 7,778 IDPs have received a two-week emergency ration. The operation had to be suspended last week due to the overcrowded site and increased tension among the increasingly impatient displaced population. It has been suggested that another more spacious and appropriate site should be identified by the Chief Officer in Man and made available for WFP operations.
(d) WFP food distributions targeting 5,000 war-affected persons in Danane and environs on 28 May were halted due to unruly crowds. WFP revisited Danane on 04 June to identify the most vulnerable persons and register them for food assistance. Most of the IDPs are from Zouan Hounien and Teapleu and registration will be completed on 06 June, with food distribution following next week.
(e) WFP's general distributions to some 7,600 IDPs in Brobo, Boli and Diédivi resumed during the week, following CARE's return to Bouaké. WFP's implementing partner Action Contre la Faim (ACF) on the other hand, is closing all its programmes in Bouaké at the end of this week. A hand-over to local NGOs has not been arranged. Support to institutions through ICRC and St Camille continued to some 3,420 vulnerable beneficiaries.
(a) People are reported to continue fleeing from southeastern Liberia, following the capture of new areas by the insurgent group Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL). The port city of Harper in Maryland County was captured on 19 May and has become the second main city to have been seized by the insurgents in a space of one month. Over 15,000 Liberians have reportedly crossed into Côte d'Ivoire while an additional 3,500 people fled the city on two commandeered vessels. Access to the area is impossible at the moment and information from the region has been scanty. As negotiations between the Liberian Government and insurgents began in Ghana, there were high hopes for a cessation of hostilities and deployment of peace stabilization/peace keeping forces. In that connection, WFP and other humanitarian actors have started updating existing Contingency Plans in order to be able to respond quickly to the needs of populations who have been cut off from relief assistance so far. On 06 June, rebel forces were reported to have entered the suburbs of Monrovia and thousands of refugees were said to have fled in terror from the camps on the outskirts of the city, reportedly trying to reach the centre of Monrovia despite the army trying to block them. The situation remains very tense in Monrovia and WFP is increasingly worried by the situation of displaced and vulnerable groups.
(b) WFP has continued to target 200,000 beneficiaries of which 84 per cent (153,000) are IDPs residing in camps in Montserrado, Margibi, Bong and Grand Bassa Counties. More displaced persons have continued to arrive in the port city of Buchanan following the fall of Greenville and Harper. About 2,000 arrived from Harper aboard a commandeered Ghanaian registered vessel. The boat was chartered by the IOM to repatriate third country nationals (TCNs) who were in Harper. On 22 and 23 May a population update of IDPs in recognized facilities in Buchanan was carried out by Catholic Relief Services (CRS). WFP participated in the exercise together with other agencies, including Caritas, Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) and Merlin. The number of verified IDPs in the city is now 8,191, comprising 1,604 IDPs from the old caseload and 6,587 verified new arrivals. Updating of IDPs residing in camps in the suburbs of Monrovia is slated for Wednesday 04 June, following refusal by the IDPs to be verified after the attacks in late March and early April on Ricks, Jahtondo and Wilson Corner IDP camps. It is anticipated that general food distribution can be carried out within three days after the completion of the verification on 04 June.
4) Sierra Leone
(a) The security situation in the sub-regions remained calm and stable. However, there was an upheaval in the township of Port Loko on 28 May, when police raided and arrested youths for illicit drug use. Additionally, the refugee camp verification exercise also vexed numerous people who were identified as fraudulent cases and whose names were subsequently removed from the feeding lists. Minor protests and violence occurred across all refugee camps, but were controlled by the security forces from UNAMSIL and Sierra Leonean police.
(b) From 19 May to 01 June, WFP supported a total of 103,343 beneficiaries with 936 tons of food countrywide through various WFP projects. WFP continued to provide food support to returnees at the Kailahun way station. Also, 2,662 returnees from Guinea received a two-months resettlement ration amounting to 84 tons.
(c) The verification of Liberian refugees in all eight refugee camps was completed on 23 May. The camp census took place across the three districts of Kenema, Bo and Moyamba. WFP, UNHCR, NaCSA, camp managements [CRS, LWF, IRC, NRC, BPDA, AFCON, PWJ], UNICEF, MSF and Merlin, participated by having food aid monitors and supervisors on the ground in all camps and by working the difficult cases at the problem solving table. Based on preliminary data, the new population figures reflect a 9 percent decrease.
(a) The security situation was reported as generally calm in the towns of Kankan, N'Zérékoré and Kissidougou. Ivorian refugees rioted outside the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) health post in Nonah on 27 May as a result of a lack of coordination regarding medicine donated by the Ivorian government. A reinforcement of security has been requested.
(b) The relocation of Liberian refugees from Kouankan camp to Kissidougou's Albadariah camps continues with 1,091 refugees relocated over the past two weeks. With the intensifying rains in the Forest region, the temporary Dandou dyke connecting Sierra Leone to Guéckédou in the Kissidougou region has completely collapsed and will not be repaired; Kissidougou's repatriation convoys are now only using the Pamelap route.
(c) General WFP food distribution was completed in the Lainé and Kola camps, where 25,138 refugees received 419 tons of food. Special distributions in Lainé and Nonah provided 7 tons to 724 beneficiaries. In Kissidougou, 32,481 refugees in Kountaya received general distributions totalling 379 tons of food. In Kissidougou WFP and partners also distributed 20 tons of rations to 1,447 new arrivals in the Kountaya, Télikoro and Boréah camps. A final distribution of 36 tons for 3,160 refugees took place in the Sembakounya camp, scheduled to close June 30.
(d) A national Post Distribution Monitoring meeting took place in UNHCR's Kissidougou office, where a joint plan of action between WFP and UNICEF with regard to children's nutritional activities was presented.
(a) The cashew nuts marketing campaign is experiencing serious bottlenecks. National traders lack funds to purchase the commodity from the producers. According to new government regulations foreign traders are not allowed to purchase cashew nuts directly from producers. Producers are being drastically affected, as they are obliged to sell their products at a lower price and consequently lowering their revenues with 20 percent.
(b) In May, WFP assisted 99,568 beneficiaries and distributed 591.290 tons of food commodities under Food-for-Work, School Feeding, Health and Nutrition and Food-for-Training programmes, including Vocational training and Literacy training. During the month WFP held meetings with implementing partners to assess the previous and current PRRO 6154 and 10148.0 respectively. WFP also started gathering contributions with implementing partners in preparation of the new PRRO for the period 2004-2005. The process of drafting an interagency Contingency Plan (CP) was launched under WFP leadership. The CP team, which also includes UNICEF and WHO, has started ranking and developing possible identified scenarios and an interagency working group has been established to continue the work.
(c) WFP is currently experiencing a break in the food pipeline for vegetable oil amounting to 465 tons. In addition, more pipeline breaks are foreseen for 3rd and 4th quarters of 2003, since only vegetable oil and rice have been resourced in the 2nd and 3rd commodity call under the current PRRO 10148.0.
D) Southern Africa: (1) Namibia, (2) Angola, (3) Zambia, (4) Tanzania, (5) Malawi, (6) Zimbabwe, (7) Swaziland, (8) Lesotho, (9) Mozambique, (10) Madagascar
(a) As reported last week, donations are urgently needed for Namibia's EMOP to assist Angolan refugees. The operation is currently facing an acute shortage of food with a corn-soya blend pipeline break expected in June and breaks for virtually all other commodities in the food basket, including the staple maize meal, in July. Due to exhausted food stocks in the country, WFP will launch a new emergency appeal for Namibia to assist the refugees in a phased 12-month repatriation programme.
(b) Trucks carrying 127 tons of urgently needed food have arrived in the Caprivi region where thousands of people have had to abandon their homes to escape the worst flooding in decades. The flooding occurred after a period of prolonged torrential rainfall in the Democratic Republic of Congo burst the banks of the Zambezi River downstream in the Northeastern part of Namibia. The floodwaters spanned more than 40 square kilometres and destroyed large tracts of farmland and drowned livestock. The food was dispatched from a WFP warehouse in southern Angola following a request from the Namibian Government to provide assistance to 12,000 people in 12 villages. WFP's supplies will augment the emergency rations that are being distributed by government authorities. The Government will take responsibility for the distribution of WFP commodities from the central entry distribution point in Katima Mulilo to the flood-affected people, while WFP Namibia closely monitors the operation on the ground. The relief operation will take place from June to August. WFP is currently undertaking a rapid assessment mission in the region and will hold subsequent discussions with regional authorities on the implementation of food assistance to the flood-affected population.
(a) In Moxico Province, the first round of organized repatriation of Angolan refugees from Meheba camp in Zambia will begin on 12 June, with 400 people being repatriated, followed by a further 400 people into Luau on 20 June. WFP staff are in Cazombo and Luau preparing for the repatriation process. Additional WFP food is being transferred from Zambia to Cazombo in Angola. Returnees will be provided with a two-month ration upon arrival.
(b) In Huila Province, households who had left IDP camps in Caconda and Caluquembe in January heading for Cusse and Gungui in Caconda Municipality are returning to Caconda and Caluquembe due to harsh conditions and the lack of humanitarian assistance in their areas of return, which are off- limits to UN personnel due to landmines. Approximately 6,700 returning IDPs and ex-combatants have been registered in Caconda. IDPs are being provided with emergency assistance upon arrival and will be provided with continued assistance until the next harvest.
(a) From 29 May to 3 June, WFP in collaboration with implementing partners, distributed 550 tons of food to 35,676 people. The Government will halt their food distributions in certain areas as a result of vastly improved harvests but distributions will continue in more vulnerable districts, which remain dependent on food aid. The Vulnerability Assessment Committee presented their preliminary findings of the April Assessment Mission, which indicate a continuing need for food interventions in terms of Food for Assets and HIV/AIDS programmes as opposed to general food distributions.
(b) WFP's Urban Intervention programme is currently operational in 79 sites, reaching 30,944 orphans and vulnerable children, and 16,311 host families. Ten new sites are pending.
(a) A UNHCR, IRC and UNOCHA mission visited refugee camps in Kasulu and Kibondo from 26 to 28 May. Mission members assessed the situation in the camps and held discussions with camp representatives regarding the resident's willingness to return to their places of origin.
(b) On 27 May, a World Bank delegation visited refugees in Ngara camps. The objective was to view HIV/AIDS and related programmes in order to assess the type of support required to fight against the pandemic in the camps.
(a) From 29 May to 04 June, WFP distributed 1,715 tons of food. WFP is working with implementing partners on preparations for Food for Work and HIV/AIDS guidelines for future programming.
(b) The community and household surveillance system was presented to the Government. The launching of the pilot phase will take place in June and will run for six months. WFP will conduct monthly interviews in 20 sites and will input the collected information into a database. Subsequently, the collected data will be analysed by WFP monitoring and evaluation and VAM units in collaboration with the Vulnerability Assessment Committee members.
(a) A one-week mass action called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and supported by trades unions started on 02 June. Harare, Bulawayo and other urban centres remained largely inactive. The UN Designated Official and Humanitarian Coordinator advised staff to restrict movement as a precaution. As a consequence, food monitors are not able to conduct field activities and WFP food distributions have been delayed to the second week of June. WFP is closely monitoring the situation.
(b) The humanitarian community is waiting for the release of the report by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) of their survey conducted in April. The release of the national nutrition survey carried out in April by the Government, UN Agencies and NGOs is also anticipated.
(c) Post-distribution monitoring in Chipinge District, in Manicaland Province, indicates that most households will run out of grain reserves by July. Similar activities in other districts show that households are worried about inputs for the coming season. While appreciative of WFP food assistance, the recent massive price increase of seed and other agricultural inputs will be a severe constraint to increased productivity among peasant farmers. Currently, food availability remains a problem in some districts, a situation that is exacerbated by an almost total absence of Grain Marketing Board (GMB) grain for sale. In Chimanimani District, people are crossing the border into Mozambique to sell goods and clothes, indicating that food scarcity will take longer than expected to improve. Foot and mouth disease has substantially reduced livestock in the district, with average herd sizes reduced from fifteen in normal years to five currently.
(d) The winter cropping season is well underway and rural families that have access to irrigation are planting beans. The winter crop is usually limited to the availability of dam and irrigation facilities but most of the small irrigation schemes are not functioning this year due to shortages of fuel, spare parts and other mechanical problems associated with pumping sets.
(a) From 27 May to 2 June, WFP and implementing partners distributed 382 tons of food to 24,940 beneficiaries.
(b) Preliminary findings of the recent UNICEF nutrition survey undertaken at health clinics in the Lubombo Plateau during March show an approximate 10 percent acute malnutrition rate among children at the clinics. Compared to a similar survey carried out at the household level in November 2002, the results indicate a rise in malnutrition levels. However, UNICEF believes the March figures may have come from an already vulnerable group of children. The survey was carried out prior to the start of WFP's corn-soya blend clinic feeding programme and the impact of the programme is therefore not yet visible.
(a) From 29 May to 3 June, WFP distributed 1,139 tons of food to 84,111 beneficiaries through various projects, including Vulnerable Group Feeding, Mother Child Health (MCH), HIV/AIDS and TB patients, Food for Work and emergency school feeding take-home rations for orphans and other vulnerable children at schools in the districts of Maseru (Rural) and Mafeteng.
(a) From 27 May to 02 June, WFP and implementing partners distributed 1,356 tons of food. During May, some 470,000 beneficiaries received 8,700 tons of WFP food assistance in 38 drought-affected districts. Increased food needs were reported in Vilankulos and Inhassoro Districts. WFP is currently assisting more than 12,000 people through Food for Work activities in the area and an additional 4,500 people have been identified as food insecure.
(b) WFP is finalizing negotiations with Save the Children-US and Jesus Alive Ministries to reach nearly 75,000 children through school feeding activities in Gaza, Inhambane and Manica Provinces. The objective is to reach 150,000 children by December.
(c) There continues to be a significant lack of corn-soya blend in-country. As a result, UNICEF is unable to sign additional LOUs with implementing partners. Currently the programme provides 100,000 pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under 5 years of age with corn-soya blend, and supports health care activities in eight districts.
(a) From 29 May to 04 June, no WFP food distributions took place. Despite significant pledges in the past few months, the arrival of commodities has been very slow. As a direct result, this has led to a suspension in food distribution to drought victims. Even with the harvest of sweet potatoes and cassava, and contrary to the normal trend, overall food prices remain unaffordable to most of the population. In addition to chronic food shortage and the diminished supply of wild fruits, the situation is exacerbated by the lack of clean drinking water. As agricultural production is below normal due to low and erratic rainfall, food availability is likely to remain unchanged with further price increases expected. Improvements in food security will depend primarily on accelerated deliveries of relief food during the next lean season starting from September 2003 to March 2004. Public donations on behalf of the drought-affected population of the south continue.
(b) During the monthly coordination meeting, discussions centred upon strategies for environmental protection. Participants agreed to promote reforestation and campaign against tree cutting. WFP will provide assistance through Food for Work to implement these activities.
E) Asia: (1) DPR Korea
1) DPR Korea
(a) The Government announced that they restarted issuing long-term multiple entry visas for resident foreigners. Transplanting of rice seedlings remained the main agricultural activity during the week. Weeding of maize is going on in several provinces. Most provinces reported insufficient rainfall which might affect the growing crops. Wheat, barley and potato are less affected by the lack of rain than the maize. Cabbage and spinach were harvested and are available in state and cooperative shops.
(b) The Public Distribution Centre (PDC) ration remained at 250 grams/person/day during the reporting period. Provincial authorities in most provinces reported that the PDC ration would be maintained at 250 grams through July, with a possible further decrease in August.
(c) To ensure that WFP food is available for the most vulnerable groups, i.e. young children and pregnant and nursing women, cereal distributions will be suspended in June on both the east and the west coast for all elderly beneficiaries, caregivers and primary school children. Cereal distributions to all targeted beneficiaries are expected to resume from July through the third quarter of the year, with the anticipated arrival of confirmed contributions of 100,000 tons of maize, 40,500 tons of wheat and 11,000 tons of rice. As this food will run out by October, further cuts in cereal distributions will be required in the fourth quarter unless new pledges are confirmed soon.
(d) Pipeline shortfalls of about 82,000 tons for the remainder of the year are projected. Commodities yet to be resourced to avoid a pipeline break include 61,000 tons of cereals, 7,000 tons of pulses, 7,000 tons of corn-soya milk, 3,500 tons of sugar and 3,000 tons of oil. A recent contribution will be utilized to purchase sugar.
F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Ecuador
(a) WFP and the Local Emergency Committee are coordinating efforts to mitigate the effects of flooding in the province of Esmeraldas. Medical brigades have been established along the banks of the Cayapas and Onzole rivers in the north of Esmeraldas. The principal causes of morbidity are malaria, dengue, typhoid, intestinal and respiratory problems, especially in children. WFP and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock are elaborating a proposal for agricultural recuperation and rehabilitation.
(b) A low, continuous tremor was registered from the El Reventador volcano this week. WFP will deliver the last 560 food rations in the area as part of its agricultural rehabilitation. The seismic activity of the Cotopaxi Volcano, located near the cities of Quito, Latacunga and Ambato was last week characterized by a larger number than usual of long duration events. Low frequency tremor signals lasting 10 minutes were registered, especially around 23 May.
G) Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: (1) Albania, (2) Russian Federation, (3) Georgia
(a) During May, 3,900 persons took part in the communal forestry and pastures management component, while a total of 1,750 women received family rations for attending training and counselling sessions; a total of 1,840 workers were engaged in WFP Food-For-Work (FFW) schemes. During the month, 546 tons of wheat flour, vegetable oil and salt was distributed to the targeted beneficiaries.
(b) WFP participated in the UN Press Club workshop for Albanian journalists and joined the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) advocacy tour in Elbasan prefecture along with other UN agencies. In addition, WFP took part in the United Nations Technical Working Group round table for the preparation of a National Strategic Plan on HIV/AIDS.
(c) The resource situation has improved through the allocation of 2,115 tons of wheat flour and 124 tons of iodised salt from a multilateral contribution. As a result, the PRRO has so far secured 60 percent of its requirements. The overall availability of food during the month was adequate and the distribution of commodities during the month went smoothly.
2) Russian Federation
(a) The security situation in Chechnya continues to be tense and there were reports of several bomb explosions during the past two weeks. At the St. Petersburg summit, the EU stated that the recent referendum in Chechnya, combined with the amnesty, is a positive move towards achieving a political solution.
(b) The WFP relief distribution food basket in Ingushetia and Chechnya currently consists of 10 kg of wheat flour and 0.15 kg of iodised salt. During the past two weeks WFP provided a total of 1,655 tons of basic food commodities to the beneficiaries of relief distribution in Ingushetia and Chechnya. There were 1,043 food-for-work participants in Chechnya. A total of 43,441 schoolchildren received hot meals and sweet buns through the school feeding component of the EMOP. WFP held a workshop with school officials to evaluate the current programme and discuss the possibility of adding new schools.
(c) 537 tons of sugar and 297 tons of edible oil were cleared at customs and are expected to arrive in Nazran by the second week of June. Another consignment of 754 tons of sugar is expected to be cleared by customs and dispatched soon.
(a) The Regional Field Security Coordinator's Office (RFSCO) postponed its Threat Assessment Mission to Samegrelo and Upper Svaneti regions, originally planned for May to June 2003. (b) During May WFP distributed a total of 489 tons of food, including 87 tons of mixed commodities to 4,000 refugees covering requirements from May to June and 402 tons of food to 4,774 participants in Food For Work projects for 105,019 workdays accomplished. WFP conducted HIV/AIDS Awareness training for its staff in Kutaisi and similar training is planned for Tbilisi staff in June.
(c) Resourcing of sugar and iodised salt remains critical. The existing sugar stock carried over from the previous phase of the PRRO will be exhausted by August.
Note: All tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tons.
(End WFP Emergency Report No 23).