WFP Emergency Report No. 26 of 2002

from World Food Programme
Published on 27 Jun 2002
This report includes:
(A) East and Southern Africa Region: (1) Regional Overview, (2) Lesotho, (3) Malawi, (4) Mozambique, (5) Swaziland, (6) Zambia, (7) Zimbabwe, (8) Uganda, (9) Kenya, (10) Tanzania, (11) Rwanda, (12) Burundi, (13) Ethiopia

(B) West Africa Region: (1) Cape Verde

(C) Central Africa Region: (1) Angola

(D) Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Iran, (3) Pakistan

(E) Asia Region: (1) DPR Korea

(F) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Kosovo, (2) Serbia, (3) Montenegro, (4) Albania

(G) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Guatemala, (2) Panama

From Francesco Strippoli, Director of the Office of Humanitarian Affairs; available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (, or by e-mail from

For information on resources, donors are requested to contact at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2009. Media queries should be directed to, telephone 39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

A) East and Southern Africa Region: (1) Regional Overview, (2) Lesotho, (3) Malawi, (4) Mozambique, (5) Swaziland, (6) Zambia, (7) Zimbabwe, (8) Uganda, (9) Kenya, (10) Tanzania, (11) Rwanda, (12) Burundi

1) Regional Overview

(a) WFP's regional Emergency Operation (EMOP) document for Southern Africa will be officially launched on Monday, 1 July in New York. An Implementation Strategy companion document is being prepared and will be available for distribution in early July.

(b) The WFP Regional Director, Judith Lewis, joined the UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, Kenzo Oshima, and the UNDP Director of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, Julia Taft, on a mission to Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia beginning 26 June.

(c) A SADC Vulnerability Assessment Committee (VAC) meeting is taking place from 26-28 June in Harare to plan future food security assessments for the region. The VAC is a collaboration of WFP, SADC, FEWS NET, SC (UK), FAO, International Federation of the Red Cross, and other organizations to conduct periodic assessments and on-going monitoring of food security conditions in southern Africa. Expected outcomes from the meeting include: agreed upon institutional arrangements, assessment timetables for each country, identification of key outputs from the assessments, identification of core methods to be utilized, and reporting formats.

(d) The WFP Regional Director met with the head of the Food Security Unit from SADC to reaffirm solid collaboration. It was highlighted that WFP and other UN agencies will be responsible for the humanitarian response while SADC will take leadership in facilitating policy decisions that will enable and expedite the response. SADC will also focus on a "never again" strategy for medium and long-term recovery.

2) Lesotho

(a) Three sub-offices are operational in the target districts, with local staff. Letters of Understanding (LoU) have been signed with World Vision and Dorcas Aid International. Both the United Nations Volunteers and the United States Peace Corps are identifying volunteers to help WFP with its Emergency Operations in Lesotho. NGOs are recruiting field monitors.

3) Malawi

(a) WFP and NGO partners are stepping up food aid distributions to people affected by severe crop failure in Malawi. WFP has delivered, since 17 June, over 1000 metric tons of maize -enough to feed more than 100,000 people. The food aid was immediately distributed in five districts by a consortium of international and local non-governmental organizations.

(b) In June, WFP launched a USD 31.7 million emergency operation to help people affected by crop failure in April 2002 for an initial period of four months. Another emergency operation is under preparation and will require 260,000 metric tons of food to assist 3.9 million people in Malawi until the end of March 2003.

(c) Maize, beans and corn soya blend (locally known as likuni phala) are being provided to the most food insecure households including families particularly hard hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, female-headed households and the elderly. WFP is also providing corn soya blend, fortified maize meal, vegetable oil, sugar and milk to malnourished children and mothers.

4) Mozambique

(a) WFP assists a total of 140,000 beneficiaries throughout the country with food aid channelled through food-for-work (FFW) activities. WFP held two more NGO coordination meetings in Maputo and Tete improve coordination with existing partners, and to identify new partners.

5) Swaziland

(a) While unseasonable rains have fallen over the last week, these are unlikely to change the overall drought conditions in the country.

(b) WFP met with CANGO (the national NGO coordination group) to discuss roles and responsibilities and the need for capacity building, monitoring and coordination.

6) Zambia

(a) Despite the fact that maize prices are dropping in the country following the recent harvest, due to a devaluing Kwacha and an incremental increase in the price of imported maize, overall consumer purchasing power is decreasing.

7) Zimbabwe

(a) WFP monitoring teams continue to report growing numbers of people turning up at distribution sites in the hope of getting food. These people are vulnerable but cannot receive food aid at present due to WFP's limited resources. In light of complaints from many potential beneficiaries, WFP this week carried out extensive awareness campaigns in Matabeleland South and Masvingo provinces to sensitize the public on the selection criteria and WFP food assistance in general. As food security has worsened in many areas over the past few months, WFP will review the ward targeting criteria in Matabeleland South province to ensure that the worst hit areas are covered. Re-verification exercises are also planned for Muzarabani district in Mashonaland Central province.

(b) There are increasing signs that foreign currency reserves are low in Zimbabwe. The country's Grain Marketing Board issued tenders for 200,000 tons of grain, but no purchases have been concluded, possibly as a result of non-availability of hard currency. There are reports of acute shortages of salt and sugar. Newspapers reported that wholesalers were unable to import salt due to lack of foreign currency. This is a negative sign for the Government's and commercial sector's ability to purchase food during the upcoming months.

(c) From 20 February through 20 June, WFP distributed 14,951 tons of food to 548,752 beneficiaries. The major food distributions have taken place in Masvingo, Matabeleland South, and Midlands province.

(d) Delays caused by bureaucratic procedures necessary for the import of food into the country caused distribution postponements in several areas. The worst affected was Masvingo, where there were no distributions between 19-25 June. As a result, it is expected that the tonnage distributed in June will be less than that for May. Deliveries are expected to increase in time to meet July requirements.

8) Uganda

(a) The security situation in Gulu, Kitgum and Pader districts remained uncertain with renewed brutal attacks by the LRA rebels on IDP camps in Pader and Gulu districts. Food distribution to IDPs continued in the three districts with increased armed UPDF escorts. The ongoing fighting between the UPDF and the LRA rebels continued in the Imatong mountains in South Sudan. The presence of the LRA rebels on the border with Pader district created panic amongst the IDPs and the host population. WFP staff movements were restricted to some IDP camps in Pader district because of insecurity on the main road.

(b) Floods and landslides temporarily cut off Bundibugyo District, in western Uganda, from the rest of the country, closing the only access road to the district for almost two weeks. Beneficiaries in IDP camps in Bundibugyo district have started to receive their final relief ration, while those that have returned to their villages are being provided with a 45-day food ration as the first tranche of the three-month resettlement ration.

(c) Tribal conflict between the Sudanese Acholi and Lotuku within the Kiryandongo refugee settlement resulted in the death of three people, destruction of property and displacement of 1,500 Lotuku from the settlement. Since this settlement was phased out of food rations, temporary food assistance will be extended by WFP to the displaced until the August/September 2002 harvest. In the interim, the Office of the Prime Minister is negotiating with the two tribes to live in harmony.

(d) A prolonged dry spell in northern Uganda has affected the first season crops. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the weather forecast for the remaining months of the year indicates the development of an El Nino weather pattern of above normal rainfall in some locales with prolonged drought in other areas. Although it is too early to determine the impact on crop production, WFP is closely monitoring the situation and working with district authorities to develop a contingency plan in affected areas. Farmers have been advised to take precautions to reduce the negative effects of the El Nino

(e) During May 2002, WFP distributed 2,955 tons of food commodities under PRRO 10121.0 and Great Lakes Regional PRRO 10062.0, to 369,799 beneficiaries comprised of refugees, IDPs in protected camps, school children and extremely vulnerable persons in conflict-affected areas.

9) Kenya

(a) WFP has purchased another 19,000 tons of Kenyan maize, bringing the amount of cereals bought by WFP in Kenya since January 2002 to a total of over 40,000 tons or about 450,000 bags. The commodities purchased are destined to a variety of programmes both in Kenya -- such as the emergency operation for drought victims, refugees and school children -- as well as in Somalia and southern Sudan. By purchasing 40,000 tons of cereals, WFP has injected some Ksh 468 million (USD 6 million) into the Kenya economy.

(b) The maize supply in Kenya this year is very good, with a considerable surplus in the country as a whole. Prices in the main markets in the areas where maize production was abundant are also quite competitive, allowing WFP to purchase a substantial amount of maize for its food aid projects. Maize availability varies greatly throughout Kenya. In highly productive areas in the central and western parts of the country where rains were abundant, cereals are widely available at competitive prices. These stocks, however, do not benefit the drought-affected populations in the northern and eastern parts of Kenya. Poverty and the resulting lack of purchasing power prevent drought victims from buying food through regular commercial means. High transportation costs of cereals to remote areas, reflected in increased retail prices of maize, constitute a further obstacle to a normal commercial flow between the fertile and drought-affected areas of Kenya.

(c) Kenyan farmers have also benefited from a Government of Kenya donation of 19,000 tons of maize to WFP for its drought EMOP this year alone, adding to more than 60,000 metric tons of Kenyan food distributed by the agency in 2002. Since the inception of the drought in the year 2000, the Government of Kenya has contributed a total of 143,000 tons of food to WFP.

(d) WFP is currently providing assistance to some 1.3 million people who are still suffering from the devastating effects of the drought that struck Kenya in the year 2000. In addition, 1.6 million children are receiving one warm, nutritious meal a day from the agency.

10) Tanzania

(a) From 4-16 June, 3680 tons of food was distributed to 144 beneficiaries in Ngara, 1408 in Kibondo, 3,502 in Kasulu and 1,105 in Lugufu. 84 tons of food was distributed through the Selective Feeding component, Therapeutic Feeding component and the health centres in Ngara, Kasulu, Kibondo and Lugufu refugee camps.

(b) During the reporting period, 125 Rwandan refugees voluntarily repatriated. A total of 1,490 Rwandans have been assisted to return home between January 1 and June 13, 2002.

(c) Registration of Burundian refugees for voluntary repatriation continued in Kasulu, Kibondo and Ngara camps during the reporting period. A total of 30,639 individuals have been registered in Ngara, 38,257 in Kibondo camps and 13,301 individuals in Kasulu camps.

11) Rwanda

(a) WFP and the Ministry in charge of Local Government, MINALOC, announced today a joint project aimed at improving the self-reliance of families living with HIV/AIDS. The project, officially launched at a ceremony in Rwamagana, Kibungo Province, by Minister of State in Charge of Local Government and Social Affairs, Odette Nyiramilimo, will cost USD 11 million over a 5-year period. It began with a pilot phase in January 2002, and will continue as part of WFP's Country Programme to start in February 2003.

(b) The project's goal is to help households and communities affected by HIV/AIDS cope better by providing vocational and basic life skills training, income generation guidance, and peer support and counseling programmes. The project will be implemented in those parts of the country where both HIV/AIDS prevalence and food insecurity are highest.

(c) Within this phase, MINALOC and WFP are working with 6 international and local NGOs that provide necessary material and technical assistance. In the more food insecure areas, 22,000 people benefit directly from ongoing joint programmes.

12) Burundi

(a) Insecurity persisted with confrontations between the army and rebels, the mortar attacks, the antitank mine and the car ambushes as well as the armed robbery reported in Kayanza, Ruyigi, Bujumbura Rural, Bujumbura Mairie, Kayanza and Muramvya provinces.

(b) Between 10-23 June, WFP distributed a total of 967 tons of food in Burundi through various programs. A return package totalling 88 tons was distributed to 1825 repatriated persons who entered by Kobero border in Muyinga province and located in Songore transit centre. WFP delivered 104 tons of food to assist 5,524 persons in 22 social centres under the quick action project and 55 tons for 3,271 vulnerable people in 6 centres under the PRRO. Finally, WFP supplied 720 tons of targeted food rations to 83,680 beneficiaries in Kayanza, Ngozi and Bujumbura Rural provinces. Due to insecurity, planned distribution of some 84 tons to 10,138 persons in Rushubi sector was postponed again.

13) Ethiopia

(a) The cereal requirements for the Ethiopia relief operation for July-December 2002 are 167,000 tons (aggregate for WFP, DPPC and NGOs); against these needs, it is estimated that 117,000 tons are available from in-country stocks and recently confirmed contributions. Thus the shortfall to end-2002 is estimated at 50,000 tons. There may be some additional needs for 2002 identified from the mid-year assessment which will be finalized in July. WFP's emergency operation EMOP 10030.1 also includes provision for part of the expected requirements for early 2003.

(b) During the period January to June 2002, approximately 175,000 tons were available to meet needs, or about 63 percent of adjusted original needs (at ration size of 12.5 kg). In anticipation of such a shortfall in dispatches versus needs, the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC) prioritized distributions to the most severely affected districts. The total available for the period includes 60,000 tons which is expected to be the final figure for food dispatched during June. Some 4.86 million people were in need of assistance in this month.

(c) Reports from NGOs working with the Kereyou pastoralists in Fentale Woreda in East Shoa Zone in the Rift Valley depression describe the serious crisis facing the population in the area, where the condition of livestock, on which their livelihoods depend, is rapidly deteriorating as a result of severe shortage of pasture and water. A serious drought has hit the area since August 2001. Livestock mortality is increasing and people in the area report that on average nearly 40 percent of household livestock died in the past month; those that remain are weak and fetch very low prices in the market. Relief distributions are taking place, but the biggest concern of the people is feeding their animals. Cows are not giving milk, affecting the children and pregnant women who rely on this as a significant part of their diet. The NGOs are looking into other ways to continue a fodder programme they have in place, and recommend that food assistance be stepped up immediately for increasing numbers of people in need among the population of 34,000 in the area. DPPC has been informed and they are assessing the situation.

(d) In nearby zones of Afar region, the same drought conditions are prevailing in an area also affected by conflict between Afar and Issa, Kereyou and Ittu herders, which has contributed to limited movement of animals in zone 3. Pastoral groups are now concentrated along the Awash riverbank and the surrounding marshes and lakes. In several locations, mainly in Awash-Fentale and Amibara, weak cattle herds have to move long distances daily for alternative water and grazing and therefore are not marketed due to poor animal condition. Rains which are expected at this time of year have so far been erratic and insufficient to improve grazing and water conditions. Relief food has been dispatched to the region and the situation is being monitored.

B) West Africa Region: (1) Cape Verde

1) Cape Verde

(a) WFP has launched an emergency operation to help feed about 30,000 Cape Verdeans who are no longer able to afford their basic needs. The operation, valued at USD 1.3 million, targets the most vulnerable households headed by women, handicapped and elderly people who cannot work.

(b) The emergency appeal responds to a request from the Government to assist inhabitants of six different islands; the majority on the two largest and most populous islands of Santiago and Santo Ant=E3o. This is the first time in more than twenty years that the Government of Cape Verde has requested emergency assistance from WFP.

(c) In a good year, Cape Verde manages to grow about ten percent of its food requirements; the rest is met trough bilateral food aid donations and commercial imports. In 2002, the harvest was a little over 18,000 tons, or about 23 percent less than last year. Results of a recent food assessment indicate many families have consumed their seed reserves and thus have nothing to plant in the next harvest. June and July constitute the planting season in Cape Verde. Thus, unless food distributions commence immediately, the next harvest will be in jeopardy as well.

(d) WFP's regular program in Cape Verde consists of a four-year school feeding project, costing about USD 6 million and providing nutritious meals to about 100,000 schoolchildren.

C) Central Africa Region: (1) Angola

1) Angola

(a) WFP has warned that food supplies for post-war Angola are dwindling precisely at a time when more food is urgently needed for the growing numbers of hungry people. Over recent weeks WFP has started feeding an extra 120,000 desperately hungry people who were until recently completely cut off from aid due to the war, including families of former UNITA soldiers being demobilized across the country in some 34 so-called quartering areas. While WFP feeds the children, women, elderly and physically disabled, the government itself took the responsibility of giving aid to the former soldiers.

(b) The sharp increase in demand has put even more pressure on the need for food aid, and current WFP food stocks will run out by September, leaving about 1 million people without food support. This number will rise rapidly to 1.5 million people before the end of the year when the hundreds of thousands of Angolan refugees expected to return home from neighboring countries are included. Many people, especially women and children, are in extremely poor condition. They will face starvation unless WFP food stocks are urgently increased.

(c) The agency will need USD 241 million to feed up to 1.5 million people over the next 18 months. Most of this work must be done before the rainy season starts in September to ensure food can reach the most isolated areas. Despite WFP's growing activities in Angola, pledges from international donors have been sporadic.

(d) Countrywide, WFP continues to provide logistical support to NGOs and other UN agencies, arranging transportation for aid workers and non-food items to remote parts of the country. The non-food items include medicines, blankets, tools and seeds, necessary as the population struggles to get back on its feet after years of conflict shredded livelihoods and devastated arable land.

D) Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Iran, (3) Pakistan

1) Afghanistan

(a) WFP urges donors to be as generous as they were in the past winter to ensure that urgently needed reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts can continue and make a difference for the people of Afghanistan. The Afghanistan operation still faces a staggering shortage of 175,000 tons of food worth approximately USD 102 million.

(b) On 1 April, WFP started a nine-month operation the focus of which is to gradually shift from relief to recovery with particular emphasis on education, health and the agricultural sector after July. It is estimated a total of 544,000 tons of food will be required for this operation. A very disappointing harvest last summer left Afghanistan with a cereal deficit of about 2.2 million tons.

(c) Apart from responding to the immediate needs for the drought-affected population in the rural areas, WFP has been working with the Afghan government to rehabilitate irrigation systems and reconstruct schools, hospitals, roads and bridges. Some of these projects conducted through Food-for-Work schemes had to be suspended due to shortage in funding.

(d) About one million refugees returning from neighbouring countries have also benefited from WFP food support over the past few months, but due to funding shortages, WFP had to cut down the food package to the returning families to one third of the original ration. WFP's school feeding projects, launched in late March to cover up to one million school children, could also be threatened in the absence of additional donor support.

2) Iran

(a) On 22 June, an earthquake measuring 6.3 degree on the Richter scale hit Avaj area in Ghazvin province. The UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) Team conducted needs assessments in the affected areas. In order to meet the emergency needs of the population affected by the earthquake, WFP has reprogrammed some of the resources available for other projects in the country for this purpose and is prepared to feed 15,000 people for two to four weeks.

(b) As of 9 June, a total number of 84,000 refugees have returned to Afghanistan through UNHCR-assisted Voluntary Repatriation Programme in Iran. The outbreak of clashes in the Zaranj area, just across the border from Iran, has again disrupted the voluntary repatriation operations at Milak exit point. As reported by UNHCR's sub-office in Kandahar, all returns from Milak have been postponed until further notice and diverted to Dogharoun exit border. The number of spontaneous returnees to Afghanistan has slowed down, and to date since 1 January 2002 stands at 66,875 persons.

(c) WFP has appraised the educational and training activities for the Afghan refugees in the Sistan-Baluchistan province. The mission lays out the targeting and distribution modalities and identified the key partners. The activities are planned to commence in September 2002, provided that additional food resources could be identified.

3) Pakistan

(a) WFP's food distribution plan for the month of July has been finalized for 63,000 refugees in Asgharo, Bagzai, Bassu, Shalman, Kotkai and Barkali camps in Peshawar. Food distribution in Shamshatu camp is ongoing with 70 per cent of beneficiaries already covered as of 25 June. A supplementary feeding programme is on going in six camps in Peshawar for vulnerable lactating and pregnant women and malnourished children.

(b) The total camp population in Peshawar as reported by UNHCR stands at 109,508 individuals. No repatriation was reported from the camps except Shamshatu, where a decrease of some 2,000 refugees is expected due to repatriation after the completion of the June distribution.

E) Asia Region: (1) DPR Korea

1) DPR Korea

(a) Due to recently confirmed donations, WFP will be able to resume distributions to beneficiaries that were left out due to underresourcing of EMOP 10141.0. Additional cereal contributions are urgently required. Without new pledges WFP may again be forced to exclude several needy groups from food distributions as well as downsize food-for-work initiatives, in order to safeguard the continued feeding of the most at-risk, core beneficiaries, including young children and pregnant/nursing women.

(b) Early crop harvesting is in progress in most provinces except the Northeast provinces of North Hamgyong and Ryanggang where traditionally, due to the long winters, harvest of crops is delayed. North Hwanghae, South Hamgyong and South Pyongan report better early crop production compared to last year, while Kangwon, North Pyongan and Chagang report similar or decreased harvests from last year due to lack of sufficient rainfall.

(c) All eighteen local food production (LFP) factories operated from 17-23 June, with production at 1,340 tons. FDRC agreed to loan sugar to the LFP biscuit factories in the event that sugar stocks there run out before receipt of the new expected consignments. WFP is trying to secure funding for critical vitamins and mineral premixes for the fortification of the blended foods.

F) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Kosovo, (2) Serbia, (3) Montenegro, (4) Albania

1) Kosovo

(a) Given the improved socio-economic situation three years after the armed conflict, WFP has terminated its food assistance in Kosovo. The office officially closes on 30 June. WFP provided the Consortium for Inter-ethnic Development (composed of its former local NGO partners) with a three-month supply of food commodities for refugees from fYRoM as well as beneficiaries of the Safety Net programme in order to ensure a buffer period after the end of food assistance. Furthermore, WFP Serbia has committed to providing a food package consisting of three-month rations to returnees.

(b) Office equipment was relocated, donated or sold based on approved recommendations from the Property Survey Board (PSB) process and all document files were transferred to HQ for archiving.

(c) On 14 June, the Regional Director of ODR hosted a ceremony to thank, and bid farewell to, WFP's partners and donors. Among those attending were: Dr. Bajram Rexhepi, Prime Minister of Kosovo; Mr. Charles Brayshaw, Principal Deputy SRSG and Mr. Tom Koenings, Deputy SRSG for Civil Administration. In his speech, Mr. Koenings expressed his appreciation for WFP's phase-in approach, which had contributed to strengthening civil society as well as for the emergency relief operation, which at its peak had assisted nearly half of the population of Kosovo.

2) Serbia

(a) On 19 June, a joint WFP/UNHCR Donors Information Meeting was held at the WFP Serbia office. The aim was to inform donors on the new PRRO, the pipeline and details on implementing the operation.

(b) All sub-offices have prepared the final EMOP report covering the period January - June 2002. As part of the EMOP completion process, over the last several months WFP Serbia disseminated information regarding WFP's phasing out social cases and continuing a refugee programme from July. The Press Release was issued to all local authorities, relevant counterparts and all other parties involved in food aid.

3) Montenegro

(a) Due to the delayed arrival of a wheat flour consignment, the final May/June distribution to 25,000 beneficiaries started on 24 June and will be completed by 30 June. PRRO 10116.0, which is scheduled to begin operations from 1 July, will target 4,000 vulnerable refugees.

(b) A delegation consisting of representatives of all Montenegrin parties met with Serbian and Federal representatives on 22 June to draft the Constitutional Charter of the new joint state of Serbia and Montenegro. The first step they made was to pass the regulations by which the Commission will work.

4) Albania

(a) WFP distributed food to 5,600 unassisted-unemployed households (28,000 beneficiaries) in the northern prefectures of Albania, 620 households (3,100 beneficiaries) engaged in Communal Forestry and Pasture Development and FFW activities, and 1,220 vulnerable women (6,100 beneficiaries) participating in psycho-social counselling programmes.

(b) A Letter of Understanding (LOU) between WFP and the Government of Albania for the new PRRO 10165.0 has been sent to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

G) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Guatemala, (2) Panama

1) Guatemala

(a) From 1-14 June, 54 tons of food targeting 1,200 acutely malnourished children and 4,800 family members were distributed at Nutritional Recovery and Community Distribution Centers.

2) Panama

(a) Food insecurity is hitting Panama's indigenous Guaymi population affected by the collapse of international coffee prices. According to press reports, Panama's government has responded to the crisis through food distribution to children at local schools.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 26)