WFP Emergency Report No. 29 of 2003

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 18 Jul 2003


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

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

C) West Africa: (1) Guinea, (2) Sierra Leone, (3) Liberia, (4) Côte d'Ivoire

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

E) Asia: (1) DPR Korea

F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Guatemala, (2) Honduras, (3) Peru

G) Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: (1) Serbia and Montenegro, (2) Russian Federation

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) Afghanistan, (3) Pakistan

1) Iraq

(a) The security situation remains very volatile, with kidnapping, hi-jacking, looting, sabotage, night shooting and criminal activity on the increase. WFP's office in Mosul was attacked with a grenade on 14 July, and international staff in Mosul and Kirkuk have been re-located to Erbil. This week, UN International staff were advised to be particularly vigilant as the period between 14 and 17 July marked two historical events: the July Revolution on 14 July 1958 which overthrew the Iraqi monarchy, and the Ba'th Party coup of 17 July 1968. Syrian transporters have raised security concerns regarding the delivery of food aid to Baghdad area. These concerns have so far only been made verbally but if need be, a back-up plan for transhipment operations to be effected in Mosul is ready to be activated.

(b) The July cycle of the Public Distribution System (PDS) is underway and is proceeding smoothly in all governorates, except in isolated areas where insecurity is still hampering timely implementation. The June distribution has demonstrated that the PDS system is operating efficiently and it is now possible to put into place measures to enhance data collection, monitoring and reporting. In this context, revised monitoring tools and processes have been designed to improve timeliness and accuracy of figures. New formats have been put into use for monitoring at the levels of households and food agents. The revised formats aim at providing information on households' food security and on their coping strategies. The findings will complement data obtained in a nationwide household food security survey being launched by WFP's Vulnerability Analysis & Mapping (VAM) Unit in the coming days. Several NGOs and UN agencies will collaborate with WFP in the implementation of this survey. The objectives of the survey are to generate new information that will allow WFP and its partners to obtain a better understanding of the two fundamental issues: the extent of dependency on the PDS and its implication on current household food security, and the effect a disruption of the PDS would have on future household food security.

(c) Between 09 and 16 July, 106,197 tons of food aid was dispatched into Iraq through Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Kuwait, and the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr. Total dispatches for July have now reached some 248,691 tons of food.

(d) A field visit was carried out to Diyala, where WFP is collaborating with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) to ensure that PDS rations are received by an estimated 44,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), the largest group of IDPs in the country. Given their precarious living and security conditions, this group is being closely monitored. Special measures are being taken to ensure that all IDPs receive the full PDS ration. WFP and DRC are supporting the Ministry of Trade (MOT) in a re-registration exercise to ensure all are incorporated into the PDS.

2) Afghanistan

(a) Following a report of a border incursion in Kunar province in the east, demonstrations took place in Laghman province, Kabul and Mazari Sharif. Investigations failed to confirm evidence of an incursion. Occasional outbreaks of violence continued in the north. The establishment of a British Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mazari Sharif has been completed. An UNAMA road mission, comprising two UN vehicles and two international staff, was ambushed in Paktya province in the southeast, but there were no casualties. Heavy rains in the central highlands caused isolated but severe flooding, in which three people died. All roads in the central region remain open.

(b) From 10 to 16 July, 403,452 beneficiaries received 1,769 tons of food, through Food for Work, Food For Education, Relief and Resettlement of IDPs and Refugees, Urban Vulnerable Bakeries and Supplementary and Institutional feeding activities in Fayz Abad, Mazari Sharif, Kabul, Kandahar and Hirat.

(c) The 2003 National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment started on 15 July. WFP, the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Women's Affairs, FAO, UNICEF, World Bank and NGO partners of the National Surveillance System will conduct the assessment jointly. The first assessment teams are in Khost province conducting interviews. Simultaneously, the training of surveyors is ongoing in the WFP Area Offices. The results will allow WFP to estimate food requirements for rural Afghans in need until the harvest of 2004. The final results are anticipated to be available by the end of October. In Jalal Abad, a two-day UN Prioritization Workshop was organised to define strategic priorities for the UN's support to reconstruction and development in the province in an integrated manner. WFP participated in the workshop and presented its experiences during the EMOP and priorities of the ongoing PRRO. Ms Sadako Ogata, former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and currently the Japanese Prime Minister's Special Representative for Afghanistan, made a one-week visit to Afghanistan. One of the objectives of her visit was to review the progress of the Ogata Initiative (OI). During her visit, Ms Ogata visited Mazari Sharif, where she was briefed about the progress of WFP activities under OI.

3) Pakistan

(a) Under EMOP 10288.0, some 150 families (1000 individuals) have opted for repatriation from Shalman, Bagzai and Shamshatu camps. There have been no new supplies of fuel for cooking and lighting in the camps for the past few months and UNHCR is experiencing difficulties in the financing due to cuts in their budget. The household economic survey is ongoing in Shamshatu camp and refugees are cooperating well. Shalman camp located in the Khyber tribal belt will close by March 2004. Refugees have been given an option to repatriate or relocate to other camps within the tribal belt. The process of relocation of refugees from the "waiting area" to Mohammad Khail in Balochistan is in process. The budgets of two NGO's in Balochistan have been revised, in view of the relocation.

(b) Under EMOP 10171.0, a post-distribution monitoring survey was undertaken by an independent consultant in 50 villages of 177 randomly selected families in Chagai District. The survey has confirmed that the affected families have received WFP food. However, some problems related to ration scale and targeting have surfaced and are currently being taken up with the District Government. The second cycle of distribution in Chagai District will be completed by the end of July. WFP visited Kharan district last week and worked out details of implementation of the drought programme with the Disitrict Government. About 8,380 families in nine union councils are to receive 250 kg of wheat flour and 22.2 kg of oil in three distribution cycles.

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

1) DR Congo

(a) The security situation remains tense in Bunia town where skirmishes are reported between the Multinational Forces and UPC militia. Bunia's residents are organising night patrols in an effort to prevent abductions, which are becoming more and more frequent. Generally, the province of South-Kivu has been quiet except for few isolated banditry cases. The participants in the national follow-up committee to the inter-Congolese dialogue demanded that the RCD-Goma revoke its decision of 10 July to create three military regions in territory currently under its control. As a result, the social and political climate is very tense in Kinshasa, with the issue awaiting to be resolved.

(b) The figures of malnourished children in therapeutic feeding centres in Kalemie, North Katanga have significantly increased, from 44 to 82 admitted in one week. Many of them are coming from IDP camps erected in Kalemie suburbs as a result of recent clashes between RCD-Goma and Mai Mai fighters. The same increasing trend is noted in supplementary feeding centres, where there was a rise from 800 to 1,280 people admitted, among them 108 adults (27 males and 81 females).

(c) WFP, as focal point for movement of populations (IDPs) in South-Kivu, participated in training under the caption "Leading Principles relative to IDPs in the interior of their Own Country", organized by OCHA. The objective was to sensitise all levels of the population on the problem of displacement in South-Kivu. An air operation launched on 12 July, aiming at delivering a total of 60 tons of various food commodities for 2,360 beneficiaries, assisted by Merlin in special feeding programme, succeeded in airlifting 26 tons to Kalima in Maniema Province during the week.

2) Burundi

(a) During the last two weeks, there has been intense fighting in the capital Bujumbura. Many people were killed and more than 31,000 were displaced from the Musaga and Kanyosha zones of Bujumbura Mairie and other areas of Bujumbura Rural province surrounding the capital. There was intense fighting between the army and Front for National Liberation (FNL) rebels in the southern zones of the capital, leading to an overall deterioration of the security situation in Bujumbura. The capital was also subjected to persistent shelling and the army had to use helicopters to dislodge the rebels from their hideouts. In Makamba province, two cars belonging to humanitarian NGOs were ambushed and three persons aboard were abducted. The Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) rebels also allegedly attacked parts of Kayanza province close to Kibira forest.

(b) WFP was able to provide 118 tons of emergency relief food, consisting of seven-day emergency rations, to 31,300 persons displaced by the fighting in Musaga and Kanyosha zones of Bujumbura Mairie and its surroundings. Currently, most of the displaced persons have started to return home as security is being progressively restored. WFP distributed a total 2,121 tons of food including 1,719 tons of targeted rations to 140,230 persons in Ngozi, Rutana, Bubanza, Bujumbura Rural and Makamba provinces and 118 emergency packages to Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Bujumbura Mairie. In addition, 105 tons of food was provided to social centres, including those assisting HIV/AIDS victims, 225 tons for food-for-work (FFW) projects, 18 tons for nutritional and hospital feeding and 54 tons for returnees.

3) Rwanda

(a) Critical food shortage in Kigali Ngali province (Bugesera), Kibungo and Umutara provinces continues to be a serious concern. The crop and food assessment of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Resources and Forestry confirms that the total crop production for season "2003B" is 8 percent lower than the previous production for "2002B", with farmers in most affected areas receiving no harvest at all, while others are losing 60-80 percent of their beans production and 30-50 percent of the sorghum production.

(b) Reports from Bugesera nutrition centres reveal an increase of malnourished persons exceeding the numbers from the year 2000 when Bugesera was stricken by drought. The numbers of malnourished persons recorded in nutritional centres during May/June 2003 (Gashora - 298/311, Ruhuha - 300/320, Gakurazo - 225/230 and Mareba - 347/349) are higher than the numbers of beneficiaries assisted in May/June 2000 (Gashora - 202/178, Ruhuha - 116/123, Gakurazo - 182/171 and Mareba - 290/303). WFP is now working closely with the Government to define the number of people in need of targeted emergency/relief distributions and emergency food for work interventions.

(c) New donations are urgently required to ensure that WFP is able to respond to most urgent requirements.

4) Uganda

(a) The security situation for the civilian population in northern and now eastern Uganda continues to deteriorate. For a majority of the population living in these areas, almost all human rights - including civil and political rights - are continuously being violated. It is estimated that over one million people are now displaced in Uganda, of which over 50 percent are children. An estimated 8,400 children were abducted between June 2002 and June 2003, as opposed to less than 100 during 2001. More than 20,000 marched in Kitgum town on 14 July 2003 to demonstrate against the Lords Resistance Army (LRA). This is the first mass action by children in northern Uganda. An estimated 20,000 children are forced to sleep in public gardens, parks and shop verandas in Gulu, Pader and Kitgum town for fear of abduction from their homes in the suburbs. The renewed LRA insurgency in Soroti, Kumi and Katakwi in eastern Uganda continued with new attacks and abductions in Asamuk sub-county headquarters of Katakwi district. The rebels looted and burnt household property and caused unprecedented displacement of people in Katakwi and Soroti districts. WFP staff and partners are in the affected areas distributing 336 tons of food commodities to 25,000 newly displaced persons in the Iteso Region.

(b) WFP continued to provide food assistance to IDP camps in northern Uganda. 1,203 tons of food was distributed to 18,943 households in Gulu, Kitgum and Pader Districts during the week and school feeding assistance resumed in some camps in Gulu districts. The second phase emergency food distribution in the Karamoja region has started and is targeting over 500,000 food insecure persons. Poor rainfall and cyclic drought has affected crop production in the Karamoja region for two consecutive seasons.

(c) WFP submitted a concept paper to the Ministry of Health requesting USD 20 million for two years to support people living with HIV/AIDS. The concept paper is targeting Global funds for HIV/AIDS and the Bush Initiative.

5) Sudan

(a) WFP Sudan has raised an alert over food stocks, which are running low. New donor pledges are urgently required to prevent a major break in the cereals pipeline estimated to occur as soon as September. If new pledges are not received soon, general food rations will be cut by 50 percent.

(b) The WFP led cross-line Kosti/Malakal to Juba barge operation was completed on 02 July. It is the first cross-line delivery of food aid through this river corridor after a four-year break. WFP distributed a total of 2,650 tons of mixed food commodities to 304,350 beneficiaries in 81 locations in both GoS and SPLM/A controlled areas. WFP has resumed air operations out of Lokichoggio that had been temporarily shifted to Eldoret, when the main Kitale-Lokichoggio road access was cut-off by floods in May/June.

(c) During the month of June, WFP distributed a total of 14,390 tons of mixed food commodities to 1,273,930 beneficiaries in both Northern and Southern sectors of Sudan. Of this, 8,340 tons of food aid was distributed to 615,930 beneficiaries in the Northern Sector while 6,050 tons was distributed to 658,000 beneficiaries in the Southern Sector.

6) Eritrea

(a) Rainfall has commenced in some areas of the country, but preparation for the upcoming agricultural season is proceeding at a slow pace. The Adi Nefas administrator in the Debub region reported that only 15 percent of the members from surrounding communities had ploughed their land, due mainly to a shortage of available tractors, livestock and labour to assist with the process. Similar reports were received from the Gash Barka region. The situation is alarming, given that the Debub and Gash Barka regions are traditionally the two most agriculturally productive areas in the country.

(b) Flash floods have hit some areas of the Northern and Southern Red Sea regions, washing away valuable topsoil. In other parts of these regions, a continuous lack of rain has led to severe water shortages, forcing population migration to larger villages or towns.

(c) On July 15, 2003 WFP donated a new bagging machine and a digital weighbridge to the Port of Massawa, in order to augment the Port's capacity to discharge bulk cereal vessels. There are two vessels currently discharging commodities for WFP Eritrea at the Port. These new arrivals will enable food distributions to continue until September, after which time a pipeline break is expected.

(d) The recent visit of the Special Envoy for the Humanitarian Crisis in the Horn of Africa has helped to raise awareness concerning the drought situation in the region and has resulted in an increase in donor support. WFP's current resource level equals USD 14,389,000 for PRRO 10192 and USD 28,049,000 for EMOP 10261, which means that the PRRO is now 54 percent covered while the EMOP is 62 percent covered. Further resourcing to address the gap remains an urgent priority.

7) Ethiopia

(a) The distribution and amount of rain during the current main rainy season (meher or kiremt rains), which began on schedule in much of the country in late June, is reported to be favourable so far, and farmers are reported to have been encouraged to finalize input supply and land preparation. The main harvest will begin in October, with immature crops (for example green maize) improving food availability beginning late September. In spite of good rains, there is some concern for the condition of long-cycle maize in the Rift Valley areas, especially in East Shewa zone of Oromiya region, and neighbouring parts of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR), which was planted with earlier belg rains and which suffered from a long dry interlude in April/May. Farmers in some areas are replanting with lower-yielding short cycle crops. In the western part of the country, late planting due to the dry spell means that rain must extend past the normal cessation period for optimum crop development. This will apply also to some parts of Tigray where rains started late.

(b) Additional food aid may be requested based on the findings, soon to be released, of the government-led assessment teams who have just finished their field investigations. The teams, which include WFP, NGOs and donors, have been establishing the extent of needs among farming families that are dependent on the short season (or belg) crops, which are now starting to be harvested. Approximately 10-15 percent of national cereal production is from belg season crops although the proportion is higher in certain parts of the country. The teams have also been checking the state of early main season rainfall and of the condition of crops. Results for the hard-hit parts of SNNPR will be crucial, as a significant part of the area is belg-dependent. There are already indications of on-going needs in the densely populated zone of Wolayita in SNNPR.

(c) Scheduled June distributions, still continuing in some areas, are reaching 12.3 million people with 175,000 tons of cereals, of which approximately 50 percent is covered by the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC) using bilateral and WFP food, and the remainder by NGOs. Most June beneficiaries are receiving a cereal ration of 12.5 kg per person per month. For July and August, current planning figures are 11 million and 10 million beneficiaries respectively, and the government has announced that the cereal ration is being increased to the original planned 15 kg per person per month. This decision, applauded by WFP, was made by the DPPC on the basis of the good donor response. There are sufficient supplies pledged and available to cover full ration cereal needs until the end of the year at current requirements, however needs will be adjusted upwards on the basis of the belg assessment described below. The cereal requirements for July are 167,000 tons, and for August (before possible adjustments) 150,000 tons. When supplies are sufficient, supplementary rations of oil and corn-soya blend are given to the most vulnerable part of the population (35 percent of the beneficiaries).

(d) A high level of arrivals of food aid in Djibouti Port has led to some congestion. Currently five vessels are off-loading a total of more than 128,000 tons of relief cargo. Total food aid arrivals in June were 222,700 tons (almost all of this was emergency food), while in July a total of over 250,000 tons is expected. Congestion has eased somewhat with the deployment of 100 Ethiopian government trucks. An additional 100 government trucks are in the process of being deployed. Off-take of cereals has remained high, averaging 6,000-9,000 tons a day over recent weeks. Efforts are being made to improve the delivery to Ethiopia of urgently needed vegetable oil and corn-soya blend, which has recently arrived in Djibouti. Dispatches of cereals for current distributions within Ethiopia do not depend on the physical arrival of supplies from the port, as the revolving stocks of the Emergency Food Security Reserve continue to be used for loans based on confirmed pledges.

8) Somalia

(a) Security is still a major concern in most of WFP operating areas. WFP food distribution activities have been suspended in Baidoa and Berdale in the South. Banditry and general criminality is on the increase, as militias have not been paid their dues for several months and resort to raiding. Security in the southern region remains volatile. In Lower Shabelle, a clash between militias and the Transitional National Government (TNG) forces based in Bulo-mareer led to the deaths of 11 people. Militia activity has also intensified in the Bay/Bakool region and there are indications that Kismayo is under threat of attack by a faction of the SPM militia group. Abductions, armed robberies, retaliatory killings and vehicle hijacking reported in Mogadishu resulted in the reduction of humanitarian activities there. Population movements and displacement were noted in Medina District of Mogadishu, where fighting took place between militias of Musa Sudi and Omar Finish. UN international staff who had been evacuated from the south and central regions of Somali, due to insecurity, have been allowed to return to their field duty stations following the resumption of UNCAS flights.

(b) The Sool plateau has been identified as one of the areas with the highest levels of food insecurity, as 90 percent of the plateau has not received any rainfall. During a meeting held by WFP with FSAU, UNICEF and the Ministry for Pastoralism and Environment in Hargeisa, it was decided to target food distributions to the most vulnerable areas of the plateau for the next 2-3 months, reaching an estimated 3,500 households in need of food aid.

(c) Early livestock migration has been reported in the south due to lack of water as a result of the delayed Hagai showers, normally expected at this time of the year. The uneven distribution of rain has had a negative impact on both sorghum and maize crops, as they are mainly rain-dependent. While the harvest in the rain dependent areas is expected to be below normal, the production outlook of irrigated maize and sorghum is encouraging.

C) West Africa: (1) Guinea, (2) Sierra Leone, (3) Liberia, (4) Côte d'Ivoire

1) Guinea

(a) The security situation was reported as generally calm in N'Zérékoré, Labé and Kissidougou. However the reported presence of rebels in the town of N'Zérékoré continues to give rise to security concerns. Villagers made emergency repairs to the bridge on the route from Guéckédou to Macenta, which collapsed on 27 June, enabling trucks to pass. However, the repairs are reportedly insufficient and not likely to last. As a result of the bridge's poor state, the relocation of refugees from Kouankan to the Albadariah camps remains suspended. Local authorities in the N'Zérékoré region registered 683 people as crossing the Liberia-Guinea border, including 517 Guineans, 150 Liberians, and 5 Ivorians. The authorities in Lola also registered 32 people as crossing into Guinea from Côte d'Ivoire, including 14 Ivorians, 10 Guineans, and 6 Liberians. 430 Liberians and 32 Ivorians were transferred to the Lainé and Nonah camps, respectively.

(b) The repatriation of Sierra Leoneans began again 05 July with a convoy of 103 people, bringing the total number of Sierra Leoneans repatriated in 2003 to 22 055. However, repatriation has been blocked again by deteriorating road conditions, attributable to the rainy season, as well as a measles epidemic in Sierra Leone. In the Nonah and Kola camps, 12,328 refugees received 165 tons of food through WFP's general distribution. 282 new arrivals in Lainé also received 3 tons. In Kissidougou, 20,213 refugees in Boréah, Télikoro and Madina received monthly rations totalling 323 tons. WFP Kissidougou's partners also distributed 14 tons of rations to 834 new arrivals in these camps. Air operations resumed with a new flight schedule, including new destinations in Côte d'Ivoire (Man, Guiglo, Tabou) and Guinea (Kankan).

2) Sierra Leone

(a) In general, the security situation in the country remained calm. The influx of Liberian refugees, which had ceased for sometime, picked up again. UHNCR relocated 1, 217 refugees from Kailahun way station into camps in Kenema district.

(b) Countrywide, WFP supported a total of 146,235 beneficiaries with 2,088 tons of food between 30 June and 13 July. WFP continues to provide food support to returnees at the Port Loko way station. 896 returnees from Guinea were provided wet feeding. Resettlement rations totalling 21.4 tons were pre-positioned for 645 beneficiaries, out of which 309 returnees received two-months resettlement rations.

3) Liberia

(a) WFP continues to target internally displaced Liberians and Sierra Leonean refugees in the country. The recent attacks on Monrovia have also displaced community residents who previously played hosts to more than 115,000 IDPs in camps outside of Monrovia. Both these categories of displaced have moved together into irregular shelters in various parts of the city and are in need of assistance. According to the Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC), about 89 such irregular shelters exist in and around the city of Monrovia with an estimated caseload of 140,000 persons. WFP is working with its implementing partners and other organizations to ascertain these figures and provide much needed food assistance. There was an outbreak of cholera at most of these centres during the week and to tackle this, a mass chlorination of wells and immunization of children was embarked upon by the health related NGOs.

(b) UNHCR began the repatriation of Sierra Leonean refugees from the country. Prior to the repatriation exercise, WFP was providing monthly food assistance to 15,237 registered Sierra Leonean refugees residing in four camps in the suburbs of Monrovia. Food distribution to beneficiaries in accessible parts of the city of Monrovia and suburbs began on 05 July. This followed the re-opening of the office on 01 July. Approximately 646 tons of food was delivered primarily to internally displaced Liberians in Monrovia. WFP delivered food rations to 39,311 IDPs residing in twenty-five irregular shelters, such as school buildings, churches, abandoned structures etc, including the Greystone Compound in and around Monrovia. A total of 283 tons of food was distributed. Given the fragility of the situation and the inappropriate nature of the shelters, WFP continues to provide full rations of 1800 Kcal for 15 days for all irregular shelters and the camps in Montserrado County. WFP also delivered food to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for distribution to IDPs in Monrovia. 363 tons of food was delivered to ICRC in support of over 50,000 beneficiaries. WFP and ICRC closely coordinate activities to ensure that there is no duplication of effort at any of the centres.

4) Côte d'Ivoire

(a) There are continuous reports of food-insecurity and malnutrition in the West of the country. Hundreds of people have been emerging from the bush where they had been living and are now returning to their homes. Most of the children and women show signs of malnutrition, having spent days without proper meals and unable to grow any food. The partitioning of the country between fighting forces has cut supply lines for medical drugs and materials. A few humanitarian organisations currently attempt to fill the vacuum. Yet, important health programs are no longer being implemented. Lack of clean water and other health problems, especially malaria and skin diseases linked to vital food deficiencies, have also become serious problems in the West. A joint assessment by WFP and NGOs to Blolequin and Toulepleu found high levels of malnutrition and water, health and sanitation problems. Decontamination of wells in the villages has started. WFP in Guiglo reported that the basic return, resettlement and reintegration-conditions are poor during this lean hunger period and that there is a lack of adequate inputs for future agricultural activities.

(b) WFP is facing a major pipeline break, which has already affected many of WFP's activities in the country. Rations for IDPs had to be modified in Tabou, and in Guiglo WFP had to put on hold assistance to caretakers of severely malnourished children in an Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)-France supported Therapeutic Feeding Centre. A large part of the Food for Work activities was phased out and the 150 moderately malnourished children under Action Contre La Faim (ACF)'s care in Duekoue had to do without vegetable oil for the month of July.

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

1) Regional

(a) As reflected in last week's Emergency Report, WFP is urgently seeking cash resources for regional procurement of commodities in order to quickly mobilize stocks and pre-empt looming distribution shortfalls from September onwards. Carry-over stocks from EMOP 10200 are still at origin or in transit and will not be available for distribution in-country until the latter months of 2003. The pipeline situation has very serious implications for Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

2) Namibia

(a) Due to a government ban in the importation of maize, WFP continues to face serious maize meal shortages for the July food distribution to refugees in Osire camp. While the ban is meant to encourage local purchase during the harvest season, the cost of maize is nearly 60 percent higher than the landed cost of South African maize in Windhoek. WFP is currently waiting for a reply to an appeal to the government for an exemption to the importation restrictions. Distributions have now been delayed until later in July and there are concerns that the importation ban will affect August distributions if WFP is unable to import maize during August.

(b) According to UNHCR, a total of 400 Angolan refugees will be repatriated in July. This is lower than the planned figure of 1,000 refugees per month. WFP will provide rations for three days to the refugees during their movement from Osire camp and Kassava transit centre. Further food assistance will be provided in the transit centres in Kuando Kubango, Angola.

3) Angola

(a) WFP and implementing partners throughout the country are registering large numbers of internal returnees and returning refugees and subsequent food distributions are taking place. The first UNHCR convoy with 149 Angolan refugees from Namibia arrived in Menongue on 8 July and were provided with WFP assistance. These returnees will be reintegrated into the outskirts of Menongue. On 12 July, the first convoy with 390 officially repatriated refugees arrived in Cazombo from Zambia. WFP food assistance was provided to the returnees at the transit centre. All returnees will be resettled in areas surrounding Cazombo. Within the framework of UNHCR repatriation, 670 returned refugees were transported to Kiowa transit centre in Mbanza Congo, from Kilweka refugee camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the reporting period. Around 370 people left the transit centre for their places of origin in Mbanza Congo and Cuimba Municipalities.

(b) In Kuando Kubango, the government provided transportation to areas of origin for approximately 6,000 people out of 9,500 staying at the Menongue transit centre. WFP completed food distributions to the remaining 3,320 people. Confirmation of a critical food shortage situation was received following an assessment by WFP's implementing partner, Norwegian Refugee Council in Mavinga. WFP food assistance was provided to around 8,000 people who are stranded in the Mavinga transit centre awaiting government transportation.

(c) Using funds provided by WFP, some 68,000 tool kits purchased by implementing partner CARE, arrived in the port of Lobito for future distribution. Households in the provinces of Huambo, Bié and Kuanza Sul will receive seeds and tool kits for use during the coming agricultural season.

(d) A lack of funding for WFP's two logistics Special Operations poses a serious threat to operations of the humanitarian community at this critical time in the resettlement process. WFP is urgently appealing for renewed donor support to these operations. As reported in previous weeks, WFP is now unable to accept vital cargo requests from the humanitarian community under Special Operation 10149.1 'Logistics Services to the Humanitarian Community'. As a direct result, a polio campaign being launched by WHO may be affected in the coming weeks. Special Operation 10146.1 'Passenger Air Transport' is also seriously threatened by a lack of funds. This vital service to the humanitarian community will have to be suspended by the end of August in the absence of further donations in the coming weeks.

4) Zambia

(a) From 08 to 15 July, WFP distributed 452 tons of food in collaboration with implementing partners. WFP's school feeding programme, initiated on 01 July, is currently operating in 30 schools in the Southern Province and provides 9,123 children with a nutritious mid-morning snack.

(b) On 11 July, the first round of refugees was repatriated to Angola from Meheba settlement in the North Western Province. On hand to witness the event were WFP, UNHCR, government officials and international and local media.

5) Malawi

(a) From 10 to 16 July, WFP distributed 754 tons of food in collaboration with implementing partners. Discussions were held with Food for Peace and C-SAFE officials to standardize the rations for Food for Work and HIV/AIDS projects. WFP EMOP 10290 rations were endorsed and used through both pipelines.

6) Zimbabwe

(a) There are conflicting reports regarding the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) price for maize. Reports from Manicaland, Mashonaland and Matabeleland show GMB depots are selling 50 kg of maize for Z$13,300 (USD 6.19), up from Z$690 two weeks ago. In Masvingo, GMB depots are still using the previous price. The continuing lack of a clear announcement of the new price regime means that many villagers are walking long distances to GMB depots only to be surprised by the new price and then walking back empty-handed.

(b) Field reports continue to stress the scarcity and erratic provision of maize by the GMB. For example, Mberengwa District is supposed to receive a monthly allocation of 50 tons of maize. In July, the district received just 3 tons. The shortage of GMB food contributes to the exorbitant rates prevailing on the parallel market. Nationwide, these prices range from Z$15,000 (USD 6.98) to Z$20,000 (USD 9.30) per 50 kg. According to international media, annual inflation rates reached 365 percent in June, up from 300 percent in May.

(c) Field reports from Manicaland indicate those living close to the border are routinely crossing into Mozambique in search of maize grain and sweet potatoes. The use of gold panning, as a coping mechanism, was reported nationwide while the sale of livestock was reported in Mashonaland. In Makoni District, the reported number of people living with HIV/AIDS is alarmingly high. People are now coming forward for voluntary testing as a means of demonstrating they are chronically ill in order to qualify for food assistance. WFP's urban intervention programme has expanded to an additional three municipal clinics and is now in operation at seven sites in Harare.

(d) WFP faces a dual problem in Zimbabwe. At a time when food needs are rapidly escalating, a pipeline break is likely to occur in September, unless additional resources are immediately pledged and received. In order to conserve resources, beneficiary numbers are being reduced from levels specified in EMOP 10290. A letter of appeal has been sent to donor representatives highlighting the urgent need for contributions.

7) Mozambique

(a) The FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission identified 40 districts as significantly drought-and HIV/AIDS-affected. WFP has begun scaling down and phasing out in areas where the situation is less concerning as well as identifying additional beneficiaries in the newly recognized vulnerable districts such as Homoine in Inhambane Province, Namaacha in Maputo Province and Chemba in Sofala Province. WFP will also provide food assistance along some of the more critical border areas such as those adjoining the internal parts of Gaza and Inhambane. This decision is in line with the Vulnerability Assessment Committee Mission, which assessed the drought-affected areas by food economy zones.

(b) From 08 to 15 July, WFP and implementing partners distributed 1,144 tons of food to beneficiaries. Lack of access continues to be an obstacle in remote areas where food aid is needed. WFP's implementing partner, German Agro Action is having difficulties reaching areas of Tome and Tsenane localities in Northern Funhalouro District because transporters are requiring above-average rates to deliver food to these remote areas. With the advent of the rainy season, access to many other areas will become even more problematic. WFP is currently negotiating with IFRC to provide 30 all-weather 6 x 6 trucks to ensure timely deliveries to remote areas.

8) Swaziland

(a) From 08 to 14 July, WFP and implementing partners distributed 61 tons of food to 4,000 people. Discussions are being held with the government regarding combining food resources to assist food aid beneficiaries in the future.

E) Asia: (1) DPR Korea

1) DPR Korea

(a) Localized pest infestations in the main crops were reported in monitored counties in South and North Pyongan, South and North Hwanghae and Nampo Provinces. Monitored provinces reported Public Distribution Centres (PDC) rations of 380 grams/person/day for July. This level was possible due to expectations of bilateral cereal assistance, as well as some early harvest crops. The August PDC ration is expected to remain at the 380-gram level. In some counties, a 100 percent rice PDC ration is given to children in child institutions, including hospitals, as a special measure to protect this vulnerable group. Some provinces also report that vegetables are being provided to pregnant and nursing women and the elderly to enable them to make alternative foods to supplement their PDC rations.

(b) Cereal distributions to all targeted Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) beneficiaries may resume only from mid-August as confirmed contributions of maize are further delayed. Almost 3 million beneficiaries will not receive cereal distributions in the month of July and part of August due to the delay. Children in nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools, pregnant and nursing women, the elderly and caregivers in child institutions in most provinces will be affected. Children in orphanages and paediatric hospitals across the country will, however, be covered during the period. The second 50 percent instalments for some Food For Work projects, completed in the spring, are also delayed. Once resumed in August, cereal distributions are expected to extend into the fourth quarter with the arrival of shipments of 100,000 tons of maize, 11,000 tons of rice and 40,500 tons of wheat. Pipeline shortfalls of about 74,000 tons are projected for the remainder of the year. These will mainly be experienced starting in the fourth quarter. A Euro 3 million cash contribution was confirmed during the week and will be utilized to purchase cereals.

F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Guatemala, (2) Honduras, (3) Peru

1) Guatemala

(a) Heavy rains continue, provoking the overflowing of rivers and resulting in the evacuation of homes and damage to the national road network. Two areas close to Guatemala City have been declared high-risk areas by the National Coordinating Council for Disaster Reduction (CONRED). The heavy rains and strong winds have also affected crops in certain areas. CONRED has maintained the state of Yellow Alert that was declared several weeks ago. Fortunately, tropical storm "Claudette" changed its course away from the northern part of the country as it approached the Yucatan peninsula. Continuous and heavy rains are expected in the following months, particularly in September and October, due to the "La Niña" phenomenon.

(b) A strong explosion of the Fuego Volcano on 10 July produced a thick ash column that rose 3 km high, as well as rock and lava flows. Villages in the proximity of the volcano received some ash fallout. The National Institute of Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (INSIVUMEH) has warned that the explosive activity of the Fuego Volcano has been above normal level since 08 July, and events of the same or higher intensity could occur in the coming days.

(c) Social and political tension continued to affect the country. Health workers in various provinces demonstrated during the week to oppose a government decree that they claim will privatise the public health services. Political parties are intensifying their campaigns in the provinces, particularly during the weekends. There is growing concern over an increase of violent incidents throughout the country. The number of violent deaths has increased as compared to previous years. Some violent events are politically motivated and target political candidates, journalists, and human rights advocates. However, drug trafficking and robberies also explain much of the increasing violence. There is a growing perception of insecurity, which has led the Government to create joint patrol groups with members of both the National Police and the Army.

2) Honduras

(a) Last week, tropical storm "Claudette" hit the Atlantic Side of the country. The Permanent Contingency Commission (COPECO) declared this area on Green Alert until 10 July, requesting the local ports authorities and the local and municipal emergency committees to be prepared for an eventual response. WFP remains in close communication with COPECO, Government offices, partners, and counterparts during this time of the year, when adverse weather conditions are more likely to result in floods and mud slides that can seriously affect the most vulnerable areas of the country.

(b) More than 1,000,000 tablets of Albendazol were distributed to treat more than 500,000 pre- and elementary school boys and girls for parasites. Approximately 89 percent of WFP's school-feeding beneficiaries were reached through this initiative.

3) Peru

(a) During the past days presumed elements of "Shining Path" have distributed printed materials in the southern part of the Ayacucho region, summoning the population to an "armed standstill" from 25 through 30 July. This "armed standstill" would become effective in the counties of Huanta, La Mar, Cangallo, Vicashuaman and Sucre of that region, as well as in the counties of Andahuaylas and Apurímac. Regional government officials of Puno, on the southern, mountainous border with Bolivia, have also informed that elements of "Shining Path" have been observed in recent days in the counties of Azángaro and Huancané.

(b) Regional government officials of San Martin, in the northeastern part of the country, have reported the reappearance of groups of the Revolutionary Movement Túpac Amaru (MRTA) in the area of Alto Mayo, province of Moyobamba and Lamas, in the San Martin region. The MRTA traditionally carries out its most important activities in that region.

(c) UNSECOORD in Peru is following the situation closely, and has instructed UN agencies not to travel to the areas of Ayacucho, Huancavelica and Apurimac from mid-to end July, while the country is in the midst of celebrating its independence.

G) Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: (1) Serbia and Montenegro, (2) Russian Federation

1) Serbia and Montenegro

(a) The first harvest days have shown that the wheat crop will be halved this year and experts forecast that there will be enough wheat for local consumption but not for export. Agricultural companies have also confirmed that the wheat crop will be halved and state that they will only be able to cover debts for seed and mineral fertilizers. The Serbian Minister for Agriculture stated that despite the very low wheat crop this year, the price of bread will not increase in the near future. The current price of bread will remain unchanged in the first few months of next year. The Ministry has assessed that 724,135 tons of wheat will be offered in the crop purchase system, while the current reserves in the Goods Reserves Directorate amount to 200,000 tons. The Serbian Minister of Finance announced that a donor's conference for Serbia and Montenegro will be held in September 2003 in Belgrade.

(b) WFP and UNHCR are planning to provide information on the phase down/out process of the two agencies to the wider public through the UNHCR Refugee TV Show and through the refugee newspaper Odgovor. WFP and UNHCR chaired a Food Co-ordination Meeting in Belgrade where all relevant parties and agencies were informed of WFP and UNHCR phase down/out plans. The meeting expressed the need to support the Red Cross in the field. The efficiency in implementing the targeting criteria in the context of the Joint Assessment Mission (JAM) 2003 Plan of Action during June has speeded up the reduction process. The planned beneficiary number for the month of July is 85,415, which represents 11,429 beneficiaries less or 11.8 percent lower than the number for June 2003. It is estimated that this trend will continue.

(c) The WFP pipeline situation for Serbia and Montenegro is satisfactory until September 2003.

2) Russian Federation

(a) The IDP survey in Ingushetia revealed that 85 percent of the IDP population do not want to return to Chechnya due to security reasons and shelter problems. The survey was carried out in April by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) upon request by WFP, and covered 1,180 IDP families living in camps, spontaneous settlements and with host families.

(b) However, despite security problems in Chechnya, the movement of people is continuing both in and out of the republic. From 01 to 09 July, about 100 IDPs returned to Chechnya, while 70 new arrivals entered Ingushetia. The IDP population in Ingushetia currently stands at 82,290, while more than 90,000 people were identified inside Chechnya. From 01 to 15 July, about 250 tons of rice and 700 tons of Cuban sugar were delivered from St Petersburg to Nazran delivery point. There was a delay in delivery of locally procured wheat flour due to jams on railway tracks. The market price of food commodities in Chechnya has gone up in recent weeks because of low-level of food stocks prior to the new harvest.

(c) WFP allocated full rations of basic food commodities, including wheat flour, vegetable oil, sugar and iodized salt, for the month of June. A total of 2,115 tons of mixed food was allocated for 230,000 beneficiaries. Children in 119 primary schools, running summer camps in Chechnya, are provided with hot meals and sweet buns regularly. On 02 July WFP carried out a monitoring visit to Grozny and met with high officials from the Ministries of Education and Social Affairs, and with the Deputy Mayor of the city. The issue of expansion of school feeding, community participation and the prospects of enlarging food-for-work activities were discussed during the meetings.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 29).