WFP Emergency Report No. 30 of 2001

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 27 Jul 2001
This report includes: (A) Latin America & Caribbean Region: (1) Latin America, (2) Central America (B) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Balkans, (2) Russian Federation, (3) Georgia (C) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Pakistan, (3) Tajikistan (D) East and Southern Africa Region: (1) Democratic Republic of Congo, (2) Burundi, (3) Eritrea (E) Central Africa Region: (1)Angola (F) West Africa: (1) Sierra Leone, (2) Guinea
From Francesco Strippoli, Senior Humanitarian Adviser; available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (www.wfp.org), or by e-mail from Zlatan.Milisic@wfp.org. 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) Latin America & Caribbean Region: (1) Latin America, (2) Central America

(1) Latin America: (1) Peru, (2) Ecuador

(a) Peru

1. WFP is currently finalising an EMOP document that will provide relief assistance during three months to 30,000 of the most affected families after 23 June earthquake. The devastation through the Departments of Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna was widespread, and most severe in the Andean highlands rural areas and along the coastline, in towns hit by the tsunami.

2. Beneficiaries of WFP's emergency assistance will be 10, 000 affected persons in small villages above Arequipa and 20, 000 people on the coast of Arequipa, in the provinces of Camaná and Islay. 75 percent of the beneficiaries will be women and children, in families who have lost their homes, assets and sources of income.

3. This EMOP will continue the immediate assistance that WFP already provided following the earthquake, distributing 339 tons of food to 20,000 people.

(b) Ecuador

1. In the face of intensifying rain and ongoing floods, WFP continues to provide emergency food rations to over 23,000 destitute flood victims. As of 25 July, WFP has distributed a total of 18,340 food rations, each supplying the basic nutritional needs of a single family for one month. The food distribution has proven particularly difficult due to the deterioration of road conditions and the remote locations of many victims, often hours of difficult river navigation away from the nearest town.

2. On 21-22 July, a new major mudslide was reported on the road connecting the southern provinces of Loja and Zamora Chinchipe. Four people have been reported killed and more casualties may be reported as the clean up efforts continue. A new mudslide also occurred at the same time in northeastern province of Napo but as of 25 July, no casualties have been reported.

3. In the four Amazon provinces, continuing rain has precipitated new landslides and property destruction, with a resulting increase in danger to the local population.

(2) Central America: (1) Honduras, (2) Nicaragua, (3) El Salvador, (4) Guatemala

WFP issued an early warning bulletin on 16 July on the current drought situation in Central America, indicating that severe drought was already affecting food security in Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. WFP estimates that some 610,000 people in Central America are already short of food due to drought-induced crop failures and that this figure could reach one million.

(a) Honduras

1. The Government declared on 23 July a national food emergency in the southern, central and western parts of the country. Thousands of small farmers have lost their crops as a result of lack of rainfall in these areas.

2. In response, WFP initiated on 21 July the distribution of over 900 tons of food to the most affected families in the hardest hit areas, using resources from on-going development projects and other operations. This distribution will cover their food needs for the next two months. Although WFP has initially targeted 20,500 families to receive assistance, current resources available will only allow WFP to continue to meet the needs of 4,500 families.

3. Despite WFP's on-going assistance, the situation remains dire for thousands of food insecure families. WFP has estimated that 185,000 people across the country are at risk of malnutrition due to the current drought.

(b) Nicaragua

1. A food needs assessment was carried out from 18-21 July in the most affected municipalities. Findings show that the current drought is worse than in past years, and that the majority of people interviewed have lost almost 100 percent of maize, their staple food for the first harvest and are left without food until December.

2. The situation is compounded by the fact that the farmers currently affected by the drought had already suffered important crop losses resulting from last year's drought. Many families had therefore no food reserves and were already making extensive use of coping mechanisms.

3. Agriculture Ministry officials have estimated that 22,000 families in seven central and northern departments have lost at least half of their maize crops. Of these, WFP will target 8,805 families in the most food insecure municipalities. Beneficiary selection will be carried out with NGOs and other actors already present in the area, with priority directed to those families that are not currently benefiting from other assistance. WFP food aid will be drawn from on-going development projects and other operations at the initial stage of the response.

4. Following assessments on the Atlantic Coast, WFP confirmed on 18 July that an estimated 8,000 Miskitas are suffering from extreme hunger after the complete loss of their crops and food reserves as a result of flooding two weeks ago. WFP will be sending emergency food relief drawn from WFP development stocks this week through Acción Médica Cristiana.

(c) El Salvador

1. Drought is severely affecting four departments in the eastern and part of the northwestern areas with reports showing crop losses between 40 and to 100%. Following a Government request for WFP food assistance, WFP-led teams comprising Government counterpart and NGO representatives are currently assessing food needs in order to prepare for relief assistance.

2. The Government has announced its "Plan Sembrador" (Sowing Plan) in the areas currently less affected by the drought, in hopes that further losses can be mitigated through the provision of tools, seeds, and other non-food items, including financial assistance, to enable farmers to plant in the up-coming harvest cycle.

(d) Guatemala

1. WFP, NGOs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAGA) have been assessing the food needs in drought-affected areas. A preliminary report from MAGA shows that the areas most affected include 15 municipalities in seven departments of the coastal south, the east and part of the western highlands, where a long dry period within the normal during the rainy season, has been reported.

2. Maize is still available in these areas due to supplies from the northern regions (Peten) and Mexico. Last week, increased rainfall in many of the affected areas favoured some crop recovery. Nevertheless, a new "canicula" is expected at the beginning of August. WFP is currently assisting some of the most affected populations through development projects.

(B) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Balkans, (2) Russian Federation, (3) Georgia

(1) Balkans: (1) Kosovo, (2) Serbia, (3) fYRoM, (4) Montenegro

(a) Kosovo

1. The number of Macedonian refugees in Kosovo continues to decrease as more people return to Macedonia. UNHCR's latest estimate is 60,000. Approximately 20 percent of the refugees in the Gjilane area have returned mainly to the Skopje region. There is little movement from Prizren, as the refugees there came from the Tetovo area, which was most affected by the ongoing conflict. However, given the recent resumption of fighting, the number of refugees from Macedonia is expected to increase again, once the border is opened.

2. The joint WFP/UNHCR nutritional needs assessment mission has issued a draft report of its findings. The main recommendations include the continuation of WFP blanket distributions until new targeting criteria are in place, a higher quantity of pulses and the addition of tinned meat to the individual ration.

3. Deliveries for the safety net programme finished on 20 July. The capacity-building programme for local distribution partners was reinforced this month by the implementation of minimum standards.

(b) Serbia

1. A WFP School Feeding Mission visited Serbia and held talks with all the relevant State ministries, institutes and organisations from 9 to 22 July. It paid field visits to orphanages in Belgrade and Novi Sad in order to assess possible need for a school feeding programme in Serbia. The mission is currently assessing the situation in Montenegro.

2. According to the latest VAM Bulletin, the proportion of beneficiaries consuming the whole ration has increased to 96 percent over the first six months of 2001. At the same time, the share of beneficiaries receiving any other kind of assistance has gone down to 15 percent, and the main characteristic of WFP food aid beneficiaries is their low ability to participate in income-generating activities.

3. WFP has made an advance delivery of over 2,000 tons of wheat flour to ICRC. While continuing to promote good inter-agency co-operation, WFP is strengthening its relationships with implementing partners and standardising logistical and administrative procedures.

(c) fYRoM

1. WFP continues to ensure that food-insecure refugees in fYRoM have access to basic food commodities. The distribution for July/August is ongoing. As of 20 July, the Macedonian Red Cross (MRC) reported the registration of 31,673 IDPs as a result of the conflict that started in February. Approximately 1,400 persons are lodged in five collective centres, while the large majority is accommodated with host families. As a result of de-registration undertaken by MRC upon their second distribution to IDPs, the total number of beneficiaries has decreased by approximately 6,400 persons.

(d) Montenegro

1. The May/June distribution to social cases has been completed on schedule. Distribution lists signed by beneficiaries indicated that nearly 100 percent had collected their rations. WFP monitoring of stock cards and waybills found no irregularities when compared with monthly reports. The July/August distribution to IDPs and refugees is ongoing.

(2) Russian Federation: (1) Ingushetia, (2) Chechnya

During the first half of July, about 1,800 people reportedly fled Chechnya to Ingushetia, following a military operation by Government forces in two villages in Achkoy-Martan district. At the time of writing, about 800 people were registered by the Ministry of Federation in Ingushetia, while others had returned to their villages. WFP distributed 1,584 tons of food to 111,077 beneficiaries in both Ingushetia and Chechnya.

(a) Ingushetia

1. 148,889 IDPs were registered in Ingushetia as of 15 July, according to DRC statistics. However, the Ministry of Federation is currently re-registering IDPs entitled to humanitarian assistance. The exercise is expected to be completed by the end of July.

2. WFP distributed 1,161 tons of food to 82,077 IDPs through DRC and Islamic Relief in the Nazran region. Since there was not enough vegetable oil in stock, WFP allocated the available quantities exclusively for distribution in Chechnya in July and August.

3. ICRC and Islamic Relief reported that they had distributed complementary food rations to all registered IDPs in Ingushetia.

(b) Chechnya

1. A household survey conducted in June by DRC in Grozny, with the support of WFP and UNHCR, revealed that about 58,000 people were in need of food assistance in four districts of Grozny. DRC registration data show that a total of 358,562 vulnerable persons, including 132,475 IDPs, were living in Chechnya as of 15 July.

2. WFP provided 423 tons of food to 29,000 beneficiaries through PINF in Grozny during the first half of July. Food distribution to 58,000 beneficiaries in Grozny and Achkoy-Martan district, through CPCD and DRC, is scheduled to start next week.

3. WFP recently started to support four Children's Centres in Grozny, where hot meals are prepared to feed about 200 children. Established with UNICEF support, these centres are managed by Caritas International.

4. WFP undertook a school feeding mission on 9 July, in order to collect data pertaining to school feeding in Russia, with special emphasis on Ingushetia and Chechnya. WFP held a series of meetings with the Minister of Education of Ingushetia and representatives of UN agencies and NGOs. WFP visited several temporary schools in IDP camps and spontaneous settlements in Ingushetia. In addition, it undertook a trip to Znamenskaya settlement in Chechnya and held meetings with Directors of seven schools.

(3) Georgia

1. The third round of food distribution in three drought-affected regions is expected to be completed soon. As of 25 July, 537,142 beneficiaries had received 15,272 tons of WFP food since the beginning of EMOP 6302. At the end of September, WFP intends to shift from direct distribution to community-based work activities.

2. While the initial crop outlook issued by the Ministry of Agriculture in mid-spring was optimistic, natural hazards, including hail, floods, heavy rain, mudslides and pests damaged the crops. Losses are expected particularly for sunflower, vegetables, potato and fruit crops.

3. WFP received a Government special appeal for food assistance for flood-affected populations in West Georgia. Assessments revealed that large parts of maize fields underwent extensive damage, thus reducing the expected yields of this staple food. WFP intends to support the rehabilitation of destroyed social and agricultural infrastructure, through community-based food for work projects. 4. So far 65 percent of the total food requirements for the EMOP have been resourced. Due to the late arrival of the majority of food commodities, beneficiaries only received half of the planned ration during the first and second round of food distribution.

(C) West and Central Asia: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Pakistan, (3) Tajikistan

(1) Afghanistan

1. WFP distributed about 450 tons of wheat under a food for work project to more than 8,000 workers in Badakhshan province. WFP started a VAM Cereal Value Survey in Takhar and Badakhshan provinces, in collaboration with OXFAM and Norwegian Afghan Committee (NAC). The survey is expected to be completed within a month.

2. WFP distributed around 200 tons of food last week under the General Food Distribution in Jalalabad. In addition, WFP assisted 538 families in returning to Afghanistan, distributing 150 kg of wheat each in collaboration with UNHCR, from 15 to 23 July.

3. WFP distribution of monthly food rations has been completed in five camps. About 302 tons of wheat flour has been distributed among 43,085 IDPs. General food distribution in Maslakh camp is on-going. WFP continues to provide a daily porridge to an average of 47,390 children and lactating and pregnant women in all the camps. WFP also implements Food for Work and Institutional Feeding projects for malnourished children in the IDP camps. Monitoring and screening process for newly arrived IDPs through check posts is still carried out in collaboration with IOM, UNHCR and MMR.

(2) Pakistan

1. WFP, in collaboration with Shelter Now International, completed the distribution of monthly food rations to 49,258 Afghan refugees in Shamshatoo camp. WFP delivered more than 7 tons of food to MSF to be distributed in its SFC in Jalozai camp and intends to support a new programme targeting 530 beneficiaries for three months. MSF is currently compiling the results of a nutritional survey in Jalozai and will share the findings with WFP.

(3) Tajikistan

1. WFP completed an emergency food distribution to about 300,000 of the most drought-affected people in Kurgan Tyube in southern Tajikistan. WFP observed in Khujand (Sughed region) that household food stocks were quickly diminishing and that an increased number of families had been compelled to prematurely harvest crops such as potatoes for survival. The prevailing dry and hot spell has reportedly discouraged many farmers in the north from planting and prospects for a second crop are grim.

2. WFP in collaboration with CARE intends to continue to support 224,000 vulnerable persons in four districts of the Regions of Republican Subordination (RRS) until December.

(D) East and Southern Africa Region: (1) Democratic Republic of Congo, (2) Burundi, (3) Eritrea

(1) Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

1. WFP participated in a joint UN inter-agency mission to Equateur province to assess humanitarian needs of Central African refugees. The mission, which started on 18 July, is currently visiting Gemena and Zongo where approximately 45,000 refugees have settled.

2. While the general security situation has remained stable in Goma (North Kivu province), movements of the Interhamwe forces continued in Bwito (Rutshuru territory) resulting in new displacements of populations and restricted access for humanitarian agencies. Confrontation between armed groups in South Kivu province forcing populations to flee their homes and sporadic attacks in Northern Katanga have reportedly hampered humanitarian activities.

3. WFP and its implementing partners are currently distributing food to 81,000 IDPs and vulnerable groups in Kinshasa province. In the North Kivu province, WFP is currently assisting 2,720 malnourished children through 11 nutritional centres run by World Vision. The 110 families of the malnourished children are involved in WFP supported market gardens and receive food to prevent the aggravation of malnutrition among other children.

4. Following a WFP assessment in Shabunda area, an estimated 1,200 food insecure families have been registered in Matili and Lulingu (South Kivu province) currently accessible only by air.

5. WFP intends to provide a month ration to 16,430 displaced persons and malnourished children in Kalemie (Northern Katanga province). WFP provided assistance to 283 refugees repatriated to Rwanda through UNHCR's transit centers in Bukavu (South Kivu) from 9 to 22 July.

6. The ongoing PRRO targeting 2,5 million IDPs and vulnerable groups has received 60 percent of its total requirements for the first year. WFP plans to assist a monthly average of 680,000 beneficiaries from July to December 2001 with some 38,000 tons of food.

(2) Burundi

1. On 22-23 July, a group of approximately 300 soldiers attempted a Coup d'Etat in Bujumbura, which was stopped by loyal forces. Two people were reported killed. The Government reported that all the mutiny members surrendered after fleeing to the northern Ngozi province. Although the intensity of confrontations between the army and the rebels reduced throughout the country, incursions were reported in the eastern, southern and western provinces and the security situation remained volatile in many areas.

2. WFP assessed unsafe areas of Gitega and Bujumbura Rural provinces. Malnutrition in many communes of Bujumbura Rural province is mainly resulting from the looting of crops by armed groups and the general insecurity, limiting population's access to their farms or forcing them to flee their home. The Provincial Department of Agriculture and Livestock and NGOs reported that the harvest was good in Muhuta, Bugarama and Mutambu communes but reduced in Mukike and Mugongo-Manga communes. WFP reported an improving food security situation in Karusi province.

3. WFP has been assisting 59,200 drought-victims and 4,654 malnourished persons in Bujumbura Rural and Kirundo provinces, distributing 428 tons of food during the first two weeks of July, in collaboration with CARE and GVC. WFP in collaboration with GTZ has distributed 41 tons of food to 2,306 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo at Ngagara site (Bujumbura Mairie Province) and 299 returnees repatriated from Tanzania in Ngozi. WFP supplied 189 tons of food to 56 projects benefiting 13,837 most vulnerable persons (mainly orphans and handicapped persons) under the supervision of social centres.

4. WFP and its partners assessed the nutritional situation in many areas of the country and reported relative improvement, greatly due to WFP targeted food distributions and control of malaria epidemic. A number of TFCs and SFCs were being closed due to the decrease of admissions. Given the good crop yields in many provinces, the nutritional status is likely to continue to improve.

(3) Eritrea

1. ERREC reported distribution of 1,544 tons of food to 139,063 war-affected persons in Debub Region, between 9 and 12 July. There was no food distribution in the drought affected regions of Anseba and Northern Red Sea due to lack of food for the drought EMOP. In was agreed after consultations with donors that ERREC would borrow 2,500 tons from EMOP 10052 to cover the requirements for next month.

2. WFP visited the border town of Tsorona on 21 July in order to assess the present condition of the Tsorona River crossing point. The river crossing point, which is vital to the livelihoods of the population living in the area has become dangerous for the passage of vehicular traffic, especially during the rainy season. WFP is currently assisting over 13,000 war-affected beneficiaries across the river point. WFP intends to collaborate with United Nations Mission for Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) in its rehabilitation and indicated that it would look into temporary solutions during the rainy season. Local Community committed to provide labour and locally available resources.

3. WFP visited Laelay Gash and Gulij sub regions, in the western edge of the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) on 18 July to monitor the population movements, assess the food security situation and identify possible development projects. WFP observed that IDPs continue to return to their homes of origin and that essential food commodities were available in the local markets. Cultivation was reportedly taking place mainly on the northern fringes of the TSZ.

4. The amount of rainfall was satisfactory during the period 01- 22 July and there are expectations for a good harvest next year if it continues with similar pattern, according to WFP field reports. However, seeds are likely to be insufficient for agricultural activities. Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) officials indicated that although farmers are expected to supply their own seeds, farmers in the most affected sub regions may receive some seeds. MoA reported that out of the 163,400 hectares of land planned for cultivation in Mendera region, only about 55,000 hectares have been cultivated.

5. The general security situation in and around the TSZ remains calm. Demining activities are on-going in the TSZ in view of the ongoing influx of IDPs to their homes and lands of origin. However, mine incidents continue to occur, particularly in Gash Barka, and the greatest concern surrounds the presence of anti-tank mines on roads used by civilians and UN personnel. Heavy rains in Gash Barka have significantly deteriorated road conditions in many areas, with some routes rendered impassable.

(E) Central Africa Region: (1)Angola

(1) Angola

1. Following an attack on Samba Caju municipality (Kuanza Norte province) on 20 July, IDPs have fled to Lucala. The numbers have not been confirmed as insecurity prevented the provincial subgroup for IDPs to access the area. Attacks and kidnappings in Lutume area (Moxico province) have provoked a new influx of IDPs to Luena. A number of incidents, including abductions of civilians, accidents with landmines and some attacks to road convoys and civilians were reported in all the provinces.

2. WFP, OCHA, UTCAH, ADRA, AADC, Minars, IDA/GSA conducted a joint mission to Cubal (Benguela province) on 16-19 July. A total of 601 new IDPs have been resettled since October 2000, according to the municipal subgroup of registration and verification. The mission recommended the closure of the IDP transit camps in Ferrovia and CFB. The 913 persons who have been living there since 1994 are expected to receive support from ADRA in August/September, in collaboration with WFP, OCHA and Save the Children ? UK.

3. 400 children at risk of malnutrition have been receiving WFP food through kitchens in Balombo (Benguela province) this week, and an additional 300 children were assisted through a SFC. WFP has been assisting, during the week, 409 children through a SFC with 14 tons of food as well as 747 children, at risk of malnutrition in the community kitchen run by Christian Relief Services (CRS) in Cubal.

4. In Bie province, WFP supplied its partners with 1,141 tons of food to be distributed to 77,815 beneficiaries, mainly IDPs. WFP is currently providing food to 2,574 malnourished children in the community kitchen through Caritas in Camacupa. In addition, 120 malnourished children have been reportedly admitted in the MSF-B TFC in Camacupa, this week while some 1,500 children are registered in the SFC. 196 new IDPs mostly coming from Kuemba and Kunhinga areas were verified in Kuito, during the week, and have been receiving WFP assistance, in collaboration with CARE.

5. In Huambo, WFP assisted 25,756 people with 257 tons of food, during the week. WFP in collaboration with World Vision International provided assistance to 3,239 IDPs in Golungo Alto (Kuanza Norte province) on 19 July. WFP has been distributing 48 tons of food in collaboration with its implementing partners during the week. WFP and Caritas intend to assist 515 families in resettling in Cazengo. WFP has pledged food for work for 50 masons.

6. 7,609 IDPs have been verified during the week in Caluambo and Nguari camps (Lunda Sul province).WFP distributed 107 tons of food to 7,299 IDPs in Luari and Luhemba camps in Saurimo. Some 171 persons arrived in Saurimo during this week fleeing the military instability in Chiluage and surroundings.

7. Following consultations with agencies involved in agricultural activities, WFP agreed to support 13,500 displaced and resident families in Moxico province, providing them with food as part of an agricultural package, during the coming crop season.

8. As of 26 July, WFP has only received 26.5 percent of the resources required to implement the programme.

(F) West Africa: (1) Sierra Leone, (2) Guinea

(1) Sierra Leone

1. WFP distributed 538 tons of food to 49,133 beneficiaries during the week. This included the distribution of 199 tons of food to 17,255 IDPs in Freetown. WFP intends to distribute 102 tons of food to 8,831 IDPs in Port Loko and 114 tons of food to 9,920 beneficiaries in Freetown this week. WFP is currently conducting a verification of the IDP caseload in Mile 91, while distributing food.

2. WFP dispatched 98 tons of food to be distributed to the returning refugees while transiting through the camp and during the convoy movements to their areas of origin. WFP intends to distribute 187 tons of food to 15, 607 returnees in Lokomasama chiefdom, this week.

3. WFP expects shortfalls of 1,250 tons of pulses, 200 tons of salt and 600 tons of sugar, over the coming months and urgently requires new contributions to meet the projected requirements up to December.

(2) Guinea

1. WFP completed the distribution of 84 tons of food to 6,187 IDPs and vulnerable residents in the Languette area. WFP is currently providing food to 24,676 IDPs in the Faranah region. WFP intends to undertake a verification of the IDP caseload in Dinguiraye.

2. UNHCR completed a verification of the refugee caseload in Boreah camp, on 23 July and issued new identity cards to 12,830 refugees. WFP completed food distribution to 2,228 refugees in N'Zérékoré on 19 July. The Nonnah transit camp, located 50km from N'Zérékoré with a capacity of 1,000 persons, will start to receive people on 6 August. UNHCR confirmed that a transit camp will be set up in Mamou to accommodate refugees repatriated from the Albadaria camps.

3. WFP expects a shortfall of salt if a shipment expected between 15August and 15 September does not arrive.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 30)