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WFP Emergency Report No. 32 of 2002

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published


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) Eritrea, (10) Kenya, (11) Burundi, (12) Tanzania

(B) Middle East region: (1) Palestinian Territories

(C) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Iran

(D) Central Africa Region: (1) Angola, (2) Democratic Republic of Congo

(E) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Colombia, (2) Honduras, (3) Nicaragua

(F) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Serbia and Montenegro

From Francesco Strippoli, Director of the Office of Humanitarian Affairs; 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) East and Southern Africa Region: (1) Regional Overview, (2) Lesotho, (3) Malawi, (4) Mozambique, (5) Swaziland, (6) Zambia, (7) Zimbabwe, (8) Uganda, (9) Eritrea, (10) Kenya, (11) Burundi, (12) Tanzania

On 8 August, Genesh Harichund, a 30 year old South African national, was shot at WFP's Johannesburg office during an armed robbery. In a statement dated 9 August, WFP Executive Director James T. Morris, condemned this shocking murder and urged the South African Police Service to conduct a thorough investigation. Genesh Harichund had been a staff assistant for two months as part of the logistics team at the Management Coordination Unit.

1) Regional Overview

(a) According to the Flood and Drought Network of SADC, the chance of an El Niño event affecting the southern Africa region during the remainder of 2002 and into early 2003 has risen from 75 to 90 percent, which could lead to a further deterioration in the food security situation in the region.

(b) USD 2.7 million in new donor contributions were received during the week toward the Emergency Operation and an additional USD 781,000 has been confirmed for WFP's regional Management and Coordination Unit in Johannesburg. The current funding shortfall of USD 393 million leaves the Emergency Operation only 23 percent funded, though additional contributions are being negotiated. WFP is currently expecting a regional shortfall of 70,213 tons of food against requirements for the months of August, September and October.

(c) WFP has released the Southern Africa Crisis Response Implementation Strategy as a companion document expanding on the Emergency Operation document. The Implementation Strategy provides guidance to implementing partners and donors and will be revised and updated as the situation evolves.

(d) An engineer seconded to WFP by Swiss Humanitarian Assistance (SHA) is undertaking technical road assessments in Malawi and Zambia, and reports will be available by the end of August.

2) Lesotho

(a) WFP and implementing NGOs have established Final Distribution Points in the three initial districts of operation, and are finalizing the beneficiary lists. 4,728 tons of maize meal and 2,500 tons of maize are being delivered to Extended Delivery Points, and 134 tons of vegetable oil has started arriving in the country from the port of Durban.

3) Malawi

(a) The Government has signed contracts for the importation of up to 211,000 tons of maize, of which reportedly 51,000 tons have arrived at regional ports and 8,000 tons are already in country. The Government announced re-introduction of the "starter-pack" agricultural inputs programme targeting three million households, each of which will be provided with two kilograms of maize seed, one kilogram of legume seeds, and ten kilograms of fertilizer. The Government also announced introduction of a fertilizer and maize loan scheme to boost the country's maize production.

(b) During the month of July, 7,150 tons of WFP food was distributed by 11 implementing partners. WFP has opened warehouses in the extreme north (Karonga) and south (Bangula) of the country, to preposition food for the rainy season. A significant shortage of sugar and powdered milk could seriously hamper Therapeutic Feeding Programmes (TFP). There are also shortages of pulses and CSB.

4) Mozambique

(a) WFP hired five new food monitors this week. One WFP food monitor is now covering each of the country's 38 drought-affected districts. WFP has signed five new Letters of Understanding four with partners in Inhambane Province to reach over 36,600 beneficiaries, and one for Manica Province reaching 6,700 people.

5) Swaziland

(a) Of 3,933 tons of WFP food being sent from Mozambique to the Swaziland emergency operation, 1,796 tons have arrived in country. WFP has delivered a full food basket to the Extended Delivery Points for its eight implementing NGOs and distribution to beneficiaries is ongoing.

6) Zambia

(a) WFP is concerned about a recent Government announcement suspending importation of all GM food until consultations take place with stakeholders. Some 42,000 tons of US-supplied foods are currently en route to Zambia, and this suspension could delay vitally-needed relief assistance for over 1 million of the most food insecure beneficiaries, as well as 130,000 refugees from the DR Congo and Angola.

(b) Provided that the suspension is lifted, WFP anticipates delivering 70 percent of requirements in August and hopes to reach 100 percent of requirements in September and October, at current beneficiary levels. However, numbers of beneficiaries could increase at the end of this month, after the National Vulnerability Assessment Committee will release its assessment findings.

7) Zimbabwe

(a) July's revised Crop Forecast indicated that national cereal production is down 67 percent from the previous 2000/2001 season, and the overall cereal deficit is 1,854,000 tons. There are indications that 400,000 tons of white maize reportedly being imported by the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) is en route to the country.

(b) Heading into the planting season, there has been little response to the non-food sections of the UN appeal for Zimbabwe, despite critical lack of access to maize seed for most farmers and major shortages of fertilizer.

(c) This week, WFP distributed 1,670 tons of food in seven provinces bringing the total amount of WFP food distributed since 20 February to 25,692 tons. The Government has approved the application for two additional WFP implementing partners, PLAN International and Oxfam.

(d) WFP is fielding a rapid assessment team to Bulilmamangwe and Tsholotsho Districts, and other parts of Matabeleland this week, following WFP monitoring reports that the nutritional status of populations may be deteriorating faster than anticipated. Monitors have observed that complications from HIV/AIDS are seriously undermining the health of a large number of people.

8) Uganda

(a) The situation in the northern districts of Gulu, Kitgum and Pader has deteriorated to a war zone, with daily attacks on military and civilian targets by the Lords Resistance Army (LRA). WFP continues to provide food aid assistance to 522,000 IDPs in camps with heavy military escort. The attacks are occurring during the harvest season and will reduce the limited harvest, as IDPs are now unable to access their fields. This increases IDPs' dependence on WFP support for ensuring their basic food needs. The renewed attacks further reduce the likelihood of return of IDPs to homesteads in 2002, as had been planned.

(b) The LRA has attacked more than 20 of the 38 IDP camps in the area over the past month, in which IDPs huts were burned and children and women abducted and/or killed. Acholi-pii refugee settlement in Pader District was overrun by the LRA on 5 August. Fifty deaths have been confirmed in the attack and four International Rescue Committee (IRC) staff abducted. IRC is negotiating with the LRA for their release. IRC is the WFP and UNHCR Implementing Partner in Acholi-pii. The Government of Uganda has now decided to close the Acholi-pii Settlement and relocate 24,000 refugees to another site. LRA reportedly issued a statement that they will continue their attacks if UN and NGO organizations do not cease operations in northern Uganda and southern Sudan.

(c) WFP distributed 2,100 tons of food during the last three weeks to IDPs in camps and to those who have fled to the District towns. WFP rushed 45 tons food to assist fleeing refugees in Rackoko village, south of Acholi-pii on 6 August. On 7 August, WFP delivered 9 tons of High Energy Biscuits to Lira town for refugees on their way to Kiryondongo. The same day, WFP also distributed food to 4,000 refugees from Acholi-pii who had arrived at Kiryondongo. WFP is also targeting populations in eastern Kitgum and Pader districts who face critical food shortages as a result of drought and LRA attacks. WFP continues to monitor the situation very closely in all locations.

(d) WFP desperately requires additional pledges for PRRO 10121, which as of 8 August had only 23,322 tons pledged out of a total requirement of 175,646 tons. A pipeline break is projected for September for cereals. WFP estimated that 522,000 IDPs will require 23,760 tons of food over the next 3 months at a cost of USD 14,199,393. WFP appeals to the donor community to respond quickly with donations to meet the humanitarian requirement. Cash donations for the local purchase of maize and beans are urgently required.

9) Eritrea

(a) During the month of July, over 270,300 vulnerable people received 5,100 tons of WFP food under general and targeted feeding programmes in Gash Barka, Debub and the Northern Red Sea regions. WFP together with CONCERN Worldwide, the Ministry of Health and the Eritrean Relief and Refugees Commission (ERREC) plans to support 9,000 malnourished children, pregnant and lactating women in Anseba region through a Therapeutic/Supplementary Feeding Programme (TFP and SFP) from August to October.

(b) On 24 July, the Government of Eritrea released an alert on drought stating that the "country is facing an exceptionally severe and prolonged drought. The early rains expected in April-May had completely failed gravely undermining agricultural activities and vegetation growth. This has been followed by an unprecedented extremely dry spell during the prime planting months of June and July''. The Government has already confirmed that the spring rains failed for planting one of the main crops, sorghum, and that the rest of the country remains dry, water wells dried up and spring grass failed for the livestock. The statement concluded that the damages registered so far are a clear indication that Eritrea is facing food and water shortages and warned of possible serious humanitarian consequences.

(c) WFP has earlier shared its concern on a pending drought situation after having monitored the rainfall situation, visited the affected areas and met with the regional Governors in Massawa and Keren. WFP concluded that a potentially grave situation had arisen due to the failure of the early rains (Azmera) and the delayed onset of the main rains (4-6 weeks late). Most cereals planted would have inadequate moisture duration unless the rainy season extended into October without any long breaks in the interim. Alternative crops needed to be explored as a matter of urgency. Labour shortages, lack of extension services, weed development and infestation compounded the effects of the late rain on land preparation, planting and crop development. Livestock were also hard hit in all areas by the shortage of water and grass.

(d) The Government has formed a Drought Technical Task Force, which first met on 27 July, comprising of Government, UN and NGO representatives. It is intended to come up with appropriate assessment tools and analysis of the collected data and information. Results will help determine the likely magnitude of the impending crisis; based on this a coherent strategic response can then be formulated.

10) Kenya

(a) Preliminary results of the Long Rains Assessment indicate that there has been a significant improvement in the food security situation and further recovery from the effects of prolonged drought is anticipated in most parts of Kenya. However, some pastoral and agro-pastoral areas, including Koibatek and some northern and southern districts of Eastern province, have not registered a recovery sufficient to sustain them until the next season. It is likely that some form of relief interventions will be necessary in the near future.

(b) On the basis of the preliminary findings of the Long Rains Assessment, the Food Aid Estimate Subgroup has agreed, this week, on the phasing out of the WFP drought relief EMOP10085.01. A final general food distribution under EMOP 10085.01 should take place in six districts in August and September, using most of the remaining food stocks. The six districts include Turkana, Mandera, West Pokot and Tana River.

(c) During the last EMOP general food distributions, which were completed in mid July, 1,129, 800 beneficiaries in eleven districts received over 13,100 tons of food. Food For Work (FFW) initiatives under the Kenya EMOP are ongoing in seven districts, where over 4,850 tons of food has been allocated. However, no further allocations of food will be made to the districts once the existing food balances have been depleted. Distributions for 1, 336,241 beneficiaries under the Expanded School Feeding Programme will start shortly. 4,413 schools throughout the country will receive 14,400 tons of food under the EMOP.

(d) Despite a new contribution of USD 2.4 million, the refugee programme PRRO 6226.00 still faces a resourcing shortage of 15,652 tons of food until June 2003. 3,950 tons of emergency food was distributed to 203,000 beneficiaries at Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps at the end of July and the beginning of August.

(e) The relocation of 11,800 Somali Bantus from Dadaab refugee camp to Kakuma camp is continuing. The International Organisation for Migration has so far relocated 2,800 refugees. The Bantus have been relocated to Kakuma refugee camp for security reasons.

(f) Approximately 3,500 refugees who recently fled to Mandera district in north-eastern Kenya have been relocated by UNHCR to Dadaab refugee camp. The refugees entered Kenya following a deterioration in security and food security conditions in Somalia. WFP has pre-positioned 136 tons of food for the refugees' needs in Mandera. WFP is also supporting SFPs targeting both the newly relocated refugees at Dadaab camp and the local community.

11) Burundi

(a) Insecurity increased in the provinces of Gitega, Muramvya and Bujumbura Rural as well as Bujumbura. It also affected Karuzi, Kayanza and Ngozi provinces that have been stable for more than five years. The UN Security Council and the African Union expressed concern on the deteriorating security situation in Burundi and urged all parties to cease hostilities. They also invited rebel movements to join the Arusha peace process.

(b) The resumption of violence affected WFP operations in many provinces. Numerous assessment and distribution missions were repeatedly cancelled due to insecurity. From 22 July to 4 August, twelve scheduled food distributions have been cancelled, affecting 45,122 displaced persons in Makamba, Bujumbura Rural and Muramvya provinces.

(c) However, WFP was able to assist 74,000 persons displaced by recent hostilities in Bujumbura Rural, Bururi, Ngozi and Kayanza provinces. In addition, WFP, in collaboration with InterSOS and UNHCR, distributed 30 tons of food to 1,760 Congolese refugees in Gasorwe commune in Muyinga province. Finally, WFP assisted 2,000 Burundian returnees from the refugee camps in Tanzania with almost 100 tons of food.

(d) Since the beginning of the month, OCHA reported an outbreak of cholera and meningitis epidemics in Burundi. Cumulatively 459 cases of cholera were reported. The Ministry of Health has set up a joint emergency team to monitor the situation and ensure epidemiological surveillance system in the affected provinces. Vaccinations have already started in the commune of Kiremba, Ngozi province.

12) Tanzania

(a) From 15 to 28 July, WFP distributed over 3,700 tons of food (corresponding to a two-week ration) to over 504,200 refugees in Kigoma, Kibondo, Kasulu and Ngara districts. WFP supplied 100 percent of the standard food ration to all beneficiaries, except for CSB, which were distributed at 60 percent of the full ration. In addition, WFP supported various SFPs, providing 85 tons of food to approximately 20,000 malnourished persons. WFP will be forced to substitute part of the pulses ration by CSB due to its pipeline situation. The reduction in pulses ration will not affect the special feeding programmes and extremely vulnerable families.

(b) The security situation is deteriorating rapidly in the eastern and south-eastern provinces of Burundi. Fighting intensified during the second half of July, affecting voluntary repatriations. As a result, facilitation of voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees continued at a very low pace in Kibondo and Ngara and no repatriation took place in Kasulu camps. A total of 2,250 refugees were repatriated to Burundi from 15 to 28 July. In addition, 200 Rwandese refugees were repatriated during the same period, bringing the total number of refuges repatriated since 1 January to 1,951. More than 700 refugees arrived in Tanzania from 15 to 28 July. They were mostly coming from DR Congo but also from Burundi and Rwanda.

B) Middle East Region

1) Palestinian Territories

(a) On 7 August, Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a statement, noting that all parties in the Middle East agree that the civilian population of the West Bank and Gaza is facing a severe and mounting humanitarian crisis. The United Nations, United States, European Union and Russian Federation, meeting in New York, agreed that the United Nations should lead a concerted international effort to alleviate the plight of the Palestinian people.

(b) In response, the Secretary-General has appointed Catherine Bertini, former WFP Executive Director, as his Personal Humanitarian Envoy. Ms. Bertini will be travelling to the region this weekend to assess the nature and the scale of the humanitarian crisis. She will consult with UN officials in the area, as well as those of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement and the donor and non-governmental community, to review assistance activities already under way, or planned, and identify any new measures that are needed. She will also meet the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to discuss with them what needs to be done to respond to the humanitarian situation and to prevent it from deteriorating further.

(c) On 5 August, CARE International released preliminary findings from two surveys focusing on the health and nutritional status of the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A comprehensive report will be available in September. Preliminary results of the first survey, a Nutritional Assessment, indicate an increase in the number of malnourished children with 22.5 percent of children under 5 suffering from acute (9.3 percent) or chronic (13.2 percent) malnutrition. The preliminary rates are particularly high in Gaza with the survey showing 13.2 percent of children suffering from acute malnutrition. Other early findings show that the rate of anemia in Palestinian children under 5 has reached 19.7 percent, while anemia rates of non-pregnant Palestinian women of childbearing age are 10.8 percent.

(d) A market survey reveals shortages of high protein foods in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 52 percent of wholesalers and 48.3 percent of retailers reported a shortage of infant formula. Survey respondents indicated that shortages in Gaza were primarily due to border closures that seal the Gaza Strip off from Egypt, Israel and the West Bank. In the West Bank, survey respondents said food shortages were caused by a combination of road closures, checkpoints, curfews and conflict.

(e) The second survey, a Sentinel Surveillance System, assesses the ability of families to purchase food. More than half the Palestinian population surveyed reported having to decrease food consumption; the primary reasons cited were lack of money (65 percent) and curfews (33 percent). 53 percent of households said they had to borrow money to purchase food and roughly 17 percent of households had to sell assets to buy food. Thirty-two percent of all households reported buying less staple food.

C) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Iran

1) Afghanistan

(a) Fighting is ongoing in Herat Province (western area), resulting in heavy casualties and destruction of houses. The security situation is uncertain in the eastern and southern areas. Last week, no missions were cleared to the eastern Laghman province due to conflicts between local commanders. On 1 August, two motorcyclists threw a grenade into the FAO office compound, causing some damage but no injuries to UN staff. The security situation in the northern area remains volatile with clashes between rival factions.

(b) Under the Urban Vulnerable programme, two new bakeries started operation as of 1 August in Kandahar City. The number of bakeries in the country now comes to 111, with 80 in Mazar, 24 in Kabul and 7 in Kandahar.

(c) Over 4,000 families in Ghazni Province will receive 600 tons of WFP food. Last week, 5,400 tons of food were dispatched under various programmes, including Civil Servants, Food for Asset Creation (FOODAC) and general food distribution targeting drought-affected people, Food for Seed, Relief and Resettlement of IDPs and Refugees, School Feeding, SFP and Urban Vulnerable projects.

(d) In the northeastern area, WFP food assistance has reached over 68,100 beneficiaries from 1 to 7 August. During the same period, 100 tons of food were dispatched to WFP assisted projects in Badakhshan Province. In the northern area, WFP was able to reach 230,850 beneficiaries through the bakeries, FFW and FOODAC projects. Finally, in the southern region, 650 tons of food were dispatched for distribution under the programmes of Enhanced Drought Relief, Relief and Resettlement of IDPs and Refugees, FFW and Urban Vulnerable projects.

2) Iran

(a) WFP will be providing a one-month food ration through the Iranian Red Crescent Society to 25,000 people who lost their homes as a result of the recent earthquake in Qazvin province. WFP is currently in the process of purchasing about 300 tons of food, which will be distributed in addition to 75 tons of rice and sugar recently consigned in the country.

(b) In addition, WFP continues to support Afghan and Iraqi refugees. Buffer stocks of 470 tons of pulses and vegetable oil in Kordan are under dispatch to various camps. As of 22 July, over 102,000 Afghan refugees had returned from Iran to Afghanistan through the UNHCR-assisted Voluntary Repatriation Programme. This figure represents over 25 percent of the 400,000 planning figure for the first year of the operation. The vast majority ? 98,058 ? reached Afghanistan via the northern border crossing at Dogharoun. In addition, 27,262 refugees spontaneously returned during the same period.

D) Central Africa Region: (1) Angola, (2) Democratic Republic of Congo

1) Angola

(a) As WFP is gaining access to areas previously out of reach, it has been able to assist an increased number of people in most of the provinces. Among WFP's priorities is assistance to IDPs spontaneously returning to their villages of origin. Voluntary returns of IDPs have been observed in Luanda and in most of the provincial cities, including Benguela, Camacupa and others. MINARS facilitates this movement, by providing trucks to transport the returning IDPs.

(b) At the same time, new IDPs continue to arrive from some areas formerly controlled by Unita. Last week, about 950 new IDPs located in the Municipality of Tchcala-Tcholohango (Huambo province) were assisted by WFP with emergency rations. WFP, NRC and MINARS also registered 332 newly displaced in Mavinga (Kuando Kubango province).

(c) WFP and Movimondo reported that 700 new IDPs arrived in critical condition last week in Wacu-Kungo Municipality (Kuanza Sul province). They will be supported with wet ration in the community kitchens, until their situation normalizes, after which the assistance will be continued with dry relief rations. More IDPs are reportedly expected to reach the camps in the coming weeks. The number of new IDPs in Wacu-Kungo now stands at 14,650.

(d) WFP and other humanitarian agencies conducted a rapid assessment mission in Nambuangongo Municipality (Bengo Province). The team observed that the food security situation of the returnees from an IDP camp of Boa Esperanca remains stable, with sufficient stock of local staples. COSV and MINSA plan to carry out a nutritional survey of children under five in the coming weeks.

(e) WFP concluded a second relief food distribution in five Family Reception Areas (FRAs) in Benguela Province. Over 55,100 persons were assisted by WFP last week, with 800 tons of food. Out of 2,150 children assisted in Benguela and Lobito and screened during the week, 45 were found to be malnourished, and have been referred to the existing SFPs and TFPs in the two municipalities.

(f) Security and logistical constraints continue to hamper WFP operations. Due to the suspected presence of landmines, WFP was forced to suspend its missions and planned operations in Tchitundo- Kuvango area (Huila and Cunene provinces). Furthermore, access to Mussende Municipality (Kuanza Sul province), where the nutritional situation is considered critical, has not been possible due to a broken bridge. Rehabilitation of the bridge is on going.

(g) In Moxico province, the number of Angolan refugees spontaneously returning from the DR Congo and Zambia to the municipalities of Luau and Cazombo increased during the reporting week. Some returnees are said to have moved directly to their areas of origin, mostly to Camanongue and Luau. Last week, WFP assisted over 3,800 beneficiaries in the FRA of Calala, with approximately 63 tons of food. WFP also assisted over 13,250 beneficiaries in the FRAs of Matungo/Chimongu and Capembe and plans to assist an additional 31,500 in the coming week.

2) Democratic Republic of Congo

(a) On 26 July, Nyamuragira volcano, located 40 kilometres from Goma town, in the middle of the Virunga National Park, erupted. Nearby villages and crops were not immediately threatened. Volcanologists hope to assess the situation this week.

(b) UN and NGO staff in Kimpese, Bas Congo, were instructed to avoid travel due to security concerns. The local authorities placed police units to protect UN and NGO staff compounds. Looting and killings by armed groups were reported in the North Kivu and South Kivu provinces. Bunyakiri axis and Mwenga / Kamituga areas in South Kivu province remain inaccessible to humanitarian assistance for security reasons. In Katanga province, increased displacement resulting from insecurity has been reported in the Kilwa region.

(c) In Kinshasa region, WFP delivered 180 tons of food to operational partners for 6,550 beneficiaries. WFP, in collaboration with its partners (CARITAS and NSANDA) identified 5,700 malnourished children for food assistance. 2,000 households were initially targeted to receive food aid through FFW projects. However, due to limited resources, only 500 families will be assisted.

(d) In Bas Congo province, WFP targeted 29,500 beneficiaries with 275 tons of food for the Kilueka, Nkondo, and Kimvula refugee camps. Following a verification exercise, UNHCR, WFP and the local authorities confirmed that 4,000 refugees are currently staying at Mole camp in Zongo (Equateur province).

(e) WFP targeted 1,500 IDP families at Bunyatende (North Kivu province). WFP also declared 700 beneficiaries as the estimated caseload of Nyaragongo volcano victims returning to Goma from Bukavu. WFP distributed 200 tons of food aid for 21,850 malnourished children beneficiaries and their family members.

(f) Reports estimated 500,000 IDPs and over 5,000 orphans and street children were in poor health conditions in different zones of conflicts in the South Kivu region. During the second half of July, WFP distributed 31 tons of food to 4,600 malnourished children. In addition, 156 tons of food were distributed to 27,800 through a general distribution.

(g) In Katanga province, WFP partners, the local authorities and World Vision identified 44,000 IDPs and 8,000 malnourished children for food assistance in August. In Kamina site, WFP targeted over 1,200 women and children among the vulnerable groups.

E) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Colombia, (2) Honduras, (3) Nicaragua

1) Colombia

(a) Displacements in the north of Santander province continue. During recent weeks, over 16, 000 IDPs have been registered in Cucuta, the provincial capital near the Venezuelan border.

(b) Tensions have increased in the country during the last few days, as the newly elected President took office on 7 August. In Bogotá, security measures focussed on the presidential ceremony. A bomb exploded two blocks away from the WFP office in Bogotá, while another bomb was deactivated in a neighbouring residential area. In Cartagena, a bomb exploded in the provincial government building, located two blocks away from the WFP sub-office. The explosion occurred while a meeting was taking place on IDPs with international NGOs, WFP, local NGOs and Government representatives.

(c) WFP staff were evacuated from the city of Valledupar after counterparts received threats from armed groups. The Government has been requested to increase the security measures for government staff and implementing partners.

(d) Due to threats by armed groups, WFP postponed food deliveries planned for the end of July for 12 communities, affecting 350 households. In addition, food planned to be delivered early August to eleven projects under PRRO 6139 will be delayed due to insecurity. However, relief deliveries to 7,300 IDPs are underway in the city of Quibdo, Choco province and will continue as planned. Finally, after delays due to a landslide, some 16,000 school rations were delivered on 3 August.

2) Honduras

(a) Initial estimates indicate that approximately 16,400 families have been affected by this year's drought and some 12,880 hectares of crops have been lost. An assessment took place in the most affected areas (Liure and Soledad in the province of El Paraiso; Orocuina and El Corpus in the province of Choluteca). Findings indicate that due to the lack of rain since 24 June, unemployment has increased and 80 to 100 percent of the subsistence crops have been seriously affected.


Estimated damage by province

Province
Affected
Families
Cultivated Area
(Hectares)
Lost Area
(Hectares)
Choluteca
7,800
8,190
6,650
Valle
4,700
4,900
3,990
El Paraiso
1,500
1,043
980
Francisco Morazan
2,400
1,344
1,260
Total
16,400
15,470
12,880

(b) Almost 30 tons of food from the WFP development project HON 5691 will be distributed to 16 of the most affected municipalities. In addition, 500 tons of food will be delivered through FFW activities to strengthen production capacity and risk management. This will take place in cooperation with World Vision, Save the Children, Ayuda en Accion, Catholic Relief Services and the Secretariat of Agriculture.

3) Nicaragua

(a) Low international coffee prices continue generating a high level of unemployment in regions that depend heavily on income from this crop. In order to reduce the effects of the coffee crisis and in response to a Government request, WFP will develop and implement between August and November a FFW initiative in coffee production areas. Over 8,200 small farmers and farm workers in 27 municipalities of northern region will benefit directly from this initiative, receiving 1,450 tons of food for a period of three months.

F) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Serbia and Montenegro

1) Serbia and Montenegro

(a) In consultation with donors, WFP and UNHCR transferred food stocks from the recently terminated regional EMOP to PRRO 10116 and immediately started food distributions for July and August.

(b) WFP and UNHCR agreed that beneficiary verification exercises should take place on a quarterly basis to ensure the PRRO's implementation requirements. WFP and UNHCR monitors will play a crucial role in the process of the quarterly beneficiary revision exercise. In this connection, UNHCR/Belgrade mentioned the need to conduct a new Joint Food Needs Assessment Mission (JFNAM) in Serbia and Montenegro. The JFNAM would take place in October 2002.

(c) As per the established joint work plans, WFP and UNHCR monitors are visiting Serbia and Montenegro. Issues detected by the monitors in the field are being resolved at coordination meetings that are held regularly, both in Belgrade and at the field level. A new monitoring database (covering monitoring of refugees in line with the PRRO requirements) is now operational and will provide important information on the refugees' situation in Serbia and Montenegro.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 32).