WFP Emergency Report No. 34 of 2003

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 22 Aug 2003


This report includes:
A) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Iraq, (2) Iran, (3) Afghanistan, (4) Pakistan

B) East and Central Africa: (1) DR Congo, (2) Tanzania, (3) Burundi, (4) Rwanda, (5) Uganda, (6) Kenya, (7) Sudan, (8) Eritrea, (9) Ethiopia, (10) Djibouti

C) West Africa: (1) Liberia, (2) Côte d'Ivoire

D) Southern Africa: (1) Regional, (2) Namibia, (3) Angola, (4) Zambia, (5) Zimbabwe, (6) Malawi, (7) Tanzania, (8) Mozambique, (9) Swaziland, (10) Lesotho, (11) Madagascar

E) Asia: (1) Indonesia, (2) DPR Korea

F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Central America, (2) Ecuador, (3) Colombia, (4) El Salvador, (5) Guatemala, (6) Panama

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 Brenda.Barton@wfp.org or Francis.Mwanza@wfp.org, telephone +39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

A) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Iraq, (2) Iran, (3) Afghanistan, (4) Pakistan

1) Iraq

(a) Food dispatches to Iraq and WFP activities inside the country were temporarily affected by the bomb attack against the UN headquarters in Baghdad on 19 August, in which more than 100 people were injured and the Special Representative of the Secretary General Sergio de Mello and at least 22 other people were killed, including at least 12 international and five national UN staff members.

(b) WFP offices were located in the opposite end of the Canal Hotel building from where the explosion occurred and all WFP staff are now known to be safe. Some WFP staff members were injured by flying pieces of rubble and broken glass. Those WFP staff members who needed or wished to be evacuated are being relocated to Amman in Jordan or to their home countries, while essential WFP staff wishing to stay will remain in Iraq. No new WFP staff is currently to travel to Baghdad without UNSECOORD clearance. Injured UN staff are currently in hospitals spread throughout a large area, many of which are accessible only by helicopter. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Ramiro Lopes Da Silva has asked for Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) support to be able to visit these hospitals and begin the laborious task of collecting additional information on wounded UN staff members.

(c) The level of security around the UN compound in Baghdad and at WFP sub-offices is currently being reviewed and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator is reviewing a sustainable way of carrying out humanitarian work in Iraq over the next months. WFP communication to Baghdad has been restored and WFP activities and cooperation with the Iraqi Ministry of Trade is returning to normal. The south of Iraq will however security-wise be treated on par with Baghdad and staff presence is expected to be reduced in these areas.

2) Iran

(a) Some 50,000 tons of food have been dispatched to Iraq from Iran from 17 April to 07 August. The remaining 26,250 tons of sugar will be dispatched to different destinations in Iraq in coming weeks.

(b) Since the beginning of the repatriation operation on 09 April 2002, a total of 520,344 Afghan refugees have repatriated through Dogharoun and Milak border crossings. 374,902 refugees repatriated with assistance and 172,442 returned to Afghanistan spontaneously. 28 camps were visited jointly by WFP/UNHCR monitoring teams during the second round of monitoring visits from 12 July to 12 August. The number of the WFP beneficiaries was 67,128, and is estimated to grow to 69,862 in the third quarter of 2003.

(c) Several donor representatives have been consulted for detailed funding proposals regarding education activities for girls and women in Sistan and Baluchistan province, including literacy classes and skills training to prepare them before their reintegration into Afghan society. Such activities will have to be scaled down without further contributions.

3) Afghanistan

(a) The security situation remained volatile across the country. In the Northern Region two armed men fired shots at Save the Children UK's vehicle, travelling from Shibirghan district in Jawzjan province to Mazari Sharif on 17 August. The four national staff in the vehicle escaped without injuries. The Shibirghan - Mazari Sharif road is now closed. In the Eastern Region missions to Chaparhar district of Nangarhar province and to Kunar province were temporarily suspended. In the Southeastern Region two armed men attacked a vehicle of the Afghan Red Crescent Society at Andar district of Ghazni Province on 13 August. Two national staff were killed, and four others wounded in the attack. In the Southern Region security incidents increased, including explosions, robberies and factional fighting, affecting humanitarian operations in the south. Road missions were suspended to Uruzgan and Zabul provinces and parts of Hilmand province, as well as districts neighbouring the Pakistani-Afghan border. In the Western Region Alisei, an Italian NGO, temporarily suspended its operation at Pur Chaman district of Farah province, as the local police appeared to have lost control of the security situation.

(b) From 13 to 20 August, 608,423 beneficiaries received 3,401 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) In Balkh province, a second meeting to review the progress of the Ogata Initiative took place on 14 August at the Governor's office, with the participation of concerned aid agencies and Government departments. The Ministry of Communications and WFP signed an agreement on 20 August that outlines WFP's donation of communications equipment to the Ministry as well as the training of Ministry staff for one year. The agreement is to support the Government's plan to re-establish communications network and infrastructure facilities across the country and to second two WFP staff to the Ministry, in line with WFP's goal to assist the Government in capacity building. A meeting took place in Kabul on 13 August to discuss plans for the prepositioning of food in remote areas that would have difficulties to access food during the winter season. Participating national and international aid agencies evaluated food needs of remote areas and discussed food aid activities. In Kandahar province, the Bureau for Humanitarian Aid and Development, a national NGO, transferred its implementation role in bakery operation to the women's bakery committee on 16 August. Local authorities fully supported the transfer that would contribute to the empowerment of women. In Hirat, three food for education projects were approved on 13 August. The projects related to adult literacy courses and school feeding activities. Through these projects, 6,473 beneficiaries will receive 119 tons of food in the next 3 to 6 months.

4) Pakistan

(a) Delivery of WFP locally-procured food commodities to flood-affected areas in Sindh Province under IRA EMOP 10301.0 "Immediate Response Emergency Operations for Assistance to Flood Affected persons in Sindh" commenced last week. As planned, Badin district will receive 125 tons of wheat flour against the total allocation of 240 tons. Thatta has received 100 tons of wheat flour against its 120 tons allocation, whereas Tharparkar has received its entire allocation of 40 tons of wheat flour. The supply of vegetable oil has also started, with 10 tons having been dispatched from Karachi to Mithi. Improved contact with relevant authorities is expected to facilitate the supply situation. Distribution of wheat flour in assorted food parcels has started in Badin. The parcels included WFP-supplied wheat flour. The Pakistani Army has been called back to assist in the food distribution. Family packs were distributed in Gularchi and Thando Bhago tehsils.

(b) The UN Emergency Team, which includes WFP, met in Karachi and reviewed the current situation. It was observed that besides the three main districts of Badin, Thatta and Tharparkar, the districts of Larkana and Khairpur are also affected, although not as seriously as the previous main districts. The main agenda item was how to utilize the USD 50,000 allocated funds from OCHA for this flood IRA EMOP. It was also decided that two monitors, to be supervised by UNDP will be assigned in Thatta and Badin to oversee the relief operations and to report to the UN team. Survey reports from the affected districts will be collected as soon as they are available. These reports will be useful for rehabilitation projects in the affected districts.

(c) The dispatch of food commodities in Balochistan Province under EMOP 10228.0 "Assistance to Afghan Refugees" is progressing well. In "Muhammad Khel" camp, food commodities 725 tons of wheat flour, 87 tons of pulses, 14 tons of salt and 43 tons of edible oil was distributed to 47,844 individuals. The dispatch of 658.300 tons of food to 36,210 persons in Dara 1 and 2 camps in Chaman are in progress. In the North West Frontier Province, food distribution for the month of August was completed in Bassu camp to 5307 beneficiaries with 99 tons mixed food. Food deliveries amounting 481 tons for 27100 individuals have been made to Shamshatoo refugees' camp for the month of August. Implementing partners (IP) were identified and letters of agreement were signed for implementation of the Supplementary Feeding Programme in Balochistan Province. The Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) will be the IP for Dara 1, Dara 2 and Latifabad camps, whereas the Project Director Health Commissioner Afghan Refugees will be the IP for Muhammad Khel camp. A joint UNHCR/WFP mission is currently being conducted in the North West Frontier Province to meet implementing partners and discuss the implementation of the Supplementary Feeding Programme at Shalman and Bajaur refugee camps.

(d) Arrangements for distribution of food under drought EMOP 10170.0 in Chagai District in Balochistan Province for the coming weeks have been completed. Some 90 tons of pulses and 66 tons of edible oil will be distributed to 54,004 persons in the district. WFP conducted training at Kharan for government officials and other representatives, covering implementation mechanisms, tracking of food commodities and documentation requirements.

B) East and Central Africa: (1) DR Congo, (2) Tanzania, (3) Burundi, (4) Rwanda, (5) Uganda, (6) Kenya, (7) Sudan, (8) Eritrea, (9) Ethiopia, (10) Djibouti

1) DR Congo

(a) All UN agencies and NGOs have expressed concern about the security situation in the east of the country where there are continuous reports of armed clashes between various warring factions. North Kivu, North Katanga and Katanga experienced growing insecurity as a result of military harassment, extortions and armed robbery.

(b) During the week WFP distributed approximately 450 tonnes of food to over 47,000 beneficiaries, including IDPs and malnourished children. Other activities carried out included assistance to children in difficult circumstances, food-for- work and food-for-training, in order to build up local capacities and gain and maintain self-sufficiency.

(c) WFP's pipeline for protracted relief and recovery operation 6274.0 experienced shortfalls in corn-soya blend, sugar and pulses, and hardly meets the food needs of the targeted beneficiaries. Owing to the increasing food needs in the eastern part of the country, implementation of EMOP 10280 is urgently required in order to assist hundreds of thousands of people exposed to food insecurity as a result of the prevailing situation.

2) Tanzania

Note: Please refer to the section on Southern Africa.

3) Burundi

(a) Peace talks between the Government of Burundi (GoB) and the Conseil National Pour la Defense de la Democratie (CNDD) that resumed on 05 August in Dar-es-Salaam continued in Pretoria, South Africa. The GoB delegation is expected to meet with the faction leaders to finalize talks on their participation in the transitional Government. Although no widespread military confrontation was reported in the past week, the security situation remained volatile in different parts of the country. Isolated and targeted killings were reported in the capital Bujumbura, Bujumbura Rural, Ngozi and Cibitoke provinces. Acts of robbery in the villages and on major highways were perpetrated in Gitega, Ngozi, Kayanza, Cibitoke and Bubanza provinces. In Ruyigi province, the rebels' presence was also reported to be on the increase. Front for National Liberation (FNL) fighters attacked the residence of a police officer and killed one guard and injured two policemen. On Sunday evening, eight international staff members, working for the NGO Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS), were held at gunpoint in their Bujumbura residence by six armed men. The invaders threatened to kill the national representative and stole the equivalent of USD 20,000 and some goods.

(b) GTZ resumed food distributions to the fighting faction of Force Pour la Defense de la Democratie (FDD) in Bubanza province after a six-month suspension, due to disagreements between the army and the faction on the food distribution modalities. A total of 45 tonnes of food was distributed to an estimated 9,000 fighters.

(c) Between 11 and 17 August 2003, WFP distributed approximately 1,190 tonnes of food commodities to some 85,000 beneficiaries through the different programmes/activities.

4) Rwanda

(a) Food security in Bugesera and localised areas in Kibungo and Umutara continues to deteriorate due to the second successive poor harvest in these areas. WFP is responding through targeted food-for-work interventions in these areas.

(b) The pipeline situation for Rwanda may become critical if contributions do not arrive in time, especially in light of current food requirements in Bugesera, Umutara and Kibungo provinces. Failure to meet food requirements in these areas will result in an increase in malnutrition and possible loss of lives. New donations are therefore urgently required to ensure that WFP is able to respond to immediate needs.

5) Uganda

(a) The, protracted rebel insurgency by the Lord's Resistance Army's (LRA) in Gulu, Kitgum and Pader districts in northern Uganda, expanded from mid-June 2003, to affect Katakwi, Soroti, Kaberamaido and Kumi districts in eastern Uganda. As a direct consequence of regular ruthless attacks by the LRA rebels against the civilian population, over 80,000 people are newly displaced in the four districts of eastern Uganda and the numbers are increasing (in addition to over 800,000 displaced persons in Northern Districts). Civilians, especially children, continue to be abducted and the humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating. The precarious security situation in which WFP operates in eastern and northern Uganda was once again brought to the fore last week. In one incident on 14 August, LRA rebels ambushed a convoy of commercial trucks transporting 108 tons of WFP relief food aid to assist the drought-affected population in Karamoja region. An estimated 70 tons of food was recovered, which will be distributed to over 5,000 people displaced in Soroti town. In three separate incidents on 18 August, twelve commercial trucks carrying WFP food aid to Kotido and Moroto were stopped at gunpoint by Karimojong warriors. Major roads in the region are unsafe as a result of ethnic clashes. The insecurity along the major roads in the region has resulted in the death of over twenty civilians, including a missionary priest in recent weeks. WFP operations in Kaabong area were temporarily halted due to the continuing insecurity between Kotido and Kaabong.

(b) WFP continued to provide relief food aid to the displaced population in northern Uganda in daily convoys escorted by armed troops. In Gulu and southern Pader districts, WFP's weekly food aid distributions reached approximately 188,000 people displaced in nine camps.

(c) The USAID Food For Peace Programme last week pledged to contribute 20,000 tons of food to WFP's operation in Uganda against the WFP's emergency appeal for USD 54 million to provide relief food aid to over one million people facing acute food shortage.

6) Kenya

(a) A joint GoK/WFP/UNHCR fact-finding mission visited Kakuma and Kakuma town in Turkana district of north-western Kenya from the 12 to 14 August 2003 to assess the viability of the implementation of the food-for-asset (FFA) programme for the host community. The objective of the mission was to introduce a FFA project to the local government authorities, community leaders and potential implementing partners. WFP's objective is to improve the food security situation among the host community, provide temporary employment opportunities and positively impact on the increasing conflict between the host community and the refugees.

(b) WFP distributed over 1,900 tonnes of food some 219,000 mainly Sudanese and Somali refugees, located in Kakuma and Dadaab camps during August's first cycle of distribution and the ration covered 15 days.

(c) The overall pipeline is healthy until January 2004, but there will be a shortfall of salt in December. Donors are encouraged to make regular commitments to the programme in-order to avoid the food cuts that were experienced in March/April this year, in light of the impending break in the pipeline.

7) Sudan

(a) On 18 August heavy rain and wind caused damages to camps housing IDPs, a WFP rub hall and the lowlands surrounding Kosti, White Nile State. A joint interagency needs assessment is ongoing. The targeted WFP food distribution to the flood affected persons in Kassala has been ongoing since 10 August. To date, approximately 800 tonnes of mixed food commodities have been distributed to over 9,000 households. WFP is appealing to donors for some USD 1.8 million to provide some 2,600 tonnes of food commodities to 50,000 persons in Kassala as part of a joint interagency Flash Appeal launched on 9 August 2003.

(b) Donors are urged to make new contributions to prevent a major break in the cereal pipeline of EMOP 10048.02 in September. The general food rations have been cut selectively by 50 percent since 01 August.

8) Eritrea

(a) Following the killing of two and injuring of one NGO staff members a travel ban in the area North of Afabet has been imposed for all UN staff.

(b) Reports from the recent Government/UN rapid crop assessment mission indicate that the rains have continued in most parts of the country. Short-maturing crops such as wheat and barley are doing relatively well, compared to the long-maturing crops (sorghum, sesame, finger millet, maize and pearl millet) that suffered from the late arrival of the main rains. Following reports on flooding, WFP carried out an assessment mission along River Gash in the region of Gash Barka, which indicated that a number of hand-dug wells, crops and infrastructure were affected. The bridge crossing the River Gash in Tesseney town was damaged and the irrigation intakes may adversely affect the water supply to the fields. The Government of Eritrea has made an official request for a WFP/FAO Food Crop Assessment to be conducted later in the year (October-November).

(c) As a result of the 2002 drought, which caused many farmers to sell their ploughing oxen, some of the arable land has been left uncultivated. Hiring of tractors for tilling the land is too expensive for the poor farmers and there are nationwide deficit of manual labour, lack of seeds and farming tools. While an average production can still be hoped for (provided the rains continue), many of the poorer farming households will not be able to produce enough to meet their own needs. WFP received 1,595 tonnes of pulses and 332 tonnes of oil in two recent donations and shortfalls in the next six months currently amount to 22,824 tons of food, including 18,230 tons of cereals, 3,234 tons of corn-soya blend, 1,056 tons of oil, 298 tons of salt and 6 tons of sugar.

9) Ethiopia

(a) The Government Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC) special report on Belg (short season) production, released last week shows that overall performance of the Belg rains is considered better than last year though there were major disparities between some areas regarding the amount and distribution. In terms of overall production, Belg rains occurring this time of year in crop dependent areas (Belg) contribute less than 10 percent to national production. However, these rains are significant to maize and sorghum crops, which amount to nearly half of the national cereals produced in the country, annual food crops (such as sweet potato), flowering and seed setting of the coffee crop, regeneration of chat and land preparation for the main agricultural growing season.

(b) Overall in the current year, Belg crop production in Southern Tigray and Amhara regions increased by 31 percent and 37 percent respectively compared to last year, in spite of occurrences of long and frequent dry spells and other adverse weather conditions. In most areas of Oromiya Region the onset of the season's rains was late by two to four weeks. The amount of rain was insufficient and distribution erratic and the rain ceased earlier than normal in Arsi, North Shewa, East and West Hararghe zones. Shortage of seed and lack of oxen contributed to a reduction in area planted. Overall production of crops is expected to decrease significantly (50 percent to 80 percent) in most Belg producing areas of Oromiya region.

(c) In Southern Nations Nationalities People's Region (SNNPR) the performance of rains was mixed. The onset of the rains was late by two to four weeks in most of the region. Dry spells were prolonged during the first half of the season in many areas and good rains were received only starting early April and lasting through mid May. Though planted area compared to normal is even higher in some places of SNNPR, planting was late by two to six weeks in those areas where the onset of the rains was delayed. Due to the poor performance of the rains 20percent to 60percent lower than average production is expected in Wolayita, Hadiya, Dawro and Sidama zones and Burji district.

(d) In pastoral areas, this year Sugum rains (March-April 2003) in Afar were rated as poor although they were better than last year in part of the region. Livestock are weak and the calving rate is very low this season. Milk production, on which a large majority of the population relies, is also negligible. In Somali Region, poor Gu rains in parts of the region mean that pasture remains critical in Shinile zone, part of Korahe zone, pocket areas in Jijiga zone, most of Warder zone and some parts of Degahbour zone. There are increasing signs of malnutrition in some parts of the region particularly in Shinile, Degahbour and parts of Jijiga zones and in IDP settlements in the region.

(e) Looking ahead to the end of year main harvest (Meher harvest), generally good rains during the current rainy season have meant a significant improvement of conditions in many parts of the country, as the rains are favourable for both crop production and livestock. Areas of concern in terms of rainfall are the north-east and east of the country, such as areas of Tigray and northern Amhara Regions adjacent to Afar Region, Zone 1 and Zone 4 in Afar Region itself and parts of East and West Hararghe zones and lowland Arsi zone in Oromiya Region. Lack of rain in Wag Hamra zone Amhara Region is also of concern. Delay of the rains in April and May in some areas has had an impact on long cycle crops; in some areas of eastern Amhara, long cycle crops were not planted, but were replaced with lower-yielding short cycle crops (as happened widely last year). The high risk of malaria in many parts of the country (peaking in September) will have a significant impact on agriculture, as the productivity of farmers is affected, as well as the nutritional situation. Signs of malnutrition have been reported in Jimma and West Shewa zones of Oromiya Region, not normally food deficit areas, and DPPC is intensifying relief operations in these zones; these areas are among those now seriously affected by malaria.

10) Djibouti

(a) Illegal immigrants are continuing to leave the country every day. The Government of Djibouti (GoD) has requested WFP to assist with food aid for the illegal immigrants that will be detained in a transit camp for several days before being transported to the borders. UNHCR has requested WFP to manage the food distribution at the transit camp being set up for asylum seekers. It was agreed that UNHCR would suggest to ONARS (the agency presently responsible for managing the refugee camps) that WFP train and supervise the personnel assigned to distribute food at the camps. ONARS has positioned the commodities in the two refugee camps for the August distributions. WFP assistance to these asylum seekers will be based on appropriate assessment. WFP is working in three districts to determine food requirements for health centres. Once distributions to health centres and schools have been assessed, FAM will start working on getting food-for-work (FFW) projects started.

(b) Additional confirmed contributions of 1000 tonnes of wheat flour, 200 tonnes of vegetable oil and 200 tonnes of corn-soya blend have been received.

C) West Africa: (1) Liberia, (2) Côte d'Ivoire

1) Liberia

(a) The ECOWAS military contingent, ECOMIL, began arriving in Liberia on 04 August. With the deployment of ECOMIL, WFP has been able to assess the extent of the looting at the warehouses in the Free Port of Monrovia. Only 4,000 tons of maize meal and 441 tons of bulgur wheat where left in the warehouses. In addition, 16 containers with 348.8 tons of peas and 1 container with 22 tons of Corn-Soya blend were found.

(b) During the siege of Monrovia, approximately 200,000 persons sought refuge in irregular shelters or with family members; moreover, there are still 83,000 IDPs in Bong County, 8,000 in Kakata, Margibi County and a further 11,000 registered in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. WFP began distribution of maize meal on 15 August to beneficiaries in irregular shelters in the city. To date, 28,000 persons have been served 200 metric tons of cereals. The distribution continues for a targeted population of 204,000 persons.

(c) About 10,000 tons of food has been identified in the region to address the urgent food need in Liberia. The commodities are expected to begin to arrive within 7 to 10 days. Additional 7,000 are expected to follow shortly thereafter. To date, approximately 26.5 metric tons of biscuits have been received from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast aboard the chartered ship and from Brindisi. Direct distribution of two tons of biscuits to more that 10,000 IDPs has been carried out by WFP. An additional nine tons of food were distributed by WFP through various non-governmental organizations. WFP hired 10 trucks for the distribution of food items to the displaced in Monrovia City. Trucks are expected to arrive on 23 August.

2) Côte d'Ivoire

(a) Security has improved in the country but ethnic tension persists in the west of the country. Economic migrants/Third Country Nationals (TCN) are forced out of the plantations were they work, or out of shelters where they are displaced. There are continued reports of the presence of Liberian refugees in villages of Bin Houyé bordering with Liberia. The number of refugees in the area was estimated at 1,500 mainly women and children. In addition, it is estimated that there are now some 55,103 Liberian refugees in the Tabou area. UNHCR distributed WFP food rations to 32,689 refugees.

(b) During the week, a total of 242 tons of food was distributed to 51,316 beneficiaries. Due to a break in the pipeline, rations and caseloads for August had to be reduced by 30 percent. WFP has been prioritising refugees, IDPs and vulnerable children, with particular emphasis on the West, which continues to be most precarious part of the country. The shortfall of pulses, oil, cereals and corn-soya blend is expected to continue until October.

(c) A contribution to the EMOP for school feeding amounting to USD 4,760,000 was confirmed, covering approximately 6,730 tons of food. EMOP 10244, which runs from May to December, is currently covered with 88 percent of the total resources appealed for.

D) Southern Africa: (1) Regional, (2) Namibia, (3) Angola, (4) Zambia, (5) Zimbabwe, (6) Malawi, (7) Tanzania, (8) Mozambique, (9) Swaziland, (10) Lesotho, (11) Madagascar

1) Regional

(a) While a recent donor contribution has significantly improved a critical pipeline situation from September through December in Zimbabwe, WFP and its partners are currently reviewing the implications of a potentially significant change in the Government of Zimbabwe policy on food aid distributions. The pipeline condition remains precarious for pulses and vegetable oil from September onwards for Mozambique. In Lesotho there is a total pipeline break for vegetable oil, which will persist until late October. In Swaziland, shortfalls for pulses are critical, as stocks will be exhausted in September. Additional donations are urgently required in order to avoid further disruptions in food distributions.

2) Namibia

(a) The WFP August food distribution for 16,950 refugees in Osire camp contained a full 2,100 kcal ration. Distribution of the standard 12 kg ration of maize meal was made possible due to a loan from a local miller. The 16,950 refugees present for the August distribution were reduced from the 19,860 beneficiaries seen in July, reflecting the repatriation exercise to Angola and the July UNHCR re-verification and registration exercise.

3) Angola

(a) Refugee returns under the voluntary UNHCR repatriation operation have now passed the 15,000 mark. During 11 to 17 August, more than 2,700 Angolan refugees returned in six UNHCR convoys from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Namibia. Included in this weekly total are more than 1,400 refugees who returned to Cazombo from Meheba camp in Zambia. This represents the largest return to date of the voluntary repatriation operation. In order to accommodate the increasing numbers of returnees, an expansion of the Cazombo reception centre is ongoing. In addition, more than 17,000 Angolans have returned spontaneously during the year and have been assisted with food and/or non-food items.

(b) In Benguela Province, WFP and NGO partners have registered 17,000 new internal returnees for food assistance. The ongoing registration process follows a recent rapid assessment by WFP and partners in Chila commune (Bocoio Municipality), who recommended general food distribution to the local population as a result of food insecurity. Access to this area was recently made possible subsequent to the bridge repairs by local administration.

(c) WFP has been actively participating in preparations for the forthcoming humanitarian seed and tools distribution campaign in virtually all provinces of Angola. WFP will provide support to FAO and Euronaid seeds and tools recipients through WFP Seeds Protection Rations (SPRs), in cases where the recipients are not WFP beneficiaries. SPRs are intended to maximise the impact of the seeds distribution by reducing the risk of seeds being consumed as food rather than being planted. SPRs will be distributed for a maximum of two months and will concur with the distribution of seeds and tools.

(d) The lack of sufficient funding for WFP's two logistics Special Operations continues to pose a serious threat to operations of the humanitarian community at this critical time in the refugee/IDP resettlement process. Currently, WFP is only accepting limited crucial non-food item cargo requests from humanitarian agencies under the Special Operation 10149.1 'Logistic Services to the Humanitarian Community'. The Special Operation 10146.1 'Passenger Air Transport' is also seriously threatened and WFP may have to significantly reduce or suspend this vital service to the humanitarian community by the end of August in the absence of additional donations. Both of these operations are vital to humanitarian operations throughout the country.

4) Zambia

(a) From 12 to 18 August, WFP distributed 861 tons of food in collaboration with implementing partners. The food security situation remains positive in most of the country following a successful harvest during the 2002/03 agricultural season. However, there are some areas, most notably in the southern parts of the Western and Southern Provinces, where the situation requires careful monitoring as verified field reports indicate that food security is steadily declining. Since January 2003, WFP has purchased over 22,000 tons of food in Zambia valued at USD 4.7 million.

(b) Currently there are 120 sites under WFP's Urban Intervention Programme. Ninety-two of these are operational and the remaining 28 will begin implementation in the near future. At present, a total of 42,834 vulnerable children and 20,646 caretaker households are benefiting from the programme.

(c) The school-feeding programme, which began on 01 July 2003 in 30 schools, is progressing favourably. The programme is currently reaching 10,013 beneficiaries. To date the programme has resulted in increased school attendance and enrolment rates. The programme will be expanded into another two districts beginning 08 September.

5) Zimbabwe

(a) The government of Zimbabwe this week issued a Directive that would have a potentially significant impact on NGO field operations. Statements made by cabinet ministers based on the Directive give control over the food distribution process to local authorities, and in particular elected officials such as councillors. At a meeting convened by WFP to discuss the implications of the Directive, partner NGOs expressed concern over the potential role of the government and political party structures in the distribution of international food aid if the Directive were to be rigorously implemented. WFP and partner NGOs are analyzing the document vis-à-vis existing procedure in order to formulate a position for presentation to the government. In the meantime, there have been no disruptions to planned food distributions during the month of August as WFP and partner NGOs work together in reaching vulnerable populations. Since 01 January, WFP has purchased approximately 7,000 tons of food in Zimbabwe valued at USD 2.35 million.

(b) Most communities in the east, west and south of the country have depleted their harvests and people have started adopting varying survival strategies. The most common coping mechanism is a reduction of daily meals. Some people are migrating from north Makoni to neighbouring districts in search of grain. Consumption of wild fruit and seed is becoming commonplace and reports of food poisoning and malnutrition are increasing. The Zimbabwe Farmers Union, representing indigenous small-scale farmers, warned that the coming agricultural season may be seriously affected by a combination of hyperinflation and an acute lack of see, fertilizer and other inputs. The first planting for the 2003/04 season commences in October. The annual rate of inflation for July reached 400 percent, up by 35 percent since June.

(c) Since 01 August, WFP and implementing partners distributed 4,826 tons of food to 385,000 beneficiaries. Beneficiaries include 7,864 under-nourished children living in poor urban settlements in the cities of Harare and Bulawayo. The WFP Urban Feeding programme continues to increase, with operations expanding to another five clinics in Bulawayo, bringing the total to 15 out of 17 clinics in the city. In Harare, the programme will expand to cover a further four clinics. Currently, 2,760 children receive food aid in 14 clinics situated in low-income settlements around Harare.

6) Malawi

(a) From 14 to 20 August, WFP distributed 1,493 tons of food in collaboration with implementing partners. Since the beginning of 2003, WFP has purchased 10,507 tons of food in Malawi valued at USD 1.3 million. A head count was completed in Dzaleka Refugee Camp and a total of 7,893 refugees were registered. WFP is conducting a study to analyze the total amount of food supplied in previous months compared to the number of refugees registered in the recent head count.

7) Tanzania

(a) Representatives from the US Government, Africa Subcommittee/House International Relations Committee and officials from the American Embassy in Dar es Salaam and Kigali visited the Ngara Refugee Operation in order to evaluate the US Government's supported programme within the refugee operation. Mission members visited Lukole camps where they met with refugee leaders, UNHCR, humanitarian agencies and local authorities. During discussions, team members highlighted US concern for the well being of refugees, including protection needs, and assured representatives of US support to camp requirements and the peace reconciliation process in Burundi.

(b) A special forum involving all agencies and government authorities was convened in Kibondo to discuss proposals and appeals regarding refugee movement restrictions. The current restrictions have apparently increased spontaneous repatriations to unsafe areas in Burundi. The appeal will be forwarded to regional authorities for subsequent discussion with the Minister of Home Affairs.

8) Mozambique

(a) From 12 to 18 August, WFP and implementing partners distributed approximately 1,154 tons of food.

9) Swaziland

(a) The food security situation of the most vulnerable households in WFP operational areas is tenuous, as food stocks and purchase capacity has diminished since the last harvest. It is anticipated that food security will worsen in December and January, especially in the Lowveld area, which experienced a failed harvest due to drought. WFP distributions to households in drought-affected areas resumed following a break in July, during which WFP and the government were engaged in discussions regarding the prioritization of geographical areas under the new EMOP.

(b) WFP held a workshop with implementing partners, government and UN agencies to discuss the acceleration and diversification of targeted feeding interventions in preparation for a possible future PRRO. While agreeing that a shift to more targeted, longer-term feeding interventions was desirable, the coordination of the phase-out of targeted food distribution and the phasing-in of Food for Work and Food for Training projects, and the additional non-food items and resources required for meaningful activities, requires additional discussion and planning.

10) Lesotho

(a) The prolonged drought has worsened the humanitarian situation. The country received no rainfall between May and early August and as a result winter crops have largely failed and spring cultivation is more difficult and likely to be delayed. Cereal production this year was approximately 60 percent of the five-year average, but sharply declining employment opportunities have reduced people's ability to purchase food. As a result of the current situation, WFP is considering advancing the start date of its targeted food distribution programme, previously planned to begin in November.

(b) From 13 to 19 August, WFP and implementing partners distributed 404 tons of food to 18,622 beneficiaries.

11) Madagascar

(a) The food security situation improved marginally during July and August, however household food stocks remain limited and are only expected to last for another two weeks. Seed availability for the next agricultural planting season is also extremely limited.

(b) WFP has begun implementation of a full-fledged environmental component in its EMOP 10236.0, in addition to Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation activities. Food for Work activities now include support to protected areas, green corridors and appropriate technology for water catchment.

E) Asia: (1) Indonesia, (2) DPR Korea

1) Indonesia

(a) In Central Sulawesi, the security situation remained tense after recent shooting incidents. On 09 and 10 July, there were shootings and a bomb blast in Poso, in Central Sulawesi. Four people were badly injured and one was killed. On 14 July, a bomb exploded at the People's Representative compound in Jakarta, but no casualties were reported. Travel restrictions for Poso are in place and MCI suspended field activities in Poso, while CARE pulled out their staff.

(b) WFP El Niño assessment indicated drought in West, North and Central Java and continued drought conditions in West Timor. High malnutrition rates and serious food insecurity in West Timor were reported as a result of rainfall shortage and scarcity of potable water sources, among other factors. WFP will continue to monitor food security issues, especially in NTT, Papua highlands, parts of Kalimantan and Sumatra. Findings from the joint FAO-WFP mission to East Timor in May predict that from November 2003 to April 2004 some 150,000 people may suffer from food shortages. WFP will conduct a follow-up mission in August to undertake further fact-finding jointly with donor representatives, FAO and Government line ministries.

(c) During July, about 1.414 million beneficiaries, mostly women and children, received WFP assistance, amounting to 6,873 tons of food, through WFP's Urban Programme and Internally Displaced Person (IDPs) activities. In July much emphasis was given to rehabilitating elementary schools in the poorest communities, assisted under the subsidized rice (OPSM) and Nutrition Programme. WFP staff also visited North Maluku to assess the potential future WFP assistance to IDP's in the province. Needs for further assessment and collaboration with the local government and NGOs were identified. In Aceh, 567.5 tons of rice was distributed to 56,752 people in three districts by PMI in July. Many IDPs have returned to their places of origin. The number IDPs at the end of July was reported to be around 22,500, a significant reduction from 81,200 in June. PMI in Bireuen District distributed WFP rice to the returning IDPs. WFP carried out visits to the district-level logistic depot warehouse to monitor the rice uplift by PMI.

2) DPR Korea

(a) Reports of infestation of rice water and maize weevils continued. With insufficient supplies of pesticides available, many farmers are trying to combat the situation by using traditional methods, such as cleaning the fields by hand. Affected provinces include North and South Pyongan, North and South Hwanghae, South Hamgyong. There are mixed reports from the various provinces concerning the condition of the main agricultural crop. Ryanggang and North Hamgyong Provinces predict a substantially reduced output of maize and rice owing to unfavourable weather conditions, particularly heavy rains during July and August. These rains, followed by extended hot dry periods, have also caused problems for potato, wheat and barley crops. However, local officials in North Hwanghae Province reported the high rainfall as being favourable for maize, rice and autumn vegetables. Food stocks are quite low in some of the Local Food Production (LFP) facilities. WFP requested a further loan from the Government of 1,000 tons of wheat for LFP factories on the East Coast in order to keep production going. A cereals loan of nearly 15,000 tons from the DPRK Government, combined with the arrival of the initial shipments of a contribution of maize at Nampo port on the west coast, have allowed WFP to resume distributions to all accessible Vulnerable Group Feeding beneficiaries since the beginning of August. However, owing to further delays in the arrival of maize at east coast ports, a further loan may yet be necessary. All loans will be repaid from later arrivals of the donated maize.

(b) Cereal distributions are now expected to extend into November, with the expected arrival of 11,000 tons of rice and 53,500 tons of wheat. Despite these contributions, shortfalls of about 65,600 tons are projected from August through January 2004.

F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Central America, (2) Ecuador, (3) Colombia, (4) El Salvador, (5) Guatemala, (6) Panama

1) Central America

(a) Preparations for a baseline study for Central America Regional PRRO 10212.0 are underway. Training sessions will be delivered in each country starting the first week of September and field work will be carried out between the second week of September and the fourth week of October.

2) Ecuador

(a) According to the National Geographical Institute, an earthquake with the magnitude of 4.4 on the Richter scale struck near the coastal city of Manta on the Northeast Pacific coast of Ecuador, 335 km west of Quito, on 15 August. No significant material damage was reported. On 17 August, another seismic activity with a magnitude of 4.2 on the Richter scale, and with its epicentre 55 km off the coast, was felt in the city of Manta and nearby towns. No significant material damage was reported.

3) Colombia

(a) Some 250 displaced people returned to their former communities of Divisa y Tambo in the Department of Choco; however the safety conditions in the area of Munguido River are still preventing some families from returning home. In rural areas of south Bolivar Department, illegal armed groups released five farmers who were kidnapped. Nevertheless, in other close-by areas illegal armed groups are still forcing peasants and farmers to pay them 10 percent of their incomes. A new case of trade-unionist murder was added to the long list of selective killings in the Department of Santander. Some illegal armed groups have reportedly extorted money from drivers delivering WFP food assistance to beneficiaries in the Department of Antioquia.

(b) PRRO 06139.0 will end with the final WFP delivery of 39 tons to Food-for-Training and Food-for-Work projects in the Department of Antioquia. Beneficiary selection for pre- and primary school feeding, Mother-Child Health (MCH), and nutritional recovery activities under PRRO 10158.0 continues under a donor-funded pilot project. WFP and counterparts have already identified 348 projects in the various components based on review and consensus among WFP and Government Counterparts, including 223 for primary school feeding, 57 for pre-school feeding, 43 for Mother Child Healthcare and 25 projects for nutritional recovery.

4) El Salvador

(a) Implementation of a controversial Government plan, "Mano Dura" (Heavy Hand), to crack down on gang related crime continues. The plan has brought together the national police force and the army to jointly patrol crime-ridden areas across the country and to arrest suspected gang members, estimated to number some 17,000 nationwide. The initiative has drawn criticism from some human rights groups who claim the mass detentions are illegal and counterproductive as many of the captured are soon released for lack of evidence.

(b) A nationwide outbreak of pneumonia continues to claim lives, 326 persons have died so far this year and in another health crisis over 40,000 people have been diagnosed with conjunctivitis. As a result of pressure stemming from the crises, the Minister of Health resigned.

(c) The new phase of WFP's response to the "Coffee Crisis" that has hit the coffee-producing departments has been initiated under PRRO 10212.0. The Ministry of Health and NGO implementing partners will work jointly to assist families affected by the crisis. The Ministry of Health will be responsible for the implementation of the nutritional intervention and the NGO will be in charge of the food for training aspects. The updating of nutritional survey data has been finalized, enabling more precise targeting.

5) Guatemala

(a) The only indigenous candidate for the November 09 elections, Rigoberto Quemé, withdrew from the presidential race due to internal problems in the Alianza Nueva Nación-Centro de Acción Social (ANN-Casa) coalition. Also this week, the candidate for the Christian Democrats, Ricardo Bueso, renounced his candidature claiming that the registration of General Ríos Montt as presidential candidate for the ruling Frente Revolucionario Guatemalteco (FRG) has distorted the electoral process. On 14 August, several social organizations and civil society groups marched from the Supreme Court of Justice to the Constitutional Court and to the Central Park to call for transparency in the electoral process. No violent incidents were reported. However, other political violence continued this week, as one supporter of the political party Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE) was shot dead on his way back from a rally. The head office of Gran Alianza Nacional (GANA), another political party in the Department of Quiché, was the target of several gunshots that caused material damage. Threats to human rights advocates and journalists continued this week and are becoming increasingly frequent. Violence against women is also becoming a serious concern as violent attacks against women, very often resulting in death, are reaching alarming rates. Insecurity and crime continues to be a growing overall concern. A group of 20 Italian tourists was assaulted in the Department of Huehuetenango, when four heavily armed men stopped the bus in which they were travelling and took cash, documents and other valuables. Social conflict in the health sector also continued this week. On 12 August, public health workers again blocked the road to the Pacific in the Department of Suchitepéquez to protest certain Ministry of Health policies.

(b) WFP and Implementing Partners are finalizing the assessment that will result in the first food distribution of PRRO 10212.0 scheduled for the beginning of September. Preparatory activities for the conduct of the baseline survey of PRRO 10212.0 are also near completion. Municipalities and communities to be included in the baseline survey have been selected together with government implementing agencies. Fieldwork for data gathering is scheduled to take place between the second and fourth weeks of August.

6) Panama

(a) An earthquake with magnitude of 5.3 on the Richter scale occurred in the early morning of 13 August. The epicentre was 10 km from the coastal city of Colon, 100 km from Panama. At least 300 people (72 families) suffered material damage as a result of the earthquake.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 34).