Afghanistan + 15 more

WFP Emergency Report No. 35 of 2000

Situation Report
Originally published
This report includes: A) West and Central Asia: Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Iran; B) Southern Caucasus; Georgia and Armenia; C) Horn of Africa: Kenya, Eritrea and Ethiopia; D) Great Lakes Region: Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi; E) Latin America: Colombia, Honduras and Nicaragua
From Francesco Strippoli, Senior Humanitarian Adviser. Available on the Internet on the WFP Home, Page or by e-mail from For information on resources, donors are requested to contact or at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2004 or 06 6513 2250. Media queries should be directed to telephone 39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

(Details below in Part II)

A) Western and Central Asia

1) Afghanistan: displacement caused by drought and conflict continues and intensifying; in western region people leaving Ghor for Herat; 1,800 families accommodated in IDP camps on outskirts of Herat; sanitary conditions poor, nutritional status of concern, morbidity rising; WFP planning assistance for most vulnerable; FFW support for large-scale sanitation project approved, WFP deliveries to IDP origin areas to reduce out-migration; logistical problems constraining operations; in northern region 750 families left Alburz mountains in Balkh; 400 tons of WFP wheat delivered but humanitarian situation and access still major concern; in north-eastern region 500,000 people displaced into areas seriously affected by drought; host communities limited in helping IDPs; WFP food already earmarked; in south-west, FOODAC well underway; 10,000 families in northern Kandahar receiving 1,012 tons; 380 projects achieving results; contingency planning ongoing.

2) Tajikistan: WFP planning emergency operation to assist drought-affected; WFP in close contact with Government regarding strategy, collaboration and coordination; information sharing with partner agencies through food coordination meetings.

3) Pakistan: Baluchistan Government established drought committee (PMDC), which includes UN and NGOs; PMDC to review activities and provide feedback; first meeting of PMDC held; Government confirmed one million people in 11 districts severely affected by drought and situation worsening; Government relief operation until end of year; more rains in Sindh improving situation there.

4) Iran: no immediate need for emergency food aid; food may be required if drought persists.

B) Southern Caucasus

1) Georgia: WFP planning emergency operation to provide relief assistance to drought-affected; discussions underway with NGOs on possible areas of collaboration.

2) Armenia: agriculture suffering from high temperatures and low precipitation; crop losses estimated at USD 40 million; FAO/WFP assessment underway.

C) Horn of Africa

1) Kenya: malnutrition increasing; 25-30 percent of children in five worst hit districts malnourished; food stocks rapidly decreasing; WFP rations reduced due to lack of adequate funding; rations not decreased in six worst affected districts; total WFP food shortfall until end of year 35,000 tons; WFP beneficiary number increased by 210,000 people, to 3.5 million; over one million are children targeted through emergency school feeding; no rains anticipated in pastoral districts until October; increasing livestock mortality; harvest reductions by 20-30 percent expected for beans and maize; 5,000 Turkana people drove their cattle to Uganda.

2) Eritrea: 2,098 tons of WFP food distributed to 103,000 war and drought-affected; monthly total for August - 9,357 tons distributed to 388,737 war affected in Debub, Gash Barka and Northern Red Sea and 50,780 drought affected in Anseba and Northern Red Sea; crop performance assessment and post distribution monitoring carried out in Afabet, Kamchewa, Felket and Northern Red Sea; late rainfall delayed cultivation and planting; majority of farmers had no seeds; ten percent of cultivable land not cultivated; good rains recorded in many parts of country; emergency food aid, kinship support and minimal trade in livestock products main food sources.

3) Ethiopia: UN released appeal for assistance to IDPs, seeking USD 30.5 million for period September to January; USD 15.1 million for food and USD 15.4 for non-food; Government-led Meher assessment in Tigray, Amhara, Oromiya and SNNPR regions, WFP participating; WFP/IOM population movement tracking and food security monitoring underway; data being completed and analysed for Somali region; Government requested assistance for 63,000 Ethiopians returning from Eritrea; budget revision of WFP EMOP under preparation; beneficiary increase from 272,000 to 352,500 expected; WFP, UNHCR and Government discussing food assistance to Eritrean refugees in Northern Tigray; three month rations allocated for immediate needs; 80,752 tons of WFP food to be dispatched from Djibouti during August, daily average of 2,600 tons; 140 short-haul trucks being imported by WFP for food deliveries in Ethiopia; WFP sub office to be established in Gode to strengthen logistics and food monitoring.

D) Great Lakes

1) Tanzania: assessment in June indicated likely food shortages in 32 districts of ten regions; drought prone regions experiencing crop failures for fourth year; traditional coping mechanisms almost exhausted; most affected Arusha, Shinyanga, Dodoma, Singida, Morogoro, Kilimanjaro, Tanga, Mwanza, Mara and Coast; Government conducting rapid assessment to determine number of households in need and most appropriate intervention modality; WFP expecting Government appeal after mission.

2) Rwanda: WFP operations for drought affected continue mainly in Kibungo, Gitarama and Kigali Rural; 5,892 tons of food aid to be distributed to 74,869 drought-affected households, 374,345 persons, between January and August.

3) Uganda: Karamoja region continues facing drought related food shortages, compounded by insecurity; WFP assisting 160,000 people since March; 7,065 tons of food distributed so far, against target of 9,069 tons; new donor contributions needed; WFP/Government/NGO rapid assessment found increased number of 270,000 people in need of relief; incoming harvest in September expected to be poor; relief likely to be needed until March; WFP preparing expansion of drought relief operation.

4) Burundi: more than 110,000 people benefited from 623 tons of WFP food, mainly drought affected in Muyinga and Kirundo and regrouped in Bujumbura Rural; household food economy assessments conducted in Kayanza and Karusi and three sites in Muhuta (Bujumbura Rural), where all five regroupment sites were dismantled; assessments established food aid needs; insecurity continued in Cankuzo, Ruyigi, Bubanza, Bujumbura Rural, Makamba, Rutana and Karusi provinces and Bujumbura town

E) Latin America and Caribbean

1) Colombia: WFP renewed appeal for donor funding for IDP operations; additional displacement expected due to Government crackdown on drug trade; WFP has two year operation worth USD 9 million aimed at providing food to poorest 230,000 IDPs; only 10,000 tons of food received so far (one contribution), representing 25 percent of requirement.

2) Honduras and Nicaragua: two countries most affected by drought; crop losses already recorded; WFP currently assisting 24,000 drought-affected families and preparing four-month emergency food relief operation to assist around 180,000 people; 90,000 persons in northern Nicaragua and 90,000 persons in southern Honduras, around 20 percent of total number affected by drought to benefit from WFP assistance.


A) Western and Central Asia - information as of 31 August

1) Afghanistan

a) Displacement of population caused by drought and conflict continues and seems to be intensifying. In the western region, in just two days, some 500 families reached Herat from Ghor Province. Around 1,800 mainly destitute families, around 10,000 people, are currently being accommodated in poorly equipped IDP camps on the outskirts of the city. According to WHO, sanitary conditions are very poor, nutritional status of the people is cause for concern and morbidity is rising. WFP is planning to provide corn-soya blend (CSB) for the most vulnerable among the IDPs and has approved FFW support with 447 tons of food to a large-scale sanitation project, which will be implemented by Habitat. WFP is also expediting relief activities in the IDP areas of origin, in order to reduce out-migration. Logistical problems continue to constrain WFP operations.

b) Drought has been causing population displacement in the northern region as well, where around 750 families have left the Alburz mountains in Balkh Province, due to the exhaustion of their traditional underground water reservoirs. In many areas in the northern rain-fed belt, which stretches from Badghis to Samangan, people are facing water shortages, failure of rain-fed wheat crop and effects of the conflict. One convoy with 400 tons of wheat reached one of the most affected areas last week. However, the humanitarian situation and access continue to be a major cause of concern.

c) In the north-eastern region, conflict-related displacement is affecting over 500,000 people in eight districts. Many of the areas have experienced cereals crop failures for two year in a row and the population is now displaced into areas seriously affected by the drought. The capacity of host communities is very limited and if the displaced to not return to their home areas soon, large-scale intervention might be necessary. Significant WFP food assistance has already been earmarked for the region.

d) In the south-west, food distribution for Asset Creation (FOODAC) is well underway, with 10,000 families in five districts in northern Kandahar receiving 1,012 tons of wheat. A total of 380 projects have already shown positive results, with improved access to safe drinking water and irrigation for small garden plots. A number of IDPs have returned to the areas receiving aid through the FOODAC.

e) Contingency planning is ongoing, particularly in regard to the mobilisation of non-food relief supplies, as the pace of displacement is expected to increase further.

2) Tajikistan

a) WFP is currently planning an emergency operation to address the most urgent needs of the drought-affected population.

b) WFP is in close contact with the Government, preparing the strategy and strengthening collaboration and coordination mechanisms for the implementation of the emergency operation. WFP has been sharing information on its planned interventions with partner agencies through regular food coordination meetings.

3) Pakistan

a) The Government of Baluchistan has established the Provincial Management Drought Committee (PMDC), which also includes UN agencies and NGOs. The PMDC will review relief and rehabilitation activities, facilitate new initiatives and provide feedback to all partners. The first meeting of PMDC was held on 29 August and the Government confirmed that one million people in 11 districts are severely affected by the drought, with the situation worsening. The Government has decided to continue relief operation in these districts until the end of the year.

b) More rains have been received in various part of Sindh this week, further improving the situation in this province.

4) Iran

a) UN report has confirmed that there is no immediate need for emergency food assistance, but food aid may be required if the drought situation persists.

B) Southern Caucasus - information as of 31 August

1) Georgia

a) In view of the preliminary findings of the FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment mission, WFP is planning an emergency operation that would provide relief assistance to drought-affected population.

b) WFP has initiated discussions with NGOs on possible areas of collaboration in the implementation of the EMOP, particularly in food distribution and monitoring at the district level. A number of NGOs have responded positively.

2) Armenia

a) The agriculture sector has been suffering from high temperatures and extremely low precipitation. Crop losses are estimated at USD 40 million. FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment mission started work in the country on 28 August.

C) Horn of Africa

1) Kenya - information as of 27 August

a) Malnutrition among children under five is increasing at an alarming rate. Nutritional survey conducted by UNICEF in five districts worst hit by the drought revealed that 25 to 30 percent of children are suffering from malnutrition. This comes at the time when food stocks across the country are rapidly decreasing and WFP relief rations have been reduced, as funds have not been secured to meet all planned requirements. The food aid rations have been generally reduced by 30 percent, so some districts that previously received 50 percent rations are now receiving 35 percent only. The rations have not been decreased in the six worst affected districts of Turkana, Marsabit, Moyale, Mandera, Wajir and Samburu. Total food shortfall for the WFP drought relief operation, until the end of the year, is 35,000 tons.

b) Beneficiary caseload for WFP emergency operation in nineteen districts of Kenya has risen by 210,000 people, to 3.5 million, due to the worsening drought. Around 1,074,300 of the beneficiaries are children, targeted through emergency school feeding programme.

c) The Arid Lands Resource Management Project has reported that several divisions of Turkana, Wajir, Marsabit and Moyale have entered the emergency warning phase. A vulnerability update from the Famine Early Warning System Network (USAID) indicates that no further rains are anticipated in the pastoral districts until October. Increasing livestock mortality has been reported across pastoral districts. It is estimated that the harvest will be reduced by 30 percent for maize and 20 percent for beans.

d) Reports were received that about 5,000 Turkana people have been forced to drive their cattle into Uganda as a result of the drought.

2) Eritrea - information as of 30 August

a) A total of 2,098 tons of WFP food was distributed during the week to 95,221 war-affected persons in Debub and Gash Barka regions and 7,768 drought-affected persons in Anseba Region. The cumulative figure for the month stands at 9,357 tons for 388,737 war affected in Debub, Gash Barka and Mekete camp in Northern Red Sea Region and 50,780 drought affected persons in Anseba and Northern Red Sea Regions.

b) WFP monitors in Keren carried out crop performance assessment and post distribution monitoring in Afabet, Kamchewa, Felket and Mekete camp in Northern Red Sea Regions. The information obtained indicates that late rainfall this year delayed cultivation and planting. The team also reported that majority of the farmers had no seeds stocks and relied on supplies from the Government and FAO. Sorghum, pearl millet, barley, groundnuts, maize and wheat are main crops grown this season. It is estimated that about ten percent of cultivable land has not been cultivated.

c) Wet weather conditions were recorded in many parts of the country. The spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall was fairly good.

d) Post distribution monitoring reports indicate that emergency food aid, kinship support and minimal trade in livestock products are main sources of coping mechanism in Anseba and the Northern Red Sea Regions.

3) Ethiopia - information as of 31 August

a) On 24 August, the UN released an appeal for "Rehabilitation and Recovery Programmes for Internally Displaced Persons in Ethiopia". Donor contributions are being sought for USD 30.5 million, for the period September to January. Some USD 15.1 million represents food needs and related costs and USD 15.4 represents interventions in agriculture, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, emergency education, humanitarian mine action, and HIV/AIDS sectors.

b) A Government (DPPC) led mid-season Meher assessment started on 27 August. WFP is participating in all four missions travelling to specific areas of Tigray, Amhara, Oromiya and SNNPR regions. An assessment is usually not undertaken at this time of the year, but given the failure of the belg rains and reported irregular rainfall during the Meher season, it was considered appropriate to carry out the assessment at this time.

c) Joint WFP/IOM "Population Movement Tracking and Food Security Monitoring" initiative is underway. Around 20 WFP monitors and NGO staff have been trained on methodologies of data collection. Questionnaires are currently being completed in Somali region and the collected data analysed. This initiative might be extended to other parts of the Horn of Africa Region.

d) The Government (DPPC) sent a request on 18 August to donors and UN Agencies, for assistance to over 63,000 Ethiopians returning from Eritrea. There is general agreement that this figure is an accurate estimate of those who have already returned and those expected to return in the coming weeks. A budget revision of the WFP EMOP 6080.01 is under preparation with an expected increase in the number of beneficiaries from 272,000 to 352,500.

e) Discussions are underway between WFP, UNHCR and relevant government agencies to provide food assistance to Eritrean refugees in Northern Tigray. WFP has reserved a three month ration to meet the immediate needs. Transport of food commodities will start as soon as the partners agree on the modalities of the operation.

f) Around 80,752 tons of WFP commodities will be dispatched from Djibouti Port for the Ethiopia operations during August, at a daily average rate of over 2,600 tons.

g) In mid August, 140 short-haul trucks imported by WFP arrived at Djibouti Port and are awaiting finalisation of customs procedures. The trucks will be used for food deliveries within Ethiopia. Seven moveable storage units have been delivered to Gode town and will be erected in early September to be used for intermediate storage of food A WFP sub office will be established in this area to strengthen logistics and food monitoring activities.

D) Great Lakes- information as of 30 August

1) Tanzania

a) Rapid Food and Crop Assessment carried out in June, indicated that 32 districts in ten regions are likely to face food shortages during the later part of the year and up to the next harvests. Drought prone regions in Tanzania are experiencing crop failures for the fourth consecutive year and the traditional coping mechanisms have been almost completely exhausted. The most affected regions are Arusha, Shinyanga, Dodoma, Singida, Morogoro, Kilimanjaro, Tanga, Mwanza, Mara and Coast.

b) The Government is currently conducting a Rapid Needs Assessment in the affected areas to determine the number of households in need of food aid and the most appropriate modality of relief intervention. The mission will also look at logistics and management issues. WFP is expecting a Government appeal after this mission.

2) Rwanda

a) WFP relief operations in support of vulnerable families affected by drought continue, mainly in Kibungo, Gitarama and Kigali Rural prefectures, in central and eastern parts of the country.

b) WFP has scheduled food distributions of 2,518 tons of food in Kigali and Gitarama prefectures during the month, to benefit 160,000 persons. Once these distributions are completed, some 5,892 tons of food aid will have been distributed by WFP to 74,869 drought-affected households, 374,345 persons, since the beginning of the year.

3) Uganda

a) Large parts of Karamoja region in north-eastern Uganda continue to face food shortages as a result of adverse climatic conditions, compounded by insecurity. WFP has been providing food aid to drought affected people in Kotido and Moroto districts since March, targeting 160,000 vulnerable persons. So far, a total of 7,065 tons of food have been provided by WFP, against the estimated need until September of 9,069 tons. Additional donor contributions are needed to cover the shortfall.

b) A recent joint WFP/Government/NGO rapid food assessment indicated that the number of people affected and in need of relief has increased to 270,000. Incoming harvest in September is expected to be poor and relief likely to be needed until March next year. WFP is currently preparing an expansion of the current drought relief operation to meet food aid needs until that period.

4) Burundi

a) During the past two weeks more than 110,000 people benefited from over 623 tons of food aid provided by WFP, including victims of drought in Muyinga and Kirundo provinces and regrouped populations in Bujumbura Rural Province.

b) Household food economy assessments were conducted in two sites hosting more than 2,600 people in Kayanza and Karusi provinces. Assessments were also carried out in three sites in Muhuta Commune (Bujumbura Rural), following the dismantling of all five regroupment sites in the commune. Both assessments established a need for food aid distributions. Some of the assessment missions planned were cancelled due to security reasons.

c) Insecurity continued in Cankuzo, Ruyigi, Bubanza and Bujumbura Rural provinces with many human casualties. Rebel incursions and attacks were also reported in Makamba, Rutana and Karusi provinces and Bujumbura town

E) Latin America and Caribbean - information as of 30 August

1) Colombia

a) WFP renewed the appeal for donor funding of the relief operation assisting internally displaced population in Colombia, the country with the highest number of IDPs in Latin America. WFP is assisting people displaced by the conflict recently, as well as those who have been forced from their homes some time ago and are leaving in slum areas of bigger towns. The WFP appeal comes at a time when the Government is expected to intensify their crackdown on illicit drug trade which might result in additional human displacement, possibly even across international borders.

b) Earlier this year, WFP launched a two year operation worth USD 9 million, which aims to provide food assistance to 230,000 people who constitute the poorest and most powerless in the country's huge IDP population. So far WFP received only one contribution for 10,000 tons of food, which represents about 25 percent of the total requirement.

2) Honduras and Nicaragua

a) Honduras and Nicaragua are the two countries most affected by this year's drought in Latin America. They were also the countries that suffered most from the effects of El Nino/La Nina and the Hurricane Mitch. Crop losses have already been recorded in both countries and national governments have declared the drought situation.

b) WFP is currently assisting some of the drought affected population in the two countries, around 24,000 families, through short-term emergency operations approved in mid August for a period of one month.

c) WFP is also preparing an emergency food relief operation to assist around 180,000 people most affected by the drought over a limited period of four months. The operations aims at providing food aid to around 90,000 persons in northern Nicaragua and 90,000 persons in southern Honduras, around 20 percent of the total number of people affected by the drought.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No. 33 / 2000 of 18 August 2000)