WFP Emergency Report No. 35 of 2001

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 31 Aug 2001
This report includes: West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Pakistan, (3)Tajikistan Central Africa Region: (1) Angola, (2) Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) East Africa Region : (1) Burundi, (2) Kenya, (2) Uganda West Africa Region: (1) Sierra Leone, (2) Guinea, (3) Liberia Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Honduras, (2) El Salvador, (3) Nicaragua , (4) Guatemala, (5) Ecuador, (6) Bolivia
From Francesco Strippoli, Senior Humanitarian Adviser; available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (www.wfp.org), or by e-mail from Zlatan.Milisic@wfp.org. For information on resources, donors are requested to contact Valerie.Sequeira@wfp.org at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2009. Media queries should be directed to Trevor.Rowe@wfp.org, telephone 39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

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

(1) Afghanistan

(a) WFP issued a statement last week calling upon the Taliban authorities to refrain from making further baseless allegations against WFP and its staff as well as to help facilitate the delivery of food assistance throughout Afghanistan. WFP is committed to UN principles of impartiality and neutrality and provides help to Afghan people solely on the basis of need without any religious, political or ethnic biases. WFP has never been involved in propagating any religious persuasion in Afghanistan or elsewhere.

(b) WFP still faces difficulties to transport food through the Tajik border of Ishkashem, where the authorities are giving priority to commercial transporters. WFP's distribution schedule is likely to be seriously affected. In order to address logistical constraints due to damaged roads and bridges, WFP supported a Food for Work (FFW) project to rehabilitate bridges along the road from Ishkashem to the Panjshir Valley. As a result, WFP was able to move 1,314 tons of wheat on this road axis during the last two weeks.

(c) 1,820 displaced families received 182 tons of WFP food, through a Food for Asset Creation (FOODAC) project in the Rustaq and Chaab districts of Takhar province last week. WFP assisted 2,696 beneficiaries, mainly women, under Food for Education in the Ishkashem, Zebak and Baharak districts of Badakshan, providing them with 127 tons of food. WFP distributed about 546 tons of food under FOODAC, FFW and Institutional Feeding projects in Jalalabad during the last two weeks.

(d) About 1,280 new IDPs have been registered from 18-23 August by the Registration Unit, in Herat area. From 21-22 August, about 282 families were repatriated by UNHCR in Jalalabad area, bringing the total number of families repatriated to 1,548.

(2) Pakistan

(a) UNHCR is currently organising volunteer repatriation of refugees. Out of 6,465 families who opted for repatriation, 666 families have left Jalozai and Nasir Bagh camps to return to their place of origin, from 13 to 27 August, according to UNHCR.

(b) WFP in collaboration with Shelter Now International (SNI) plans to complete the distribution of 820 tons of food in Shamshatoo camp on 30 August. 45,356 people out of a caseload of 49,300 had received their ration by 29 August. WFP continues to support the MSF-H feeding centre for malnourished children and vulnerable lactating mothers at Jalozai camp. 455 beneficiaries have been admitted in the feeding programme, as of 30 August.

(3) Tajikistan

(a) The harvest in Khatlon central province is affected by high temperatures, lack of rainfall and water management problems. According to field reports, approximately 80 percent of the rain-fed crop and 60 percent of the irrigated lands have been affected by water shortage in Sovetsky and Farkhor districts (Khatlon province). In addition, continuous rain in part of GBAO province has recently damaged the already devastated wheat crops.

(b) WFP has been verifying the lists of beneficiaries targeted under the vulnerable group feeding distribution expected to start in September. General food distribution has already started in the northern Sughd Region covering 45,000 people.

(c) WFP has started food distribution to 22,000 vulnerable people in GBAO southern province. The current food situation is critical in Murgab district (GBAO province) and Bishkent and Qabodiyon districts (Khatlon province) where people have very low food stocks and have started to sell their assets. Approximately 35 percent of the population of Qabodiyon, mainly young people, has moved to other countries in search of jobs and those remaining are left with few coping mechanisms.

(d) The WFP's EMOP, expected to end in December, is facing a shortfall of 39 percent. 95 percent of WFP requirements for the PRRO, which started in July is also uncovered.

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

(1) Angola

(a) The security situation remained unstable in many areas, including Malange, Kuando Kubango, and Benguela provinces, where some IDPs heading for the provincial capitals were ambushed. Intensive fighting was reported near Kuemba, Muhango and Chicala (Bié province). An increase in the use of landmines and harassment of locals by armed groups was reported along the border with Namibia (Kuando Kubango province) during the week.

(b) With the improvement of security conditions in Dombe Grande (Benguela province), humanitarian agencies are considering the possibility of resuming their operations which have been suspended since February 2000. 156 new IDPs arrived this week from various villages in the municipalities of Balombo and Yambala.

(c) WFP in collaboration with CARE assisted 20,094 IDPs with 322 tons of food in Camacupa (Bié province). The beneficiary caseload has significantly increased since June, when 7,292 IDPs were assisted by WFP. Another 45 IDPs were registered in Camacupa and 91 in Kuito during the week. Following a re-verification exercise recently undertaken by WFP and its partners, the number of IDPs in Kuito declined from 94,962 in April to 74,025.

(d) WFP assisted 7,690 people during the week, with 121 tons of food, in Huambo province. WFP, the Ministry of Social Reinsertion (MINARS), MINSA, OHAT and AADDBho carried out a joint mission to Hoque and Cacula municipalities (Huíla province) on 23-26 August in order to register the displaced and resettled populations, assess various WFP FFW projects and undertake a nutritional survey. 1,018 new IDPs were registered in Huila during the week.

(e) At least 308 persons arrived in Saurimo (Lunda Sul province), fleeing ongoing military instability in the north of the province. WFP supervised the distribution of 2,225 hectares of arable land in the area to 3,117 displaced families. Most families received half a hectare, enabling the production of two months of food for a five-person family.

(f) 136 returnees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and 569 IDPs were registered in Luena (Moxico province) during the week. A total of 1,318 new IDPs were registered in Moxico in August.

(g) The security situation in Uíge province remains tense near the border with DRC. Over 3,000 IDPs returned from the border to the Maquela do Zombo municipal area. Another 15,000 reportedly crossed the border and have been registered as refugees in DRC. 216 new IDPs were registered in Uige, coming from Quimbele.

(2) Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

(a) Improving security conditions have enabled humanitarian agencies to access returnees in Kalonge and Kasika (South Kivu province). However, insecurity still prevails along the front-line in Lubumbashi province and near the Virunga National Park (North Kivu province). Kalemie town (Northern Katanga province) remains accessible only by air due to the presence of armed groups on the roads.

(b) WFP airlifted 440 tons of food from Kalemie to various locations in Northern Katanga province in June and July. Starting from September, WFP intends to airlift an additional 500 tons of food to assist malnourished children and their families in Northern Katanga until the end of December. A Special Operation to finance this airlift is being formulated.

(c) WFP is very concerned by the recent decision of the Minister of Social Welfare to transfer 1,000 street children to transit centres outside Kinshasa, where investigations will be carried to establish their identity as orphans or not. Only orphans or displaced children will be then assisted through training centres. WFP has been providing 3,500 street children in Kinshasa, with 61 tons of food per month, through various NGOs and Community Based Organisations. The number of street children in the DRC is estimated at 20,000.

(d) 353,944 IDPs, 268,169 returnees and 139,496 refugees are currently in the province of South Kivu. WFP has distributed 378 tons of food to mostly IDPs and family members of malnourished children, from 1 to 25 August. With the improvement in the security situation, massive movements of returnees have been reported in the province of South Kivu. WFP is planning to assist them to prepare the next farming season. This will entail the distribution of seeds protection package to some 230,088 persons in Kabare, Walungu and Kalonge.

(e) With the improvement in humanitarian access, more cases of severe malnutrition have been reported, particularly in savannah grassland areas. A rapid nutritional screening of households indicated a high prevalence of malnutrition in the newly accessible Mwenga territory.

(f) WFP has distributed 783 tons of food to 115,173 beneficiaries, mostly family members of malnourished children, in North Kivu province, from 1 to 25 August. WFP in collaboration with German Agro Action has started assisting over 150,000 IDPs in Grand Nord (North Kivu province). 50,000 IDPs have already received seeds and over 351 tons of food.

(g) WFP expanded food assistance in the north-western part of the Katanga province, under Government control and is considering assisting people in Ankoro and Gwena areas, along the front-line. WFP completed food distribution to 14,000 IDPs in Kitenge.

(h) UNHCR, WFP and Government officials have carried out an assessment mission in Dubie and Kilwa, where a massive return of refugees from neighbouring countries is expected with the ceasefire holding. 15,248 people in Dubie and Kilwa are currently assisted by WFP through Caritas. WFP is now considering assisting them through FFW projects, but is concerned by their accessibility during the rainy season.

(i) WFP plans to assist 25,000 refugees from the Central African Republic currently in Zongo area (Equateur province), with an average of 390 tons of food per month. UNHCR, WFP and partner NGOs are preparing the relocation of 16,000 Angolan refugees newly arrived in Bas-Congo province. While 10,000 refugees will be transferred to Kindompolo area, the remaining 6,000 will stay in Kimpindi, Kihamba and Kinsulu. Future plans include the distribution of tools, seeds and food to the refugees to enhance their self sufficiency.

(j) WFP will require additional contributions to provide assistance to the 16,000 Angolan refugees newly arrived in Bas-Congo. WFP expects a shortage of pulses in November, under the EMOP 6035.01. WFP will also face a serious shortage of CSB and pulses from October onwards, unless new donations are confirmed to the PRRO 6274. Salt and sugar will also be required for January 2002.

(C) East Africa Region: (1) Burundi, (2) Kenya, (2) Uganda

(1) Burundi

(a) The security situation remained unpredictable during the first half of August. Attacks and looting were reported in Kamenge and Gihosha areas in Bujumbura town. Incursions continued to be reported in Ruyigi and Makamba provinces, as well as skirmishes between the army and rebels in Bujumbura rural province.

(b) WFP Household Food Economy Assessment teams conducted a number of visits in the northern and eastern provinces to assess the effects of the drought on the food security situation and evaluate the impact of WFP food assistance during the first half of August. High risk of food insecurity was reported in part of Kirundo, Muyinga, Karuzi and Bujumbura Rural provinces. In particular, 9,244 households in Kanyosha commune could become food insecure by December.

(c) WFP in collaboration with CARE, GVC and Caritas assisted 169,959 vulnerable people, with 1,433 tons of food during the first half of August. Beneficiaries were mainly drought-affected populations in Muyinga and Kirundo provinces.

(d) WFP in collaboration with GTZ distributed 34 tons of food to 1,441 refugees from DRC in Cibitoke province. 1,139 people repatriated from Tanzania in Ngozi received 14 tons of WFP food.

(e) WFP assisted 9,051 most vulnerable persons, including orphans, street children and chronically ill persons, with 133 tons of food, through various social centres. WFP has conducted a mid-term review of this project. WFP supplied 290 tons of food to nutritional feeding projects. The caseload in Supplementary Feeding Centres decreased as a result of nutritional improvements.

(2) Kenya

(a) Due to an inadequate long-rains season, the forage and water situation continues to deteriorate in most areas targeted under the EMOP, in particular in Isiolo, Mandera, Wajir, Turkana and Garissa districts. The Arid Lands and Resource Management Project (ALRMP) reported that most pastoralists in these regions continue to face increasing hardships and their food security is likely to continue to deteriorate before the next rainfall season. Some pastoralists have sold their livestocks and are almost exclusively dependent on relief food. Others have been migrating. Livestock raids have reportedly escalated, as competition for grazing resources increases.

(b) The Government announced that the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) would buy, at competitive prices, surplus cereal stock from the expected bumper harvest in the North Rift region, and encouraged donors to procure maize for the EMOP from local markets or alternatively contribute other types of cereal commodities.

(c) WFP assisted a total of 1,518,528 vulnerable people, with 22,200 tons of food, during August. WFP has expanded its School Feeding programme, under the EMOP 10085.0, to assist 1,304,431 children in 4,700 schools and cover 4 new districts (West Pokot, Marakwet, Keiyo and Taita-Taveta). WFP intends to undertake a baseline survey of the school feeding project, collecting quantitative and qualitative data at district level. 50 FFW projects were approved during the second half of August and food will be dispatched to all NGOs by the end of the month.

(d) Border tensions along internal and external boundaries seem to be on the rise. Disputes have resulted in delayed food distribution, in particular in the town of Moyale. In West Pokot district, the Pokots community blocked, in retaliation, the movement of relief food towards Turkana district.

(3) Uganda

(a) Security in WFP operational areas was calm in July. The quiet in Gulu and Kitgum is associated to an on-going peace dialogue between District authorities and LRA representatives. Caution is still strictly observed following the attacks on WFP convoys while delivering food to camps in Gulu and Kitgum, in May and June.

(b) WFP assisted a total of 474,895 refugees and IDPs with 4,730 tons of food through various programmes in July. The beneficiary figures under PRRO 6176 will drop in the next distribution following the registration and verification exercise of refugee settlements and IDP camps in Gulu. The Gulu IDP caseload decreased by nearly 50,000 people and stands now at 292,160, still the highest in the country. Preliminary results of the refugee registration exercise organised by the Government and UNHCR, with active participation of WFP indicate a reduction in refugee beneficiary figures from 230,934 to 172,722.

(c) By the end of July, the PRRO was 66 percent resourced and 27,907 tons of food were still required up to the end of the PRRO in March 2002. WFP expects to face a shortfall in pulses in November. There is therefore urgent need for more donations to avert a food pipeline crisis.

(d) WFP continues to assist 23,212 refugees from Congo, Rwanda, Sudan and Somalia, under the Regional PRRO. The PRRO 6077.00 has faced food shortfalls, especially for the cereals and pulses.

(e) Under the EMOP 6235.01, WFP has been assisting 50,490 drought affected persons, with 207 tons of food, through general food distribution. In addition, 2,642 pre-school children received 21 tons of food. A good harvest is anticipated in Karamoja following reports of good rains. As a result, EMOP 6235.01 will terminate as of 31 August.

(D) West Africa Region: (1) Sierra Leone, (2) Guinea, (3) Liberia

(1) Sierra Leone

(a) WFP distributed a total of 815 tons of food to 35,864 beneficiaries under various programmes during the week. WFP completed food distribution to 17,486 IDPs in Mile 91 area and simultaneously conducted a vulnerability assessment to further target beneficiaries next month. 10,699 IDPs in Mandu, Bo Township and Port Loko camp received 124 tons of WFP food during the week.

(b) 200 Liberian refugees were relocated from Daru to resettlement camps in the south. WFP provided them with HDR rations in collaboration with UNHCR. WFP assisted 8,800 returnees with 98 tons of food in transit camps in the Western area. UNHCR started relocating those willing to return to the eastern and southern areas. WFP distributed 207 tons of food to 15,923 returnees in the Lokomasama resettlement site in Lungi.

(c) WFP is currently distributing 172 tons of food, through Food-for-Agriculture (FFAg) projects, in Makpele, Barri West, and Soro-gbema chiefdoms in the Southeastern Province. WFP in collaboration with ICRC, started distributing 210 tons of food to 4,915 families through FFAg, in Tane chiefdom (Tonkolili district). WFP completed food distributions under FFAg, benefiting 13,219 families in Bombali, Port Loko and Tonkolili districts during the week.

(2) Guinea

(a) The security situation remained relatively stable throughout the country. Refugees continue to arrive from Liberia into the eastern region. UN agencies and NGO partners are currently preparing a joint contingency plan for the N'Zérékoré region.

(b) WFP intends to complete food distribution to about 21,000 IDPs in Mamou district on 31 August. WFP and the Red Cross plan to start the IDP census in Dinguiraye district next week.

(c) WFP is verifying the number of refugees in Kountayah camp (Kissidougou region). 555 malnourished people are currently assisted by WFP through different nutritional centres, in the Albadaria area (Kissidougou region). WFP completed the distribution of 138 tons of food to 12,364 refugees in Boreah camp (Kissidougou region).

(d) 1,031 refugees have been transferred last week to the new Kola camp (N'Zérékoré region), bringing the total refugee caseload to 1,972. They have been receiving WFP assistance (wet feeding the first day and then monthly dry rations), through International Rescue Committee (IRC) and OCPH.

(3) Liberia

(a) WFP in collaboration with Action Contre la Faim distributed 42 tons of food to 9,248 IDPs in Jennemana (Grand Cape Mount County) and Bopolu (Gbarpolu County) during the week. WFP, LRRRC and Liberian Red Cross intend to organise a joint exercise to verify the number of IDPs in the camps in Bong County prior to the food distribution in September.

(b) Following a recent attack on the village of Kpatazu (Lofa County), 125 Liberians have reportedly crossed the border with Guinea and arrived in the town of Macenta. The refugees have been relocated to Kola camp, 35 km north of N'Zérékoré, according to UNHCR.

(c) WFP distributed 47 tons of food to 5,548 Sierra Leonean refugees in the Samukai Town camp outside Monrovia during the week. In addition, 4,533 people received 44 tons of food, mostly in Bong and Zwedru counties, through the vulnerable group feeding programme.

(E) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Honduras, (2) El Salvador, (3) Nicaragua , (4) Guatemala, (5) Ecuador, (6) Bolivia

(1) Honduras

(a) As of 29 August, WFP has distributed 1,065 tons of emergency food rations among drought-affected people in the departments of Choluteca, Valle, Francisco Morazan, El Paraiso, La Paz, Comayagua and Intibuca. New areas affected by the drought are being reported in Yoro and Lempira Sur. WFP intends to intervene in collaboration with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in the municipalities of Marale and Orica, north of Francisco Morazan.

(b) Farmers are initiating the second planting season of the year. World Vision has reported that 1,295 hectares of red beans and 1,913 hectares of white sorghum have already been planted through FFW schemes. The Ministry of Agriculture will begin distribution of small red bean, corn and sorghum seed next week.

(c) Honduras will receive 1,640 tons of food from a recent contribution to the regional PRRO 6089 to assist those most affected by the drought.

(2) El Salvador

(a) WFP, in collaboration with the National Secretariat of the Family (SNF), has assisted last week 3,646 families in Usulutan, San Miguel and La Union Departments, providing them with 364 tons of food through the PRRO 6089. WFP intends to assist another 7,600 families over the coming weeks.

(b) CRS and World Lutheran Federation (WLF) have begun distributing seeds and fertilisers to some of the families who will be assisted under a FFW scheme over the next two months. Following distributions of non food iems, they will receive technical assistance to support their efforts to recuperate part of the losses they incurred during the first harvest.

(c) A new contribution of 1,284 tons of food, through the regional PRRO 6089, will allow WFP to assist 20,000 drought-affected families up to November. Unless new contributions are confirmed, WFP will not be in a position to address the needs of the earthquake victims (under the EMOP 10022.00) nor the drought-affected families through PRRO 6089 after mid-November. This is of particular concern as many farmers were unable to plant in August and are therefore expected to become food insecure.

(3) Nicaragua

(a) The Government endorsed WFP's plans to assist 9,083 drought-affected families through FFW activities during 3 months and to increase the ration for 40,000 pre-school and school children. Intervention should start as soon as additional funds are made available by the Government. Nicaragua will receive 742 tons of food from a recent contribution to the regional PRRO 6089 to assist those most affected by the drought.

(b) WFP in collaboration with Acción Médica Cristiana distributed 55 tons of food to 1,537 flood-affected families in 29 communities in Alamikamba on 27 August. WFP confirmed that the rains are still heavy in Alamikamba and Dos Amigos. Farmers are lacking seeds for the next planting season.

(4) Guatemala

(a) Rains which began 21 on August will not be sufficient to recover the maize crops in the drought-affected areas of El Progreso and Zacapa, but will, however, permit the planting of maize for the second harvest.

(b) WFP together with Government counterparts and NGOs carried out an assessment on 16-18 August, in order to identify the families at risk of food insecurity as a result of the drought in El Progreso, Zacapa, Jutiapa, Retalhuleu, Jalapa, Santa Rosa, Baja Verapaz and Suchitepequez. The mission report indicates that the communities most in need of assistance are in El Progreso and Zacapa areas. Continued monitoring will be necessary as farmers in some areas are awaiting the harvest of ajonjolí. Potential FFW activities were identified, such as soil conservation and water collection systems, that will help mitigate the effects of similar types of disasters in the coming years.

(c) Preliminary reports indicate that coffee plantations in Santa Rosa have only been able to absorb some 50 percent of the local labour force. The effects on the food security of the population are evident. WFP will be distributing food in the communities of El Progreso, Zacapa and possibly Santa Rosa, using stocks from PRRO 6089.

(d) Guatemala expects to receive in September 1,134 tons of food from a recent contribution to the regional PRRO 6089 to assist those most affected by the drought.

(5) Ecuador

(a) Volcano Tungurahua's activity has diminished considerably, according to a recent Geological Institute's report. However, the emissions of ash are continuing and the population in Tungurahua, Chimborazo and Bolivar areas remains on alert. 53,597 hectares of land, 13,113 animals and 3,217 homes were affected. In addition, the large quantity of vapor and ash has created a situation of substantial risk to the 39,455 people reported affected, with newly formed clouds of vapor likely to trigger heavy precipitation mixed with airborne ash.

(b) Through its EMOP 10114.0 valued at USD 200,000, WFP intends to assist the hardest hit families in Tungurahua, Chimborazo and Bolivar provinces, in particular those who have lost their homes, crops, animals and pastures. WFP is currently preparing for a second round of food distribution in the provinces of Tungurahua and Chimborazo, where 8,266 weekly family rations will be distributed.

(6) Bolivia

(a) The Ministry of Agriculture, with the support of WFP and FAO has assessed the impact of the floods and drought occurred during the first quarter of the year. Preliminary results indicate that some 39,799 hectares of crops produced mostly by subsistence farmers have been lost (without taking into account crops produced by larger scale farmers). Most of the people affected by the massive flooding live in the western departments of La Paz, Cochabamba, Potosí and Oruro, mainly in the highland plains.

(b) The next harvest in these regions is expected in May 2002. Until then, affected subsistence farmers will be facing food insecurity. WFP has focused its relief efforts in the areas of La Paz, Potosí, Oruro and Cochabamba. More than 23,000 families have been assisted with over 1,000 tons of food. However, further distributions have been suspended due to limited food stocks.

(c) WFP EMOP is facing a wheat shortfall of 4,500 tons. As a result, only affected people residing in areas where development activities are on-going will be supported, while a large number of families will remain without assistance.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 35)