WFP Emergency Report No. 35 of 2002

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 30 Aug 2002
This report includes:
(A) East and Southern Africa Region: Regional Overview, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania

(B) North Africa Region: Algeria

(C) Central Africa Region: Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola

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

(E) Asia Region: DPR Korea

(F) Middle East Region: Palestinian Territories

(G) West and Central Asia Region: Afghanistan, Iran

(H) Eastern Europe Region: Northern Caucasus

(I) Latin America and Caribbean Region: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua

From Francesco Strippoli, Director of the Office of Humanitarian Affairs; available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (www.wfp.org), or by e-mail from Zlatan.Milisic@wfp.org.

For information on resources, donors are requested to contact Valerie.Sequeira@wfp.org at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2009. Media queries should be directed to Trevor.Rowe@wfp.org, telephone 39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

A) East and Southern Africa Region: Regional Overview, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania

1) Regional Overview

(a) USD 3.8 million in new donor contributions were confirmed during the reporting period. The current funding shortfall for the operation is USD 378 million, meaning the Emergency Operation is 25.5 percent funded. WFP is currently expecting a regional shortfall of 75,884 tons of food against requirements for the months of September, October, and November.

(b) Several UN missions came to the region this week. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan visited Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and is attending the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg. WHO Director General, Gro Harlem Brundtland, attended a WHO technical meeting of health ministers of ten southern African countries in Harare from 26-28 August and UNICEF Executive Director, Carol Bellamy, from 18-27 August travelled to Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, also attending the health ministers meeting.

(c) At the regional health ministers meeting, WHO Director General Brundtland stated that there is no evidence of a health risk from eating GM foods and that southern Africa countries should consider accepting GM food in the face of the current humanitarian crisis. Also this week, a FAO report "Food Supply Situation and Crop Prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa" called for donors to pledge more food aid and funds to Southern Africa to avert a large-scale humanitarian crisis.

(d) The Special Envoy for Humanitarian Needs in Southern Africa, Mr. James T. Morris, will attend the WSSD next week during which bi-lateral meetings are planned with key figures in the region, including several heads of state, the Deputy Executive Secretary of SADC, donors, and Nelson Mandela. The Special Envoy and an interagency team will then visit the six-affected countries from 3-16 September.

(e) The WFP Regional Logistics Manager met with the Railways of Malawi and Mozambique, the Government of Malawi, and several donors regarding the WFP Special Operation for emergency repairs of the Nacala Rail Line. The 18-month project to make repairs to the railroad will enable WFP to move between 10,000-15,000 tons of food aid per month by rail from the Mozambican port of Nacala into Malawi.

2) Lesotho

(a) From 22-27 August, WFP implementing partners distributed 78 tons of food aid to 5,594 beneficiaries in three districts. The number of districts will increase to six by the beginning of October.

3) Malawi

(a) The number of WFP beneficiaries reached so far in August is 541,300. In September, WFP plans to distribute over 13,000 tons to approximately 1.2 million people through general food distributions.

(b) UNICEF, in collaboration with WFP and SC/UK, organized a Training of Trainers on "Protection Against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in the Context of the Humanitarian Response" reaching 45 participants including representatives from Government, UN, NGOs, human rights organizations, transporters, army, police, and village chiefs. WFP and implementing partners have established a sub-committee for Protection of Sexual Abuse and Exploitation in the Humanitarian Response in Malawi, and all WFP partners are required to sign a Code of Conduct.

4) Mozambique

(a) A LOU was signed with ACE Agrarios to provide food for 11,150 beneficiaries in Cahora Bassa District of Tete Province for a two-month period.

5) Swaziland

(a) 3,600 tons of food have been dispatched from Maputo to WFP's central warehouse in Swaziland, and the balance of 308 tons is expected to arrive next week. From 26 July-23 August, WFP delivered 2,054 tons of this food to the extended delivery points of implementing partners.

6) Zambia

(a) A World Bank mission will visit Lusaka during the second week of September to finalize details of support to the Government for addressing the drought and food crisis. The World Bank has indicated that they will provide badly needed foreign exchange for drought relief supplies (boreholes, health facilities, animal fodder), agricultural inputs for small-scale farmers, and some emergency food supplies.

7) Zimbabwe

(a) President Mugabe dissolved his cabinet and on Sunday 25 August announced the new membership. The new Cabinet includes two new ministers and six new deputies. The humanitarian community's principal interlocutors, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made and Social Welfare Minister July Moyo, retained their portfolios.

(b) WFP has received Government approval for HelpAge to become an implementing partner under the Emergency Operation, bringing the number of approved NGOs to six. As most people in identified locations qualify as vulnerable, targeting exercises for expanded food distributions are becoming increasingly difficult.

8) Burundi

(a) The cease-fire talks in Dar-Es-Salaam continue between the Burundian Government delegates and the different rebel factions. It was reported that one FDD wing signed a pre-accord document with the Government. Meanwhile, twelve mortar bombs were launched on Gihosha and Musaga zones in Bujumbura Mairie, injuring two military members, 2 civilians and two members of the South African Protection Support Detachment. FNL rebels reportedly carried out the attack. The pursuit operation by the national army resulted in 31 persons killed.

(b) Between 19-25 August, OCHA, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and WFP carried out a joint rapid assessment in Kabezi and Mutambu communes in Bujumbura Rural province and reported that 10,903 households displaced by the recent wave of violence were in need of food assistance. The HFEA teams also reported that 7,965 households of IDPs from Bugendana commune, hosted in Giheta commune of Gitega province, were also in need of food.

(c) During the same period, WFP supplied 623 tons of targeted rations to 94,205 persons living in Ngozi, Karusi, Bujumbura Rural, Makamba, Rutana and Mwaro provinces. Moreover, 877 Burundian repatriates facilitated by UNHCR received 42 tons of return package rations. WFP authorised release of 37 tons of food to 13 social centres assisting 2,754 vulnerable persons under QAP. Finally, WFP authorised 54 tons of food to 13 projects assisting 4,715 vulnerable persons under the PRRO.

9) Kenya

(a) The Kenya Food Security Meeting has endorsed plans to phase out the Kenya drought relief EMOP. The current Kenya drought EMOP, which began in March 2000, at its peak had a beneficiary level of some 3.4 million people. Since March 2000, a total of 675,000 tons of relief food has been distributed to drought affected Kenyans through the EMOP. A final general food distribution in six districts of the country will be completed by the middle of September 2002. Food for Work initiatives under the EMOP, involving a total of 4,861 tons of food, are ongoing in seven districts. No further allocations of food will be made to the districts once the existing food balances have been depleted. Through the Expanded School Feeding Programme, 1,336,241 beneficiaries in 4,413 schools throughout the country will receive WFP food.

(b) Due to recent donations and a slightly improved pipeline situation, the Kenya PRRO is able to provide almost full rations to refugees until January 2003. However, a total of some 12,000 tons of food is still required until June 2003 in order to maintain an adequate diet for the refugees. 208,755 beneficiaries at Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps will receive WFP food relief during August 2002. The relocation of Somali Bantus from Dadaab refugee camp to Kakuma camp is continuing. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has so far relocated 6,847 refugees and plans to relocate a total of 11,800 Somali Bantus to Kakuma camp.

(c) A Joint Assessment Mission for the Kenya PPRO is to be undertaken by UNHCR, GoK and WFP. Donors will also be invited to participate in the assessment mission, which is scheduled to take place at the end of September and to last for about two weeks

10) Somalia

(a) WFP Gedo relief food distributions are scheduled to start on 30 September in the two districts of Garbahary and Burdhubo. WFP is collaborating with Norwegian Church Aid and local authorities for the mobilization of communities. WFP will be distributing 1,350 tons of food for about 60,000 beneficiaries. Since March 2002, Gedo has been in a critical humanitarian situation, with ongoing drought as the main cause compounded by conflict, which has led to a serious deterioration of food security. From April 2002, WFP and humanitarian agencies have found it virtually impossible to distribute food relief in the region. Only minimal supplementary and therapeutic feeding centres could be operated. This is the first relief distribution since the conflict began last April.

(b) WFP national staff in Baidoa distributed 660 metric tons of food commodities under the MCH programme and 200 metric tons for the food-for-work activities in Bay and Bakool regions, reaching about 25,000 beneficiaries. The distributions were successfully completed despite a fragile security situation. This was only possible due to existing WFP stocks in Baidoa before the onset of current conflict. The suspension of flights and international staff to Baidoa is still in effect, which is also affecting road transportation of food consignments. If access to Baidoa remains suspended, WFP will not be able to continue delivering food assistance.

(c) The current food security situation indicates serious food vulnerability for about 500,000 in the country. Areas of high vulnerability are Gedo, parts of Bay/Bakool in the south, and Sool/Sanaag in the north. USAID's Famine Early Warning System has reported a decline in animal reproduction due to damaged pasture and adverse water conditions, as a result of three successive years of below normal rainfall in northern Somalia. The report also warns that if the clan fighting extends to sorghum-producing areas in the south during this critical stage of crop harvest, it could further hamper harvesting and exert a negative impact on food security throughout Somalia.

11) Tanzania

(a) With the security situation deteriorating rapidly in the east and southeastern provinces of Burundi, an increase in Burundian new arrivals in Ngara camps had been noted. Facilitation of voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees to the northern provinces continued at a low rate in Kibondo and Ngara camps. A total of 155 Burundian and 62 Rwandan new arrivals were received in Ngara between 12-25 August, a significant increase over previous levels.

(b) Burundian refugees in Kasulu have stopped registering for voluntary repatriation and none of those who have already registered are willing to repatriate. The total number of Burundian new arrivals who were registered in Kibondo camps between 12-25 August was 72, representing an increase of 71 percent.

(c) Following the increased number of Congolese new arrivals, concern about a new contingency site was raised as Lugufu II receiving camp is approaching its maximum capacity of 30,000 with a current caseload of 26,370 refugees.

B) North Africa Region: Algeria

1) Algeria

(a) A serious lack of food aid and insufficient funding threaten Western Saharan refugees living in four isolated quarter-century old camps along Algeria's border with Western Sahara. Some 155,000 Western Saharan refugees almost entirely dependent upon humanitarian aid provided through WFP live in the remote camps some 2,000 kilometers south of Algeria's Mediterranean coast near the town of Tindouf.

(b) Unless fresh contributions of food arrive, by October the refugees will get only 11 percent of their daily food aid requirements ? about 231 kcals for each person -- compared to the standard UN ration of flour, pulses, beans, vegetable oil and other items totaling 2,100 kcals daily.

(c) WFP requires 8,336 tons of food at a cost of USD 3.7 million, of which 80 percent are cereals, to meet the refugees' food needs up to January 2003. In September, UNHCR and WFP will conduct a comprehensive nutritional survey of Algeria's refugee population, many of whom first fled Western Sahara in 1975.

C) Central Africa Region: Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo

1) Angola

(a) WFP has issued a press release warning that lives are being put at risk in post-war Angola because it lacks the necessary resources to start immediately moving large quantities of food in order to avoid any break in food distributions over the coming months. With the rainy season underway, many parts of the country are becoming increasingly inaccessible because of poor infrastructure. Although the government had committed itself to repairing roads, bridges and airstrips, much more still remains to be done. WFP must immediately build up buffer stocks in several provinces, lasting up to three months, to avoid major hunger.

(b) Previously, WFP estimated that 1.5 million people would be in need of food aid up to December, but since the peace process, the situation has changed rapidly and WFP now expects 1.9 million people will be in need. To meet this increase, a further 44,000 metric tons of food must arrive in Angola soon. The rise in the number of beneficiaries is caused by several factors. The number of demobilised UNITA troops and their families is substantially higher than anticipated, and they need food aid while being integrated into society. Also, there has been an acceleration in the return home of internally displaced people and refugees from neighbouring countries. All these people need food assistance before starting to plant their crops and rebuilding their homes and livelihoods.

(c) Over recent months, 60 new locations in Angola have received WFP assistance, bringing an additional 426,000 beneficiaries onto the caseload. With more areas still to be assessed, this number will continue to rise. The increase in the number of women and children entering nutritional programmes is also expected to rise this year - due to large areas of crops that were destroyed in the final stages of war.

(d) Immediate contributions are vital to enable WFP to undertake the pre-positioning of stocks to support Angolans until the next harvest. Presently, WFP has less than 22 percent of the funding for its operation in Angola. In addition, more support is needed for NGOs working as WFP's implementing partners in distributing food so that they can expand their geographical coverage and capacity.

2) Democratic Republic of Congo

(a) As Kindu city has been cut off from food deliveries by fighting factions, severe malnutrition has been reported and massive population movements have been observed towards Kalima. Reports indicated that 800 children have been identified as being severely malnourished. A rapid assessment will be necessary as presently the town is only accessible by air. Additionally, Mudzipela and Kindja are still inaccessible to humanitarian interventions due to the prevailing insecurity in the region.

(b) In Kinshasa, WFP has targeted 88,894 beneficiaries including IDP and refugees, nutritional programs, vulnerable groups, FFW and FFT activities. Only half rations were distributed due to the lack of resources. In Kahemba, the total caseload targeted for food assistance was 17,887 Angolan refugees, including the host populations. In Equateur, WFP targeted 30,000 IDPs for food distribution in Mbandaka. In FFT activities 200 widows and girl-mothers, as well as 200 orphans and street children were targeted. WFP also targeted 900 malnourished children for food aid in Mbandaka, Wendji-Sikli and Basankusu. In North Kivu cumulatively from 1 January to 4 August 2002, WFP has distributed 4310,47 tons food aid to cover the needs of 482,195 beneficiaries.

(c) In South Kivu, 226 tons of food was distributed to meet the needs of 35,103 beneficiaries in Bukavu, Shabunda, Uvira and Kaziba. It has been estimated that there are 64,570 malnourished persons in South Kivu. Additionally, WFP partners have identified 2500 street children for food assistance, 300 former child soldiers and 3,775 HIV/AIDS positive teenagers and children for food assistance in FFT activities. In Lubumbashi, WFP in collaboration with implementing partners distributed 129 tons of food to refugees in Kisenge and 34 tons to 1,000 beneficiaries in income generating activities.

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

1) Guinea

(a) The overall security situation is stable in Guinea, but remains volatile near the Liberian-Guinean border. In Liberia, government troops pushed back rebel forces towards the Guinea border.

(b) Between 12-25 August, there were no reports of new Liberian refugees arriving in Guinea. The total number of new Liberian refugees stands at 26,000 since January 2002; the grand total of Liberian refugees in Guinea is approximately 49,000. The total number of Sierra Leonean refugees stands at 42,000. A total of approximately 18,000 Sierra Leonean refugees have been repatriated since January 2002.

2) Liberia

(a) In the wake of having re-captured Tubmanburg, Government troops continued their offensive against LURD dissidents. The renewed offensive continued to trigger more displacement as shown by the increase in the number of displaced persons who recently arrived in Totota and CARI IDP camps. Monrovia remains relatively calm and tension among its population appears to have eased considerably.

(b) The number of targeted beneficiaries continued to steadily increase during the reporting period for a number reasons. The government's offensive against LURD dissidents to regain the towns of Zorzor, Bopolu and Voinjama caused people to flee from the scenes of the fighting. Most of the new arrivals, mainly women and children, showed up in camps in CARI and Totota. All the IDPs living in transit shelters have now been verified and as a result, the total assisted caseload has largely increased. During the reporting period, the verification of all camps caseload was completed with the exception of Kakata, Margibi County, where 5,439 IDPs have been registered. The full results of the re-registration exercise bring the total of IDPs to 124,325.

3) Sierra Leone

(a) The movement of refugees from Liberia to Sierra Leone continued to slow down during the reporting period as a result of reduced hostilities in Liberia. New areas in the Kenema and Kono districts have been declared safe by the government and this development encouraged IDPs and returnees to return home.

E) Asia Region: DPR Korea

1) DPR Korea

(a) The cereal pipeline will break in October, as the shortfall of 98,137 tons of cereal remains un-resourced. With no new cereal contributions confirmed, distributions to primary school and kindergarten children on the west coast will be halted from September. Distributions to the other core beneficiary groups, nursery children and pregnant and nursing women, also on the west coast, will be suspended in October. Regular distributions to all beneficiary groups on the east coast, however, will continue through December.

(b) The Protocol for implementation of the Nutrition Survey was signed by the Government, UNICEF and WFP on August 22. Data collection, to take place in October, will be conducted by joint UNICEF-WFP-Government teams in accessible counties in 10 of the total 12 provinces. Two provinces will be excluded for statistical reasons as less than 80 percent of the population live in accessible counties in these two provinces. The descriptive analysis of the survey will be completed by the end of the year, after which the data sets will be handed over to UNICEF and WFP. The last Nutrition Survey in 1998 had revealed that acute malnutrition affected 16 percent of the children. In addition to assisting future food aid targeting, through this follow-up survey, an assessment can also be made of the impact of international food aid to the country in recent years.

F) Middle East Region: Palestinian Territories

1) Palestinian Territories

(a) WFP's ability to distribute food in the city of Nablus has been disrupted by the curfew with a break of only 58 hours in the last 65 days. On 17 August, when the Israeli Army lifted the curfew in Nablus for 5 hours, WFP food was distributed to 600 families. Some basic food commodities are beginning to run short in the market, particularly dairy products. Tulkarem is also under strict curfew, though this was lifted twice during the past week. All the northern governorates are subject to curfew during the night.

(b) Expectations of improvement of the living condition of Palestinians have been raised after the announcement of the "Gaza and Bethlehem First" agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. However, nothing has changed in terms of releasing the tight checkpoints and closures imposed on Palestinians except in providing travel permits to some Palestinian workers and businessmen to get into Israel.

(c) In Gaza, WFP food monitors and staff visited isolated areas near settlements and checkpoints, where the IDF have demolished Palestinian houses and agricultural lands and reported on the difficult living conditions faced by the affected families who have no source of income and minimum assistance to survive. Food monitors report that the majority of WFP beneficiaries who come to collect their ration at the Ministry of Social Affairs (MSA) distribution centres are women aged between 25-40 years old and women who participate in FFW activities are aged 18 to 50 years old.

(d) Distributions have started in Gaza main MSA warehouse and Jablia newly rented MSA warehouses to 19,675 families representing 98,375 beneficiaries. WFP distributed 1370 tons of food to beneficiaries in Gaza City and northern areas of Gaza during the July allocation.

(e) Distribution to MSA beneficiaries in Northern areas of Gaza took place for the first time in a newly rented warehouse in Beit Lahia. Previously, beneficiaries living in the Northern areas of Gaza, who make up 17.9 percent of total MSA beneficiaries, used to come to MSA's main warehouses in Gaza City to collect their food ration. The distribution plan for MSA beneficiaries in the remaining areas of the Gaza Strip will be finalized as soon as the delivery of MSA balance of July allocation is completed.

G) West and Central Asia Region: Afghanistan, Iran

1) Afghanistan

(a) To date, a total of eighteen donors have responded to the funding needs of the current operation. This response, combined with carry-over stocks from the previous operation, covers approximately seventy-four percent of the requirements or USD 210.5 million. WFP's EMOP in Afghanistan still requires USD 74.4 million in contribution from the international community. Such contributions enable WFP to distribute food among vulnerable Afghans to help them rebuild their lives.

(b) A Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation will be presented to the Executive Board in February 2003. It is currently being formulated in line with national priorities set by the transitional government, and working group discussions are taking place with various stakeholders, including government, other UN Agencies and international and national NGOs.

(c) In Jalalabad, at a WFP non-formal education centre for women, currently 220 women are learning embroidery, carpet weaving, hand sewing and tailoring. Additionally, some 190 families affected by the 9 August bomb explosion in Jalalabad received 13 tons of food. 2,340 returnees received 35 tons of food. A 3-month ration of 150 kg of food per household has been distributed to some 4,000 Kuchi families in Zabul. In Mazar, some 50,400 beneficiaries received around 2,000 tons of food under Food for Education and Bakery projects.

(d) In Herat, Food for Asset and Food for Work projects received some 1,060 tons of food and 6,500 returnees received 75 tons of food through WFP repatriation projects in collaboration with UNHCR and IOM. In addition, a total of 5,320 students are receiving bread, produced by 32 women at home bakeries and 2,000 beneficiaries received 15 tons of food through a Supplementary Feeding project.

(e) In Kabul, 8,900 beneficiaries received around 310,000 loaves of bread produced by 24 WFP bakeries. WFP committed supporting 5,510 malnourished children for a period of five years with a Supplementary Feeding programme to be implemented by Action Contre la Faim. WFP plans to expand Food for Education (FFE) programme in Takhar and Kunduz provinces. Nine districts in Badakhshan Province were identified as highly food insecure areas by the VAM assessment and WFP will expand the FFE programme in 5 out of the 9 districts.

(f) A follow-up meeting of the Implementation Group of the Afghanistan Assistance Coordination Authority (AACA) took place on 21 August, to discuss winterisation issues. The Food Aid Forum was held in WFP Country Office in Kabul on 27 August, to discuss the results of FAO/WFP Food and Crop Supply Assessment and winterisation in Afghanistan. The Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development visited Kandahar, and agreed to enhance mutual cooperation in facilitating rural rehabilitation.

2) Iran

(a) A Letter of Understanding for the earthquake EMOP 10227 was signed on 18 August 2002 between the Disaster Task Force of the Government of Iran and WFP. Food distributions are expected to begin in September.

(b) The number of Afghans returning home through the UNHCR-assisted Voluntary Repatriation Programme in Iran as of 26 August 2002 stood at 167,425 persons. The voluntary repatriation of Afghans is governed by a tripartite accord signed in Geneva on 3 April 2002, by Iran, Afghanistan and UNHCR. The agreement envisages the annual repatriation of 400,000 Afghan refugees. The Government has reemphasized the full enforcement of the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran dealing with illegal entrants and those staying after the new deadline of 27 August 2002.

H) Eastern Europe Region: Northern Caucasus

1) Northern Caucasus

(a) On 26 August WFP resumed relief food distributions in Chechnya, which had been on hold since 29 July due to the kidnapping of two relief workers. The suspension of the regular UN programmes will continue except for life-saving activities, which include the prov