Afghanistan + 12 more

WFP Emergency Report No. 36 of 2000

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
This report includes: (A) West and Central Asia: Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Armenia; (B) South East Asia: Indonesia / West Timor, East Timor, Indonesia / Maluku; (C) DPR Korea; (D) Russian Federation / Northern Caucasus; (E) Horn of Africa: Kenya and Eritrea; (F) Great Lakes: Regional and Tanzania; (G) Sierra Leone; (H) Angola; (I) Algeria.
From Francesco Strippoli, Senior Humanitarian Adviser. Available on the Internet on the WFP Home, Page or by e-mail from Zlatan.Milisic@wfp.org. For information on resources, donors are requested to contact Marius.deGaayFortman@wfp.org at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2004 or 06 6513 2250. 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.

PART I - HIGHLIGHTS

(Details below in Part II)

A) West and Central Asia

1) Afghanistan: Displacement from Ghor to Herat continues, 12,000 destitute in Herat IDP camps; WFP planning prepared meals for most affected; Ghor operations strengthened to counter out-migration; Situation in north of concern; WFP food delivered to 22 northern districts; Purchasing power of population below minimum, while food prices increasing.

2) Tajikistan: Serious water shortages in Khujand and Khorog; National nutritional survey being prepared; 20,000 people assisted by WFP through PRRO; EMOP under preparation.

3) Pakistan: Government covering all relief needs in Baluchistan; International assistance might be needed for rehabilitation and development.

4) Armenia: Field part of FAO/WFP Assessment concluded; North most affected.

B) South-East Asia

1) Indonesia / West Timor: Three UNHCR staff killed during militia attack in West Timor; All humanitarian staff evacuated; Meetings on repatriation of refugees from West Timor held; WFP food pre-positioned as preparedness measure.

2) East Timor: Security in East Timor relatively stable; Inter-agency effort to set system for food security monitoring; New IDPs reported.

3) Indonesia / Maluku: 250,000 IDPs reported in Maluku, 150,000 on Ambon island; figures uncertain and fluid; WFP assisting 120,000 on Ambon; Massive humanitarian crisis not foreseen by UN, but relief needs clear; WFP missions to Seram Island found 45,000 IDPs; Food aid needed for IDPs and hosts; Missions to other islands planned.

C) DPR Korea: Tropical storm hit north-eastern coast; Houses, roads and bridges destroyed and damaged; Homeless in need of relief; Crops also affected but less; Some crops previously affected by drought; WFP planning distribution of 400 tons in affected area; WFP food pipeline in-country sufficient until late November.

D) Russian Federation / Northern Caucasus: Security in Grozny improving, food prices high; 40 percent of land cultivated; Drought also threatens food security; WFP EMOP for conflict victims seriously under-funded; Second WFP convoy reached Grozny with 123 tons of food; 160,402 Chechen IDPs registered in Ingushetia, WFP to assist most.

E) Horn of Africa

1) Kenya: Beneficiary caseload increased to 3.48 million people; Additional 10,656 tons received; WFP EMOP covered 69 percent; Insecurity in Samburu.

2) Eritrea: 13,589 tons of WFP food provided in August; WFP stocks 24,878 tons; Assessments in Anseba predict reduced harvest; 2160 IDPs return from Mekete to Berentu.

F) Great Lakes

1) Regional: Review of Great Lakes Regional PRRO conducted; Continuation of food aid in all four countries recommended; Regional nutritional workshop held for WFP staff.

2) Tanzania: New refugees influx in Ngara and Kibondo; Lugufu camp being extended; 467,225 refugees fed during last distribution; Decreased food aid rations for refugees still on; Rapid vulnerability assessment carried out, coordinated by Government.

G) Sierra Leone: needs among IDPs in Daru and Bumbuna found by WFP teams; Security not allowing road access there, alternative deliveries explored; New IDP registration at Mile 91 underway; WFP food shortfall 9,000 tons of cereals until end of year.

H) Angola: Assessment in Luau (Moxico) following reports of humanitarian crisis; Internal displacement continues in Moxico (highest monthly total in August), Kuito, Uige and Lunda Sul. Resettlement plans for 10,000 IDP progressing; WFP food needs covered until late November.

I) Algeria: WFP assisting 155,000 Western Sahara refugees; Food stocks and pipeline to last until end-October; New contributions urgently needed to avoid severe food shortages.

PART II - DETAILS

A) West and Central Asia

1) Afghanistan

a) Displacement from Ghor Province towards Herat city, due to the drought, continues. Approximately 12,000 destitute people are reported to have occupied the former IDP camps at the outskirts of the city, where living conditions are inadequate due to poor hygiene and nutritional concerns. In order to respond to what appears to be a growing humanitarian crisis, WFP is preparing emergency daily distributions of corn-soya bland (CSB) porridge to the displaced in Herat. The initial allocation is for three months and includes 162 tons of CSB and 11 tons of sugar.

b) In order to reinforce assistance currently provided in the western region and as an attempt to counter the out-migration to Herat, WFP has sent a team of six experienced staff into Ghor Province, to strengthen capacities and facilitate rapid food aid distributions there. Rapid distributions in Ghor are hoped to stabilise the population in their origin areas and decrease further displacement to Herat. The urgency of the situation is exacerbated by the approaching winter months, which will severely impede access.

c) The humanitarian situation in the north remains of serious concern, due to the failure of rain-fed wheat crops and the possibility of water shortages. WFP has approved a relief project for the northern part of Samangan Province for 15,500 drought-affected people, involving 388 tons of food. In southern Samangan, serious famine related distress is being reported. Some 2,300 tons of WFP food had reached 22 districts in the northern provinces (as of 30 August).

d) Although labour markets are most active at this time of year, the purchasing power of population in all major urban centres, excluding Jalalabad, is too low to cover their basic needs. In the north, purchasing power is less than half the level necessary to provide for minimum household food needs. In addition, wheat prices in the north and north-east (where wheat from Kazakhstan is not available) are the highest in the country. Local wheat is not available on any cereal markets, with the exception of the north-east. The only wheat for sale are the imports from Kazakhstan and negligible and highly priced imports from Pakistan and Iran. Food prices have risen by as much as 53 percent since the last year and are significantly constraining the ability of households to cope with the impacts of the drought.

2) Tajikistan

a) Water shortages in Khujand (Leninabad) and Khorog (GBAO) have led the affected people to use water from irrigation canals, drains and rivers for drinking purposes.

b) In cooperation with four NGOs, WFP is finalising preparations for a national nutritional survey. The findings of the survey are expected to provide more insight in the levels, rates and causes of malnutrition among children, particularly in drought-affected areas.

c) About 20,000 drought-affected people have been provided relief assistance by WFP through the on-going PRRO. WFP Emergency Operation is currently being prepared.

3) Pakistan

a) The Government has been implementing an extensive relief operations in eleven drought-affected districts of Baluchistan during the last three months, using its own resources, and has not asked for any external support for the relief efforts. However, some international assistance might be sought for rehabilitation and development of drought-affected areas of Baluchistan. WFP Country Programme may be able to provide some resources to support the Government efforts in mitigating future adverse consequences of drought and water scarcity.

4) Armenia

a) The field work of the FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission has been completed. The mission confirms that most affected by drought are the regions in the north, where 70 percent of grain and potato crops seem to have been affected. The mission held a debriefing meeting with the Government prior to departure.

B) Indonesia

1) Indonesia / West Timor

a) During a militia attack on UNHCR office and humanitarian staff and assets of other agencies in West Timorese town of Atambua, on 6 September, three UNHCR staff were killed and several relief workers injured. Following the attack, all agency staff from Atambua were evacuated, including seven WFP staff and subsequently, all humanitarian staff were evacuated from West Timor.

b) WFP and UNHCR met to discuss possibilities for providing repatriation packages consisting of food, seeds and non-food items to refugees remaining in West Timor camps, as an incentive for their return. In the event of a quick repatriation, WFP would also consider supporting IOM in transporting the refugees and their belongings. The Government and UNTAET are discussing plans to close refugee camps in West Timor and organise voluntary repatriation of refugees within the next 3 to 6 months. WFP has pre-positioned Humanitarian Daily Rations (HDR) in Dili, Maliana, Suai, and Oecussi, as a preparedness measure for possible return of 50,000 refugees.

2) East Timor

a) No security incidents were reported in East Timor during the week. UN peacekeeping force is on alert due to reported militia activity in the sectors West and Central, and some in the sector East. WFP has been able to continue operations and deliver food aid to all districts as scheduled.

b) Concerns have been raised about a potential deterioration of food security situation in the coming months, due to poor market structures to support cash crops, high post-harvest losses, pest infestation and seed shortages. WFP, FAO, UN Transitional Authority (UNTAET) and other partners have started collaborating to set up an assessment system and database on food security indicators that would allow close monitoring of the situation.

c) WFP met with UNTAET to discuss its school feeding initiative, which could start in October and last during the incoming school year. UNTAET gave its full support, but implementing partners have raised concerns about the lack of funding to implement the project. It is hoped that the endorsement of the initiative by UNTAET will help fund-raising efforts.

d) IDPs fleeing allegedly insecure areas have been reported in the districts of Manufahi and Ainaro. WFP will carefully review all requests to feed IDPs in East Timor, in order not to create an incentive for people to leave their villages (for reasons other than security).

3) Indonesia / Maluku

a) According to the available information, there are approximately 260,000 IDPs spread throughout the Maluku province, with 150,000 of them on Ambon Island. These numbers are relatively uncertain and fluid, and believed to involve some double-counting and inclusion of population that is not displaced. It is quite possible that some unregistered IDPs could be concealed in the mountainous interiors of many islands. There are also periodic new waves of IDPs, such as the recent arrival to Ambon of over 3,500 people from Waai village.

b) WFP is currently assisting 120,000 beneficiaries on Ambon and the new IDPs will be added to this caseload. Only a small number of IDPs stay in temporary shelters, while the majority are living in permanent structures. In view of the available information and magnitude of displacement established, the UN team (consisting of representatives from OCHA, UNDP, WHO and WFP) does not foresee a potential for massive humanitarian crisis in Ambon, but there is a clear need for some relief assistance.

c) Two WFP missions were recently sent to Seram Island where they found around 45,000 IDPs, most living with host families. Food insecurity of some IDPs in Seram camps seems to be serious, as they have been consuming only cassava and sago for several months. Vulnerability to food insecurity of most host families is also high, as the island is not very fertile and the population largely subsists on tubers and bananas. The majority of IDPs, as well as some host families, could greatly benefit from regular food assistance. WFP is currently looking into possibilities of starting some relief interventions.

d) WFP plans to send missions to other Maluku islands in the near future, if transport and security can be ensured. Local officials and police are being consulted to accomplish this goal.

C) DPR Korea

a) A severe tropical storm hit the north-east coast of the country. Winds and flooding have caused considerable damage to houses and infrastructure, such as roads and bridges. In many areas telephone lines are down. There are unofficial reports that 42 people have been killed in South Hamyong. Those made homeless have been accommodated with relatives and friends, and in nurseries, kindergartens and schools. They are being provided some maize (from the recently harvested early crop) by the Government, but need additional food, blankets, clothes and kitchen utensils. Many also reported having diarrhoea. WFP has allocated 400 tons of wheat, held as contingency, to food-for-work projects for reconstruction and repair works in North Hamyong Province.

b) Damage to crops has not been fully assessed yet, due to transportation problems. While the storm caused rivers to flood, embankments appear to have generally held, protecting surrounding crops. Observations are that north of Chongjin maize was flattened by high winds in many localised areas, but not necessarily broken. Flood water has receded in most areas and some crops seem to be recoverable. South of Chongjin, a great area under maize crop had been affected in a similar manner, but in a few areas maize is still on the ground and will most probably be lost. In some parts, maize had already been affected by the drought. Rice seems largely unaffected by the storm, but there are several localised areas where rice had been under water for several days and would be lost. The full extent of the damage to the crops will be assessed by the FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission, scheduled to take place between 26 September and 7 October.

c) WFP food pipeline for the DPR Korea operation remains precarious. There are sufficient stocks of cereals to continue food aid distributions in the country until late November.

D) Russian Federation / Northern Caucasus

a) WFP emergency operation in Northern Caucasus remains seriously under-funded. The shortfall is for 21,476 tons of food commodities (as of 31 August).

b) DRC reported to have registered 160,402 Chechen IDPs in Ingushetia (as of 29 August). WFP will allocate food commodities for all IDPs registered, except for 13,729 IDPs living in Sputnik and Severny camps that are assisted by Islamic Relief. Due to low level of stocks, beneficiaries will be given only a quarter of a normal sugar ration, but a higher ration of pulses will be made available.

c) Security situation in Grozny is improving, according to the city authorities. The food market is open, but vendors are mostly selling fruits and vegetables. The price of food commodities remains higher than in Ingushetia.

d) Only 40 percent of agricultural land in Chechnya was reportedly cultivated this year due to the conflict, presence of mines and lack of agricultural inputs. The drought has further aggravated food unavailability, especially for cereals. The authorities report lack of seeds and other agricultural inputs for the next spring season.

e) A second WFP convoy to Chechnya, carrying 123 tons of food, was delivered by the People in Need Foundation to Grozny, to assist 8,000 beneficiaries for one month. The distributions have already started. Danish Refugee Council (DRC) sent food convoys, funded by ECHO, to the regions of Grozny and Kurchaloy, in order to assist about 14,000 beneficiaries. UNHCR also sent a convoy of 61 tons of food and other non-food items to the same region.

f) Action Contre la Faim has reported to have secured funding for food assistance to about 65,000 beneficiaries in Ackhoy-Martan and southern districts of Shatoi, Itum-kale and Sharoy, where no other humanitarian organisations are delivering food due to difficult mountain terrain.

E) Horn of Africa

1) Kenya

a) WFP emergency operation for drought affected population is currently targeting 2,404,390 people in nineteen districts through general distributions and 1,074,234 children through emergency school feeding, a total of 3.48 million people. Some 430,402 children under five and pregnant and nursing mothers receive supplementary food, in addition to general distribution rations.

b) WFP secured an additional 10,656 tons of food from USA (10,000 tons of cereals) and African Development Bank. This brings the total confirmed pledges for the WFP drought operation to 124,323 tons, or 69 percent of the net operational requirement.

c) A report summarising results from nine 'training of trainers' workshops on community based food aid targeting and distribution was finalised and distributed to staff, partner agencies and district administration.

d) Security remains of concern in Samburu and Isiolo where incidents were reported this week.

2) Eritrea

a) A total of 13,589 tons of food provided by WFP was distributed to beneficiaries in the country during August, including 9,980 tons for war-affected population in Debub, Gash Barka and Mekete camp in Northern Red Sea Regions and 3,609 tons to drought-affected persons in Anseba and Northern Red Sea Regions. During the past week, some 412,500 beneficiaries received food assistance. WFP currently has 26,979 tons of food on stock in the country.

b) The findings of the Afabet post-distribution monitoring carried out in Anseba Region indicate that all beneficiaries received a complete food basket.

c) The crop assessment exercises carried out in the Northern Red Sea Region indicates that the harvest is expected to be significantly decreased compared to the last year, as a result of a reduction in cultivated land and late onset of summer rains.

d) A total of 1,260 IDPs returned to their homes in Barentu from Mekete camp in the Northern Red Sea Region, decreasing the camp figure to 23,535 IDPs. Some 5,500 IDPs were relocated from Tsadakelay Camp to Adi Quala area because of an outbreak of malaria in the camp.

F) Great Lakes

1) Regional

a) WFP conducted a mid-term review of the Great Lakes regional protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO 6077.00), to assess progress and recommend future course of action. The review team visited all countries covered by the Regional PRRO - Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda - and recommended continuation of the expansion phase in all four countries through the following project interventions: (i) protracted relief - nutritional support activities and targeted feeding, (ii) protracted refugee feeding - general distribution, selective feeding and support to refugee-affected areas, and (iii) recovery - food-for-work in agricultural recovery, basic infrastructure and seed protection projects. It was also recommended that the flexibility of response within the regional approach should be retained and more strongly argued for, particularly in respect to quick shifting of resources within the region.

b) Regional nutritional training workshop involving 25 WFP staff working in the countries of the Great Lakes Region was organised. All participants successfully completed the training programme, which combined technical lectures and practical exercises. This nutrition training will be followed by country-specific training workshops.

2) Tanzania

a) Renewed fighting in Burundi triggered a new wave of refugees into Ngara and Kibondo districts. A total of 3,300 new arrivals were recorded during the past two weeks. New Congolese and Burundian refugees were reported in Kigoma. Construction of a new reception centre and other facilities has started in Lugufu, to extend the current camp which has reached its maximum holding capacity.

b) Refugee statistics maintained by UNHCR currently indicate a presence of 465,580 refugees in Tanzanian refugee camps in Kasulu, Kibondo, Kigoma and Ngara provinces. A total of 467,225 refugees were recorded as receiving food aid rations provided by WFP during the last distribution, with 16,740 most vulnerable women and children also benefiting from supplementary or therapeutic feeding.

c) General distribution of WFP food was carried out in Ngara and Kigoma refugee camps, with decreased rations due to insufficient funding. A 60 percent ration of all commodities was distributed, with 50 percent ration of oil. The most vulnerable refugees received full rations.

d) Rapid vulnerability assessment of drought affected areas was carried out in the last two weeks of August, under the coordination of the Government. Arusha, Shinyanga, Mwanza, Mara, Tabora, Singida, Dodoma, Tanga, Kilimanjaro and Morogoro were found to be regions most affected by the drought.

e) In view of the good results and positive impacts of the ongoing school feeding project, its expansion to new areas is currently being considered.

G) Sierra Leone

a) WFP completed a rapid assessment in Daru and found high food needs among IDPs, who are surviving on wild foods, cassava, and palm oil. Limited amount of rice available on the local market is over-priced and unaffordable for most IDP. Deterioration of food security in the area is believed to be highly affected by the closure of the road from Kenema to Daru, due to security reasons. Security and logistics constraints currently do not allow WFP to deliver food aid to the town, but alternative routes are being explored.

b) WFP participated in an inter-agency assessment in Bumbuna, Tonkolili District, where MSF-B (supported with WFP food) recently carried out a food distribution to 1,500 malnourished children under five. The host community has been assisting most IDPs, but the assessment team observed a group of 1,115 IDPs not helped by the locals and in urgent need of relief. Security conditions in Bumbuna are similar to those in Daru and the road access is not possible, so special air arrangements to deliver the food aid will have to be organised.

c) CARE is currently conducting their third registration of IDPs at Mile 91 in the last two months. The last exercise included some double-counting and registration of population not displaced and reached an inflated total of 82,000 IDPs. WFP and other agencies are assisting the registration process. WFP has been providing food to 3,180 beneficiaries in supplementary and therapeutic feeding programmes at Mile 91.

d) WFP has a food pipeline shortfall of 1,774 tons of cereals until the end of September and 9,000 tons until the end of the year.

H) Angola

a) A joint assessment by UN Security, UNICEF, WFP, UNHCR, OCHA, SCF-US, JRS and IMC is being undertaken in Luau near the Zairian border, following reports of humanitarian crisis in this area and urgent relief needs.

b) During August, the provincial capital of Moxico province, Luena, received the highest number of IDPs during the past year. A total of 2,498 persons have arrived during the month, of which 808 this week. The IDPs came from areas within Moxico where military activities are intense and from Malanje, Lunda Sul and Bie provinces.

c) Influx of new IDPs also continued in Kuito, where WFP and the Government verified arrival of 3,044 new IDPs, Uige, where 931 new IDPs were registered and Cacolo, Lunda Sul, where 592 new IDPs were recorded.

d) IDP resettlement programmes are progressing in the provinces of Uige, Moxico, Malanje, Cuanza Norte, Huila, Bengo, and Cuando Cubango. More than 10,000 IDPs are expected to be allocated land and resettled in the coming months.

e) Small-scale ambushes and attacks continued throughout the country. Reports of insecurity were received from Cuando Cubango, Huambo, Zaire, Uige, Malanje, Bengo, Huila, Moxico provinces during the week.

f) During the week, WFP transported a total of 746 tons of relief food commodities by road and 1,172 tons of food and 122 tons of non-food items by air, a total of 2,030 tons, to various provinces. WFP has 31,296 tons of food on stock, in the country. The pipeline situation has improved and WFP operational requirements are expected to be covered until November.

I) Algeria

a) The UN-sponsored Settlement Plan for the Western Sahara conflict includes the repatriation of all eligible refugees, but the referendum is unlikely to be implemented before 2002 and until then the refugees are expected to remain in Algeria. As the camps are in very harsh and hostile geophysical environment, the refugees will continue to rely almost entirely on humanitarian assistance from the international community.

b) WFP, UNHCR and NGOs have been providing assistance to the refugees in four camps, which are located near Tindouf in south-western Algeria. WFP mobilises the basic food commodities for the camp population of 155,000 people (the figure is based on the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara and UNHCR registrations).

c) Food stocks for the camps are dangerously low and the outlook for food supplies is bleak. The monthly requirements for basic food are around 2,700 tons and the commodities available in country and transit, from WFP, bilateral donor and NGO sources, will cover the needs only until the end of October. If further contributions are not received soon, the consequences may be far more serious than the severe food shortages that affected the camp population last winter.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No. 36 / 2000 of 8 September 2000)