WFP Emergency Report No. 37 of 2003

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 12 Sep 2003


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

B) East and Central Africa: (1) DR Congo, (2) Burundi, (3) Rwanda, (4) Tanzania, (5) Uganda, (6) Sudan, (7) Eritrea, (8) Ethiopia C) West Africa: (1) Guinea Bissau, (2) Guinea, (3) Sierra Leone, (4) Liberia, (5) Cote d'Ivoire, (6) Cameroon

D) Southern Africa: (1) Regional, (2) Namibia, (3) Angola, (4) Zambia, (5) Zimbabwe, (6) Malawi, (7) Tanzania, (8) Mozambique, (9) Swaziland, (10) Lesotho, (11) Madagascar, (12) Comoros

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

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

G) Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: (1) Azerbaijan

From David Morton, Director of the Transport, Preparedness and Response Division (OTP); available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (www.wfp.org), or by e-mail from Carlo.Scaramella@wfp.org , Chief of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit (OEP).

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

A) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Iraq, (2) Afghanistan

1) Iraq

(a) The security situation in all areas of the country continues to be tense. Following the attack against the United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad, WFP has been adjusting its staffing structure to meet operational requirements and security constraints. The number of international staff present in Iraq has been reduced considerably.

(b) The logistics operations and dispatch of commodities from the four main corridors of Jordan, Syria, Kuwait, Turkey and from the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr are running smoothly. Dispatch activities have lately resumed also from Iran. As at 10 September, the total amount dispatched for the month of September reached 36,293 tons, totalling 1,883,219 tons since the beginning of the operation in April. The September Public Distribution System (PDS) ration has been announced in newspapers, television and radio. Distribution has already begun throughout the country and is progressing smoothly. The September ration foresees an increase in pulses and detergent, and a decrease of milk, infant formula and weaning cereals.

(c) According to the latest data received from the Ministry of Trade (MOT), some 21,000 adults and 14,000 infants have recently registered with MOT Registration Ration Centres (RRCs) in the lower southern governorates of Missan, Muthana and Thi-Qar. In Wassit governorate, WFP is facilitating the supply of monthly PDS food rations to 2,932 vulnerable Ahwazzeen "refugees". The Ahwazzeen are Iranians of Arab origin, originally living in Ahwazz near the border between Iraq and Iran, who in 1980 were relocated to Wassit governorate by the Government of Iraq, where they became successful farmers. However, the original landowners are now asking for their lands to be returned.

2) Afghanistan

(a) Humanitarian operations in the southern and southeastern provinces continue being hampered by Government and Coalition Force military operations, in which some 100 suspected insurgents have been killed. UN missions to Uruzgan, Zabul and parts of Hilmand province as well as all districts near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border remain suspended. In the east, missions to Kunar province and several districts in Nangarhar and Laghman provinces are classified as high-risk areas and/or suspended.

(b) From 04 to 10 September, some 648,310 beneficiaries received 1,773 tons of food through Food for Work, Food For Education, Relief and Resettlement of IDPs and Refugees, Urban Vulnerable Bakeries and Supplementary and Institutional feeding activities in Fayz Abad, Mazari Sharif, Kabul, Kandahar and Hirat.

(c) On 10 September, WFP and Afghanistan's New Beginnings Programme signed an agreement on implementation of a "Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration" (DDR) project in Afghanistan. WFP will provide 12,600 tons of food to be distributed to 100,000 demobilized beneficiaries as a one-time incentive food package in order to help them reintegrate into civilian life. WFP's food aid support to the DDR initiative is in line with WFP's programme goals in PRRO, which covers ex-combatants as a beneficiary group. The initial pilot phase of the project will commence on 15 October. In Fayz Abad, a newly established Gender Taskforce of Government, NGO and WFP representatives met to discuss bakery activities in the framework of WFP commitments to women. The Head of Department of Women Affairs attended the meeting and possible collaboration with the Department was also discussed. On 08 September a workshop took place at UNHCR in Hirat to prepare for winter in IDP camps. The participants, including the Ministry of Refugees and Rehabilitation, discussed the overall IDP movements, current situation in camps and preparedness measures. On 15 September the discussion will continue on strategies for IDPs in southern and western parts of the country. In Kandahar, WFP held an IDP project coordination workshop.

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

1) DR Congo

(a) Security remained precarious in the eastern regions of DRC. Pockets of insecurity continued to be reported in South Kivu and Maniema provinces and the North Katanga area. In Shabunda, South Kivu province, the delivery of military hardware and other supplies by air for the Rwandan Patriotic Army contingent triggered fear among the humanitarian community. Some NGOs, such as ACF, one of WFP implementing partners in nutritional centres, were contemplating an evacuation.

(b) WFP continued to be approached by NGOs regarding the increasing food needs in Maniema province. The province has remained inaccessible for many years due to insecurity. With the fragile peace resulting from the country's reunification, there has been an increase in the caseload of returnees from hideouts in forests, bringing along with them children in a very poor nutritional status. WFP plans to provide additional food resources for the nutrition programmes. WFP resumed airlifting of food from Kalemie to Kasongo in Maniema province, a highly food insecure area. A total of 60 tons of food were delivered to date.

(c) In Kalemie, the post distribution monitoring, carried out recently in the camp of Lumbwe, sheltering some 15,000 IDPs, indicated a decrease in the malnutrition rate. An awareness campaign for IDPs to return in their villages of origin was also launched, targeting the 14,000 people encamped in Makala. A joint UN agencies, NGOs and local authorities Security Assessment Mission carried out last week determined villages along secured roads and with the beginning of the 'A' planting season from, September 2003 to March 2004, IDPs were encouraged to resume their agricultural activities.

(d) Some 1346 tons of food was distributed to 350,488 beneficiaries in IDP camps and through nutrition programmes in North and South Kivu, and North and South Katanga.

2) Burundi

(a) The Head of State was expected to meet with the leader of the Force pour la Defense de la Democratie (FDD) rebel faction in Kampala to finalise issues pending from the last meeting in Sun City, South Africa and the talks were to conclude with a suspension of hostilities. However, the meeting planned for 10 September was cancelled. The rebel faction of the Front for National Liberation (FNL) based mostly in Bujumbura Rural province and parts of Bubanza province is still not responding to talks with the transitional government.

(b) Eight people were killed during the rebels' confrontations in Kanyosha and Kamenge zones of the capital Bujumbura. The security situation remained volatile in many areas including other zones of the capital. Fighting between the army and FNL rebels was reported in communes of Bujumbura Rural and Bubanza provinces. Armed robbery continued in Kayanza town as well as in other rural areas of the same province.

(c) A recent report from UNHCR indicates that approximately 56,000 refugees repatriated to Burundi between January and 04 September either with UNHCR assistance or spontaneously. Reports indicate 15,000 people have been displaced following the fighting reported in Mubimbi commune of Bujumbura Rural province. WFP is monitoring the situation and is in close contact with OCHA, the local administration and other humanitarian organizations.

(d) WFP reached more than 6,000 previously inaccessible people in Ruyigi province and assisted them with a 20-day ration. In addition, nearly 10,000 people recently displaced by the fighting in Bubanza province were provided with a seven-day ration. WFP assisted over 30,000 other persons displaced in the same commune during the preceding week.

(e) Between 01 and 07 September WFP distributed 862 tons of food to 76,146 beneficiaries through its various activities.

(f) WFP will need more food for the Seeds Protection campaign due to start during the second half of September and urgent deliveries are still required to maintain the distribution levels in the country.

3) Rwanda

(a) Food security continues to be stable in most of the country except in Bugesera where vulnerable households are coping through stretched traditional mechanisms, WFP food-for-work assistance and relief distribution from government and other agencies. Some pockets of food insecurity are still being reported in Butare and Gikongoro provinces. The "season C" harvest expected by mid September, if good, will play an important role in bridging the gap between now and the "2004 A season", especially in Kigali Ngali in Bugesera, Butare and Gikongoro. Market prices are rising steadily in most parts of the country compounding further the low purchasing power of many poor households. WFP continues to respond to areas hit hardest by the drought through food-for-work activities.

(b) WFP has received almost 70 percent of the food required until February 2004 for the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation 10062.1 in response to an appeal issued to donor partners last week in light of the critical pipeline situation WFP was facing. The Programme will start cutting rations for refugees and returnees by 15 percent from October onwards. If the current resourcing situation prevails, WFP plans to downscale its supported food-for-work activities.

4) Tanzania

(a) Note: For information on Tanzania please refer to the Southern Africa section of the Emergency Report

5) Uganda

(a) The northern Uganda districts of Apac and Lira came under Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel attacks during the past week. On 06 September, two people were killed and eight passengers abducted when the LRA ambushed two government vehicles on the Lira-Pader road. On the same date in Lira district, the LRA attacked the Iceme Catholic Mission, physically assaulted the 70-year old parish priest, abducted six people and looted food, clothes and money. On 08 September, the LRA attacked an IDP camp on the outskirts of Soroti town, in eastern Uganda. One child was killed and five people abducted. An estimated 80,000 people are currently displaced in Soroti town.

(b) Some 13,000 Sudanese refugees were registered in Ikafe and Madi Okollo refugee settlements in Yumbe and Arua districts respectively. The refugees were relocated from Kiryandongo refugee settlement in Masindi district, southwestern Uganda. WFP, together with the Department for Refugees are conducting a verification exercise to establish the exact number of relocated refugees.

(c) WFP completed distribution of relief food aid to the 15,000 people displaced in five sub-counties of Lira district. WFP's intervention was a result of the recommendations of a rapid assessment of the humanitarian situation carried out between 27 and 28 August 2003 by the Government of Uganda, together with Lira District authorities, Christian Children's Fund, Uganda Red Cross Society and WFP.

(d) WFP continues to provide relief food aid, with armed military escort, to over 800,000 people displaced in 52 camps in Gulu, Kitgum and Pader districts. Kitgum district authorities have requested the Government and WFP to provide assistance to some 135,000 people displaced in 10 new IDP camps. This is in addition to the nearly 100,000 people already displaced in the district. WFP is waiting for a response from the Department of Disaster Preparedness, Office of the Prime Minister.

6) Sudan

(a) The Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) in Darfur State signed a six-week cease-fire agreement on 05 September 2003 in Chad, which came into effect on 06 September. A tripartite committee consisting of representatives from the GoS, the SLM and the Government of Chad was formed to ensure the implementation of the truce, which is expected to ease the highly tensed security situation hampering the implementation of humanitarian operations in the region.

(b) Following the flash floods in Kassala State on 29 July, WFP led the humanitarian relief efforts in collaboration with the Sudanese Red Cross as an implementing partner and has completed the food distribution of 1,210 tons to about 68,000 flood-affected populations in Kassala State.

7) Eritrea

(a) There has been little rainfall in the past week in the primary agricultural areas, especially in Debub and Maekel. This could have a negative impact on the harvest, considering the late onset of the rains. However, the Government currently estimates that a harvest of approximately 200,000 tons could be expected, but only if there is sufficient rain. This would cover one third of the country's food needs.

(b) WFP, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health organized a workshop on the design of a National Nutritional Surveillance System. It was agreed that approximately ten sentinel sites in each region across the country would be selected for continuous nutrition monitoring, with information collected in a new national system on a quarterly basis. The Nutrition Surveillance System is expected to address the access to timely nutrition data, and will improve the targeting of effective nutritional interventions to the most vulnerable populations. The nutrition situation continues to be alarming, with a UNICEF/Ministry of Health, July 2003 sample survey indicating a global acute malnutrition level of 24.7 percent in the Gash Barka region.

(c) The resourcing situation for EMOP 10261 is improving, with 82,055 tons out of a total appeal of 129,957 tons now pledged (63 percent). Resources for PRRO 10192 are still urgently needed, with only 39,931 tons out of 104,531 tons committed (38 percent). Although pledges are in place, the operations face a current pipeline break of pulses, corn-soya blend, salt and sugar, with sufficient quantities of most of the commodities not expected to arrive before the end of the year.

8) Ethiopia

(a) The current emergency requirements have been presented in "Update of Emergency Assistance Requirements and Implementation Options", a joint Government and United Nations Appeal issued on 05 September. The food requirement for August to December has increased by over 259,000 tons, bringing the annual requirement to 1.8 million tons. The food needs until the end of the year are now largely covered by contributions to WFP, NGOs and the Government; the only shortfall for September-December occurs for pulses (21,000 tones) and vegetable oil (160 tones). Contingency planning scenarios for 2004 will be presented in October, based on mid-main (Meher) season assessments. There will be a full food needs assessment in November - December and a subsequent appeal.

(b) Given the severity of food shortages and the robust response to the appeal, the ration for general distribution has been revised to be larger and more balanced. The general ration of 15 kg of cereals per person per month (pppm), has been increased by 1.5 kg of pulses and 0.5 kg of vegetable oil. Fortified blended food (take-home rations of 4.5 kg pppm) is targeted as supplementary food to particularly vulnerable groups (children under-five, pregnant women and nursing mothers) in districts where malnutrition rates are severe.

(c) WFP is currently preparing a countrywide Food Aid Use and Impact Survey, scheduled to commence on 22 September and to last one month. WFP plans to cover six regions, including Afar, Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR, Somali and Tigray, visit approximately 380 communities and interview more than 3,700 households.

(d) Repairing of the damage caused by a storm at Djibouti Port is ongoing and continues to have some impact on port operations. Some container vessels are being diverted to the bulk berths. This raises the tonnage expected at these bulk berths to 140,000 tons in the coming four weeks.

C) West Africa: (1) Guinea Bissau, (2) Guinea, (3) Sierra Leone, (4) Liberia, (5) Cote d'Ivoire, (6) Cameroon

1) Guinea Bissau

(a) The political situation remained tense and unstable in August. The electoral census for the legislative elections started in the country and overseas. Rainfall continues to be well distributed throughout the country. In the low valleys, farmers were prevented from cultivating their lands and transplanting rice plants in the mangrove swamps, due to an excess of rainfall. Cereals such as maize, millet, sorghum and up-land rice saw favourable growth, despite grasshopper infestations during the previous months. On 01 August the Government launched an International Appeal for assistance to control and mitigate the pest infestations. FAO and WFP undertook a field mission to the affected regions to assess the impact of the losses and the needs.

(b) From 01 to 31 August, WFP assisted 5,487 beneficiaries with 172,671 tons of food through Food-for-Work, Health and Nutrition and Food-for-Training, including Vocational training and Literacy training, activities.

2) Guinea

(a) N'Zérékoré reported 779 Liberians as crossing into Guinea from Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire in the second half of August. Starting 31 August, a wave of refugees coming from Liberia via Bignamou in the Yomou prefecture was reported. As of 04 September, UNHCR had reportedly transferred 500 refugees from Gbignamou to the Lainé camp, with another 200 refugees remaining at the entry point. Some 1,244 Liberian refugees were transferred to the Lainé camp, and 173 Ivorians were transferred to Nonah.

(b) WFP conducted 10 special flights from N'Zérékoré to deliver 60 tons of sugar and 72 tons of corn-soya blend to Monrovia airport to assist WFP activities in Liberia responding to emergency needs.

(c) In the Albadariah camps, 7,765 refugees received 125 tons of food, expected to last until 01 October. In the Kola and Nonah camps, 12,487 refugees received 203 tons of food, expected to last until 28 September. In the camps and transit centres located throughout the N'Zérékoré region, 4 tons of food was used to provide 2,420 refugees with hot meals. 6 tons of food was distributed to 2,352 beneficiaries in the supplementary feeding centres in the four camps served by WFP in N'Zérékoré. Supplementary feeding centres served by WFP in Kissidougou distributed 14 tons of food to 3,430 beneficiaries.

3) Sierra Leone

(a) The general security situation in the country remained calm. The Mano River Bridge was reopened on 24 August after a six months closure. The Ministry of Defence in Freetown approved the reopening of the border, following reports of a large number of Sierra Leoneans and some refugees waiting in Bo waterside to cross into Sierra Leone. Only civilians with light luggage were permitted entry. Some 153 returnees from Monrovia arrived in Freetown by boat on 28 August.

(b) Countrywide, WFP supported a total of 45,480 beneficiaries with some 1,738 tons of food. Vulnerable group feeding programmes including refugees, resettlement, returnees and institutions supported some 16,680 beneficiaries with 211.26 tons of food. Therapeutic Feeding Centres/Supplementary Feeding and Mother and Child Health Programmes provided 31.22 tons of food to 3,533 beneficiaries comprising under-fives, pregnant women, lactating mothers and Caretakers. Institutional Feeding provided 809 beneficiaries with 12.71 tons of food aid.

4) Liberia

(a) The overall humanitarian situation in Liberia remains worrying. Though noticeable improvements were observed in Monrovia due to humanitarian interventions in temporary shelters, problems with regard to access to food, clean water and medical care for the estimated 200,000 IDPs inside of the capital are far from being resolved.

(b) Following the completion of the first round of food distribution, WFP has suspended general food distributions in Monrovia temporary shelters, as many of the IDPs were relocating to the Montserado camps. In Monrovia, WFP's assistance will shift from general food provision towards targeted distributions under a number of feeding programmes that include support to Mother Child Healthcare activities, expanding institutional feeding, Food For Work, feeding children under five and emergency school feeding. Furthermore, in conjunction with implementing partners, WFP is expecting to MOU between WFP, UNHCR and ICRC was signed and under EMOP 10298.0, this partnership will continue. UNHCR is planning a refugee census in September. This census will help WFP and partners determine the exact number of refugees before beginning the new six-month 1,148 tons EMOP. Some 392 tons of food will be purchased locally against the USD 224,000 already programmed.

D) Southern Africa: (1) Regional, (2) Namibia, (3) Angola, (4) Zambia, (5) Zimbabwe, (6) Malawi, (7) Tanzania, (8) Mozambique, (9) Swaziland, (10) Lesotho, (11) Madagascar, (12) Comoros

1) Regional

(a) The Regional Emergency Operation faces a major pipeline crisis from January 2004. Presently, and until the end of 2003, frequent pipeline breaks across the region are foreseen, particularly for cereals and pulses. Should additional donations not be made soon, the commodities will not reach the region in time for the peak of the Emergency Operation in January. WFP urgently requests donors to make pledges now, in order to prevent further disruption to distributions.

2) Namibia

(a) WFP is appealing for urgent donor support for its Namibia Emergency Operation 'Assistance to Angolan Refugees in Namibia' which supports the UNHCR repatriation currently underway. The one-year EMOP, which commenced in June 2003, has received USD 562,000 or 46 percent of the total resources required, leaving a shortfall of USD 647,000. WFP's Namibia operation is now facing a pipeline break in October for pulses and breaks for vegetable oil and sugar in November.

3) Angola

(a) During September, WFP expects to provide food for 1.9 million beneficiaries, compared with 1.6 million during August. This increase reflects the inclusion of the new beneficiaries who will receive WFP Seed Protection Rations in September to complement seeds and tools distribution for the planting season.

(b) WFP food assistance was provided to a further 5,250 refugees who were officially repatriated during the last two weeks into Angola from neighbouring countries through voluntary repatriation convoys organised by UNHCR. Around 570 external returnees from the Democratic Republic of Congo arrived in Mbanza Congo in Zaire Province; 1,150 returnees from DR Congo arrived in Luau in Moxico; around 2,390 returnees from Zambia arrived in Cazombo in Moxico; and around 1,140 returnees from Namibia arrived at Caiundo transit centre in Kuando Kubango. At the Lumbala Nguimbo Reception Centre in Moxico, around 2,550 spontaneous returnees were also assisted with WFP food, along with about 10 internal returnees. UNHCR has informed that the repatriation from Namibia to Cuangar and Calai municipalities, in the southern area of Kuando Kubango bordering Namibia, will begin around 15 September, with a weekly convoy of around 200 people planned. WFP provides food on both sides of relevant borders to support the official refugee repatriation. The total number of refugees officially repatriated into Angola this season now stands at approximately 23,960 people.

(c) In Benguela, 19,190 IDPs received WFP food for the first time in their areas of resettlement in Chila in Bocoio Municipality and in Canjala, Culango and Biopio in Lobito Municipality.

(d) WFP and Implementing Partners continue to carry out participatory rural appraisal (PRA) and rapid nutritional survey (RNS) throughout the country in order to monitor the food security situation.

(e) The Angola PRRO 'Food Assistance to War Affected People' is 74.4 percent or USD 182.0 million funded out of a total budget requirement of USD 244.8 million. This is equivalent to 289,006 tons or 84 percent of total tonnage requirements. Due to serious delays in international food shipments, a cereals pipeline break is expected in October in the Lobito logistics corridor.

4) Zambia

(a) WFP attended the Seventh Southern African Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF). The outcome of the regional forecast is that rainfall in the region will generally be normal but is cautions that heavy rainfall and exceptionally dry conditions could still occur in some areas.

(b) Repatriation of Angolan refugees from Meheba refugee settlement to Cazombo in Angola is on course and 9,553 refugees have been repatriated under the UNHCR organized voluntary repatriation programme running from 2003 to 2005.

(c) During the week, WFP and Implementing Partners distributed 463 tons of food through various activities.

5) Zimbabwe

(a) Field reports indicate an influx of former commercial farm workers in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe District in Mashonaland East Province. In an area suffering from food shortages, fellow villagers are reporting that ex-farm workers have very little to eat, as they arrived after the last agricultural season. WFP is responding by registering newly arrived persons for food aid so long as they meet the beneficiary selection criteria. Food insecurity along the Zambezi Valley is reaching critical levels. The Doma community living in the Guruve District along the Zambezi Valley is in critical need, as it does not have access to Grain Marketing Board (GMB) food supplies due to a lack of money coupled with the lack of transport to the remote hilly areas that the community inhabits.

(b) Contrary to recent media reports, WFP food aid operations are going on as normal. The UN offices closed last week are attached to another UN agency and are not involved in the food aid programme. WFP has major field offices in Bulawayo, Harare, Masvingo and Mutare, in addition to a logistics office in Beitbridge.

(c) September food distributions have started in the past few days and no significant difficulties have been reported as a result of the Government's new NGO policy released on 14 August. WFP is maintaining a high-level of monitoring to ensure that the food aid distribution process continues to be transparent and without political interference. Approximately 20,000 malnourished children are receiving food assistance through the WFP's urban feeding programme in Harare and Bulawayo. In Harare, the WFP feeding programme is providing support to 17 of the 33 clinics in the city. WFP is finalizing an agreement with an implementing partner to initiate a feeding programme for malnourished children living in informal settlements around Harare city.

6) Malawi

(a) From 04 to 10 September, WFP and implementing partners distributed 2,008 tons of food. WFP held talks with partners to discuss the implementation modalities for the Prevention of Mother to Child HIV Transmission project. The project will be undertaken in three districts of

Lilongwe, Thyolo and Chiradzulu and will target HIV positive pregnant and lactating mothers. The mothers will receive a household ration from the time they are identified as HIV positive, until the baby is 1 year and 8 months old.

7) Tanzania

(a) WFP is finalising the preparation of a Drought Emergency Operation to assist about 1.9 million people over the critical period, December 2003 to April 2004.

8) Mozambique

(a) During August, WFP and Implementing Partners distributed food to more than 523,000 drought-affected people through food for work, vulnerable group feeding and school feeding activities.

(b) During the week, WFP and Implementing Partners distributed 2,275 tons of food. While WFP has enough cereals in country to nominally meet September's cereal needs, WFP may not be able to provide partners in central parts of the country with the required amount of cereals for distribution. A further cereals break is foreseen in November.

9) Swaziland

(a) Water shortage problems at Lavumisa in the Lowveld will be somewhat alleviated following a consensus between the local government and the South African High Commission on increasing the volume of water drawn from the Jozini dam. This decision is expected to assist approximately 30,000 people with water supply for both subsistence farming and human consumption in the drought-hit communities of Somntongo and Lavumisa.

(b) WFP and Implementing Partners distributed 321 tons of food to 20,008 beneficiaries.

(c) During the month, Swaziland will begin to experience an extremely serious pipeline break for pulses. Donations are urgently required in order to guarantee a full food basket from September and throughout the duration of the Emergency Operation.

10) Lesotho

(a) From 03 to 09 September, WFP distributed 248 tons of food to 12,069 beneficiaries through targeted distributions for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and mother-child health care patients, pregnant and lactating mothers, and vulnerable children. An additional 98,013 pupils were provided with cooked meals in school feeding programmes. In light of the current drought, WFP will begin general distributions in October to targeted food-insecure beneficiaries.

11) Madagascar

(a) The European Union-funded Early Warning System (SAP) has identified 18 wards in the south as being food insecure. WFP and implementing partners are mobilizing communities in the wards in order to undertake Food for Work projects in response to food shortages. SAP has recommended the distribution of 7,300 tons of food for the affected communities.

12) Comoros

(a) WFP and OCHA are undertaking a joint contingency planning exercise for a possible volcanic eruption in the Comoros. There is evidence of a very significant increase in seismic activity in recent months, which is thought to be a precursor of a full-scale eruption. Preliminary conclusions suggest there is a high probability of an eruption although it is very difficult to predict its timing. There are no immediate plans to field an UNDAC team, although the contingency planning mission is considered to have been timely and appropriate.

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

1) DPR Korea

(a) The harvesting of the maize crop continues. Other agricultural activities are centred around preparations for the rice harvest in October. Mixed reports concerning projections for the main rice and maize harvests continue to be received from the field.

(b) Owing to a delay in approval for a third loan of cereals from the Government, Vulnerable Group Feeding activities under EMOP 10141.1 could not be implemented in Ryanggang and North Hamgyong provinces during the week. However, activities are expected to resume in these areas as the loan was approved on 05 September.

(c) An expected delay in the arrival of wheat, combined with much higher grain and sea freight costs than expected, will lead to a break in the cereals pipeline of EMOP 10141.1 from mid October, rather than later November. Overall shortfalls of about 110,000 tons are projected from September through February 2004, of which about 90,000 tons are cereals.

2) Indonesia

(a) Following the powerful bomb explosion outside the JW Marriott Hotel in South Jakarta on 04 August, in which 11 people died and over 100 were injured, tighter security measures were introduced in Jakarta and elsewhere in the country. In Aceh, most of IDPs have returned to their places of origin. By the end of August there were some 16,265 IDPs, down from the previous total of 108,459 at the height of military operations. WFP has suspended its food distribution in Aceh due to lack of direct access for assessment and monitoring. WFP has been minimizing its presence in Banda Aceh and will continue scaling down its presence.

(b) WFP's El Niño assessment indicates a serious water shortage in Java. Drought could be more severe than last year, especially south of the equator. There are persistently high malnutrition rates and serious food insecurity in West Timor. WFP will continue its assistance programmes in collaboration with CARE. Careful monitoring of food insecurity will continue, especially in NTT, Java, Papua highlands, parts of Kalimantan and Sumatra.

(c) WFP led a joint WFP, FAO and donor Emergency Needs Assessment Mission to Timor-Leste from 10 to 26 August. The Mission concluded that two years of drought has caused a serious lack of access to food in the most affected areas, where the health and nutrition situation has become precarious. The Mission recommended emergency food assistance to an estimated 110,000 people to prevent hunger and further deterioration in the nutritional status during the November 2003 to March 2004 hunger period. The worst affected pockets are located in the highland areas of Alieu, Ainaro, Ermera, Bobonaro, Covalima, Baucau districts, and the remoter and more isolated areas such as Oecussi and Atauro Island. WFP also conducted a joint mission with the National Relief Coordinating Board (Bakornas), from 25 to 29 August, to assess the drought situation in East Java. The crop failure was found to be from 50 to 100 percent, which implies that an average family of 5 members owning 0.25 hectares has a food gap of about two months. The Government has released 18,000 tons of rice for drought affected persons in East, West and Central Java.

(d) During August 2003, about 1.48 million targeted beneficiaries, mostly women and children, received WFP assistance, amounting to 6,som 440 tons of food, through Urban Programme and Internally Displaced Person (IDPs) activities. In Maluku, WFP conducted monitoring and assessment visits in different part of Ambon city.

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

1) Ecuador

(a) The Civil Defense, the Ministry of Agriculture, local municipalities and WFP will begin a recovery project this week to support people affected by Tungurahua Volcano's ash emissions. The project includes the provision of food aid to families at high risk, crop improvements, protection of family orchards with roofs, and reforestation of watersheds. WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNDP are working with the Government and NGOs to prepare immediate response projects in the areas of health and housing.

2) Colombia

(a) A high level of pressure from illegal armed groups on some rural municipalities has resulted in a displacement of people living in the Department of Choco. Last week, two leaders were assassinated. Around Quibdo, numerous families have been waiting for several weeks for an improvement in safety conditions that would allow them to return home. The presence of guerrillas and paramilitaries in the northern rural area of the Department of Antioquia has increased tension and generated fear among the population.

(b) A cassava production project implemented by WFP and local municipalities, with the support of the government implementing partner "Social Solidarity Network", in the Department of Antioquia, has provided 210 displaced families, with a majority of households headed by women, with resources and capacity building. Skills developed through the project are contributing to the creation of new vocations for some beneficiaries.

3) Central America

(a) A pilot workshop to support the Central America PRRO Baseline Study was held in Guatemala during the week to train WFP staff and government implementing agencies on the tools and forms to be used during the field survey that will take place in Guatemala in the next two weeks. This workshop will be replicated in the other PRRO countries in the coming weeks, followed by a data collection in the field.

4) Nicaragua

(a) The third food distribution under the Central America PRRO for vulnerable groups, including children between 6 months and 2 years and expectant and nursing women, is under way, with 12,115 people being assisted with some 254 tons of WFP food.

(b) Some 598 tons of food are being distributed under the second food distribution to 6,400 families participating in the Food For Work component, including the provision of assistance to 1,200 additional families that were identified in the "Plantones" (temporary roadside shelters) and that are now back in their communities.

(c) In the municipality of Matagalpa some 11,490 children have benefited from the first school feeding distribution under the PRRO, in which 83.5 tons of food, including maize, beans, corn-soya blend and vegetable oil, is being distributed.

(d) The third and last food distribution of the year to the drought and flood-affected areas of the Northern Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) is being carried out, with some 347 tons of food including maize, rice, corn-soya milk, beans and vegetable oil, being distributed to 57,510 pre- and primary school boys and girls.

5) El Salvador

(a) A moderate earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale shook Southern coastal regions on 5 September. No injuries or major damage was reported. A workshop is being held this week to train field monitors in the use of the "Community Profile Survey Form", which will be used to characterize communities that will participate in PRRO 10212 activities over the next two years. Delivery of a local purchase of 80 tons of red beans for PRRO 10212.0 will begin this week.

6) Guatemala

(a) Increasing crime and insecurity continues to pose a risk to WFP staff. Recent statistics published by the Government reported some 20,000 robberies and assaults in the first 8 months of the year.

(b) Persistent rains in the form of storms and heavy downpours have prompted the National Coordinating Committee for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) to declare Yellow Alert in view of the rising risk of landslides and floods. The National Institute of Seismology, Meteorology and Hydrology has forecasted that September will show the highest rainfall rates for the year. Heavy rains accompanied by strong winds triggered flooding in Guatemala City and caused landslides in some areas of the capital city. A flash flood in Los Espinos River caused the collapse of a bridge and the isolation of two communities in the Municipality of Esquipulas, Department of Chiquimula.

(c) Although the number of pneumonia cases had been reduced in the last weeks, a new outbreak of respiratory diseases has sent dozens of children to the National Hospital in the capital city, resulting in an overcrowding of the emergency ward. To date, more than 74,000 children have been diagnosed with pneumonia, an increase of almost 6,400 cases from last year.

G) Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: (1) Azerbaijan

1) Azerbaijan

(a) During the fourth round of food distribution under PRRO 10168 "Targeted Food Assistance for Relief and Recovery of Displaced Persons and Vulnerable Groups in Azerbaijan" in July-August, some 3,278 tons of food was distributed to 130,220 beneficiaries, including 129,495 IDPs and 725 other vulnerable groups, of which 53 percent were women, through employment-generating schemes, income generation and Food For Training activities. In addition, 3 tons of school feeding rations, including wheat flour, oil, sugar, salt and wheat-soya blend, were distributed to 637 children in 10 schools. As part of a WFP/UNICEF initiative on preschool care, 14 tons of the food-for-asset rations, including wheat flour, pulses, oil, sugar and tea, were distributed to 257 women caregivers working in 34 preschool centres in IDP settlements. In order to avoid infestation of wheat flour due to high humidity, three-months and four-months rations were distributed in July and August respectively. WFP and World Vision International (WVI) carried out regular monitoring of food distributions and the food security situation.

(b) As of 31 August, 14,897 tons have been pledged against the 43,087 tons required under PRRO 10168. This figure indicates that some 35 percent of requirements have been met, leaving a shortfall of 28,190 tons or 65 percent of the total requirements.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 37).