Afghanistan + 24 more

WFP Emergency Report No. 40 of 2003

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
This report includes:
A) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Iraq, (2) Iran, (3) Afghanistan, (4) Pakistan

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

C) West Africa: (1) Liberia, (2) Côte d'Ivoire

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

E) Asia: (1) DPR Korea

F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Ecuador, (2) Colombia, (3) El Salvador

G) Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: (1) Russian Federation

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) Iran, (3) Afghanistan, (4) Pakistan

1) Iraq

(a) On 22 September, the UN Headquarters at the Canal Hotel was subject to a second attempted bomb attack. Despite this incident, WFP's logistics operation has continued dispatching food commodities in order to ensure continuity of the Public Distribution System (PDS).

(b) WFP's logistics operation closed the month of September with 115,453 tons of food aid dispatched into Iraq through the six transport corridors. Since the beginning of the operation in April, WFP has dispatched a cumulative total of 1.962 million tons.

(c) In accordance with Security Council Resolution 1483, WFP continues re-negotiating Oil-for-Food contracts, and facilitating the procurement of this year's 1.25 million tons wheat harvest. As at 26 September, WFP has renegotiated 243 food contracts equivalent to 2 million tons of food, valued at 789 million euros. In parallel, a team composed of WFP and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) staff is re-negotiating transport and food handling contracts in Copenhagen. As at the same date, 160 contracts have been approved for re-negotiation.

(d) According to the latest data from the Ministry of Trade (MoT), some 81 percent (more than 1 million tons) of the 1.25 million tons of locally procured wheat, has already been delivered by the Iraqi farmers to MoT silos and bunkers countrywide. Out of this quantity, some 70 percent is considered of good quality while the remaining 30 percent is infested with a fungus disease and requires prior cleaning before being fit for human consumption. In financial terms, the actual value of the quantity procured by MoT is USD 118 million.

(e) The report of the FAO/WFP Crop, Food Security Assessment Mission conducted between 05 June and 14 July has been issued. The mission, found that the current level of cereal production has increased and that the 2003 total cereal production of 4.12 million tons was 22 percent above the previous estimate of this year's production.

2) Iran

(a) Three Iranian trucks carrying salt to Samawa were ambushed in Iraq on 23 September. Two of the drivers were reportedly captured, but were subsequently released. The drivers and trucks are now back in Iran, but the salt cargo on one of the trucks was allegedly stolen. WFP operations have been adjusted according the new security phases declared in Iran (Phase III for Sistan and Baluchistan Province and Phase II for the rest of the country) in compliance with the UN Minimum Operating Security Standards (MOSS).

(b) Dispatch of sugar to Iraq is continuing under the "Iraq" EMOP. Some 16,541 tons of sugar have been dispatched out of a total of 25,810 tons. The dispatch of sugar out of Ahwaz (1,676 tons), is expected to be completed by around mid October, while the dispatch of sugar out of Kermanshah (7,593 tons), is predicted to continue during the month of October. Dispatch of 1,030 tons of iodized salt is also under way. So far, a total of 570 tons have been transported. Since the beginning of the EMOP in April, WFP in Iran has dispatched 72,097 tons of food to Iraq.

(c) Since the beginning of the repatriation operations on 09 April 2002, a total of 562,551 Afghan refugees have repatriated through Dogharoun and Milak border crossings. Some 372,818 refugees repatriated with assistance and 189,733 returned to Afghanistan spontaneously. Some 190,391 refugees returned between 01 January and 01 October 2003, which is behind the planned figure for 2003. Under PRRO 10213 "Food assistance and support to education of Afghan and Iraqi refugees" the number of beneficiaries has increased to almost 70,000 as a result of the inclusion of more than 1,800 beneficiaries from Besat camp and WFP is now assisting all refugee camps in Iran.

(d) In preparation for the launching of recovery activities by WFP and UNHCR in October, a Food Commodity Management Workshop was organized for all WFP counterparts in Sistan and Baluchistan Province to train on procedures for assistance to women and girls engaged in educational activities. Some 20,000 women and girls are targeted for involvement in education, literacy classes and skills training to prepare them for reintegration into Afghan society.

(e) In addition, some Afghan 5,000 orphans will be assisted with food rations in cooperation with the Iranian Red Crescent Society and some 3,000 orphans have already been identified.

(f) If no further donations are announced for early 2004, activities under the recovery component should be reduced. Particularly, oil, rice and sugar are required.

3) Afghanistan

(a) Most of the southern provinces remained volatile with numerous incidents, including the killing of two staff members of the Voluntary Association for the Reconstruction of Afghanistan (VARA), a local NGO, in Hilmand province. In Paktika province, in the southeast, two rocket explosions caused damage in the compound of AHDO, a local NGO. Several attacks occurred in Kabul and central provinces against NGO property.

(b) On 25 September, UN missions were temporarily suspended on the Khogyani-Jalal Abad road due to mine clearance. UN missions were also suspended to Kunar province - except Assad Abad - and Chaparhar, Shinwar and Khogyani districts in Nangarhar province as well as Alishing and Alingar districts in Laghman province in the east; Kharwar district in Logar province in the central highlands; and Nimroz, Hilmand, Zabul and Uruzgan provinces in the south. WFP in Kandahar cancelled three planned monitoring visits and distribution of some 1,800 tons of food due to insecurity in the southern provinces.

(c) From 25 September to 01 October, some 959,162 beneficiaries received 2,804 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.

(d) In the north, food needs assessments were completed in Faryab, Samangan and Saripul provinces and pre-positioning of food to inaccessible areas is underway. In the northeast, food is currently being dispatched for projects in Shahri Buzurg, Wakhan, Shighnan, Kuran Wa Munjan, Khwahan and Darwaz districts in Badakhshan province. WFP will dispatch some 10,000 tons of foods for projects in the central highlands this winter. Food needs assessments in Bamyan province will be completed by the end of this week for pre-positioning of food to start in mid-October.

(e) In Kandahar, food-for-education focal points from the provincial governments of Kandahar, Hilmand and Zabul were briefed about the Transitional Action Plan (TAP) aiming to gradual handing over of food-for-education activities to the Ministry of Education by end of the PRRO. The Kabul Area Office held a similar briefing session for the Department of Education (DoE) in Nangarhar province. DoE expressed their readiness to prepare for assuming the responsibilities of the food-for-education projects. Data collection for the National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (NRVA) is drawing to its end, for completion by 07 October. There are only five districts yet to assess: Ishkashim, Wakhan and Zebak districts in Badakshan province, and Panjab and Waras districts in Bamyan province. Due to insecurity, data collection is also still pending in several districts of Uruzgan, Zabul and Paktika provinces.

4) Pakistan

(a) With the onset of winter, repatriation has further declined to about 25 percent of the previous month. No significant repatriation occurred from WFP assisted camps, where the majority of refugees belong to the insecure southern provinces of Afghanistan. The overall security situation is stable, but international staff are advised to move with armed escort.

(b) Under "Drought" EMOP 10171.0 some 301.4 tons of wheat flour and 22.735 tons of oil were distributed to 18,084 drought affected persons in the four union councils of Jamak, Sarawan, Kharan North and Kharan South in District Kharan.

(c) Under "Refugee" EMOP 10228.0, general food distribution for the month of September was completed at Muhammad Kheil in Balochistan Province. Some 824 tons of mixed food was distributed to 45,750 refugees. Food distribution for the rest of the camps will be completed during the week.

(d) In the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), September food distribution was completed in Shalman, Bassu, Kotkai, Bagzai, Asgharo and Barkali camps to 45,515 refugees who received 740 tons of mixed food. Distribution for some 27,000 refugees in Shamshatu camp is ongoing.

(e) WFP evaluated the ongoing EMOP 10228 "Assistance to Afghan Refugees" in NWFP and Baluchistan as a prelude to the Joint UNHCR/WFP Food Assessment Mission (JFAM), which plans to visit Shalman and Shamshatu camps in NWFP and address key issues of expected closure/relocation of refugees from the camps.

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

1) DR Congo

(a) The security situation remained precarious particularly in major towns where armed banditry has been increasing. Armed clashes between various opposing combatants were reported in Masisi, Beni and Lubero in the North Kivu province. In Northern Katanga, several roads that were closed for years due to insecurity are now reportedly re-opened. This includes Nyunzu-Kabalo, Moba-Pepa-Pweto, Nyunzu-Kongolo and the Kala-Mwanza roads.

(b) The US ambassador to WFP, FAO and IFAD, visited DR Congo and travelled to Kinshasa, Kisangani, Goma, Bukavu and Bunia, where he visited nutritional centres, war victims (most of whom are women), skills training projects targeting orphaned/abandoned children and other joint WFP/FAO projects.

(c) During the week, WFP distributed over 920 tons of food to some 131,000 beneficiaries, including IDPs and malnourished children in different parts of the country. In North Kivu, WFP delivered 503 tons of food to some 70,000 beneficiaries, who also received seeds protection packages and tools from German Agro Action. In South Kivu, WFP delivered 208 tons of food to meet the needs of 17,796 targeted beneficiaries, the majority of whom were IDPs. In North Katanga, WFP distributed 186 tons of various food commodities to a total of 41,277 beneficiaries, including IDPs and malnourished children attending supplementary and therapeutic feeding programmes. In Katanga a joint UN agencies/NGOs needs assessment mission was carried out in the areas of Moba, Pweto and Lubao (Kasaï Oriental). The mission reported a high level of food insecurity among the people in these areas, recommending a reinforcement of humanitarian interventions and implementation of activities aiming at improving access to Lubao. In Katanga 26 tons of food was distributed to over 2,500 beneficiaries involved in food for work and nutritional activities. WFP conducted training on school feeding baseline data collection for WFP and implementing partner staff in Lubumbashi.

2) Burundi

(a) Many areas remained unsafe. Fighting between the FDD and the FNL continued to cause displacement, particularly in Bubanza, Bujumbura Rural and Muramvya provinces. During the week, WFP assisted over 26,000 persons in Mubimbi commune with an emergency ration amounting to 144 tons of food for 10 days.

(b) WFP began the distribution of the Seeds Protection Rations (SPR) throughout the country. Last week, 1,858 tons were distributed to more than 169,000 farmers in Ngozi, Muramvya, Ruyigi, Gitega and Bujumbura Rural provinces. WFP and FAO reviewed the planning figures and increased the caseload of beneficiaries to approximately 156,000 households and the food requirements to 8,550 tons.

(c) During the week, the Household Food Economy Assessment (HFEA) teams completed the data collection on the monthly food security monitoring in Ruyigi province. The teams reported that robbery of domestic animals is taking place in seven communes of the province. In addition, the province has witnessed a high number of spontaneous returnees who are not formerly assisted by UNHCR, hence being a burden to their neighbours. Between 22 and 28 September, WFP distributed close to 2,400 tons of food to some 232,000 beneficiaries through its different programmes and activities.

3) Rwanda

(a) WFP continues to prioritise food-for-work activities in the drought-affected regions of Rwanda. In coordination with WFP, FAO will supply 60 tons of seeds for 15,000 households in drought-affected Bugesera for the 2004 "Season A" harvest. While considerable assistance has been given to Bugesera, the availability of similar assistance to other regions affected by the drought remains a concern.

(b) WFP, in coordination with MSF-Belgium and the Ministry of Health, is currently conducting a nutrition survey in the food insecure regions of Rwanda, focusing on drought-affected areas. Preliminary results are expected next week.

4) Uganda

(a) WFP is concerned about the imminent shortage of food to feed a significantly increased number of people displaced by the protracted Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel insurgency in northern and eastern Uganda. In addition to over 800,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in northern Uganda, 300,000 people are displaced in Teso region since June. In a news release issued 25 September, WFP stated that the increasing number of displaced people stretches WFP's ability to deal with the situation.

(b) The four districts of Soroti, Katakwi, Kumi and Kaberamaido in eastern Uganda continue to face regular attacks by the LRA rebels. During the past week, the rebels killed an estimated 20 people in a brutal attack 30 kilometres from Soroti town. Among the victims of the attack were members of a civilian militia. The displaced population in Teso region began receiving 2,244 tons of WFP relief food assistance for the month of October.

(c) The First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Disaster Preparedness led a delegation of donor representatives and UN agencies, including WFP, on a visit to refugee settlements in Madi Okollo and Ikafe in Arua and Yumbe districts in Northern Western Uganda. 16,000 Sudanese refugees were recently relocated from Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Masindi district. In a related development, Sudanese refugees in the Northwest of Uganda have expressed hope that the on-going peace talks between the Government of Sudan and the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) would result in an agreement between the two parties. The refugees remain optimistic for a negotiated settlement.

(d) Distribution of WFP relief food assistance to IDPs, refugees and other vulnerable groups continues under PRRO 10121.0. From 22 to 27 September, WFP distributed 2,415 tons of food assistance to 163,456 persons. The beneficiaries include IDPs in eight camps in Gulu, Kitgum and Pader districts, refugees in four settlements, school children and other vulnerable persons. WFP is able to access the displaced population only with armed military escort.

(e) WFP has concluded an Emergency Food Needs Assessment in 10 IDP camps in Gulu. Data collection for the nutrition survey in Gulu district has been completed. The new Emergency Response Advisor in the USAID Mission in Uganda made a familiarization visit to an IDP camp in Gulu district on 27 September.

5) Sudan

(a) The Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) signed an agreement on security issues on 25 September. The agreement, which came as a result of three weeks meetings between the Sudanese Vice President and the SPLA leader in Kenya, is seen as a key step in reaching a comprehensive accord to end the ongoing war in Southern Sudan. Moreover, the GoS/SPLA delegations meeting in Naivasha, Kenya agreed to extend the cease-fire agreement for another two months beyond its scheduled expiration at the end of September. The next round of Sudanese peace talks is scheduled to begin on 06 October.

(b) The security situation in Darfur States in western Sudan remains tense. North Darfur remains calm during this week while the security situation was reported as fragile in West Darfur. Fighting among inhabitants of Al-Malam, Teigy and Shaeria areas as well as burning of villages and looting of cattle were reported in a number of areas in the State. WFP dispatched 812 tons of assorted food commodities to 104,000 beneficiaries affected by the conflict in Korma, Twilla, Kabkabia and Kuttum areas in North Darfur State.

6) Eritrea

(a) This week's reports from Barentu, Keren and Dekamhare sub-offices confirm that the rainy season has come to an end. Hardly any rainfall has been observed and the weather has become considerably hotter and dryer. In Gash Barka the overall agricultural situation compares better than last years, although the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as the farmers, warn that more rainfall is needed to ensure a good harvest. Farmers nevertheless expect a reasonably good harvest, but the communities continue to suffer from a shortage of food and remain dependent on food aid.

(b) In Northern Red Sea region, there was some slight rainfall in Ghindae and there continues to be some flooding of smaller areas in the lowlands. Conditions of pasture and water reserves appear adequate for livestock in all regions. The animals are recovering from the shortage of food during the drought. In Anseba region, there is widespread selling of livestock in order to buy food. Parents are looking forward to end of the school vacation period in September, due to the resumption of the wet feeding activities under the School Feeding Programme. This will lessen the food burden on households.

(c) The resourcing situation for EMOP 10261, with 82,055 tons out of a total appeal of 129,957 tons now pledged (63%), and for PRRO 10192, with 39,931 tons resourced out of 104,531 tons committed (38%), has remained unchanged. There are indications of some new contributions but they need to be confirmed. On 26 of September a vessel berthed and is momentarily discharging 23,000 tons of wheat for EMOP 10261. This and another shipment expected the following week would cover the cereal needs of the drought-affected populations for the next eight to ten weeks.

7) Ethiopia

(a) The Technical Group of the "Coalition for Food Security in Ethiopia" presented its first draft documents to stakeholders in the meeting, including the federal and regional government, donors, United Nations agencies and NGOs on 26 and 27 September. The Coalition identified the major causes of transitory and chronic food insecurity in Ethiopia. The objective of the Coalition Programme is to attain food security of the chronically food insecure population of five million and significantly improve and sustain overall food security of ten million additional food insecure people within five years. The underlying principles of intervention include: up-scaling of what works, safety net programmes, participatory development and social mobilization, technology devices suitable for the labour, capacity at grass roots level, gender focus, environmental protection management and rehabilitation. WFP is contributing to the Technical Group and the Coalition programme presents great challenges and opportunities, particularly in the areas of food-for assets-activities, school feeding and mother and child health activities. Coalition activities will be crucial to reducing the scale of future emergency activities, but the transition between emergency activities and coalition activities such as safety nets will have to be carefully managed, especially within the next two years. Preliminary contingency planning figures for 2004 indicate that the scale of the emergency food programme in 2004 will be substantial, though lower than in 2003. Scenarios for 2004 in terms of populations and food aid needs will be released in mid-October.

(b) For 2003, the target population for relief food is 4.8 million in October (the monthly target population peaked between May and August at around 12 million). In addition to general rations, supplementary food distributions continue to be needed in many areas. Admission rates at Therapeutic Feeding Centres (TFCs) in Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region are decreasing and some TFCs have been able to close.

8) Djibouti

(a) Pending registration at the Aour Aoussa transit centre, WFP and UNHCR have agreed to use a planning figure of 8,000 people. Voluntary departures from the centre during the week have not exceeded 200. Two ICRC aircrafts brought much needed water bladders and medical equipment/supplies donated to AMDA, the NGO providing health services in the centre. An ICRC team from Nairobi is installing the water bladders and additional latrines. Unless there are more voluntary departures, WFP's refugee caseload will increase. UNHCR has confirmed that there will be no repatriations between now and the end of December 2003. Since registration is not planned for the near future, WFP is using a planning figure of 30,000 refugees. The food intended for repatriation packages will now be used to feed the additional caseload until December.

(b) The cereal ration for the two refugee camps has been cut by 50 percent. This measure was taken to ensure sufficient food stocks for all projects until the next shipments, scheduled to arrive in late November early December. WFP is in the process of borrowing corn-soya blend and vegetable oil from Ethiopia. WFP urgently requires sugar and salt for programmes assisting vulnerable groups and Somali and Ethiopian refugees.

C) West Africa: (1) Liberia, (2) Côte d'Ivoire

1) Liberia

(a) Assisted relocation of the IDPs from Monrovia temporary shelters to the Montserrado camps resumed on Monday 29 September. An OCHA-led task force on relocation of the IDPs is currently conducting a survey of the number of IDPs that have returned to Montserrado and the number still remaining in the 189 identified temporary shelters. The government has selected the Fendell campus as a relocation site for the residual caseload of IDPs in Monrovia temporary shelters. The facilities could accommodate up to 20,000 people. Preliminary results from WFP emergency registration exercise establish the total Montserrado camps population as slightly under 120,000 IDPs.

(b) From 25 September to 01 October, WFP continued extensive food distribution to IDPs outside of Monrovia. Through implementing partners, food assistance was provided to 60,465 IDPs relocated in the Montserrado camps and 107,184 IDPs in Bong and Grand Bassa Counties. In total, 167,649 people received a 1-month ration of assorted commodities totalling 2,599 tons of food. During the clashes that occurred on 01 October, WFP staff and personnel from World Vision (WV), were stranded in the Montserrado camps beyond the rebel lines but were eventually able to return to Monrovia early the next day. Except for Kakata, all WFP distributions were suspended on 02 October. WFP is closely monitoring the security situation in Monrovia and up-country and is hoping to resume activities over the weekend.

2) Côte d'Ivoire

(a) There are reports of malnutrition among children in the Guiglo area. Sites identified were two villages northeast of Duékoué, Nidrou and Sibabli. There are also reports of an increase in malnutrition in Blolequin. Medecins Sans Frontieres Belgium (MSF-B) has reported deterioration in the nutritional conditions in areas of Zouan Hounien and Bin Houyé caused by reduced access to food. Severely malnourished children are being evacuated to Man hospital. No planting was done for the 2002-2003 season so villagers have been relying on their stocks. The situation between now and December is expected to worsen. Villagers have little purchasing power despite efforts by local authorities to keep manioc prices stable in this lean season.

(b) An interagency mission is being prepared to assess the situation in Bouna in the northeast of the country. The mission will evaluate the health, malnutrition, and food security situation in the region. From 25 September to 01 October, some 284 tons of various food commodities were distributed to about 66,000 people.

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

1) Regional

(a) While recent donations of USD 24.4 million have significantly improved the critical funding status for Emergency Operation 10290 'Targeted Relief to Vulnerable Households in Southern Africa', additional donations are still urgently required in order to fulfil pipeline requirements throughout the region in the months ahead.

2) Angola

(a) In light of critical funding shortages for both SO 10149.1 and SO 10146.1, WFP is restricting the operations of its air transport services to the humanitarian community through several measures, including cutting back WFP passenger air services to areas not serviced by any commercial providers meeting safety standards, and by introducing full user payment for special WFP passenger flights chartered by humanitarian agencies. WFP cargo flights are now only operating short shuttle fights from Luena to Luau and Cazombo and from Menongue to Lumbala N'Guimbo and Mavinga.

3) Zambia

(a) From 23 to 29 September, WFP and Implementing Partners distributed 1,531 tons of food through all programmes. Some 135 sites in Lusaka, Kafue and Chongwe are implementing the Urban Intervention - Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Programme. Seven more assessed sites are attending orientation and await commodities. The total number of OVC's currently reached is 48,333. On 08 September, the School Feeding Programme expanded to two new districts, Livingstone and Chadiza, in Southern and Eastern Provinces. The programme now reaches 19,000 beneficiaries in 50 schools in five districts.

4) Malawi

(a) Due to the current maize shortfall, rice has been substituted and will be distributed to 9,600 refugees at Dzaleka Camp. The new Luwani Refugee Camp (Neno District) will open on 09 October. From 24 September to 01 October, WFP and Implementing Partners distributed 1,402 tons of food.

5) Zimbabwe

(a) As the dry season progresses, concern is rising in parts of Matabeleland where rivers are drying up and people and animals have to trek long distances for drinking water. As predicted, food shortages are becoming very critical, and school drop out rates are increasing. In Manicaland Province, many households have been affected by HIV/AIDS and related food insecurity. The supplies of maize and maize meal from the governmental Grain Marketing Board continue to be minimal and erratic and most rural depots have little or no stocks. Concerns are increasing that in view of those rising prices in the markets and the low level of government imports, food requirements may increase significantly in the coming months. The Government has increased the price of fuel by 60 percent - 10 times higher than this time last year. The Government has also announced that it intends to re-introduce price controls on basic commodities, in an attempt to reign-in inflation. Most basic commodities have trebled in price in the last three weeks, with year-on-year inflation at 427 percent.

(b) Food distributions began a little later than usual in September due to the need to clarify modalities of distribution. Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between WFP and the Government of Zimbabwe, operations on the ground have proceeded smoothly in all parts of the country.

6) Mozambique

(a) From 23 to 29 September, WFP and Implementing Partners distributed 2,162 tons of food. However, WFP continues to limit food distribution activities in order to ensure there is enough food in the pipeline through December.

7) Swaziland

(a) The Lower Usuthu Irrigation Project (LUCIP) was opened at Mphaphati in the Lowveld. The project will benefit 10,000 drought-affected beneficiaries with subsistence and animal production within the Sithobela and Siphofaneno Inkundlas.

(b) From 23 to 29 September, WFP and Implementing Partners distributed 766 tons of food to 47,702 beneficiaries.

8) Lesotho

(a) From 23 to 30 September, WFP distributed 368 tons of food to 31,112 beneficiaries.

9) Madagascar

(a) Recent rains have supplied 18 drought hotspot areas, ensuring water supply for the communities under EMOP 10236.0. WFP and Implementing Partner Catholic Relief Service (CRS) are working towards programming food for work (FFW) activities in communities neighbouring the 18 hot spot areas, as Early Warning Systems (EWS) indicators point to increasing food insecurity in these areas.

(b) Under EMOP 10236.0, WFP and Implementing Partners distributed 79 tons of food to 13,935 beneficiaries.

E) Asia: (1) DPR Korea

1) DPR Korea

(a) The maize harvest is complete in most provinces and threshing has begun. The rice harvest is expected to start this week in most areas. The autumn and winter wheat and barley are being sown in the fields. Other agricultural activities include management of vegetable production and repairing of tools, equipment and stores for the paddy harvest.

(b) The FAO-WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission from 23 September to 04 October completed assessment of the main harvest for the marketing year November 2003 to October 2004. The mission also assessed household food security. The mission report is expected before the end of October. The second Food For Work Project Review Committee meeting was held on 30 September with 33 Food For Work project proposals being approved. The total number of projects for this autumn now stands at 83, with a food allocation of about 18,500 tons.

(c) Pipeline shortfalls of about 125,000 tons are projected for October through March 2004, including a shortfall of 100,000 tons of cereals. The expected arrival in mid October of 19,000 tons of wheat purchased with recent cash contributions, will allow the Local Food Production (LFP) factories to operate to the end of the year. Cereal distributions to the most vulnerable groups will also continue, supported by the arrival in December of a contribution of 40,000 tons of wheat. There will, however, again be a cut in cereal distributions to elderly beneficiaries and caregivers in child institutions from late October.

F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Ecuador, (2) Colombia, (3) El Salvador

1) Ecuador

(a) Freq