WFP Emergency Report No. 41 of 2003

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 10 Oct 2003


This report includes:
A) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Iraq, (2) Afghanistan, (3) Occupied Palestinian Territory (Opt)

B) East and Central Africa: (1) Burundi, (2) Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), (3) Djibouti, (4)Ethiopia, (5) Eritrea, (6) Rwanda, (7) Sudan, (8) Uganda, (9) Tanzania

C) West and Central Africa: () Liberia, (2) Guinea, (3) Sierra Leone, (4) Côte d'Ivoire, (5) Chad, (6) Central African Republic (CAR)

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

E) Asia: (1) DPRK

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

G) Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: (1) Albania, (2) Georgia

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, (3) Occupied Palestinian Territory

1) Iraq:

(a) The sectoral paper on "Reconstructing Iraq's Agriculture, Water Resources and Food Security System", prepared jointly by WFP, the FAO and the World Bank is being finalised. The study reviewed the current PDS as part of food security aspects and its future during the period 2004-2007 and will feed into the discussions to be held at the Madrid conference on reconstruction of Iraq towards the end of this month.

(b) As per latest information, the September PDS distributions are completed in the central northern governorates, in the southern and lower southern governorates, while in the three northern governorates of Erbil, Dahuk and Sulaymaniyah the distributions are nearing completion. In most governorates, the PDS distributions for the month of October have already started.

(c) WFP logistics operation continues as per schedule. Since the beginning of October some 16,000 metric tons of food was dispatched into Iraq through the corridors of Jordan, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Kuwait, and the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr. As at 4 October, the cumulative quantity dispatched into Iraq since the launch of the operation in April, amounts to 1.978 million Mt.

(d) In accordance with Security Council Resolution 1483, WFP continues re-negotiating Oil-for-Food contracts through its two dedicated teams, the Rome-based one for food contracts and the Copenhagen cell for contracts pertaining to the transport & food handling sector. As at 03 October, 270 food contracts equivalent to 2.197 million Mt. of food aid and to a value of around Euros 878 million have been re-negotiated. In the transport & food handling sector, of the 222 contracts to be re-negotiated, the amendments of 50 contracts (total value of these contracts is around US$ 233 million) have been completed and have been sent to the respective suppliers for signature.

2) Afghanistan:

(a) The factional fighting in Maymana and Mazari Sharif in the north led to the death of some 50 people causing high tension in the area. WFP staff in Mazari Sharif Area Office and in Maymana sub-office are on alert.

(b) In the south, UN missions were suspended to Uruzgan, Zabul, Nimroz and Hilmand (except Lashkar Gah district) provinces and restricted to several districts in Kandahar province. Operational capabilities of the international assistance community have been significantly reduced due to an attack against staff members of the Demining Agency for Afghanistan on 4 October in Zhari Dasht in Kandahar. WFP has suspended all monitoring missions to southern Kandahar due to the current security situation.

(c) During the reporting period, 1,351,299 beneficiaries received 2,930 Mt. of food.

(d) In the north, north-east and central provinces, food needs assessments have been completed and pre-positioning of food to inaccessible areas is underway. Jalal Abad Sub-office will assist vulnerable households in eight inaccessible districts in collaboration with NGO partners.

(e) In a capacity building workshop in Fayz Abad, long-term implementation and hand-over of PRRO activities were addressed by providing 23 participants from different government departments and NGOs with skills on warehouse management.

(f) WFP and representatives of the Department of Rural Rehabilitation and Development from Kandahar, Hilmand, Nimroz, Uruzgan and Zabul provinces agreed to collaborate in strengthening monitoring of WFP projects implemented in areas that are inaccessible for WFP due to insecurity.

3) Occupied Palestinian Terrirory:

(a) The resumption of suicide attacks by Palestinian militant factions and increase in military operations by the Isreali Defense Force (IDF) led to the failure of the cease-fire in August and the collapse of the road map in September. The situation was further complicated by the political turmoil within the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli Government's intent to expulse Mr. Arafat from the country. These new dimensions to the conflict during the month of September have brought one of the highest levels of tension in the Territories since the beginning in the past two and half years.

(b) WFP operations continued as usual without any significant delays. Staff members were required to cancel some field trips due to curfew or extreme situation of insecurity particularly in the West Bank. Access through the checkpoints was given at all times and without any major disturbance to UN staff and vehicles circulating within Gaza and the West Bank.

(c) The first report from the newly implemented Monitoring & Evaluation system has been prepared covering the month of July - August. A number of 116 monitoring field missions were planned by the Food Monitors during the reporting period with a 20% cancellation average due to security related issues, closures and curfews.

(d) A review of beneficiaries for EMOP 10190.1 is in progress. The selection process of the new caseload is near completion. A Letter of Understanding (LoU) has been finalized with the Ministry of Social Affairs (MSA) and Agriculture. Budgets are being refined with other implementing partners including CRS and the national NGO PARC.

(e) The Coping Strategy Index baseline assessment is in progress. Food Monitors are evaluating household use and frequency of negative coping mechanism.

(f) A total quantity of some 1,517.21 MT of mixed food commodities were distributed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to some 87,000 beneficiaries in the PT during the month of September.

(g) A quantity of 2,700 MT of wheat flour, 202 MT of vegetable oil and 40 MT of HEB arrived in the PT through the port of Ashdod during the month of September. The port was closed several days due to strikes and holidays delaying custom clearance of the cargo.

(h) Karni entry point of commercial goods into Gaza has been closed by the IDF without interruption since 17 September. The WFP warehouse in Gaza has sufficient food stock to conduct the bi-monthly distribution of September - October. Food arriving at the port intended for Gaza beneficiaries was diverted to the Atarot warehouse in Jerusalem or direct delivery to implementing partners in the West Bank as part of the October allocation.

(i) The allocation plan for the month of September included only the hardship cases covering l5% of the total beneficiary caseload. A quantity of some 8,000 MT of food is scheduled to arrive through out the months of October - November. Food allocation for September relied on carry over stocks due to a severe pipeline break in wheat flour, oil, pulses and sugar effective since July.

(j) USAID has confirmed a cash contribution of $2 million USD for the local purchase of wheat flour and olive oil. A contribution of $300,000 USD was also confirmed through multilateral funding.

B) East And Central Africa (1) Burundi, (2) Democratic Republic of Congo, (DRC), (3) Djibouti, (4) Ethiopia, (5) Eritrea, (6) Rwanda, (7) Sudan, (8) Uganda, (9) Tanzania

1) Burundi

(a) The security situation remained volatile in various areas of Bubanza, Gitega, Ruyigi, Cankuzo, Bujumbura Rural and Muramvya provinces. UNHCR has opened a new border entry point in Cankuzo province for the facilitated return of refugees from Tanzania.

(b) During the reporting period, the Household Food Economy Assessment (HFEA) teams conducted a monthly food security monitoring in two communes of Bubanza province. The staff reported that the recent fighting has caused displacement, affecting the food situation.

(c) The Country Office distributed 1,631.79 Mt. of food to 179,875 beneficiaries through its different programmes and activities between 29 September and 5 October 2003.

2) D.R. Congo:

(a) The security situation remained precarious, particularly in major towns where armed banditry is increasing. The free circulation of population and goods decreed a few weeks ago by Government was still not fully implemented on the ground. Unpaid soldiers have put road blocks in many zones obliging people to pay before they can cross them.

(b) During the reporting period, WFP distributed 1035 Mt. of food commodities to 109,723 beneficiaries including IDPs, and malnourished children. Moreover, WFP provided assistance to children in difficult circumstances, food for work and food for training in order to build up the capacities of targeted populations in order to gain and/or maintain their food self sufficiency.

3) Djibouti:

(a) The refugee eligibility committee composed of members of the Government of Djibouti (GoD) and HCR will be starting the count of refugees in the Aour Aoussa transit centre next week. Consequently, the GoD will be able to provide an exact figure by November 03. Meanwhile, UNHCR, GoD and WFP have agreed to use a planning figure of 8,000 refugees in the camp.

(b) In the Aour Aoussa centre, there have been 29 diarrhoea cases reported 3 days ago. The Minister of interior ordered HCR, CICR, ONARS and AMDA to sample for analysis, and to solve immediately the lack of water and latrines. Two ICRC aircraft brought much needed water bladders and medical equipment/supplies, (additional stocks still required). The medical equipment/supplies were donated to AMDA, the NGO providing health services in the centre.

(c) 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 03. As there is no head count planned for the near future, WFP is using a planning figure of 30,000 refugees in the 3 camps (in addition to those in the transit centre). The food that was intended as repatriation packages will now be used to feed the additional caseload until December 03 under PRRO 10134,0.

(d) The cereal ration for the refugee camps has been cut by 50%. This measure was needed to ensure sufficient stocks for all projects until the next shipments for Djibouti arrive in country (late November early December).

(e) The CO is in the process of borrowing CSB and vegetable oil from Ethiopia. The CO requires urgently sugar and salt for PRRO 10283 and DEV 05875. Eighty-five tons of Salt can be transferred from the EMOP 10099 closed since June 03. A request to procure sugar locally will be submitted to the RB and HQ.

4) Ethiopia:

(a) The impact of the generally good rains in Ethiopia this year will be better known when the results of multi-agency mid-season assessment teams, currently finalizing their work in the field, are released.

(b) The main pre-harvest assessment will begin in late October. In September, satellite imagery shows that rain in central and eastern highland areas was below normal, although there had been good rain earlier in the season in these areas. However, field reports indicate that rain in September in most highland and midland areas of East and West Hararghe (the eastern highlands) has been favourable for crop performance, with pocket lowland areas receiving insufficient rain. There is on-going concern about low and erratic rainfall in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR). The vegetative index indicates that vegetative cover in this region is less than normal for September.

(c) Most of the pastoral areas of eastern Ethiopia have shown promising signs of recovery in recent months with good rains during the current rainy season. Two areas of deep concern at this time last year were Afar Region and neighbouring Shinile zone in Somali Region. While pockets of vulnerability remain, the vegetative index for September shows that, in general, vegetative cover in these areas is normal for this time of year (Zone 3 of Afar Region, where there has been conflict over pasture and water resources between Afar and Issa pastoralists from Shinile zone in the past, shows slightly less than normal vegetative cover).

(d) Flooding along the Awash River also affected some pastoralist grazing areas. In Shinile zone in Somali Region, reports from some districts suggest that while animal condition is improving as a result of the rain, milk production has not recovered, as the lengthy dry conditions affected the animals' gestation period. In addition, in Shinile zone and in most of Afar Region, many pastoralists lost large numbers of animals during the drought.

(e) Fik zone in Somali Region, which normally also benefits from some rain during this season, is showing less than normal vegetation cover, and there are reports of a deteriorating nutritional condition among children in some areas of the district. Southern parts of Somali Region, which do not receive rain at this time of year, are expecting rain in November.

(f) Snce July and in spite of serious pipeline constraints, WFP has resumed its support to UNHCR and ARRA (Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs within the Ethiopian government) for the repatriation of Somali refugees. Up to the end of September, about 9,000 Somali refugees from Hartisheik camp in eastern Somali Region received a nine-month food repatriation package and returned to their country of origin. WFP is planning to continue supporting the repatriation of Somali refugees as well from Aisha camp in Shinile zone (about 14,000 people) if security constraints (removal of land mines from the intended routes of return) are resolved by the Government. However, the PRRO 10127.0, Food Assistance for Refugees in Ethiopia and for Refugee repatriation, is likely to face serious cereal shortages in December 2003 if pledges for an additional 6,000 tons of cereals are not received before the end of October.

5) Eritrea:

(a) Irregular rainfall in the Northern Red Sea region has affected the collection of water in local dams, reducing the amount available for irrigation purposes. In the Gash Barka and Debub regions, the main food producing areas of the country, a lack of consistent rainfall during the past month has had negative effects on the upcoming harvest. Meanwhile, malnutrition in the region remains high. The country's harvest will likely be considerably less than the 200, 000 Mt. projected during a preliminary assessment conducted last month.

(b) The 2004 Consolidated Appeal document for Eritrea was completed, addressing the needs of war, drought affected and the subsequent deepening poverty level in the country. WFP has appealed for resources to cover 600,000 drought and war affected people under EMOP 10261/10261.01, and an additional 503,400 vulnerable beneficiaries under PRRO 10192. A total of 198,562 Mt. of commodities, valued at USD 97 800 000 will be required to fully cover the needs of the targeted population in the coming year.

(c) The resourcing situation for EMOP 10261, with 82,055 Mt. out of a total appeal of 129,957 Mt. now pledged (63 %), and for PRRO 10192, with 39,931 Mt. resourced out of 104,531 Mt. committed (38 %), remains unchanged. Arrivals of wheat last week and this week will only cover the needs of the drought-affected population targeted by WFP for the next eight to ten weeks.

6) Rwanda:

(a) The food security outlook in Bugesera continues to be poor. Many farmers are still waiting for rains to stabilise in order to start planting. On the household level, food stocks are almost exhausted following the poor harvest in June. Households have no cassava and sweet potatoes in stock to carry them through this increasingly difficult period. Many are coping by migrating to Kibungo and parts of Umutara for labour opportunities. Some households have established small trade by crossing into Burundi.

(b) WFP continues to prioritise food-for-work activities in this region. Primary school pupils will also benefit from the WFP school feeding project in the region with the reopening of the school year this week. A second mission to assess vulnerability in this region is planned if rains fail to arrive by mid October.

7) Sudan:

(a) Peace talks between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) resumed in Kenya on 6 October.This round will focus on three main issues: wealth-sharing, power-sharing and the status of the three disputed regions of Blue Nile, Abyie and Nuba Mountains.

(b) The security situation remained stable in most parts of Unity State in Southern Sudan. However, cattle raids and looting remained widespread in Bentiu and Rubkona towns. Despite the tense security conditions in the state, WFP distributed 1,244 MT of food commodities to 86,261 people (47,626 female and 38,635 male) in Bentiu, Rubkona, Mayom, Mankien, Wangkai and Nhialdiu areas. Food distribution could not be carried out in Pariang, Tor, Biu and Mirmir due to poor road conditions.

(c) The WFP-led Annual Needs Assessment exercise started in Greater Equatoria and covered all 15 locations in the state. This year, some areas that do not traditionally receive WFP support are being sampled in preparation for potential IDP return following the peace agreement. (See Chad for more information).

8) Uganda:

(a) WFP's Executive Director, Mr. James Morris, visited ODK Regional Bureau in Uganda, 05 to 08 October 2003. On that occasion, Mr. Morris together with the Deputy Executive Director Sheila Sisulu held consultations with all ODK Country Directors including Tanzania, the UN Country Team and Government officials. Mr. Morris visited an HIV/AIDS project supported by WFP Uganda, and met with all ODK and Country Office staff.

(b) The Director of the WFP Liaison Office in Japan, together with the Regional Public Information Officer in Nairobi, are visiting Uganda 08-11 October 2003. They are on a familiarization tour of WFP operations in the country and will visit WFP operations in Arua district, including food distribution in two refugee settlements and a visit to a school feeding project.

(c) WFP continues to distribute relief food assistance to IDPs, refugees and other vulnerable groups under PRRO 10121.0. During the week of September 29-04 October, 2003, WFP distributed 1,652 tons of food assistance to 113,359 persons. The beneficiaries include IDPs in nine camps in Gulu and Pader districts, refugees, school children and other vulnerable persons. WFP is able to access the displaced population only with armed military escort.

(d) WFP is conducting an Emergency Food Needs Assessment seven IDP camps in Kitgum district and six IDP camps in Pader Gulu.

(e) In eastern Uganda, WFP, through the Christian Children's Fund, distributed 707 tons of relief food to 92,231 IDPs in Soroti district during the past week. In addition, 300 formerly abducted children received 11 tons of WFP relief food. Distributions in Katakkwi, Kumi and Kaberamaido, due to lack of security clearance from the military as well as logistics constraints did not take place. Over 300,000 displaced persons in Teso region are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. WFP has provided 2,244 tons of food.

9) Tanzania

On Tanzania, see under Southern Africa

C) West and Central Africa: (1) Liberia, (2) Guinea, (3) Sierra Leone, (4) Côte d'Ivoire, (5) Chad, (6) Central African Republic, (CAR)

1) Liberia:

(a) On the eve of the inauguration of the transitional government on 14 October, the overall security situation in Liberia continues to be of concern to humanitarian organisations operating in the country. Though security conditions have stabilised in Monrovia over the past week, reports of skirmishes between the government and rebels forces up-country, is forcing aid agencies to re-examine security arrangements and exercise extreme caution when traveling outside the capital.

(b) Operations were temporarily suspended following October 1st clashes in Monrovia. On 5 October, WFP resumed food distributions to IDPs in Montserrado and Bong Counties. Since the beginning of the distribution cycle on 20 September, implementing partners provided food assistance to 245,786 IDPs in the Montserrado camps, Totota, Kakata, Salala, Harbel, Buchanan and Bensonville. In total nearly 3,700 Mt. of assorted food commodities were distributed. Subject to security conditions, WFP expects to finalise distributions in the Montserrado camps by the end of this week.

(c) Food distributions to 3,500 Monrovia IDPs that are expected to arrive in Fendel during the week began on 9 October. In addition to the new arrivals from Monrovia, food assistance is being provided to the 5,000 IDPs already in the Fendel camp. WFP also provided food assistance to 12,693 refugees for a total of 194 Mt. of assorted commodities. ACF distributed WFP food to 42,859 beneficiaries through 5 feeding programmes.

2) Guinea:

(a) The security situation was reported as generally calm throughout the country.

(b) The influx from Liberia into Guinea has slowed considerably since the last reporting period. From 22 to 28 September, N'Zérékoré reported 264 Liberians as crossing into Guinea via Bossou.

(c) In the Albadariah camps, 7,518 refugees received 125 Mt. of food, expected to last until 30 October. In the Kola and Nonah camps, 12,761 refugees received 213 Mt. of food, expected to last until 25 October. In the camps and transit centers located throughout the N'Zérékoré region, 23 Mt. of food was used to provide 5,578 refugees with hot meals. 5 Mt. of food was distributed to 2,668 beneficiaries in the supplementary feeding centers in the four camps served by WFP N'Zérékoré. Supplementary feeding centers served by WFP Kissidougou distributed 13 Mt. of food to 3,618 beneficiaries.

(d) WFP Kissidougou launched its emergency school feeding programme, serving 5, 150 students in 53 schools around the Albadariah camps. WFP N'Zérékoré completed its assessment of the school canteen infrastructure to prepare for the new school year, which began Oct. 6. The programme will benefit 20 641 students in 91 schools in the Lola prefecture this fall.

(e) The route into N'Zérékoré was again cut off when a fuel tanker turned over in the mud, blocking the road near Macenta. While the road is now free, truck drivers are reluctant to serve this region at present and trucks are returning from the region in need of major repairs. WFP is having difficulties finding transporters willing and able to make the trip.

3) Sierra Leone:

(a) The security situation in the country remained calm during the reporting period.

(b) Countrywide, WFP supported a total of 29,308 beneficiaries (16,064 female) with 1,179 MT of food during the reporting period. Vulnerable group feeding (VGF) programmes (refugees, resettlement, returnees and institutions) supported 2,678 beneficiaries (1,327 female) with 41 MT of food. The Therapeutic Feeding Centers/ Supplementary Feeding/ and Mother and Child Health Programmes (TFC/SFP/MCH) provided 59 MT of food to 2,645 beneficiaries comprising under-fives, pregnant women, lactating mothers and TFC Caretakers. Safety nets (Institutional Feeding) provided 96 (58-female) beneficiaries with 1.5 MT of food aid.

(c) The pipeline remained stabled throughout the reporting period, except for CSB, for which shortfalls are projected in November.

4) Côte d'Ivoire:

(a) The situation in the country is tense but calm.

(b) During the reporting period, 250 MT of various WFP food commodities were distributed to about 44,000 people.

(c) There are reports of malnutrition among children in the Guiglo area. Bangolo is targeted for a canteen programme for children. The food security in the area of Tabou is good with adequate levels of food stocks. The malnutrition cases in the Tabou transit centre are related to children spending a long time in the forest with little to eat and unpotable water. Several nutritional surveys were conducted by partners and will be released in the forthcoming weeks.

(d) WFP Tabou reported that the redeployment of the administration is making progress. Teachers have not moved beyond Tabou. They are requesting that health and sanitation conditions improve before taking up their posts.

(e) Caritas has reported that there are some 7,000 vulnerable people in Bouna area. These include 3,400 children and 200 pregnant women. An interagency mission is planned to visit Bouna from October 15-17.

5) Chad:

(a) A joint UNHCR/WFP mission (29 September-17 October 2003) is deployed in Eastern Chad to assess the needs of Sudanese refugees, fleeing Darfur (Western Sudan) into Chad to escape militia attacks. The mission will visit cities and villages along or close to the Chad-Sudan border including Abeche, Tine, Bahai, Birak and Adre.

(b) WFP launched an immediate response emergency operation (IR-EMOP) on 30 September 2003 to supply 483 metric tons of food aid.

(c) The security situation is tense along the border. The Sudanese Liberation Movement (SLM) rebels have recently taken a Government of Sudan (GoS) garrison town called Koulbous, causing panic amongst residents who fear retaliation by the GoS. The security situation, which should be closely monitored, could easily deteriorate with the approaching deadline of the 40-day cease-fire agreement signed by belligerents on 6 September. There have been numerous reports of military preparation and movement of troops along the front line in Sudan.

(d) While the numbers of beneficiaries remained unclear, pockets of people continue to cross the border every night. About 14,000 people are believed to be camped in and around the town of Birak, up to 6,000 in Tine and ten of thousands along the 400 km border between the two countries. The estimated total refugee population is 50,000.

(e) An IR-EMOP was approved and a one-month food distribution will be provided to an estimated 50,000 Sudanese refugees settled along the border. Food borrowed from the Country Programme is currently being pre-positioned in the Abeche EDP.

(f) Next to the Tine camp, MSF-Belgium has established a health and nutrition centre and has organised an airlift to bring in the supplies.

(g) The context is made more difficult by the poor road conditions, long distance and general difficult access.

6) CAR:

(a) In the war-affected areas, the Government's control of the security situation is gradually improving as military and police authorities are progressively assigned. However, there are still frequent incidents of road banditry in the provinces. UN agencies are undertaking missions only with a substantial escort. With the start of the National dialogue, several checkpoints have been erected in Bangui, and foreigners are particularly targeted.

(b) FAO and WFP estimate the cereal deficit in the northern four prefectures at 120,000 tonnes. This constitutes 23% of the cereal needs for 1,3 million inhabitants.

(c) Distributions under the PRRO 10189.0: '"Food Assistance to the populations affected by armed conflict''was launched. To this end, a mission led by 4 Government ministers and the CD travelled to Bossangoa early September, and kick-started the operation with first distributions in a number of schools. .

(d) September distributions have been made to two categories of beneficiaries: 1) 1241 HIV-infected persons. For these people good nutrition is imperative to avoid weight loss and accelerated health degradation. The food assistance accompanies a medical regime, with food facilitating the ingestion of medication. The current food security situation has deteriorated food availability among the poor or ill. 2) 680 abandoned people. Some of these are elderly, but most are children (street children, AIDS orphans, street children, etc.) Plans are in place for a large increase in distribution in October-November

(e) Under the EMOP 10150.0 ''Food assistance to persons affected by armed conflict in Bangui'', a total of 1664, 589 Mt. were distributed to 31, 525 beneficiaries in September. During the same period, under the PRRO, a total of 159, 993 Mt. were distributed to 11 018 beneficiaries.

(f) Additional contributions to the PRRO are urgently needed. Contributions made in September 2003 can arrive in early 2004, to be distributed during the lean season preceding planting. Food needs in the most seriously war-affected northern areas are expected to be intense during the period January-May 2004.

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

1) Regional:

(a) WFP still faces a pipeline crisis with frequent breaks foreseen next year, particularly for cereals and pulses. Current projections show an alarming outlook for the key 'hunger period' with a cereal shortfall of 62 percent in January, 59 percent in February and a 94 percent break in March. Additional donations are urgently required to avert this pipeline break, which will seriously disrupt food distributions in the early months of 2004.

(b) The Regional Bureau is facilitating an interagency appraisal mission in Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia in preparation for a successor PRRO upon the closure of the regional EMOP 10290 on 30 June 2004. The mission, comprised of WFP, UN Agencies and NGOs, is reviewing individual country specifics in order to formulate a programme of targeted food aid activities that will positively impact on populations affected by HIV/AIDS. Mission members will also assess the capacity needed to develop a coordinated response to address food vulnerability in the context of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

2) Angola:

(a) Due to significant delays in international food shipments, WFP is now experiencing serious shortfalls in maize in the provinces of Huambo, Bié, Benguela, Moxico and Kuando Kubango. As a result, cereal rations to assist in the resettlement of returnee beneficiaries in these provinces have been halved to approximately 1,000 kcal per person per day. Feeding under emergency programmes such as nutritional centres for the malnourished is receiving priority and full rations are being maintained. Should the expected arrival of 14,000 tons of maize be delayed, there will be a complete breakdown in the pipeline for these provinces in November, forcing WFP to suspend distributions at a critical time in the lean season.

(b) The planned beneficiary caseload for October has risen to 2.2 million people in comparison with 1.8 million beneficiaries in September. The increase is due to seasonal factors, particularly with the distribution of seed protection rations to returnee families to accompany seeds and tools distributions by humanitarian partners.

(c) As of 3 October, the total number of refugees officially repatriated into Angola from the DRC, Namibia and Zambia stood at 31,690 people. There have also been over 42,000 spontaneous refugee returnees to Angola since the war ended. WFP is providing food on both sides of relevant borders to support the official refugee repatriation, and is also assisting spontaneous returnees. Approximately 50 percent of the key districts of return for refugees remain closed to organised repatriation due to broken bridges, poor road conditions and a lack of basic social services, leading to a slower organised repatriation than was initially envisaged for 2003.

3) Lesotho:

(a) From 1 to 7 October, WFP distributed 45 tons of food to 2,393 beneficiaries in HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, vulnerable children and mother-child health projects, and 3,318 students in 19 primary schools.

4) Madagascar:

(a) From 1 to 8 October, WFP and implementing partners distributed 132 tons of food to participants in Food for Work (FFW) projects in the drought-affected areas in the south as well as to participants involved in projects dealing with cyclone/flooding prevention and urban works.

(b) The situation in the 18 hot spots in the south has remained generally stable during the reporting period. Imogeny community remains the most seriously drought affected, compounded by the failure of the sweet potato harvest. WFP and implementing partners are concentrating FFW projects in these hot spots. Catholic Relief Services has initiated a "Seed Fair' project in those communities where WFP implements FFW projects, and the International Development Fund is continuing Cash for Work activities in the drought-affected areas.

5) Malawi:

(a) From 1 to 7 October, WFP distributed 970 tons of food in collaboration with implementing partners.

6) Mozambique:

(a) In September, WFP distributed over 8,192 tons of food to 528,656 beneficiaries under Food for Work (FFW), vulnerable group and school feeding activities. From 30 September to 6 October, WFP dispatched over 3,143 tons of food.

(b) Local authorities in Inhambane Province report deterioration in food security in parts of Inharrime and Inhassoro Districts. Inharrime was not identified as extremely food insecure in the July Vulnerability Assessment Committee mission, however the administration now reports that cassava reserves are exhausted and staple food prices have increased. WFP will work with Caritas, CEDES and local authorities to ensure the affected people receive food assistance.

7) Swaziland:

(a) From 30 September to 6 October, WFP and implementing partners distributed 293 tons of food to 18,258 people.

(b) WFP and the Government of Swaziland have signed a bilateral agreement for a donation of food and cash to be channelled through WFP. The contribution, representing purchase, transport and associated costs for approximately 6,000 tons of food, will be used for families severely affected by drought and HIV/AIDS in the dry Middleveld and Lubombo Plateau areas, which are currently outside of the EMOP operations. The government contribution is the first Swaziland has made to WFP.

8) Tanzania:

(a) From 22 September to 5 October, WFP distributed 3,677 tons of food through general food distributions and selective feeding programmes. Pulses and corn-soya blend rations returned to 100 percent for the two-week food distribution, which was conducted in all camps.

9) Zambia:

(a) From 30 September to 6 October, WFP and implementing partners distributed 633 tons of food to beneficiaries. WFP's Urban Intervention programme is currently reaching a total of 140,315 beneficiaries. This includes 49,155 children enrolled in 135 community schools and 22,790 households who receive a monthly take-home ration.

(b) The food security situation remained stable during the reporting period with most of the maize supply to millers coming from small-scale farmers. Some millers have had to temporally suspend the purchase of maize due to storage constraints. The abundant supply of maize has resulted in a reduction in the prices of maize meal in local markets.

10) Zimbabwe:

(a) Current funding shortages are threatening WFP's efforts to provide adequate assistance to those in need. The Zimbabwe portion of the regional WFP appeal is only 30 percent funded since it was launched in July and serious pipeline shortfalls are anticipated from December onwards.

(b) As the food crisis continues to deepen, WFP is planning to increase food distributions by 30 percent in October, targeting over 2 million vulnerable people. In September, WFP reached 1.4 million beneficiaries and provided them with a total of 17,461 tons of relief food. During the first week of October, WFP's activities have focused on beneficiary registration, verification and post distribution monitoring. All field activities were conducted under the framework set out by the MOU between WFP and the Government of Zimbabwe. Local authorities and communities continue to be very cooperative in facilitating the relief food programme.

(c) According to recent WFP/NGO rapid appraisals, the food security situation is deteriorating faster than previously anticipated. Many rural households have decreased meals to one a day and are increasingly supplementing their diet with wild fruits and roots. The situation is worse than experienced last year as a shrinking economy, characterized by hyperinflation and unemployment, have left a vast number of households unable to afford food.

(d) With the planting season only a few weeks away, farmers continue to experience a shortage of agricultural inputs. The government's Cabinet task force on agricultural inputs reported that the country has 32,000 tons of seed against a required 80,000 tons. While maize seed is reported to be available in some retail outlets in Matabeleland, the price is beyond the means of most small-scale farmers. The price of seed reflects a general sharp increase in the cost of living throughout the country. Drug firms recently increased prices a thousand fold, citing the declining value of the local currency and the need for foreign ingredients.

E) Asia: (1) DPRK

1) DPRK:

(a) Under EMOP 10141.1 pipeline shortfalls of about 125,000 Mt. are projected for the next six months (October through March 04), including 100,000 Mt. of cereals.

(b) The expected arrival of 19,000 Mt. wheat from China, purchased with cash contributions from Italy (EUR 3 mn), Sweden (USD 1 mn) and Canada (USD 165,000) to arrive in mid October, will allow LFP factories to operate through December.

(c) Cereal distributions to the most vulnerable groups will also continue into the new year with the expected arrival in December of 40,000 Mt. of wheat from Russia. However, there will again be a cut in cereal distributions to elderly beneficiaries and caregivers in child institutions from end-October.

(d) Main harvest of the maize crop is complete in most areas. Shortages of fuel, transport and storage are again expected to contribute to excessive post-harvest losses.

(e) A Nordic Ambassadorial delegation from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland is currently in-country to mark 30 years of diplomatic relations between the Nordic countries and the DPR Korea. The CD will briefly meet the mission on 10 October.

(f) A mission from the EU Food Security Unit in Brussels has also been in country. The CO has provided briefings on WFP's operations in the DPRK and has held technical discussions related to food economy analyses.

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

1) Colombia:

(a) The municipal mayor of Sansón in the Department of Antioquia has alerted the WFP field office in Medellín of a possible massive displacement in the municipality. The Mayor confirmed to WFP that 225 families have already fled over the last two months and is calling for immediate, integrated assistance from humanitarian organizations.

(b) In the suburbs of Medellín and Bello, 600 displaced families were evacuated, now looking for places to live. The majority of the displaced are children and women. Local government authorities are clarifying their situation.

(c) An influx of a large number of farmers into the Municipality of Tibú (Catatumbo region), Norte de Santander from nearby rural areas is provoking a social crisis. This displacement is due to the latest crop-spraying operation as part of the government's Plan Colombia. Fumigations have affected food harvests and left people without food or income. In addition, the Army is presently carrying out an operation in the area, which has affected civilians and forced them to leave their farms.

(d) The ''Social Solidarity Network'', government counterpart of WFP, reported more than 100 families (480 persons) displaced from the region of Medio Atrato (Chocó) over the last two months due to fighting between the Army and illegal armed groups.

(e) In San Roque (Antioquia), 763 persons returned home after two weeks of displacement after heavy fighting broke out between paramilitary groups in rural areas. The Colombian Red Cross (Chocó) mid-term report on malnutrition reports of 310 cases, 118 (38%) suffering from different levels of malnutrition and 31 cases (10%) facing low weight problems in areas of the department.

(f) A violent storm caused an important flood in the north-eastern area of Medellín. An estimated 500 families from 12 neighbourhoods lost a large part of their belongings (furniture, clothes and food). Many of the disaster victims are displaced persons.

(g) Implementation under (PRRO 10158.0): A WFP food for training project in Department of Chocó has been approved for 128 beneficiary families.

(h) The Country Office is preparing a food distribution plan to reach 72,534 beneficiaries, mainly children in pre-school and school feeding and nutritional recovery programs.

2) Ecuador:

(a) The Tungurahua volcano has registered since 2 October intense tremors and significant sulfphur gas explosions. According to the Geophysical Institute three strong explosions caused severe decompression of the system. The government has provided US$ 1.5 million to assist and rehabilitate 7 local municipalities affected by the constant ash falls. These resources will strengthen the coordinating efforts between the local governments, UN agencies (WFP, UNICEF, PAHO, UNFPA, UNDP) and national NGOs.

(b) The prolonged summer has caused an exhaustive drought affecting crops in three communities in the Province of El Oro, near the border with Peru. The main source of water, the river Palmares, has dried up. This situation is complicated by the lack of jobs and the low prices for bananas. A WFP and Civil Defense mission is assessing the food requirements for these communities.

3) Central America: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua

(a) A baseline study is being carried out between September and November for the Central America regional PRRO 10212.0 covering El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The baseline will collect information through a household survey, focal groups and leader's interviews in a sample of communities that cover the full project area.

(b) PRRO activities include nutritional recovery, school feeding, food for work, food for training, and emergency relief. Activities especially target women and children under five. Implementation strategies present variations between countries but all focus on common outcomes and involve close partnerships with government counterparts and NGOs.

4) El Salvador:

(a) Heavy rains continue, causing flooding and landslides countrywide. Populations particularly affected are along the Lempa river delta, on the Pacific Coast and in the eastern department of La Union. Affected communities are not yet considered to be in a situation of food insecurity but WFP is closely monitoring the situation.

(b) The Ministry of Health issued a Yellow Alert this week due to increasing cases of dengue fever. The ministry has documented 3,749 cases to date this year, including 75 cases of the fatal hemorrhaging strain of the virus.

(c) The national assembly is debating a controversial law this week outlawing youth gangs. The measure is in response to sky rocketing levels of gang violence. The law has been criticized by human rights groups who oppose the lengthy prison sentences, which can be handed down to minors, and also the definition of a youth gang. Local UNSECOORD and UNDP officials are closely monitoring the situation as it could have serious implications on the security situation nationwide. The departments of Sonsonate, La Paz, Usulután, and San Miguel remain at Security Phase II.

(d) The baseline study for the PRRO 10212 has completed 800 household interviews. The study will now center on group interviews in 16 different communities over the coming week.

(e) Distributions under PRRO 10212.0 to populations affected by the ongoing coffee crisis continue with an estimated 21,000 anticipated to benefit. PRRO operations are expected to expand over the coming weeks as disaster mitigation projects are incorporated in the eastern departments of San Miguel, Morazán and La Union. MOUs are being drafted with World Vision and several national NGOs to validate partnerships under the expanded operation.

(f) The Country Office continues its efforts to ensure a much-needed contribution of 2,920 MT arrives as planned before December 15 to avoid pipeline breaks in PRRO operations.

5) Haiti:

(a) Since the September assassination of Mr. Amiot Metayer, Chief of the grass roots "Cannibal Army" and a strong opponent to President Aristide. the city of Gonaives, which is strategic to WFP's food transport from Port-au-Prince to final points, has been cut off from the rest of the country. WFP's Country Programme and PRRO food distributions in the North, Northeast and the Northwest have been affected because of insecurity.

(b) The precarious humanitarian and political situation in Haiti continues to deteriorate since the Metayer assassination. Police in Gonaives has recently killed over 15 people. Members of the ''Cannibal Army'' have set up road blocks restricting access to the city. As a precautionary measure, the UN Resident Coordinator has issued a temporary travel restriction of all UN staff to Gonaives and surrounding areas.

6) Mexico:

(a) According to a Deutsche Presse Angentur (DPA) report, heavy rains in the past several days in Mexico have forced thousands out of their homes in the south eastern part of the country because of floods and landslides.

(b) Tropical storm Larry caused severe damages in the state of Chiapas, on the border with Guatemala. The Sabinal River flooded over, sending torrents of water into homes, schools, hospitals and shops.

(c) According to DPA, the Mexican weather service reported that Larry would continue to dump heavy precipitation in southeastern Mexico, while another storm on the other side of the country, tropical storm Olaf, would also bring intense rains. Olaf made landfall in the central Mexican Pacific coast.

(d) Weather forecasts predicted Olaf would bring heavy rainfall in western Mexico, threatening to flood low-lying areas and cause landslides.

(e) Meanwhile, Hurricane Nora was downgraded to a tropical storm and was located on the southern Mexico's Pacific coast.

G) Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: (1) Albania, (2) Georgia

1) Albania:

(a) Unrest was registered across the borders with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, where tension remains high between the minority ethnic Albanians and the ethnic Slav majority. Fears of ethnic violence have risen and police have set up checkpoints and increased security in northern parts of the country. The situation would be closely monitored in the coming days.

(b) During the reporting period, all three activities under the PRRO 10165,0 Assistance to Vulnerable Groups in the Construction of Community Assets, progressed according to plan. The Communal Forestry and Pasture Management component engaged 2,455 participants/workers while 2,030 women received family rations for attending training and counselling sessions. Community Asset Building through Food-For-Work generated short-term employment opportunities for 3,570 workers. During the month, 854 tons of food commodities, which included wheat flour, vegetable oil and salt, were distributed to the targeted beneficiaries. In addition, BP-5 biscuits were distributed to families of the women involved in the social sector activity.

2) Georgia:

(a) On 30 September WFP participated in the head count of international UN staff on mission/travel/DSA status within Georgia. The Tblisi and Kutaisi staff is preparing for the forthcoming UNSECOORD compliance mission to Georgia (20-24 October 2003). WFP staff dealing with security issues will be involved in various tasks, such as reviewing the Country Security Plan, identifying essential staff if any areas move to Security Phase III and drafting/updating evacuation plans.

(b) The WFP Kutaisi sub-office conducted a three-day training of Accion contra el Hambre (ACH) staff on 8-10 September. Issues covered included WFP's mandate and operations in the country, role of food aid in development, WFP Enhanced Commitments to Women, objectives of WFP assistance in the country and monitoring format currently used by WFP.

(c) Mobilization of selected communities is ongoing in three out of the six targeted regions - Samegrelo, Guria and Racha-Lechkhumi. The communities have prepared initial FFW project proposals and WFP and IP monitors are assessing the proposals received.

(d) Within PRRO 10211.0 Relief and Recovery Assistance for Vulnerable groups, a total of 407 tons of food was distributed during the reporting period: 3,633 refugees from Chechnya received 118 tons of food covering September-October; 289 tons of food was delivered to 9,125 beneficiaries of soup kitchens and residents of health institutions for the months of September - November 2003.

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

END WFP Emergency Report No. 41