WFP Emergency Report No. 41 of 2004

from World Food Programme
Published on 08 Oct 2004

(A) Highlights
(B) Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Occupied Palestinian Territories, (3) Russian Federation

(C) East and Central Africa: East and Central Africa: (1) Burundi, (2) Djibouti, (3) DR Congo, (4) Ethiopia, (5) Republic of Congo, (6) Rwanda, (7) Somalia, (8) Sudan, (9) Uganda

(D) West Africa: (1) Sahel region, (2) Chad, (3) Cote d'Ivoire, (4) Liberia, (5) Sierra Leone

(E) Southern Africa: (1) Regional, (2) Lesotho, (3) Madagascar, (4) Malawi, (5) Mozambique, (6) Swaziland, (7) Zimbabwe

(F) Asia: (1) Bangladesh, (2) DPR Korea, (3) Myanmar

(G) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Bolivia, (2) Colombia, (3) Cuba, (4) Guatemala, (5) Haiti, (6) Nicaragua

From David Kaatrud, Director of the Analysis, Assessment and Preparedness Service (ODA). Available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (, or by e-mail from, Chief of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit (OEP). For information on resources, donors are requested to contact at WFP Rome, telephone +39 06 6513 2009. Media queries should be directed to, telephone +39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

A) Highlights

  • WFP fed more than 1.3 million people in the Sudan's Darfur region in September, exceeding its own target of 1.2 million and recording its largest food distribution since the humanitarian crisis began.
  • Paralysis of the port of Haiti's capital impedes dispatches of food to flood affected Gonaives; if the problem is not resolved soon, there will be no more food to distribute.
  • Due to heightened insecurity, UN Common Air Service between Somalia and Kenya has been suspended, affecting humanitarian operations such as relief food distribution and school feeding activities.
  • At a ceremony in Liberia on 5 October, WFP announced the opening of seven additional offices throughout Liberia.

B) Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Occupied Palestinian Territories, (3) Russian Federation

1) Afghanistan

(a) The security situation continued unstable during the week, with incidents of improvised explosive devices, rockets, landmines and ambushes targeting the government, coalition forces, aid workers and electoral staff. On 6th October in the northern town of Fayz Abad, an improvised explosive device(IED) exploded, injuring the governor and the deputy governor of Badakhshan province and killing two persons, including a former governor of Baghlan province. In the east, a Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB) vehicle was hit by an IED in Nangarhar on 30 September, causing no injuries.

(b) From 30 September to 6 October, over 735,825 beneficiaries received more than 3,390 tons of food.

(c) In Fayz Abad, the Department of Education (DoE) carried out an evaluation workshop on 30 September with participation from the Department of Health, WHO, UNICEF and WFP to assess impacts of the first phase of the deworming campaign completed in August this year. During the first phase, some 4.5 million primary school-age children (six-to-twelve year olds) were treated. The campaign aims to reduce child diseases, improve children's physical and intellectual growth and ensure the effectiveness of school feeding activities.

(d) As part of the government capacity building initiative, 14 staff of the Department of Education (DoE) received training in monitoring and evaluation, reporting and logistics in Kandahar on 4 October.

(e) Departments of Planning and Rural Rehabilitation and Development, WHO, IOM and WFP carried out a joint assessment in Mazari Sharif on 30 September, to identify basic needs of some 500 newly-returned refugee families from Iran and Pakistan. The assessment reveals that these refugees have no proper shelter, are food insecure and have no access to clean drinking water. The partners agreed to provide immediate food assistance to meet their short-term needs and to launch food-for-work (FFW) interventions to support their sustainable resettlement.

2) Occupied Palestinian Territories

(a) WFP and 11 other UN agencies working in Gaza stated that the ongoing violence on top of the sharply deteriorating humanitarian situation this year is pushing the Palestinian population into a deep crisis. They voiced their serious concern about the ability of the population to cope.

(b) Since 28 September, 82 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza including 24 children; 5 Israelis have been killed including 2 children. During 2004, approximately 45 Palestinians have been killed each month in Gaza and poverty rates are predicted to rise to 72 percent. At the same time, Israel Defense Force movement restrictions have prevented effective delivery of humanitarian aid.

(c) In their statement, The UN agencies call on Israel to guarantee humanitarian agencies unrestricted and secure access into Gaza for both personnel and relief supplies; ensure the free movement of humanitarian goods and personnel within the Gaza Strip; and to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law by ensuring the safety of the Palestinian civilian population.

3) Russian Federation

(a) Through intensification of security measures in the whole republic by local law enforcement structures in cooperation with Federal troops, Chechnya was preparing for the inauguration on 5 October of the newly elected president Alu Alkhanov. Additional checkpoints were established in Grozny and patrolling has been conducted at night.

(b) A steady return of IDP population from Ingushetia to Chechnya continued. According to the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), at the 30 September in Ingushetia there were some 43,135 IDPs from Chechnya (which is about 23,865 persons less than in January this year), of whom 16,720 were in spontaneous settlements and some 26,415 in private accommodation. According to the DRC, the number of families who returned from Ingushetia to Chechnya in September was about 265 (some 1,380 persons). Some 65 of these families received box-tents from UNHCR.

(c) During the period of 16 to 30 September, about 90,630 vulnerable persons received nearly 955 tons of WFP supplied food aid through relief distribution. WFP cooperating partners distributed about 470 tons to 41,980 Chechen IDPs in Ingushetia and about 485 tons to 48,650 household members in Grozny Rural, Achkoi-Martan and Sunzha districts of Chechnya.

(d) WFP through cooperating partners DRC, Caritas International, Center for Peacekeeping and Community Development (CPCD), Hilfswerk Austria (HWA), Islamic Relief (IR), Open Continent (OC), People in Need (PIN) and World Vision in the Russian Federation (WVRF), continued the school feeding programme.

(e) In total WFP cooperating partners distributed over 645 tons of food through the school feeding programme which in September was assisting about 74,755 children in nine districts of Chechnya. Four new preschool institutions were included in the programme at the request of the Ministry of Education. In October, WFP plans to include 84 pre- and primary schools (some 5,600 children) in the Vedeno and Nozha-Yurt Districts, where the programme will be implemented by WVRF.

(f) In September, WFP's main partner in the food-for-work (FFW) programme in Chechnya, PIN, distributed about 365 tons of food commodities to some 2,540 participants (12,695 beneficiaries), who participated in the programme in August. PIN continued FFW projects which were mainly focused on environmental improvement with about 2,700 participants (representing 13,500 beneficiaries) implementing the activities in Chechnya.

(g) In September a pilot food-for-training (FFT) project was continued by a new WFP cooperating partner, the local NGO Women's Dignity. Its objective is to provide support to women who have experienced psychological trauma and who are also economically underprivileged. WFP-supplied food will be provided to 60 women after they have completed the full course.

(h) In September WHO, WFP's partner in the TB programme in Ingushetia, and MSF?Holland in Chechnya continued assisting in- and out patients in TB hospitals of both republics. In total the project covered over 360 patients. Six tons of food commodities were provided.

(i) Caritas International continued providing hot meals to the most vulnerable population (newly increased to 1,600 beneficiaries with the inclusion of a further 100 beneficiaries from an Association for the Blind) in Grozny city. In September WFP released some 13 tons of food commodities to support this project. On 24 September WFP conducted a mission to Grozny and Grozny-Rural district to assess the new targeting system applied for the July distribution. Even though there were some problems with registration, the overall targeting proved to be satisfactory.

C) East and Central Africa: (1) Burundi, (2) Djibouti, (3) DR Congo, (4) Ethiopia, (5) Republic of Congo, (6) Rwanda, (7) Somalia, (8) Sudan, (9) Uganda

1) Burundi

(a) Last week, insecurity continued to be reported in some areas of Bujumbura Rural province, where reportedly the national army and Force pour la Défense de la Democratie carried out joint mopping-up operations to dislodge the Front for National Liberation (FNL) rebels.

(b) The transfer of Congolese refugees has continued. Around one thousand refugees have so far been relocated from Cibitoke province to Mwaro while over a thousand others preferred to return to DRC or move on to Rwanda. Karurama transit site is due for closure and the remaining 500 refugees will be transferred. WFP remains in contact with UNHCR for any necessary intervention.

(c) Between 27 September and 3 October, WFP distributed a total of 1,630 tons of food aid to approximately 169,000 beneficiaries through different programme activities.

(d) Provision of wet feeding rations in the returnee transit centres and the temporary site for most vulnerable IDPs in Kabezi (Bujumbura Rural) continued. (e) The distribution of the Seeds Protection Rations (SPR) also continued as planned. Over 82,000 beneficiaries received the 20-day rations in Bubanza, Gitega and Kirundo provinces. The operation is somehow constrained by the slow arrival of food commodities to the country from regional stocks.

(f) Pipeline breaks for cereals, pulses and CSB are expected in the coming months, starting in November. Loan procedures are being arranged to obtain 2,500 tons of cereals and 150 tons of pulses from Tanzania. The loans and anticipated quick purchases and delivery of food commodities following recent donor contributions are expected to reduce impact of some pipeline breaks. Further measures are currently being pursued.

2) Djibouti

(a) The 13th Convoy of the ongoing voluntary repatriation phase of refugees originating from Somaliland left Djibouti on 6 October. All 606 refugees (144 families), comprising of 212 refugees (55 families) from Holl Holl refugee camp and 394 refugees (89 families) from Ali Addeh refugee camp, were repatriated to Borama in Somaliland. WFP provided all refugees with a nine-month food package.

(b) Due to the celebration of the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan, starting in mid-October, the repatriation exercise will be temporary suspended. The next convoy is scheduled to depart on 24 November. Since the start of the voluntary repatriation phase in February this year, some 7,575 refugees have been repatriated. As of 6 October, the refugee caseload in the three camps stands at 18,668 refugees, out of which approximately 13,500 refugees originate from Somaliland.

3) D.R. Congo

(a) During last week, the eastern part of the country was characterized by rising tension. During the night of 2 October, a WHO staff member was murdered in Goma. In Uvira, a small town facing Bujumbura (Burundi), the repatriation of Congolese refugees from the Gatumba camp (Burundi) was hindered by riots. The local population ransacked the site originally identified as a temporary refuge for the returning group.

4) Ethiopia

(a) The Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC) on 28 September released the findings of a mid-season assessment of the main or Meher season in late August. The report of the assessment, which includes contingency planning estimates for next year, is entitled "Food Supply Prospect Based on Different Types of Scenarios in 2005". The estimated number of beneficiaries in need of emergency assistance due to adverse rains in some parts of the country is additional to those in need of assistance due to chronic food insecurity, who make up the 5.1 million planned beneficiaries under the Government's Safety Net Program, due to be in place at the start of 2005. The DPPC report estimates that under the most probable case scenario there will be 3.7 million emergency beneficiaries. Thus according to the most probable scenario, an estimated 8.8 million people will need assistance through a combination of Safety Net and "emergency" activities. Final figures for 2005 will depend on the results of the November pre-harvest Meher assessment.

(b) The report gives conditions at the time of the assessment, per region. In cropping areas of the country, factors negatively affecting Meher prospects in Tigray region include long dry spells lasting for three to seven weeks. These were experienced in many parts of Southern and Central Tigray zones, and all of Eastern Tigray zone. In Amhara region, Meher season rain was timely in most areas, leading to better crop prospects than recent years in much of the region. However, an extended dry spell was reported in the month of May in almost all zones of the region, and as a result, a shift was made from long cycle (e.g. sorghum and maize) to short cycle (e.g. wheat and teff) crops in several zones. In Oromiya region, in the western and northern zones, and elsewhere in highland and midland areas of the region, crops performed well due to good Meher rains and good production is expected. However, late and erratic rains combined with a long dry spell in the eastern and central parts of the region (East and West Hararghe, East Shoa and Arsi) resulted in a loss of crop production. Total crop failure is expected in some lowland areas of these zones. Late on-set of rain was recorded in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR), followed by uneven distribution. Lowland areas were especially affected, and the long-cycle crop of maize has failed in many areas. However, the Meher rainy season lasts longer in SNNPR than elsewhere, and predictions about the performance of short cycle crops will need to wait until later in the season.

(c) In pastoral areas, the assessment teams confirmed other reports from Somali Region, i.e. that the food security situation in most parts of the Region (especially in the seven zones receiving Deyr rains in October/November) is below normal to poor, with the situation in some districts considered as a near-emergency. The main reasons for the poor food security situation are the poor performance of the Deyr rains in 2003, the poor Gu rains in April/May this year, and market-related problems. In Afar region, the onset of Karama rains (July-September) was delayed by one month throughout the region, its distribution was erratic and the amount was insufficient to regenerate pasture and replenish water sources. Some areas have been hit harder than others, especially the northern zones of the region. The performance of the main rainy season in Borena Zone, normally occurring between mid-March and mid-May, was seriously affected by delayed onset, erratic distribution and insufficient amounts. Shortage of pasture and water was already being experienced at the time of the assessment, resulting in the large movement of herds and families starting in April, earlier than the normal time. Livestock condition was of concern in Borena, and improvement will depend on a good performance of the next rains in this part of the country, which were due to start in mid-September and extend up to mid-November. The food security situation in South Omo of SNNPR is not promising, and shortage of pasture and drinking water for livestock has been reported over most parts of the zone.

5) Republic of Congo (RoC)

(a) Field work on the Enhanced Commitment to Women (ECW) baseline survey commenced on 1 October. The field work followed a three-day training delivered by WFP to 9 enumerators identified to undertake the survey. The baseline survey will form the basis for the continuous monitoring of the implementation of WFP's Gender Policy 2003-2007.

6) Rwanda

(a) The security situation in all camps in Rwanda remained calm during the week. A total of 996 Congolese refugees crossed from Burundi into Rwanda via the Bugarama border in Cyangugu province, in the southwest of the country. Reports indicate that the Congolese refugees were reluctant to relocate from Karurama camp in Burundi to another site and consequently decided to come to Rwanda.

(b) The new caseload is now hosted at Cyangugu refugee camp. WFP assisted them with a 7-day food ration; approximately 3.4 tons of assorted food commodities were distributed. This now brings the total number of refugees in Cyangugu refugee camp to 2,880 people. Since the onset of the conflict in Bukavu in late May 2004, WFP has distributed a total of 147 tons of various food commodities.

(c) Also an influx of Burundian refugees took place during the past week; over 240 Burundian people were received in Gikonko district at Mamba and Nyamure sites. The influx continues at a rate of 15 people per day. Another group of 155 Burundian refugees also crossed into Rwanda via Ngenda district in Bugesera. WFP assisted the refugees with BP 5 biscuits followed by a 7-day food ration a day later. The Ministry of Local Government together with UNHCR is planning to move all Burundian refugees to Kigeme refugee camp in Gikongoro province where another 764 Burundian refugees are currently being hosted.

7) Somalia

(a) Humanitarian organizations still face and operate in a varying degree of unstable social, political and economic environment. In the northern parts, boundary disputes remain tense between the self-declared republic of Somaliland and the autonomous state of Puntland. In the south, large concentrations of armed militias in Kismayo Port city and along major roads have inhibited accessibility to the vulnerable communities especially in lower Juba Valley. On 5 October, a WFP food convoy was ambushed in Hiran region and later released. Middle Shabelle administration provided security for WFP's convoy. Skirmishes involving various armed militias have been reported in Las Anod in the northwest, in Bossaso in the Northeast and in Kismayo in the south of the Country.

(b) UN Common Air Service (UNCAS), that operates air services between Somalia and Kenya and within Somalia, has been suspended due to the heightened insecurity throughout the country. As one of the results, travel schedules of humanitarian aid-workers to and from Somalia are being disrupted. Overall, suspending UNCAS flights has the effect of suspending most of the humanitarian activities in Somalia, further frustrating the already weak humanitarian access to the vulnerable people in Somalia.

(c) Several planned activities were to be suspended due this new development, including the distribution of relief food commodities to the drought affected populations in Somalia, setting up school feeding activities in Somalia and the nutritional survey to malnourished children in the food insecure areas in the north. The suspension of these and other activities will have negative impact on lives and livelihood of the country's poor people. Plans for improving security around airfields used by UNCAS within Somalia is being discussed by the UN Security Management Team (SMT)

(d) The Deyr seasonal rains have begun in areas in the northern parts of the country but have not had any major impact in alleviating the emergency situation faced by the country's farmers and pastoralists alike. The drought affected population will need emergency assistance for at least another six months.

8) Sudan

(a) WFP continues food deliveries and distributions in an immensely difficult operating environment. In September, the effects of the rainy season caused widespread disruption of WFP activities in Darfur, particularly in West Darfur, forcing WFP to continue airdrops to reach IDP camps and locations cut off by roads. Insecurity also severely impeded deliveries to South Darfur.

(b) Despite the challenging operating environment, WFP managed to distribute more than 21,000 tons of food to over 1.33 million beneficiaries. This was as a result of a number of factors: significant carry over stocks at the end of August which fed into September's distributions; excellent performance of our cooperating partners; enhanced deliveries via road and air as a result of new assets and local transport contracts.

(c) A four-week in depth food and nutrition security assessment including the Government of Sudan (GoS), WFP and UN agencies, NGOs and the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) was recently completed in the Darfurs. The findings will help the humanitarian community to understand more accurately the food and nutritional needs of host communities and those displaced in Darfur as it emerges from the rainy season. The mission's findings and additional findings from a recent International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) assessment mission, will serve as the basis of beneficiary figures for the coming months and provide indications required to prepare for the humanitarian situation in Darfur in 2005. It is important to note that this is the first joint survey conducted in all the Darfurs of both residents and IDPs since the recent conflict began and will serve as a baseline for future surveys to monitor the evolving situation. The final report will be released by November.

(d) Air deliveries for September stand at some 4,660 tons, 77 percent of the targeted 6,000 tons (revised in mid-September) due to delays in clearing aircraft and in aircraft maintenance. A total of about 2,115 tons of food commodities were airdropped to locations in West Darfur and to one location in South Darfur in September. Airdrops will continue during October, as some roads remain impassable following the rainy season.

(e) Confirmed contributions received to date against the EMOP amount to USD 166,692,378, representing approximately 82 percent of the total requirement. In terms of tonnage, a total of about 185,335 tons is confirmed, representing about 82 percent of the total requirement. Substantial quantities of food will be required for 2005 based on the results of the food and nutrition security assessment mission. It should be noted that the large cash shortfall is partly due to outstanding WFP Immediate Response Account (IRA) loans, which will require repayment. WFP pre-financed the operation to ensure continued delivery of urgently required food assistance. For the two supporting Special Operations (logistics augmentation and humanitarian air services), the shortfall amounts to USD 4.1 million.

9) Uganda

(a) The protracted Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency in the northern Acholi and Lango regions (Gulu, Kitgum, Pader and Lira districts) continues to severely constrain the livelihoods of the displaced population. Over 1.4 million displaced persons, forced to seek shelter in over 100 congested protected camps, continue to depend on WFP food assistance for survival. Rebel ambushes in Kitgum and Pader districts continue on a daily basis.

(b) WFP food distribution continues to reach the more than 1.4 million displaced persons, 150,000 refugees and other vulnerable persons. During the period 27 September to 2 October, 2,150 tons of WFP relief food assistance was distributed to over 227,325 persons including IDPs sheltering in camps in Gulu, Kitgum, and Lira districts in the northern Acholi and Lango sub-regions; refugees, school children and other vulnerable persons.

(c) WFP, together with the Ministry of Health and district authorities, is conducting a nutrition survey in all 33 IDP camps in Gulu District. WFP, in partnership with UNICEF, Save the Children (Denmark) is planning to undertake nutrition surveys in 17 additional new camps in Gulu. Data from the new camps will guide future interventions.

(d) WFP, together with Lira District authorities, and NGO partners (Christian Children's Fund and Light Force International) is registering the population of Extremely Vulnerable Individuals (EVIs) displaced in the municipality. The EVI's will receive assistance under WFP's Social Support programme.

(e) A prolonged dry period affected Adjumani, Moyo and Yumbe districts in the West Nile region during May-August 2004. WFP conducted a rapid Emergency Food Needs Assessment (EFNA) in September. The assessment confirms the need for food intervention and WFP will provide some 1,400 tons of food assistance to 146,000 persons.

(f) Based upon the recommendations of an inter-agency Crop Yield Assessment conducted in the Karamoja region, WFP will provide a one-off food assistance to the four most affected sub-counties (Kalapata, Nadunget, Rupa and Katikekilegap) before the next harvest. Up to 500,000 Karimojong people will be affected by drought if rains are not steady through December.

(g) WFP faces a shortfall of 21,542 tons of food commodities (11,652 tons cereals, 3,874 tons pulses and 6,016 tons fortified blended foods), representing a funding gap of approximately USD 10 million, required to maintain the food pipeline necessary to continue providing relief assistance to IDPs and refugees from September this year through March 2005.

D) West Africa Region: (1) Sahel region, (2) Chad, (3) Cote d'Ivoire, (4) Liberia, (5) Sierra Leone

1) Sahel region

(a) The desert locust situation in the Sahel remains of concern. Hopper bands continue to develop and new immature swarms continue to form in southern Mauritania, northern Senegal, Mali and Niger. Other areas affected are northern Burkina Faso and parts of central and eastern Chad.

(b) With vegetation drying up due to the end of the rainy season, it is expected that the locusts will leave the Sahel region this month and head north for countries such as Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. Nevertheless, Southern Mauritania, northern Senegal, Mali, Niger and northern Burkina Faso will continue to be affected as numerous immature swarms reportedly continue to form.

(c) The CILSS/FAO missions for the preliminary evaluation of the harvests have been organised. The harvest period is the most critical moment with regard to the current infestation and there are concerns a substantial portion of this harvest could be at risk because of the locust threat. The ongoing survey and control operations have not made it possible yet to stop the progression of the infestation. The scale of the locust invasion largely depends on the efficiency of these operations, and for the time being, the rate of treatment remains very low.

(d) At FAO's request, WFP airlifted over 100 tons of pesticides from Morocco to Mauritania and Senegal from 26 to 28 September, using WFP's Illyushin 76 aircraft based in Brindisi, Italy. After that, WFP planned to perform two additional airlifts from Algeria to Mauritania and Senegal.

(e) The FAO locust coordination unit in Dakar has been established and staffing is currently being strengthened. At the regional level, WFP, FAO, CILSS and FEWS-Net continue the preparation of the field missions for the preliminary evaluation of the rainfall cereal harvests and the assessment of the impact of the locust infestation on the food security and the vulnerability of the affected households. At the country level, preliminary WFP/FAO/FEWS-Net missions, which aim at estimating the degree of vulnerability of populations and erosion of their coping mechanisms and determining the hardest-hit locations, started in Mali and Niger at the beginning of this week. The CILSS/FAO/WFP crop assessment missions will start on 10 October in these two countries.

(f) With regard to the other potentially affected countries (Burkina Faso, Chad and Cape Verde) close contacts are maintained and information is collected through WFP's Country Offices as it will be during the regular CILSS/FAO missions. The assessment teams are already in place in some cases.

(g) The findings of the assessment missions, which will be made public during the first week of November, are eagerly awaited by governments and partners. Currently there is a lack of information on the infestation and the impact on the food security and the rural livelihood systems in the affected zones. The assessments will also provide a general overview of the desert locust crisis in the Sahel. Once WFP has the findings of the assessments, the Programme will define an adequate response strategy which will be formulated from a regional perspective, the locust infestation being a trans-national issue.

2) Chad

(a) Despite government efforts to improve security, tension between refugees and local residents continues and a number of incidents were reported. Eighty-four gendarmes have arrived from N'Djaména to Abéché to strengthen and reinforce security around the camps.

(b) From 1 to 7 October, the caseload reported by UNHCR totaled 196,000 refugees. Among these over 7,010 refugees are being transferred from the border areas to the camps. Meanwhile, 8,700 refugees are located on the border and do not wish to be relocated. Some 400 people out of the 1,200 declared by Chad's National Commission for Refugee Assistance (CNAR), were registered as refugees and were transferred from border areas to Farchana camp. The transfer of refugees from Bredjing camp to Treguine camp is ongoing and continuous. According to UNHCR, approximately 400 refugees per day are being transferred. UNHCR, for security reasons, plans to find a new site to relocate over 20,000 refugees from Oure Cassoni. UNHCR reported that Hepatitis E cases are decreasing in the camps and that risks of cholera are reducing

(c) From 1 to 7 October, a general distributions of more than 335 tons of food commodities assisted 20,100 beneficiaries. The general distributions commenced on 4 October in the central and southern camps; those in the northern camps are to take place next week. In addition, almost 45 tons were distributed to 9,820 beneficiaries under blanket supplementary feeding programmes. One ton of high-energy-biscuits has been made available to immediately assist spontaneous refugees in Bredjing camp for three days, until they are registered by UNHCR. WFP would thereafter undertake regular food distribution.

(d) WFP stock position at Abéché and Extended Delivery Points totals almost 6,820 tons, sufficient to address the requirements of 196,000 refugees of which 51,000 are registered in blanket supplementary feeding programmes. Planning and organization of the next convoys through the Libyan corridor are ongoing. Bredjing and Farchana camps are now easily accessible.

(e) WFP's Regional Director (RD) for West Africa conducted a familiarization visit to N'Djamena on 29 September. He met with the Minister of Agriculture, heads of UN Agencies and donors. He then proceeded to eastern Chad where he visited Irdimi refugee camp and held meetings with the Governor of Ouddai and the local authorities in Iriba Province. The authorities in Iriba informed him that two consecutive years of poor rainfall has affected pasture and agricultural land as well as water availability, which in turn has led to social tension between refugees and the local population.

(f) A WFP/UNHCR Joint Assessment Mission (JAM) for the Sudanese Refugees Emergency Operation will start on 25 October. WFP is strongly encouraging donors' participation and is sending out invitations accordingly. An FAO/CILSS Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM) will take place during the period from 18 to 23 October 2004. The mission will assess the harvest and will visit the areas heavily affected by locust infestation. WFP will participate in the mission.

3) Cote d'Ivoire

(a) With the planned date for the beginning of the disarmament of 15 October approaching, the situation in the country is becoming tense. There have been several demonstrations in Abidjan, and on 7 October, UN peacekeepers were injured in a march against the disarmament process organized in Bouake.

(b) From 29 September to 5 October, 653 tons of various food commodities were distributed to 74,400 people.

(c) WFP continues to assist about 1,100 IDPs in the town of Gagnoa. These IDPs are from the north of Cote d'Ivoire or Burkina Faso. Before the crisis they were working on the fields around Gagnoa. However they have been chased out by the local populations who accuse them of siding with the Forces Nouvelles. WFP will conduct another assessment mission to verify whether an increase in beneficiary numbers is necessary.

4) Liberia

(a) On Tuesday 5 October, WFP launched the opening of seven additional offices throughout Liberia. UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General and Humanitarian Coordinator Mr. Abou Moussa lead the ribbon-cutting ceremony; WFP now has sub-offices in Tubmanburg, Phebe, Saclapea, Voinjama, Zwedru, Harper and Buchanan.

(b) From 29 September to 5 October, over 315 tons of food were distributed to 29,000 beneficiaries

(c) Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Repatriation programme (DDRR) activities continued smoothly throughout the country, despite the fact that bad road conditions continued to affect timely delivery of food commodities to DDRR sites, especially to Voinjama. As the road between Zorzor and Voinjama has become impassable, WFP and UNMIL have agreed to start airlifting food to the site from 6 October. According to the planning, by 8 October, Voinjama cantonment site will be supplied with almost 85 tons of food. The costs of the airlift operation are covered by UNMIL.

(d) The food pipeline continues to face critical shortages, and since June, WFP has been forced to distribute reduced rations to the approximate 500,000 refugees, returnees and IDPs receiving WFP support. New contributions continue to be needed in order for WFP to be able to provide full rations in the coming months.

5) Sierra Leone

(a) From 20 September to 3 October, 910 tons of various food commodities were distributed to 112,000 people.

(b) During the same period, WFP conducted a gender baseline survey to examine Enhanced Commitment to Women (ECW) gender policy commitments in WFP programmes countrywide. In addition, WFP carried out an internal evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of the Sierra Leone component of the West Africa PRRO, with regard to protection and security.

E) Southern Africa: (1) Regional, (2) Lesotho, (3) Madagascar, (4) Malawi, (5) Mozambique, (6) Swaziland, (7) Zimbabwe

1) Regional

(a) The recently released Southern Africa Regional Vulnerability Assessment Committee (RVAC) report indicates that growing poverty, increased negative impacts of HIV/AIDS on livelihoods, and multi-year abnormal rainfall seasons resulting in reduced harvests are the main causes of chronic vulnerability and food insecurity in the Southern Africa Development Community region.

(b) Also according to the Southern Africa Monthly Food Security Brief, household level vulnerability assessments, in those countries that have been adversely affected by the poor performance of the past rainy season, reveal widespread levels of food insecurity and erosion of livelihoods among vulnerable groups.

(c) The WFP Regional Bureau for Southern Africa held its planning meeting from 4-6 October. The main strategic priorities for 2005 include launching and mobilizing USD 171 million for the first year of the regional PRRO 10310, Assistance to Populations in Southern Africa Vulnerable to Food Insecurity and the Impact of AIDS, which is expected to start in January 2005; preparing a new PRRO in Angola; contributing to the Common Country Assessment and United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) in 2005 in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia; mobilizing resources for refugees operations in Angola, Malawi, Namibia and Zambia; and strengthening support and partnership with the Southern African Development Community.

2) Lesotho

(a) Food insecurity and vulnerability in Lesotho is increasing. From 29 September to 4 October, WFP and implementing partners distributed about 585 tons of food to some 59,000 beneficiaries, including about 5,000 children under five years of age; 7,000 people affected by HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis; 1,000 pregnant and nursing mothers (through health centres); 16,000 beneficiaries under Vulnerable Group Feeding; and 18,000 orphans.

3) Madagascar

(a) Household food security has been affected by the non-availability of rice which is the staple food. The scarcity has caused a significant increase in local food prices.

(b) WFP food aid distributions are continuing in the southern Ambovombe region under EMOP 10236, Assistance to Drought Victims in Southern Madagascar.

4) Malawi

(a) Maize prices in local markets continue to rise, with price increases of 44% in some areas since August. The food security situation in Phalombe in southern Malawi was reported to have deteriorated. According to the Phalombe Rural Development Programme, 60 percent of households in the district have reportedly run out of food. Households are resorting to distress coping mechanisms including ganyu (piece work), selling firewood, assets and livestock.

(b) The Malawi component of the regional EMOP, Targeted Relief to Vulnerable Households in Southern Africa, urgently requires 11,000 tons of food to meet essential needs between now and December. In September, the President of Malawi appealed to UN agencies and donors to assist in the response to the food shortages following last year's poor harvest.

5) Mozambique

(a) WFP staff held a meeting with staff from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs for the Country Programme mid-term review. All ministries partnering with WFP (Education, Health, Agriculture, Women's Affairs and Social Action, and Commerce) as well as the National Institute for Disaster Management, participated in the review process which focused mainly on project implementation and coordination as part of the UNDAF.

6) Swaziland

(a) From 28 September to 4 October, some 835 tons of food were distributed to about 53,000 beneficiaries.

(b) WFP's emergency operation will experience a shortfall of 2000 tons of cereals and pulses in November and December. The shortfall will have a negative effect on the household food security of beneficiaries, as the break will occur in the middle of the lean season.

7) Zimbabwe

(a) According to the Monthly Food Security Reportof the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS-Net), household purchasing power in urban areas has been continuously eroded by hyper inflation, estimated at 314 percent in the year to August 2004. The cost of the monthly expenditure basket for a low income urban household of six, monitored by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ), went up by about 65 percent to Z$1,4 million (USD 249) between January and August 2004.

(b) Poor households in the traditionally grain deficit areas along the Zambezi River and in the southern parts of Manicaland, Masvingo and the Matebeleland provinces, are struggling to buy enough food due to the limited income options they have. A significant number of these households are already reducing the number and size of meals, as well as earning small amounts of cash in risky and non-traditional ways, such as gold panning.

F) Asia: (1) Bangladesh, (2) DPR Korea, (3) Myanmar

1) Bangladesh

(a) About 36 million people in Bangladesh were affected by the monsoon floods that commenced in the beginning of July. In order to obtain accurate independently verified information on the short, medium and longer-term needs of the poor affected by these floods, a Post-Flood Needs Assessment was carried out by the WFP-led local consultative Disaster Emergency Response (DER) group.

(b) Eight multi-agency teams comprising volunteers from 17 different agencies assessed the 27 worst-affected districts across the country. The assessment placed equal emphasis on information directly from the flood victims themselves, and from officials at the district and upazila (sub-district) level.

(c) The conclusions of the assessment reinforce the need for urgent provision of emergency food relief and supplementary feeding until the next harvest, support to housing rehabilitation and the poor sanitation situation, as well as the need for continuing support to health care interventions. Beyond this, the emphasis should be on rebuilding livelihoods in parallel with infrastructure repair and reconstruction, through a mix of cash and food-for-work.

(d) The report also identifies areas for the improvement of disaster risk management, which should complement the forthcoming project proposals of the Asian Development Bank and World Bank. The Banks just completed a joint assessment and programming mission to estimate the flood impact on the economy and to determine what outside assistance is needed to support recovery, with an underlying objective of reducing future vulnerability.

(e) The results of the DER assessment will enable planning, budgeting and implementation of relief and rehabilitation programmes in each sector. Detailed results in each district can be downloaded from the DER Group page of the LCG website:

(f) Meanwhile, although the monsoon normally ends by mid-October, there is still the risk of heavy rainfall upstream in the catchment areas of the major rivers as well as the attendant risk of water being released without warning. The cyclone season then prevails until the end of the year, posing a significant threat to coastal communities.

2) DPR Korea

(a) With the on-going harvest of maize and the arrival of ROK rice, the food security situation in the country has improved. This has also made prices of rice in Pyongyang drop by 25 percent. However, the government public distribution ration for October remains at 300-350 grams/person/day.

(b) Fifteen out of 18 Local Food Production factories were operational during the period from 2 to 8 October. Production for the period of 27 to 30 September was more than 395 tons.

(c) With the expected arrival of new contributions in the coming weeks, WFP will be able to provide rations to all beneficiaries from mid-October until the first months of 2005. However, any delay in the shipments would mean further distribution cuts for WFP beneficiaries.

3) Myanmar

(a) Under PRRO 10066.2, Assistance to Returnees and Vulnerable Groups in North Rakhine State and Magway Division (Dry Zone) of Myanmar, over 175 tons of rice was distributed to 5,950 beneficiaries in Northern Rakhine State during the past two weeks. The rice was distributed through vulnerable group feeding, school feeding take-home ration, food-for-training and food-for-work activities.

(b) WFP, under the PRRO, is undertaking a vulnerability survey to inform and guide vulnerable group feeding activities in Pauk and Pakokku of Magwe Division during the last week of October 2004.

(c) Under EMOP 10345.0, Emergency Food Assistance to Ex-Poppy Farmers in Northern Shan State, a total of about 1,015 tons of rice was distributed to some 48,975 beneficiaries through food-for-work, food-for-education and vulnerable group feeding in Northern Shan State (NSS). Poppy cultivation continues in Wa region and it is supposedly the last crop before the agreed poppy eradication by June 2005. Those communities actively engaged in poppy production do not qualify under this EMOP. Further assessments were undertaken in Pangyang/Wenkao and Mongphen /Mongpawk during last week of September to determine eligibility for food assistance programme.

(d) In cooperation with the Community Development in Remote Townships (CDRT) project of UNOPS, a three-day Participatory Rural Appraisal training workshop was conducted for WFP field staff in Maungdaw.

(e) The data collection for Enhanced Commitment to Women Baseline Survey was completed by the 1st week of October in the three project locations: Northern Rakhine State, Northern Shan State and Magwe Division.

G) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Bolivia, (2) Colombia, (3) Cuba, (4) Guatemala, (5) Haiti, (6) Nicaragua

1) Bolivia

(a) The Government has declared the drought affected El Chaco Region as a National Disaster Area. On 5 October, the President of the country released the Supreme Decree Number 27773 by which an appeal for international assistance is made. It is expected that the Government will organize a meeting with international agencies.

(b) WFP authorized an Immediate Response Emergency Operation to support almost 41,180 villagers with 640 tons from September to November this year. The Programme is currently procuring the commodities.

(c) The UN Disaster Management Team will appeal for OCHA resources to complement current assistance of WFP, UNICEF, and WHO. UNICEF is supporting a water provision plan, which is intended to distribute water containers, repair water wells and to provide technical assistance. UNICEF has also communicated its intention to supplement WFP's food assistance with products suitable for children under 2 years.

2) Colombia

(a) Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said in his speech to the UN General Assembly on 29 September, that poverty eradication and social growth are key goals of his government. Mr. Uribe stated that defeating poverty includes strong and sustained economic growth, and an increase in transparency and security. He added that the Colombian Government is developing key programmes to fight against hunger and poverty, including an increase in technical training and subsidies for school children and health programs.

(b) Last Sunday 3 October, 14 people were killed and 5 others were severely wounded after being attacked by members of an illegal armed group in rural areas of the municipality of Candelaria, province of Valle, southwestern Colombia. According to recent Colombian Government reports on human rights, antipersonnel mines have killed more than 150 civilians and at least 352 soldiers so far in 2004.

(c) A strike by more than 100,000 truck drivers has paralyzed Colombian exports and has affected food prices in many regions of the country. The strike was launched on 14 September to press demands on fuel prices, tolls, weight limits and U.S. trade talks. The Colombian Truck Drivers Association has had meetings with the central government in order to call off the strike, but no agreement has been reached so far. Authorities calculate that food deliveries in the whole country have been affected between 50 and 60 percent.

(d) Heavy rains have intensified in different regions of the country and have affected small and large cities. In the province of Cordoba more than 4,000 families were affected by floods and authorities are evaluating how to relocate some of them. In the province of Antioquia transit on some roads has been interrupted by the strong rains, causing delays in the delivery of food for some WFP projects located in the municipalities of San Francisco, San Luis, Cocorná, El Peñol, San Rafael and San Carlos. According to weather specialists the rainy season will continue until mid November.

(e) In the context of the PRRO 10158, Assistance to People Displaced by Violence, last week WFP distributed about 315 tons of food in 11 provinces to some 49,225 beneficiaries. These commodities were distributed in community kitchens and as part of school and preschool feeding activities.

(f) On 26 September, the Colombian government sent more than 25 tons of humanitarian aid to Haiti and Grenada in response to their urgent petition following the emergency caused by the hurricane Jeanne. Eight private companies and organizations cooperated with the government and the military in shipping these materials.

3) Cuba

(a) On 28 September, in coordination with MINVEC (Ministry for Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation) and the Cuban Civil Defense, a joint WFP/FAO/government visit was carried out to Pinar del Rio province with the objective of assessing the damage caused by hurricane IVAN in that area. Government officials of Pinar del Rio highlighted that since 2002 Pinar del Rio province had been hit by 4 hurricanes, 3 of them category 3 on the Safir-Simpson scale and this last one category 5.

(b) Up to the date of this visit, the total number of persons evacuated prior, during and/or after the emergency is 253,300. Approximately 35 percent of them remained in shelters during the week of the emergency and were provided food assistance by the government. The government claims that because of hurricanes Charley and Ivan, 60,000 persons were reported with damage to their houses and 900 houses were completely destroyed. In Sandino municipality, the most western part of the province and one the hardest hit by the hurricane, the forest in the National Park of Guanacabibes was practically destroyed with serious implications for the environment of the area.

(c) Currently there is no standing crop in the entire province and urban agriculture has been severely affected. A total of about 28,490 litres of milk were lost. Serious losses of approximately USD 1,300 million Cuban pesos were reported in the commercial network due to interruptions in the electricity supply circuits.

(d) Measures taken by the government have been the distribution of an additional ration apart from the one given to the population every month consisting of an extra kilogram of rice, 0.5 kg of beans and 0.5kg of split peas to the persons in the five most affected municipalities (San Juan y Martínez, San Luis, Guane, Sandino y Mantua) for a period of three months. However, the lack of fresh fruit, vegetables and proteins will lead to a deterioration in the nutritional situation of the population. All findings will be duly processed and an assessment will be carried out to determine whether or not any kind of assistance will be given by FAO or WFP.

4) Guatemala

(a) Meteorologists from the Central America Climate Forum have announced the onset of "El Nino" conditions in a weaker state than the 1998 event. Irregular rainfall has already affected basic grains production this year. Strong winds and hail damaged corn and bean crops in the village of Lemoa, province of Quiche.

(b) The UN Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA) launched its ninth report on the verification of the Peace Accords, which illustrates the achievements and remaining challenges in their implementation. The peacekeeping mission will end its mandate on 31 December and UN agencies, including WFP, shall become more involved in supporting the Peace Process.

(c) Food distribution under the relief component of PRRO 10212, Targeted Food Assistance for Persons Affected by Shocks and the Recovery of Livelihoods, continued to the provinces of Totonicapan, Quetzaltenango, Solola, Chichicastenango, Jalapa, and Jutiapa. A total of over 275 tons of maize, beans, CSB and vegetable oil were distributed to contribute to the nutritional recovery of children, pregnant and lactating women, and their families suffering from recurring shocks. An additional 9 tons of the same food products were distributed to 560 families (2,800 beneficiaries) as an incentive for their participation in assets creation under the recovery component of PRRO 10212 in the province of El Progreso.

5) Haiti

(a) The security situation in the coastal city of Gonaïves has improved as a result of an increase in the presence of Haitian policemen and MINUSTAH peacekeepers. However, tensions have increased in Port au Prince since 30 September, when policemen were killed in a demonstration staged by supporters of former President Aristide. The ensuing urban guerilla operation, dubbed "Operation Baghdad" in protest against the US policy in Haiti, has created a heightened the climate of insecurity in the town. This has affected WFP's ability to remove food and other commodities from the port in Port-au-Prince. However, convoys available for use by the entire humanitarian community and secured by MINUSTAH and are now organised to move the food and other commodities held in areas outside the port area of Port au Prince and from Cap Haitien to the affected areas.

(b) From 27 September to 3 October, WFP dispatched a total of about 350 tons of food to the affected areas in Gonaïves and its surroundings. and reached for the first time Port de Paix. A total of 402 tons of commodities (357.3 in Gonaives; 14.9 Gonaives surrounding areas; 29.8 Port de Paix) were distributed to 112,650 beneficiaries. Some 100 tons of High Energy Biscuits (HEB) airlifted from the UN humanitarian depot in Brindisi/Italy arrived in the country on 1 October and have been sent to Gonaïves.

(c) Distributions in Gonaives have been facilitated by the identification by the local authorities of 37 distribution points that are protected by MINUSTAH and used on a rotational basis. However, limitations in the number of trucks and staff mean that only 4 distribution points can be served each day. In order to further facilitate the distributions, WFP has sent a team of food monitors to Gonaïves and is requesting implementing partner CARE to issue beneficiary cards. Following reports of food being stolen from female beneficiaries leaving the distribution sites WFP and other international agencies have been calling upon the Haitian government to ensure the protection of beneficiaries.

(d) Other organizations currently distributing food in Gonaïves include IFRC, the Haitian Red Cross, the Haiti Civil Defense and local authorities. As the floods have washed roads away, the only possible access to the affected areas north of Gonaïves, including the communes of Ennery, Pilate, Passe Reine and Savanne Carré has been from Cap Haitien. WFP has thus been the only organization distributing food in these areas as well as cooking kits and water purification tablets on behalf of GAA and the Haitian Red Cross. During last week, 3,000 beneficiaries in the above mentioned communities received two weeks rations. Since the onset of the crisis, a total of almost 36 tons was distributed to 7,200 beneficiaries in these areas.

(e) On 3 October, a WFP assessment found that access for small trucks has been restored between Cap Haitien and Port de Paix and the first distribution was organized for 2,900 beneficiaries.

(f) In addition, WFP provided logistical support to ship 1,000 gas stoves and 12 water tanks donated by local companies.

(g) As a consequence of the closure of the port in Port au Prince since 30th September WFP has been unable to collect 134 containers of food commodities in the port and dispatch their contents to Gonaives. If this situation continues, the consequences will be severe as the current stocks, in particular of rice, are almost exhausted. WFP has requested the support of Government and MINUSTAH to secure access to the port.

(h) On 1 October, a post-flood Flash Appeal of USD 32 million, including USD 5.9 million for WFP, was launched by the international community.

6) Nicaragua

(a) On 30 September, an earthquake reaching 5.1 on the Richter scale was felt in north-western Nicaragua and on 1 October another earthquake reaching 5.4 on the Richter scale caused some panic, but neither loss of life nor material damage in the Central and Pacific part of the Nicaraguan territory.

(b) A joint FAO-WFP monitoring mission confirms widespread crop losses and a precarious food security situation in northern Nicaragua. Consequently, on 4 of November a systematic WFP evaluation of the effects of the drought and the general food security situation will begin. Collection of data in the field will last for two weeks and cover 20 municipalities affected by crop losses.

(c) Food distributions under the IRA/EMOP to affected families of the Cerro Musún mudslide in Río Blanco and Matiguás continue. Due to the fact that the some of the affected families are beginning to return to their homes, distributions are taking place in the shelters as well as in the communities.

(d) Food distributions under PRRO 10212.0 also continue. Currently, a total of over 67,465 school children are being assisted in the RAAN and some 11,495 school children in the municipality of Matagalpa. In addition, over 10,025 vulnerable children under 2 years of age; almost 8,730 expectant and nursing women and 2,000 poor rural families are also being assisted in the northern and central region of the country.

(e) PRRO 10212.0 will face shortfalls through February, beginning in September, of beans (some 200 tons), rice (some 200 tons) and of Vegetable Oil (100 tons). If no commodities are announced in the coming months or those that are announced arrive late, the PRRO will face serious pipeline breaks.

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