WFP Emergency Report No. 42 of 2004

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 15 Oct 2004


Highlights

(A) Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Albania, (3) Iran, (4) Iraq

(B) East and Central Africa: (1) Burundi, (3) DR Congo, (3) Ethiopia, (4) Eritrea, (5) Kenya, (6) Rwanda, (7) Somalia, (8) Sudan, (9) Tanzania, (10) Uganda

(C) West Africa: (1) Burkina Faso, (2) Chad, (3) Cote d'Ivoire, (4) Ghana, (5) Liberia, (6) Mauritania

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

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

(F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Colombia, (2) Guatemala, (3) Haiti, (4) Nicaragua

From David Kaatrud, Director of the Analysis, Assessment and Preparedness Service (ODA). 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, telephone +39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

Highlights

  • WFP stopped food dispatches to the northern part of North Darfur, Sudan, due to the deteriorating security situation
  • Increased tensions in Haiti have limited the capacity of WFP to dispatch and distribute food.
  • WFP Executive Board approved new Protracted Relief and Recovery Operations for West Africa Coastal countries (Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea), Mauritania, Cote d'Ivoire (incl. also Burkina Faso, Ghana and Mali), Senegal, Ethiopia, Southern Africa (Lesotho, Malawi and Swaziland), and Sri Lanka, as well as other programmes and projects.
  • WFP prepared for World Food Day, 16 October

A) Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Albania, (3) Iran, (4) Iraq

1) Afghanistan

(a) The security situation remained volatile throughout most of the country during the week, particularly on the eve of first-ever presidential polls, with incidents of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), rockets, landmines and ambushes targeting the government, coalition forces, aid workers and electoral staff. Three rocket propelled grenades landed in Kabul on 11 October, killing one civilian.

(b) In the south, a convoy carrying ballot boxes to a district centre in Uruzgan province was ambushed on 9 October. Three security personnel were killed and two injured. On the same day an Afghan military vehicle was attacked in Kandahar, resulting in the death of eight soldiers.

(c) In the west, an IED explosion at a polling centre in Badghis province on the Election Day injured two female voters.

(d) Landmark presidential election was successfully held throughout the country on 9 October, recording high turnouts.

(e) From 7 to 13 October, over 538,280 beneficiaries received over 2,390 tons of food.

(f) The Department of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (DRRD) carried out an assessment of several food-for-work (FFW) projects in Farah and Ghor provinces. These projects include construction and rehabilitation of roads and Karezes (under ground irrigation channels). FFW activities focus on increasing agricultural productivity and improving community access to social services through construction or rehabilitation of communal infrastructure. The Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) staff is conducting monitoring and assessments of WFP projects in security sensitive areas.

2) Albania

(a) In September, the security situation throughout Albania remained stable. All travel to the northern areas of Albania required security clearance.

(b) Operational activities of the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) 10165.1, Assistance to Vulnerable Groups in the Construction of Community Assets, continued as planned. Under the social sector component of the PRRO, 3,550 women participants attended training and counselling sessions. A total of over 3,030 participants were involved in forestry activities. The food-for-work (FFW) schemes provided short-term employment opportunities to about 1,685 workers in the mountainous and poorer areas. During September, a total of 590 tons of wheat flour, vegetable oil and salt were distributed under all the three sectors.

3) Iraq

(a) Intense conflict and heavy casualties were reported in Samarra and Falluja. During the conflict, much of Samarra was bombarded by air strikes. In addition, MNF tanks and armoured vehicles reportedly surrounded the city preventing any departure or entry to the city. Samarra Central Hospital reported a severe shortage in anaesthetic drugs, operating equipment and antibiotics

(b) WFP continues to monitor developments on the ground, although no major food needs are reported. Shortages of water, electricity and fuel remain a matter of concern.

(c) The monthly Public Distribution System (PDS) food distribution for September has been completed or is near completion, countrywide. MoT took full responsibility for the procurement of commodities for the PDS earlier in the year. WFP's support to the PDS is almost concluded as dispatches (transport of commodities to MoT warehouses in the 18 governorates) are nearly completed.

(d) In an interview published in the Baghdad Daily on 9 September, the Director General (DG) of the General Foodstuff Company, Mr. Khalil Assi, declared that MoT will add tomato paste, cheese and an increased ration of pulses in the food basket to be distributed during Ramadan. He added that delays in the inclusion of cheese and tomato paste in the ration ? originally planned to start at the beginning of the summer ? were due to 'technical matters' and that delays in distribution are mainly due to criminal attacks against transporters. The DG also said that MoT is determined to continue using the ration card system at least for the next two years.

(e) At events in Washington D.C and Amman, WFP announced the results of an unprecedented survey in Iraq which concludes that some 6.5 million people ? 25 percent of the entire population ? remain highly dependent on food rations and are therefore vulnerable. According to WFP's Baseline Food Security Assessment, the first of its kind in Iraq, of these 6.5 million people, some 2.6 million are so poor that they have to resell part of their food rations to buy basic necessities such as medicines and clothes. A further 3.6 million Iraqis, 14 percent of the population, would become food insecure if the rationing system was discontinued.

(f) The results show that despite the PDS, the prevalence of extreme poverty is high in rural areas, particularly among women and children. The study adds that around 27 percent of all children up to the age of five are chronically malnourished. Without the current PDS, this number would increase dramatically.

(g) Following the survey, WFP has launched a one-year emergency operation (EMOP) costing USD 60 million, targeting the most vulnerable groups in Iraq. The operation will support these groups by providing 67,000 tons of food to: 220,000 malnourished children and their family members (over 1.1 million), more than 1.7 million primary school children, 350,000 pregnant and lactating mothers and over 6,000 tuberculosis patients.

(h) Under the EMOP, WFP is also working to strengthen national institutions connected with food security. For example, it is training Iraqis to carry out their own food security assessments in the future.

4) Iran

(a) The total number of refugees who have returned to Afghanistan from Iran since 9 April 2002 totals some 1,078,740. In the period between 29 September and 12 October UNHCR assisted 13,685 returnees, while about 390 repatriated spontaneously. No camp refugees repatriated during the aforementioned period.

(b) The repatriation of Iraqi refugees continued between 29 September and 12 October, when some 925 people returned through UNHCR assistance, including 423 camp refugees. They were mostly Kurdish refugees who went via a new border exit station which has been opened in Kurdistan province

(c) WFP is providing food assistance to over 10,875 Iraqi and 31,600 Afghan refugees in 25 camps under the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) 10213.0, Food Assistance and Support to Education of Afghan and Iraqi Refugees in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

(d) Some 13,685 Afghan returnees received WFP bread ration upon repatriation. Over 4,830 vulnerable orphans living in Sistan-Baluchistan are receiving a monthly food ration from WFP through the Iranian Red Crescent Society. Food for Training is provided to 200 women and girls attending Life Skills & Literacy classes in Zahedan through the NGO Global Partners.

B) East and Central Africa: (1) Burundi, (3) DR Congo, (3) Ethiopia, (4) Eritrea, (5) Kenya, (6) Rwanda, (7) Somalia, (8) Sudan, (9) Tanzania, (10) Uganda

1) Burundi

(a) Last week, no intense military confrontations were reported in Bujumbura Rural province. However, reports were received on security incidents marked by armed robbery and isolated killings.

(b) Provincial authorities in Kirundo visited the Burundian refugees recently arrived in Rwanda to discuss their repatriation. On 5 October the number of Burundian refugees was estimated at 515.

(c) Although rainfall has been registered in some parts of Burundi, field staff reported that some areas of Cankuzo and Muyinga provinces did not receive rain,. This can affect the forthcoming crops, as the current rain is the precursor of the sowing period. WFP will continue to monitor rainfall and its impact on food security.

(d) Between 3 and 10 October, WFP distributed a total of about 1,270 tons of food aid to some 124,425 beneficiaries through different programme activities.

(e) Provision of wet feeding rations in the returnee transit centres and the temporary site for most vulnerable IDPs in Kabezi (Bujumbura Rural) continued.

(f) The distribution of the Seeds Protection Rations (SPR) Programme proceeded as planned. The operation has reached nearly 101,500 beneficiaries in Ruyigi, Rutana, Bujumbura Rural and Kirundo provinces. All received the 20-day ration. A total of about 1,115 tons of food were distributed through implementing partner CARE. The operation is constrained due to the slow arrival of food commodities.

(g) Pipeline breaks for cereals, pulses and CSB are expected in the coming months, starting in November. The loans and anticipated quick purchase and delivery of food following recent donor contributions are expected to reduce the size of some pipeline breaks. Further measures are currently being pursued. WFP is presently distributing rice as a maize substitute. Rations will be subsequently reviewed for some programmes like food-for-work (FFW).

2) D.R. Congo

(a) Humanitarian activities in Ituri district have been hampered due to increased military harassment. On 6 October, a Cooperazione e Sviluppo (CESVI) car was hijacked by soldiers, and the driver was taken hostage. He was eventually released together with the car. WFP's implementing partner Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI) closed its supplementary feeding centre in Katoto due to harassment by soldiers, who reportedly are demanding inclusion on the beneficiary list. COOPI's decision was reinforced by the killing of one local COOPI staff member on 1 October and the continuous harassment of malnourished children's mothers on their way to the nutritional centre.

(b) In the western part of Province Orientale, local populations have raised concern over the increasing prices of imported goods. Prices are escalating due to the low water level of the Congo River, which is making it impossible for barges to carry supplies from Kinshasa to the remote Province Orientale.

(c) Reports from Bas-Congo province indicated unseasonal, widespread sporadic rains in the province. The Ministry of Agriculture is monitoring the situation.

(d) Distribution of over 155 tons of WFP food to some 25,000 people started in Ngungu (North Kivu province). Beneficiaries are newly displaced families who fled to escape clashes between loyalist government troops and dissidents forces in the South Kivu province. The NGO CARITAS is distributing the food.

(e) WFP participated in an inter-agency needs assessment mission in Aru, north of Ituri district. The mission highlighted that the local population in Aru are living in precarious health conditions and that there are high levels of infant mortality linked with high levels of food deficiency. WFP's implementing partner German Agro Action was able to meet only half the food needs of the local population. The mission stated that the prevalence of HIV/AIDS was also of concern.

(f) The Vulnerability Assessment and Mapping (VAM) Unit in Kinshasa has started implementing a plan for the reinforcement of data collection. The unit has undertaken baseline surveys and sub-offices have been supplied with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) for the geo-referencing of distribution sites.

3) Eritrea

(a) UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Humanitarian Crisis in the Horn of Africa, Mr. Martti Ahtisaari, is visiting Eritrea from 13 to 16 October. He is meeting high-level Government officials and is assessing the humanitarian situation, together with UN agency representatives and donors. Mr. Ahtisaari will hold similar consultations in Ethiopia from 16 to 18 October.

(b) The Massawa Field Office reports a sharp increase in the price of lentils (15 percent) and vegetables (up to 10 percent for potatoes and 25 percent for carrots). Locally produced milk remains unavailable on the local market. WFP Barentu Field Office, located in western Eritrea, reports an increase in cereal prices of about 40 percent.

(c) The UN Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) informed its personnel that the Eritrean Government and the Municipality of Asmara had announced a shortage of water, due to the poor rainy season. Staff members have been requested to use the water sparingly until the next rainy season. UNMEE has taken up negotiations with private owners of the water wells and Asmara Municipality to ease the problems by trucking water to staff residences.

(d) The resourcing of both EMOP 10261.01 and PRRO 10192.00 remains unchanged. WFP will continue to mobilize resources in order to offset the remaining shortfall of about 57,880 tons for both operations.

4) Ethiopia

(a) Main season meher rains have ended in most of the north. According to the National Meteorological Services Agency (NMSA) the rainfall outlook for period October 2004 - January 2005 is positive in areas which are dependent on rainfall, including the south-eastern and eastern pastoralist areas. Areas in Somali Region as well as Borena zone and lowlands of Bale zone that have been facing severe shortages of water and pasture are expected to receive normal to above normal rainfall during the season. Hagaya rains in the lowlands of Bale and Borena normally start any time after mid-September, while Deyr rains in Somali Region begin in October. Some rainfall has been reported in both areas already, though sometimes only as scattered showers. The expected rainfall will alleviate the severe water shortage problems faced in these pastoralist areas, and improve pasture conditions, at least temporarily. However the Deyr rains in Somali Region normally give a low amount of rainfall, and can be uneven in coverage and some areas which are currently of major concern due to the poor performance and early cessation of the Gu rains in April may continue to feel the effects of the exceptionally long dry season for some time.

(b) In the north of the country, very poor or no rain was received during the second half of August and during September in Central, Eastern and Southern Tigray. Even in the districts in Tigray considered to be better earlier in the season, the lack of rain in September when crops were at the late flowering and grain filling stages will greatly reduce yield. Although overall performance of August rain in Amhara region was good, there were still some areas that reported inadequate precipitation in the north-east and eastern lowlands. Low precipitation was reported in the eastern half of Amhara during September. In Afar region, Zone 2, most of Zone 4 and the eastern woredas of Zone 1 had very poor rains. The situation in Zone 2 in particular is becoming cause for concern. Brief rains sometimes fall in October-December in Afar region.

(c) In the eastern cropping areas, better rains since the last week of August have improved the crop situation in much of the highland and midland parts of East and West Hararghe zones in Oromiya region, though crops in lowland and "dry midland" areas did not receive enough rain to recover, and major yield losses are reported. Pasture conditions in the lowlands of these zones are still poor.

(d) In the south, good rains were reported in Southern Nations and Nationalities People's Region (SNNPR) in September, though for the first ten days of October, satellite imagery indicates that rain in this region was below normal. However, rainfall usually extends later into the season in this region than further north, and the NMSA predicts a high probability of normal to above normal rainfall in coming months in this part of the country. Areas of concern in SNNPR at the end of September remained lowland areas in parts of South Omo zone where pasture and water is in poor condition. In Konso district, the food situation is not encouraging. Other parts of SNNPR are improving, though close monitoring is required for some lowland areas.

(e) The UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Humanitarian Crisis in the Horn of Africa, Mr. Martti Ahtisaari will spend three days in Ethiopia from 16 to 18 October. This is the fourth time Mr. Ahtisaari has travelled to Addis Ababa since his designation as Special Envoy in June 2003. During his visit he will launch the multi-stakeholder report, the "Evaluation of the Response to the 2002-3 Emergency in Ethiopia" a joint Government and humanitarian partners' analysis.

5) Kenya

(a) Food distributions under the WFP drought relief EMOP have started in three districts, namely Turkana, Marsabit and Mandera. Food distributions in the rest of the districts are planned to start at the end of October when sufficient stocks reach the districts. In October, the EMOP will assist some 1.7 million beneficiaries. However, the 2004 short rains have started in some parts of the country and are likely to affect deliveries of food if some of the access roads are washed away. Meanwhile, three joint WFP and Government of Kenya (GoK) teams are out in the field, assessing the food security situation in 12 out of the 26 drought affected districts.

(b) WFP is currently providing daily food rations to 224,000 refugees in Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps. The refugee operation has enough of all commodities except wheat flour to last until March 2005. Stocks of wheat flour will be finished by the end of October 2004 and although WFP will compensate for the lack of wheat flour with an additional maize ration until the programme can access a second cereal, there will be a reduction in the kilocalories provided to the refugees.

(c) WFP urgently requires additional resources to cover requirements for the various operations in Kenya. The current shortfall for the drought emergency operation is 36,070 tons of food for the October 2004 to January 2005 period. So far, out of a total requirement of USD 81.3 million for the EMOP, the confirmed contributions are USD 45.4 million, approximately 56 percent of the total requirements. Latest reports indicate increasing rates of malnutrition and rising food insecurity in the most drought-affected areas. The poor pipeline and absence of a balanced food basket for the drought EMOP is causing increasing concern. In October, the EMOP has only cereals to distribute (thanks to a GoK contribution of 45,000 tons) and neither pulses nor vegetable oil.

6) Rwanda

(a) During last week, the security situation in all refugee camps and transit centres remained calm. However, the Burundian refugee influx continued from Kirundo province in Burundi to Rwanda via Ngenda and Gikonko districts in Bugesera and Butare provinces respectively. The total reported number of Burundian refugees stands at 2,304 (1,006 in Ngenda, 838 in Butare and 460 people who were relocated from Ngenda to Kigeme Burundian refugee camp in Gikongoro province). WFP is assisting all refugees with food aid beginning with High Energy Biscuits for newcomers and normal food ration for the other refugees. UNHCR and the Ministry of Local Government are discussing options for a more suitable location to accommodate all the new Burundian refugees who are currently hosted in Ngenda and Gikonko districts.

(b) Last week, another 1,320 Congolese refugees of Banyamulenge origin were received at Cyangugu refugee camp, reportedly following their unwillingness to relocate from one camp to another in Burundi. They are now hosted in Mwaro transit area in Cyangugu province. The total number of refugees in Cyangugu refugee camp now stands at 4,252 including those in Nyagatare and Mwaro sites.

(c) The total number of refugees in the camps and transit centres stands at 42,934 (18,307 in Gihembe camp, Byumba province; 17,362 in Kiziba camp, Kibuye province; 1,169 in Kigeme camp, Gikongoro province; 2,932 in Cyangugu camp and 1,320 in Mwaro transit camp, Cyangugu province; 1,006 in Ngenda transit camp; 838 in Gikonko transit camp, Butare province).

(d) WFP has distributed over 160 tons of food commodities to refugees in Cyangugu and Ngenda refugee camps since the beginning of the conflict in late May this year.

7) Somalia

(a) WFP plans to continue its emergency relief distribution to the drought-affected population in northern regions. Distributions are due to commence in the northeast with 1,100 tons of relief food targeted at 110,000 beneficiaries in 167 settlements.

(b) The United Nations Air Service for Somalia (UNCAS) resumed restricted flight operations to five locations in Somalia including Hargeisa, Bossaso, Wajid, Grawe and Jowhar. These airstrips are considered the most secure in Somalia. Security measures are being taken at all major airfields to ensure safety and security.

(c) Arrangements are underway for the transportation of 1,062 tons of urgently needed relief food to Merere, Lower Juba Valley where levels of food insecurity have reached alarmingly high levels. WFP in partnership with MSF-Holland is targeting some 80,000 beneficiaries.

(d) During the past week, a convoy with 800 tons of WFP food commodities arrived from Mogadishu for food distributions in Bay and Bakol regions of southern Somalia. Some 3,650 tons of food commodities are being discharged at ports in Somalia.

8) Sudan

(a) The security situation in all three states continues to be extremely volatile, adversely affecting operations. North Darfur, in particular, has experienced a deterioration of security. In a related development, cooperating partner Save the Children UK (SC-UK) has pulled out of the northern part of North Darfur following a land mine explosion, which killed two staff members. WFP has stopped dispatches to this area, diverting trucks to WFP rubhalls in Kutum, North Darfur. In the meantime, some 100,000 beneficiaries, whom WFP was targeting in these areas for food assistance, will be affected.

(b) Total dispatches from WFP Area Offices to distribution sites stand at some 6,755 tons to an estimated caseload of 386,000 beneficiaries (based of dispatches) as of 11 October. WFP is intensifying efforts to provide a full basket of commodities to the affected population. Airlifts of oil and pulses continue to be prioritized for the second week. Non-cereals are also being dispatched via surface transport. Deliveries via rail continued for the second week, with 921 tons of cereals and oil dispatched on 30 wagons. Twenty wagons, which delivered food to Nyala, are returning from Nyala for loading in El Obeid.

(c) The WFP-led Annual Needs Assessment (2004/2005) started in the Northern Sector in September and is reported to be progressing smoothly in approximately 100 selected sites. The exercise involves national counterparts such as the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association (SRRA), relevant ministries, UN Agencies, national and international NGOs. Analysis of the data collected will allow identification of food gaps, vulnerable population groups requiring assistance and types of assistance/intervention needed in 2005. The exercise is scheduled to commence in the Southern Sector by mid-October.

(d) In 2003, WFP led the first cross-line delivery of food aid along the Malakal-Juba river corridor after a five-year break. In the operation WFP distributed some 2,760 tons of food, reaching 353,550 beneficiaries in 76 locations in both Government of Sudan (GoS) and Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) controlled areas. Meanwhile preparations are currently being made to resume the barge operations on 16 October with the objective of delivering food to 13 locations along the White Nile and Zeraf Corridors in Upper Nile State targeting an around 27,000 beneficiaries. All planned locations have been assessed and cleared by a WFP/UNFSCO Security Assessment Team.

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

(f) EMOP 10048.02 (Food Assistance to Population Affected by War and Drought) and the supporting Special Operation 10368.0 (Emergency road repair and mine clearance of key transport routes in Sudan in support of EMOP 10048.02) still urgently require donor contributions to cover shortfalls. EMOP 10048.02 faces a funding shortfall of 35 percent against operational requirements and 25 percent in terms of tonnage. The SO is approximately 68 percent under-funded.

9) Tanzania

(a) Following several months of deteriorating security in the refugee hosting district of Ngara, WFP visited Ngara for a preliminary security assessment. A more comprehensive security assessment will be undertaken before the end of 2004.

(b) A number of Burundian Regional government officials visited Kasulu and Kibondo in September to update refugees on the security situation in Burundi. The officials urged refugees to return. Meanwhile an official from North Kivu Region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has visited refugee camps in Kigoma District to provide updates to Congolese refugees. A total of 6,885 Burundian refugees returned to Burundi in September compared with over 10,000 who returned each month from June to August this year. The decline in repatriation is attributed to widespread fears among Burundian refugees that violence and instability could increase in Burundi as the country seeks to hold elections and make the transition to a more permanent political system.

(c) Preliminary results of a September 2004 nutritional survey of refugee camps have been released. The results indicate that both global and severe malnutrition levels are within acceptable limits at all camps. While reduced refugee access to land and markets may have negatively affected their nutrition, the maintenance of 100 percent rations throughout 2004 appears to have had a positive impact.

(d) There is an imminent pipeline break. Due to a shortage of resources, WFP Tanzania has been forced to reduce general distribution rations for the refugee operation. From 25 October 2004, the daily ration of maize grain will be reduced from 410g to 310g, while the maize meal ration will be reduced from 350g to 265g. The September reduction in the pulses ration from 80g to 60g will be maintained. The CSB ration, which was increased from 40g to 60g in September, will now revert to the normal 40g level.

10) Uganda

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

(b) The security situation in Gulu, Kitgum and Pader remains relatively stable, with no interruptions to WFP operations. While there is a steady influx of former captives and rebels surrendering to the military, the abduction of civilians and raids on villages continue. The military has intensified its operation against both the LRA rebels (who returned from southern Sudan at the end of September) and other criminal activity.

(c) WFP food distribution continues to reach over 1.4 million displaced persons, 150,000 refugees and other vulnerable persons. During the period from 4 to 9 October 2004, some 2,515 tons of WFP relief food assistance were distributed to about 250,215 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.

(d) WFP started the School Feeding programme in 27 schools in Teso region (Soroti, Katakwi and Kaberamaido districts). The Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness launched the programme in Soroti and Kaberamaido districts and thanked WFP for the continued support to the disadvantaged and disaster-stricken communities.

(e) WFP has begun providing assistance to HIV/AIDS affected households in Soroti and Katakwi districts in collaboration with The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO), with a special focus on food insecure individuals on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART). A total of some 1,030 beneficiaries will receive 12 tons of food assistance in October 2004.

(f) Following incidents involving Dodoth warriors and the military in August, WFP operations in Dodoth County, Kotido district, are yet to resume.

(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 through March next year.

C) West Africa Region: (1) Burkina Faso, (2) Chad, (3) Cote d'Ivoire, (4) Ghana, (5) Liberia, (6) Mauritania

1) Burkina Faso

(a) During the month of September, 24 tons of various food commodities were distributed to 3,300 people.

(b) WFP is continuing to support the government effort in the fight against locust invasion in the areas affected (approximately 50 hectares are infested) and will participate in the regular assessment missions

conducted by the government. WFP has provided a total of 7 tons of cereals which is being distributed to 420 families in the Soum and Oudalan provinces.

2) Chad

(a) On 8 October, a Djandjaweed incursion was registered in Tisi, south of Goz Beida. Furthermore, a number of security incidents were reported in relation to the ongoing conflict between refugees and local residents. A first group of 50 gendarmes were deployed around the refugee camps to reinforce security.

(b) Poor harvest, locust infestation and water scarcity have contributed to the tense situation in the country. A Libyan Government mission has been in Chad since the beginning of October to participate in the coordination of the fight against the locusts in the affected areas in eastern Chad (Arada, Kalait and Iriba).

(c) UNHCR Registration Officers from Geneva are on mission in Chad and are working closely with CNAR to improve the registration process. The upcoming WFP-UNHCR JAM Mission, which commences on 25 October, will evaluate inter alia the situation of refugees, including the caseload, demographic characteristics and the registration process. The new guidelines set out by WFP Abeche and UNHCR will ensure that food distribution takes place simultaneously in all camps in order to avoid the incidence of refugees receiving double rations by moving from one camp to another.

(d) During the period from 4 to 12 October, under EMOP 10327.0, Emergency Assistance to Sudanese Refugees in Eastern Chad, a total of some 2,110 tons was distributed to about 133,640 beneficiaries in nine of the eleven refugee camps. This includes about 2,090 tons for general distribution to some 129,515 beneficiaries, and over 18 tons as blanket supplementary feeding rations to more than 4,125 beneficiaries. Food distributions were completed in Bredging, Treguine, Farchana, Goz Amir, Djabal, Irdimi, Touloum, Mile and Konoungou. Meanwhile, distributions in Oure Casoni and Am Nabak camps, where the caseload is 33,000 refugees, will be completed over the coming weekend.

(e) Under Special Operation (SO) 10390.0, WFP has identified 32 prefab units from its Iraq operation to be used in eastern Chad. These include living and office accommodation, which will be distributed around WFP's five field offices. The total cost of the SO is USD 6,465,986 covering the period from 1 September 2004 to 15 February 2005. To date WFP has received no confirmed contributions against this SO.

(f) Under SO 10338.0, since 1 October, WFP UN Humanitarian Air Services delivered over 3 tons of medical supplies for MSF Belgium and Oxfam from N'Djamena to Abeche. The SO was launched in February 2004 to facilitate the movement of the entire humanitarian community in support of the EMOP.

(g) At a Food and Nutrition coordination meeting chaired by WFP on 11 October, medical NGOs (MSF B) and UNHCR acknowledged that the full rations and the blanket supplementary feeding rations provided by WFP in the past two months (August/September) and October have contributed to an improvement in the nutritional situation. MSF B indicated that the results of the nutritional survey and screening exercise would be released shortly.

3) Cote d'Ivoire

(a) Tensions continue to rise as the scheduled start of the disarmament process of 15 October approaches. The Forces Nouvelles have stated that they would not disarm until all the political reforms agreed to at Accra III have been implemented. On 11 October, violent demonstrations against the disarmament process took place in Bouaké at the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) headquarters and the UN military observer's office.

(b) From 6 to 12 October, about 370 tons of various food commodities were distributed to over 22,000 people. WFP has begun distributions of a "contre saison" project for vegetable farming. Vegetable seeds and tools are being distributed along with a food-for-agriculture ration.

4) Ghana

(a) During the month of September, 140 tons of food were distributed to nearly 8,500 beneficiaries living in the Buduburam refugee camp. The food distribution was coordinated by the National Catholic Secretariat (NCS) with the support and collaboration of WFP and UNHCR.

5) Liberia

(a) From 6 to 12 October, over 295 tons of food were distributed to 25,000 beneficiaries. This included the distribution of food to a second batch of Liberians returnees from Sierra Leone who arrived on 8 and 9 October.

(b) The food pipeline continues to face critical shortages, and since June, WFP has been forced to distribute reduced rations to refugees, returnees and IDPs receiving support. This month, WFP has also been forced to reduce by 75% the number of schools benefiting from the school feeding programme; WFP was feeding some 400,675 school children but the caseload has been reduced to 123,890 until the pipeline situation improves. Food-for-work activities also had to be suspended for October.

(c) On 7 October, WFP held a meeting with implementing partners involved in food distribution. During the meeting, the October distribution was discussed and WFP informed the partners of a further ration reduction in the food basket for IDPs and school children this month, due to the pipeline break for some commodities. Participants of the meeting agreed on a schedule for sensitizing beneficiaries of the ration changes before commencement of food distribution.

(d) New contributions continue to be needed in order for WFP to be able to provide full rations in the coming months.

6) Mauritania

(a) The ongoing desert locust infestation continues to affect 1.6 million hectares of land in Mauritania. The outbreak, which is the worst to affect Mauritania since 1988, is coinciding with the harvest period. Crop damage is reported in the agricultural part of the country. Anti-locust treatment rates are improving, but only 15 percent of total infested surfaces had been treated as of early October.

(b) The UN Disaster Management Team, chaired by WFP and composed of UN agencies, Government, local embassies, specialized agencies and NGOs, is meeting weekly to facilitate communication and coordination on the locust issue.

(c) WFP Mauritania's contingency plan has been updated in view of the ongoing locust invasion. WFP is participating in the elaboration of a UN interagency contingency plan.

(d) The FAO/CILSS crop assessments are scheduled for October. WFP and FEWS-Net will participate in the mission to identify the social consequences of the locust infestation. WFP is carrying out a food security survey in collaboration with the national Food Security Observatory. Results should provide preliminary data on the effect of the desert locust infestation on the food security of rural households.

(e) PRRO 10359.0, Strengthening the Livelihoods of Drought-affected Populations, has been approved by WFP's Executive Board this week. The operation aims to mitigate the increased vulnerability caused by consecutive years of drought.

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

1) Regional

(a) The regional Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation PRRO 10310, Assistance to Populations in Southern Africa Vulnerable to Food Insecurity and the Impact of AIDS, was approved by the Third Session of WFP's Executive Board on 13 October. WFP plans to reach a peak of 2.8 million beneficiaries with 277,000 tons of food in 2005 under the PRRO, which starts in January 2005. This number includes 510,000 recipients in Lesotho, 1.17 million in Malawi and 165,000 in Swaziland who require short-term emergency aid until the first half of the year due to drought.

(b) The regional Emergency Operation EMOP 10290, "Targeted Relief to Vulnerable Households in Southern Africa" for Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe needs additional pledges of 32,000 tons of cereals, pulses, vegetable oil, corn soya blend and dried skimmed milk to offset shortfalls through December. Additional contributions are urgently needed.

2) Angola

(a) As a consequence of the heavy rains that hit the localities of Chicambi and Gungue in southwestern Huíla province, some lowland production areas have been largely destroyed. The rains also resulted in the death of two people, with others seriously injured. If the weather conditions persist, the coming agricultural season could be seriously affected. WFP is currently assisting about 17,000 people in these areas, which, according to the last vulnerability assessment, were considered to be highly food insecure.

(b) The PRRO 10054.2, Support to Return and Resettlement, continues to be severely under funded. USD 63 million (25 percent) has been received against an initial appeal of USD 254 million. WFP's cereal pipeline remains critical. As a result, WFP continues to apply ration cuts for selected beneficiary groups to ensure sufficient food is available for the most vulnerable. WFP continues to approach donors to secure additional contributions to allow distributions to take place up until next year's harvest.

3) Lesotho

(a) From 6 to 12 October, WFP and implementing partners distributed some 390 tons of food to some 39,000 beneficiaries, including about 12,000 children under five years of age; 8,000 people affected by HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis; 305 pregnant and nursing mothers; 5,000 beneficiaries under Vulnerable Group Feeding; and 18,000 orphans.

(b) WFP's emergency operation pipeline requires 8,000 tons of food through December. WFP and its partners have adjusted the food distributions by prioritizing and ensuring that the most vulnerable categories of beneficiaries are fed despite shortfalls in November and December.

4) Malawi

(a) On 12 October, WFP convened a consultative workshop on nutrition and anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy scale up in Malawi. This workshop explored WFP's options in relation to integrating nutritional issues into ARV therapy in line with WHO's 3 by 5 initiative. In the beginning of October, WFP officers visited the southern region (Nsanje, Chikwawa, Phalombe, Machinga, Mangochi and Balaka districts) to monitor HIV/AIDS activities. A report of the mission is expected by the end of October and will be shared with partners.

5) Mozambique

(a) According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) September report, the coastal areas in the northern province of Nampula are facing increased food insecurity because of the combined effects of cassava brown streak disease and poor rainfall during the past agricultural season. The National Disaster Management Institute has officially requested WFP to assist with supplementary feeding for children under five years of age and for pregnant and lactating women.

6) Namibia

(a) About 9,700 refugees have been provided with monthly food rations during the October general food distribution in Osire Camp. Repatriation of Angolan refugees is in progress. Over 175 refugees were repatriated from 5 to 7 October, bringing the number of repatriated refugees to 2,900 since EMOP 10145.1, Assistance to Angolan Refugees in Namibia, commenced in May this year. WFP provides food rations during the repatriation process.

(b) WFP also provided 4,000 orphans and vulnerable children with food rations from 5 to 7 October in Caprivi, Kavango and Oshikoto region under EMOP 10334.0, Targeted Food Assistance Orphans and Vulnerable Children Affected by Food Insecurity and Impact of HIV/AIDS.

7) Swaziland

(a) WFP continues to work closely with the Swaziland Government through the National Emergency Response Committee on HIV/AIDS in the areas of nutrition and ARV treatment. The adult HIV prevalence rate in Swaziland is 38.8 percent - the world's highest. The continuing spread of HIV/AIDS is negatively affecting levels of food insecurity, unemployment, and poverty, with two-thirds of Swaziland households living below the poverty line.

(b) Due to a 1,700 tons cereal shortfall, distribution priority will be given to Neighbourhood Care Points and School Feeding Programme beneficiaries who will get the full basket through December. In 2005, under the regional PRRO, WFP is expected to assist a peak caseload of 168,500 out of the 262,000 drought-affected people (until the next harvest), together with 121,000 chronically ill, poor and food-insecure people.

8) Zimbabwe

(a) Significant increases in the price of maize, a staple food in Zimbabwe, indicate that needs could be higher than originally projected, according to FEWS-Net. In its latest monthly report on the food security situation in Zimbabwe, FEWS-Net noted that the selling price set by the state's grain monopoly, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), "is over 34 percent higher than the maize price that the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee assumed for this time of year when it made its projections that about 2.3 million rural people would require 178,000 tons of food assistance".

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

1) Bangladesh

(a) During the past week, renewed flooding has made thousands of people in Bangladesh homeless.

(b) A Letter of Understanding (LoU) between the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) and WFP, regarding the implementation of the EMOP Assistance to Flood Affected People in Bangladesh, is yet to be signed. The draft LoU, prepared by WFP, is being discussed among various government agencies.

(c) Pending the formal signing of the LoU, WFP has requested the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management (MoFDM) to release food to cover the October distribution under the Vulnerable Group Rehabilitation (VGR) component, through an interim arrangement. WFP is also in close contact with other government ministries to make interim arrangements for the release of food from government storage depots for distribution.

(d) With regard to the distribution of food for supplementary feeding, a separate LoU between UNICEF and WFP will shortly be finalized. The selection of NGO partners by UNICEF/WFP is underway.

(e) All the preparations necessary for the commencement of general food distribution under the Vulnerable Group Rehabilitation component this month are underway. A total of 903,800 distressed households (HH) in the six most affected districts or a total of five million beneficiaries will receive food-assistance. Each household will receive some 30 kgs rice for one month. All the ration cardholders are female. The Directorate of Relief and Rehabilitation (DRR) will implement the programme, involving local government officials at the field level.

(f) The Supplementary Feeding Programme (SFP) will be implemented in the same six districts, covering 410,000 people (205,000 children from 6 to 23 months old and 205,000 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers). The beneficiaries will be selected among the Vulnerable Group Rehabilitation households and will receive a daily take home ration of fortified blended food. In addition, the beneficiaries will be receiving messages on basic health and sanitation during the distribution days. WFP and UNICEF will jointly implement the programme with support from partner NGOs. All necessary preparatory activities are underway. NGOs will assist in the beneficiary selection process. The feeding programme is expected to start by the first of November.

(g) Under the School Feeding programme, about 600,000 primary school children of Dhaka, Lalmonirhat and Kurigram districts have been receiving high-energy biscuits since September. The biscuits are being distributed by NGOs involved in regular school feeding activities.

(h) The resourcing situation of the EMOP is highly inadequate representing only about 24 percent of the identified needs. General food distribution, which was originally planned starting from September, has already been delayed due to non-availability of funds. Continuation of the planned recovery activities after October would require additional funding

2) DPR Korea

(a) From 9 to 15 October, some 16 out of 19 LFP factories operated without major problems during the week. Production for the first week of October was almost 1,500 tons, which is close to the weekly EMOP requirement.

(b) A new cereal milk blend factory became operational in Huichon (Chagang province) during the week, and has so far processed 1.5 ton. This brings the total number of WFP-supported Local Food Production (LFP) factories in DPR Korea to 19.

3) With the recent arrival of large contributions, WFP, for the first time in two years, is able to feed all its beneficiaries with planned rations. However, with new proposed requirements for 2005, pipeline breaks in cereals and oil will occur as early as January 2005 for some beneficiary groups.

F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Colombia, (2) Guatemala, (3) Haiti, (4) Nicaragua

1) Colombia

(a) Heavy rains have hit northern Colombia since 7 October. Colombian authorities warned that some 20,000 people in and around the northern city of Monteria (province of Cordoba) are at risk of losing their homes, with more than 3,500 families already evacuated from the area. WFP is present in the area and is monitoring efforts to provide required assistance.

(b) The Colombia Truck Drivers Association finally settled an arrangement with the Colombian Government and resumed activities. The strike, which was launched on 14 September and lasted for 22 days, was attended by more than 100,000 truck drivers whom paralyzed Colombian exports and affected food prices in many regions of the country. The purpose of the strike was to press demands on fuel prices, tolls, weight limits and U.S. trade talks.

(c) The security situation worsened during last week - in particular in the provinces of Sucre and Choco.

(d) In the context of the PRRO 10158, Assistance to People Displaced by Violence, from 4 to 10 October WFP distributed 515 tons of food in 12 provinces to over 97,130 beneficiaries. The commodities were distributed in community kitchens, schools and as part of preschool feeding, food-for-crisis, food-for-work, food-for-training and nutritional recovery activities.

2) Guatemala

(a) Strong rains throughout the country caused several rivers to overflow their banks, flooding houses and businesses, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of people, and disrupting access to some areas where roads and bridges were damaged. The province of Escuintla was the most affected by the rains. The fire-fighters and the National Coordinating Committee for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) assisted the affected families. CONRED is on yellow alert as a precaution against possible flood related emergencies.

(b) In spite of heavy rains throughout the country, the Mesoamerican Food Security Early Warning System forecasts that some pockets of drought may persist in certain areas of the country. However, so far prospects for the second harvest are better than for the first harvest, which had suffered losses as a result of lack of rain.

(c) Increases in international oil prices and crop losses as a result of irregular rains have raised inflation above the goal of between 4 and 6 percent. Higher prices in the basic food basket may hinder access to food for the poorest and most vulnerable groups.

(d) A total of 143 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, as well as to enable families to preserve and create assets to mitigate the effects of shocks, through food-for-work and food-for-training activities.

3) Haiti

(a) The security situation has worsened further in both Gonaives and Port au Prince, limiting the ability of the humanitarian community to operate. On Saturday, outside a memorial mass for flood victims in Gonaives, a UN peacekeeper was wounded during a shootout with supporters of ousted President Aristide, and in Port au Prince another peacekeeper was slightly injured during a joint MINUSTAH - Haitian police operation in town. In addition, relief workers from the NGO Médecins du Monde were attacked when travelling in Gonaives by car on Saturday night and the NGO announced that it would pull out from Gonaives until the situation improves.

(b) This increased climate of insecurity has had a negative impact on WFP's emergency operation. The port of Port-au-Prince is functioning erratically and convoys as well as distributions have had to be cancelled. The situation in the capital's port, which has been blocked since the 30th of September, is still uncertain. WFP efforts were instrumental in getting the support of the Government and the MINUSTAH to secure access to the port and permit employees to return to work. As a result WFP was able to retrieve 15 containers containing 300 tons of commodities. However, the employees have not returned to work since then and 120 WFP containers are still blocked at the port.

(c) No convoys left from Port au Prince to Gonaives as the MINUSTAH was assisting the Haitian police in town. The shipping company used by WFP in Haiti has informed WFP that it would no longer serve Port au Prince. As a result, the vessels will dock at Dominican Republic and the food will be transported by trucks to Haiti. In order to ensure that sufficient commodities, in particular cereals, would be available for distributions in Gonaives, WFP purchased 440 tons fortified maize meal in Dominican Republic last week. The first seven trucks (240 tons) escorted by MINUSTAH reached Port au Prince on Saturday.

(d) Since the onset of the crisis, a total of 1,664 tons of food commodities have been distributed in the affected areas of Gonaives, its surroundings, and Port de Paix. From 4 to 10 October, a total of 204 tons of food commodities (one week rations) have been distributed to 57,600 beneficiaries in Gonaives, thus bringing the total food distributed in the city since the onset of the crisis to 1,598 tons. WFP distributed one-month rations in Port de Paix as well as two-week rations in the communes of Ennery and Pilate last week. The barge containing 140 tons of food commodities has reached Cap Haitien, where the nearest warehouse is located, and WFP is planning to conduct a new round of distributions in these same communes this week.

(e) WFP continues to provide logistical support to the humanitarian community and transported, on behalf of the Norwegian Red Cross, some 30,000 "ready to eat" rations, as well as food, water and clothes donated by the inhabitants of Cap Haitien. to a hospital in Gonaives.

(f) WFP and its implementing partner CARE are working with the local authority to draw up beneficiary lists and expect to phase out free food distributions by the 15th of October. After this date, distributions will focus on vulnerable groups and food-for-work activities.

4) Nicaragua

(a) On the 9th of September, 35 earthquakes were registered in Nicaragua. According to the Nicaraguan Institute for Territorial Studies (INETER) the most severe earthquake reached 6.3 on the Richter scale. This earthquake was felt all over the Nicaraguan territory with exception of the northern coast. The earthquake caused some panic, but only minor material damage and no deaths.

(b) WFP's rapid evaluation of the effects of the drought and general food security situation continued during the reporting period. Collection of data in the field will last for another week and will 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 some of the affected families are returning to their homes, distributions are taking place in the shelters as well as in the communities.

(d) Food distributions under PRRO 10212.0, Targeted Food Assistance for Persons affected by Shocks and the Recovery of Livelihoods, 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, about 10,025 vulnerable children under 2 years of age; some 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 March 2005, beginning in October of rice (400 tons), in November, of beans (211 tons), in January, of vegetable oil (114 tons) and in March of maize (217 tons). If no contributions are announced in the coming months or those that are announced arrive late, the PRRO will face serious pipeline breaks in the first quarter of 2005.

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