Afghanistan + 24 more

WFP Emergency Report No. 46 of 2002

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published


This report includes:
(A) West and Central Africa Region: (1) Central African Republic

(B) Eastern and Central Africa Region: (1) Uganda, (2) Ethiopia, (3) Sudan, (4) Democratic Republic of Congo, (5) Burundi, (6) Tanzania, (7) Rwanda

(C) Southern Africa Region: (1) Regional overview, (2) Zimbabwe, (3) Lesotho, (4) Mozambique, (5) Malawi, (6) Swaziland, (7) Angola

(D) Asia Region: (1) DPR of Korea, (2) China, (3) Laos

(E) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Northern Caucasus, (2) Georgia

(F) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Colombia, (2) Ecuador, (3) Guatemala, (4) Honduras, (5) Nicaragua

(G) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan

From Francesco Strippoli, Director of the Office of Humanitarian Affairs; available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (www.wfp.org), or by e-mail from Zlatan.Milisic@wfp.org.

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 Trevor.Rowe@wfp.org, telephone 39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

A) West and Central Africa Region: (1) Central African Republic

1) Central African Republic

(a) Following recent fighting between government and rebel troops, WFP undertook an immediate distribution of 45 tons of food benefiting 10,000 people in the northern part of Bangui. WFP partners have managed to reach the most seriously affected people in the area north of Bangui with 9 tons of food, constituting approximately 18,000 daily rations which will reduce suffering and save lives of those in greatest need. In addition, WFP is currently pre-positioning 86 tons of food in strategic locations in Bangui area for immediate response in case of new population displacements. This amount of food would be sufficient to cover the needs of 15,000 people for ten days.

(b) WFP also assisted 1,200 Congolese civilians who were staying at the DR Congo Embassy, fearing reprisals from the local population because of looting by troops from northern DRC. MSF provided medical assistance to injured Congolese at the Embassy. With the support of WFP and COOPI, UNHCR coordinated the repatriation of the displaced Congolese willing to return to Zongo in DR Congo. WFP provided them with dry food rations as a return package. Some Congolese civilians who have not been exposed to violence continue to live, with caution, in Bangui.

(c) Following a short interruption due to insecurity, WFP resumed its assistance to a number of institutions in Bangui, including nutritional centres, materno-infant centres, kindergartens and schools. Food has been supplied to cover their requirements for three months. Given the poor food security situation in Bangui, WFP is considering expanding its support to additional institutions such as hospitals, health centres and schools. Some patients and their families in the main Bangui hospitals have limited access to food as a result of the sharp increase of food prices.

(d) A FAO survey conducted in Bangui shows that prices of basic food items, including cassava, have increased between 30 and 100 percent in the past week. In such an impoverished context, in which public sector salaries are rarely paid, such a rise will increase dramatically the number of people who are unable to cover their daily food requirements. The survey also discovered the near-total absence of beef in Bangui, which is a likely consequence of the departure of Chadian herdsmen for fear of possible harassment. In Bambari area, agricultural products are reportedly rotting due to the impossibility of transporting them to Bangui.

(e) This week, two planned inter-agency assessment missions were cancelled due to insecurity. A team including WFP was expected to conduct an assessment along the road north of Bangui, leading to Sibut, where the population has been reportedly more severely affected than in any other area. The second assessment mission was scheduled to go to Damara road, where over 500 IDPs coming from Bangui are reportedly staying.

(f) FAO has agreed to take the lead in monitoring the evolution of market prices, while WFP and UNICEF are following closely the nutritional situation among children and pregnant women. These two indicators will give a rapid view of the vulnerability of the population.

B) Eastern and Central Africa Region: (1) Uganda, (2) Ethiopia, (3) Sudan, (4) Democratic Republic of Congo, (5) Burundi, (6) Tanzania, (7) Rwanda

1) Uganda

(a) The security situation in northern Uganda (Acholi sub-region) continued to deteriorate during the first half of November. The Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebels have been repeatedly attacking villages, looting, burning properties and abducting or killing civilians. These brutal attacks have rendered most humanitarian corridors and villages outside Gulu and Kitgum municipalities insecure and inaccessible without escort by the military. The humanitarian situation in Pader District is reaching a critical state with an estimated 204,000 people reported displaced as a result of atrocities committed by the LRA at the end of October.

(b) The deteriorating security situation is affecting the food security of internally displaced persons by limiting their access to their gardens. Rising malnutrition has been reported among children in Pader district and other camps. Despite such conditions, WFP continued to provide food assistance to over 500,000 IDPs by distributing almost 4,300 tons of food in northern Uganda in October.

(c) WFP has been forced to reduce the rations for IDPs to 70 percent of their daily requirement because of a break in the pipeline and insufficient donor support. WFP has been maintaining programmes, using food borrowed from neighbouring countries and purchasing food locally. However, these alternative options will not enable WFP to cover the needs of the displaced population after December. These food shortages have been aggravated by the recent increase of the IDP numbers in Northern Uganda from 500,000 to over 750,00 people. WFP urgently requires additional cash contributions to purchase 18,000 tons of food to sustain over 750,000 IDPs in northern Uganda.

2) Ethiopia

(a) There have been new food aid contributions for the Ethiopian drought operation announced and new confirmations of previously announced pledges over the past week. Relief food requirements for November and December can now be covered (November requirements are 70,000 tons for 5.6 million people; December 56,000 tons for 4.5 million people). The contributions available for 2003 are now estimated at 120,000 tons. This will go some way towards the requirements for the first three months of 2003 for which the needs are over 300,000 tons of cereals alone, but severe food shortages are still expected early in the year unless further donor pledges quickly materialize. WFP alone needs USD 80 million worth of food for the first quarter of 2003, and the Government and NGOs are also require further bilateral contributions to meet the increasing needs.

(b) While the Ethiopian Emergency Food Reserve can facilitate immediate distributions as contributions are being bought and delivered, the pressure on the reserve will be great in the coming months. Early confirmation of contributions will be crucial to allow food repayments to the Reserve to keep up with the pace of food distributions.

(c) UNICEF has urged donors to respond to the Ethiopian emergency, and has stressed the importance of emergency programmes addressing health and nutrition, water and sanitation, education, HIV/AIDS prevention, gender and child protection, shelter and mine risk education. UNICEF, WFP, FAO and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator are currently meeting locally with donor representatives to mobilize support for food and non-food assistance. A strong message from UNICEF is that while drought cannot be prevented, disaster can be prevented. Earlier this week, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi called for an urgent international action to avoid a major catastrophe in Ethiopia.

3) Sudan

(a) In an unprecedented positive move on 15 October, the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Cessation of Hostilities which commits both parties to inter-alia unimpeded humanitarian access to all areas and populations in need. On 26 October, GoS, SPLM and the UN agencies agreed on the implementation modalities for guaranteeing unimpeded humanitarian access. The humanitarian situation in Sudan remains critical, especially in areas, where access has been denied for a long time. The donor community stands ready to support the UN agencies and their partners to ensure the provision of unhindered humanitarian access, including carrying out needs and security assessments under the umbrella Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS).

(b) During the month of October, the poor security situation has resulted in access restrictions and suspensions of food distributions in several vital operational areas. An escalation of hostilities in the eastern front also caused a serious interruption in food aid deliveries. Nevertheless, WFP assisted over 756,600 vulnerable people throughout the country, providing them with 6,850 tons of food during the month of October. An estimated 74,900 beneficiaries were left without food aid in the Southern Sector due to GoS flight denials. The most affected regions remained Western Upper Nile, Bahr el Ghazal and Eastern Equatoria. The number of affected beneficiaries is estimated at 328,000 and about 270,100 were reached with food aid using alternative airstrips at a greater cost. With the expected gain in accessing populations in need, WFP is planning to reach an additional 585,000 beneficiaries. Assessment of the newly accessible areas is under way and WFP planned caseload is expected to exceed 3.5 million people.

(c) WFP- led Annual Needs Assessment (ANA) and FAO/WFP Crop Assessment started in October. The final ANA document is planned to be released by mid-November, outlining regional food security trends, production inputs requirements and food aid needs of vulnerable populations in Sudan. Preliminary findings of the ANA report indicate that several counties in Equatoria (Aweil, Torit, Bieh) will be most food insecure. The FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission carried out from 7 to 16 October confirmed these findings. Based on the recommendation of both assessments, the net requirements for year 2003 will be established. An overall increase of 30 percent of the present requirement is already expected.

(d) October coincides with the end of the rainy season. Roads are becoming more accessible, but food commodities are not forthcoming in significant quantities, as WFP's food pipeline remains precarious under the EMOP 10048.1. WFP requires over 160,800 tons of food to cover the needs of 2.94 million beneficiaries for the period April 2002 to March 2003. As of 30 October, donor contributions amounted to 110,016 tons, representing 68 percent of the above requirement. In addition, expected progress in accessing needy populations during the next six months entails an additional and immediate WFP requirement of USD 19 million to provide food aid to about 585,000 additional people. Unless donors make firm commitments and commodities are pre-positioned very soon, the WFP EMOP will run out of almost all commodities.

4) Democratic Republic of Congo

(a) WFP launched a special airlift operation to assist 135,000 people recently displaced by renewed insecurity in North and South Kivu provinces as well as Maniema. The objective of this Special Operation is deliver by air 1,730 tons of WFP food of food aid under PRRO 6274 in Bunia, Kindu, Shabunda and Kamituga, areas inaccessible by road. WFP is calling for a total of USD 1,057,937 to fund this operation, which is expected to last between 4 and 8 weeks.

(b) Confrontations between RCD soldiers and Maï Maï militia men were reportedly continuing around Bukavu (South Kivu province), significantly constraining humanitarian interventions. Concerns were raised about an estimated 320,000 vulnerable people depending on relief aid who have not been assisted because of inaccessibility. A recent joint interagency/NGOs assessment mission established that 5,000 IDPs have arrived to Kamituga from Shabunda. They were found in a critical nutritional situation and affected with cholera. In the town of Shabunda, over 20,000 people were reportedly in need of food assistance.

(c) As at 31 October, the total IDP caseload in South Kivu province was estimated at 402,900 people by the local IDP committee. In addition, the committee reported that 15,900 people fled from the South Kivu province to Burundi and Tanzania during the month of October. Most of these refugees have been settled in camps under the UNHCR's supervision. Considering that developments in the security situation in the eastern Congo might eventually lead to a widened access to the affected populations, WFP, in co-ordination with the other UN agencies and NGOs, is in the process of drafting an EMOP that should provide an emergency food assistance to some 500,000 war-affected people in Ituri, North and South Kivu and Maniema provinces.

5) Burundi

(a) According to a joint WFP/FAO assessment and regular monitoring made by WFP, the delay of rainfall could negatively impact on the future harvest and the food security situation in Ngozi, Bururi, Kirundo, Karusi and Kayanza provinces. In addition, WFP/FAO team reported an increase of malaria and diarrhoeic diseases, which could negatively impact on the nutritional status of the most vulnerable populations. WFP continues to monitor the situation in order to respond effectively.

(b) Last week, the security situation remained tense in Muramvya, Gitega, Mwaro and Bujumbura Rural provinces. Some planned missions in those areas were cancelled as a result of insecurity. In Gitega province, part of Bugendana commune remained inaccessible to the humanitarian agencies. The distribution planned for Kabezi displaced persons in Bujumbura rural province was cancelled due to insecurity. The fighting intensified in Bukeye, Muramvya and Kiganda communes and the roads from Bugarama to Gitega and Kayanza (Muramvya province) were temporarily closed to traffic.

(c) From 4 to 10 November, emergency food distributions were largely affected by food shortages and insecurity. However, WFP supplied 216 tons of food to 41,350 persons displaced by insecurity in Bujumbura Rural (Isale commune) and Gitega provinces (Bugendana commune). People displaced by insecurity in one part of Bugendana commune remained out of reach due to fighting in the area. In Kabezi commune of Bujumbura rural province, a planned food distribution for 36,300 persons was postponed to the following week, due to insecurity. In addition, 220 Burundians repatriating from Tanzania under the facilitation of UNHCR received a return package from WFP.

(d) WFP food pipeline failed to respond to all the needs. As a result, WFP could not implement distributions for FFW and the social centres due to food shortages. Two distributions planned for 18,050 persons in Isale commune Bujumbura Rural province were cancelled due to insufficient stocks and priority was put on the emergency distribution to assist people displaced in Kabezi commune.

6) Tanzania

(a) From 21 October to 3 November, WFP distributed over 3,900 tons of food, corresponding to a two-week ration to almost 529,000 refugees in Ngara, Kibondo, Kasulu and Lugufu camps. WFP supplied 100 percent of the standard food ration to all beneficiaries. In addition, WFP continued to support various Supplementary Feeding Programmes (SFPs), benefiting approximately 18,000 malnourished refugees.

(b) From 21 October to 3 November, 301 Burundians and 566 Rwandans were voluntarily repatriated to their country of origin. This brings to over 5,050 the number of Rwandans assisted to return home since 1 January. At the same time, 6,900 refugees arrived in Tanzania from DR Congo, Burundi and Rwanda, representing a significant increase as compared to the first half of October when 2,200 new arrivals were reported. The great majority of these refugees were coming from Burundi.

7) Rwanda

(a) On 24 October, WFP, UNHCR and the Government conducted a re-registration of the refugee population living in camps to determine the remaining caseload of refugees following the sudden repatriation of about 10,000 refugees to the DR Congo in September. UNHCR should provide the final figures shortly.

(b) In October, WFP conducted an assessment mission with USAID FEWS in the high altitude regions of Kibuye, Gisenyi, Ruhengeri, Butare and Gikongoro. The mission confirmed that the coping strategies of some households in these provinces have been strained due to the early onset of the dry season and the delay of the rainy season. Through the PRRO 10062, beneficiaries will engage in FFW activities in the drought-affected regions of the country.

(c) About 130 refugees have entered Rwanda following significant insecurity in the Uvira region (eastern DR Congo) as a result of the withdrawal of Rwanda troops. WFP has drawn up a contingency plan for the possible influx of refugees from the DRC through Cyangugu, Bukavu and possibly Gisenyi/Goma. WFP estimates a possible planning figure of 30,000 to 100,000 refugees and possibly 50,000 IDPs in the southwest.

(d) During October, WFP assisted over 112,400 vulnerable people, providing them with 1,940 tons of food under various programmes. The beneficiary caseload included mainly Congolese refugees in Kibuye and Byumba provinces. Food was distributed to refugees immediately after completion of a census exercise. Over 130 refugees who fled insecurity in the eastern DRC to Cyangugu also received food in Nyagatare transit centre. 32,900 persons also benefited from WFP assistance through various FFW projects.

C) Southern Africa Region: (1) Regional overview, (2) Zimbabwe, (3) Lesotho, (4) Mozambique, (5) Malawi, (6) Swaziland, (7) Angola

1) Regional overview

(a) Reports from WFP field monitors and Implementing Partners suggest that in some areas, particularly in rural Zimbabwe, farmers are not planting due to shortages or high prices of agricultural inputs. Long range climate forecasts continue to indicate that lower than normal rainfall is probable throughout much of the region in early 2003.

(b) This week, WFP confirmed donations of USD 31 million. The EMOP is 56 percent funded with a shortfall of USD 223 million. Against the WFP regional EMOP requirements of 993,050 tons through March, WFP has an un-resourced balance of approximately 350,000 tons.

(c) The onset of seasonal rains in patches throughout the region is beginning to hamper some local efforts at pre-positioning and distribution of food.

2) Zimbabwe

(a) Informal indicators continue to be discouraging. Farmers report shortages of seeds and fertilizer. Due to shortages of fuel, petrol stations are experiencing long queues. If they continue, fuel shortages could pose difficulties for the commuter transport system with implications for heightened food insecurity in rural as well as urban areas.

3) Lesotho

(a) During the week, WFP distributed 971 tons of food to almost 80,200 beneficiaries. The number of beneficiaries was slightly lower than targeted due to poor weather conditions hampering distributions. WFP and UNICEF are finalizing arrangements for a nutritional feeding program targeting children under five years old. Expected donations of seeds from international agencies have not arrived in country.

4) Mozambique

(a) WFP discharged approximately 15,000 tons of yellow maize, 5,000 tons of pulses, and 3,000 tons of vegetable oil for dispatch to various distribution points in Zimbabwe and Swaziland. WFP and an Implementing Partner visited Funhalouro and Mabote districts to evaluate current operations and explore the need for further activities in light of food insecurity in the area. WFP is continuing to refine management structures and monitoring and reporting information flows.

5) Malawi

(a) An Evaluation Targeting mission is in the final stages of reviewing WFP's targeting and information collection mechanisms in Malawi. WFP is carefully mapping final distribution points and, in collaboration with Implementing Partners, refining a database for monitoring essential distribution information. Over 8,000 tons of different food commodities were dispatched during the week.

6) Swaziland

(a) WFP VAM consultant met with the national Vulnerability Assessment Committee to discuss plans for the November/December rolling assessment. WFP, UNICEF, and Save the Children conducted sessions on the protection of women and children in the context of humanitarian response in southern Africa. Participants included field monitors, transport staff, and representatives from local trucking companies.

7) Angola

(a) WFP presented its policy with respect to the distribution of food in the Family Reception Areas (FRAs), given the Government's recently revised objective to have all FRA residents return to their area of origin by 15 February 2003. WFP will continue to distribute a ration to those already benefiting from WFP assistance in the FRAs until a Vulnerability Assessment is carried out in May, after which the assistance plans will be reviewed. Given the current population movements, verification of the caseload in the FRAs will be organised at least every two months. New arrivals in FRAs will not be registered but will be assessed to decide whether food assistance is required or not.

(b) No further contributions were confirmed during the week to WFP's Angola PRRO, which remains 33 percent funded to date. WFP's maize stocks, the main component of the food basket, are expected to be exhausted in February 2003. However, two donations are scheduled to arrive in March/April. Further cash or in kind donations are critically needed.

(c) WFP food distribution to 2,500 people began in Tchinjenje municipality (Huambo province). This is the first time in about four years that WFP is able to provide assistance in Tchinjenje, which was completely cut off from humanitarian assistance during the war. It is one of the most critical municipalities in terms of humanitarian needs. Approximately 13,300 people in Esfinge/Lunge family reception area were also reached with WFP food.

(d) According to the Government, almost 2,000 people, representing nearly half of the beneficiaries assisted by WFP at Mussabo FRA (Kuanza Norte province) are willing to return to their provinces/areas of origin. The Government promised to provide transport for the return process. UNHCR, MINARS and LWF reported that the number of spontaneous returnees from Zambia and DRC has reached 35,000 in Moxico province. A provincial sub-group incorporating OCHA, LWF, WFP and Government counterparts was established to verify the movement of returning refugees in Luau, Lumbala Nguimbo and Cazombo.

(e) World Vision concluded seed distribution to 4,350 families at Ambaca municipality (Kuanza Norte province). These families who are likely to be food insecure until the next vulnerability assessment, will be registered next week to receive WFP assistance under a seed protection campaign. WFP distributed food to over 4,900 returnees in the municipality of Calandula (Malange province) from 5 to 8 November. This was the first monthly ration distribution to these beneficiaries who were targeted under the World Vision seeds and tools distribution programme.

D) Asia Region: (1) DPR of Korea, (2) China, (3) Laos

1) DPR of Korea

(a) As of November, nearly 3 million nursery, kindergarten, primary and secondary school children, as well as pregnant and nursing women - all on the west coast - do not receive WFP food assistance to supplement their meagre government allocations and provide much-needed micro-nutrients. By mid-January, another 1.5 million persons on the east coast will not receive WFP rations, at a time when the economic reforms in the country have made life more uncertain for certain vulnerable groups such as urban worker populations, especially in the food deficit North and North-east . Without additional resources, by the end of January, there will be no WFP food and WFP beneficiaries. This will come in the midst of the harsh Korean winter and at a time when economic reforms in the country have made life more uncertain for vulnerable groups, such as urban workers and their families, and especially those in the food deficit east and north east provinces of the country.

(b) With no new contributions of wheat flour and powdered milk expected, local production of enriched blended food, biscuits and fortified noodles - for the youngest children and pregnant and nursing women - will stop as these commodities begin to run out early in 2003. As a result, the WFP-supported local factories producing these foods will be forced to be shut down. The considerable efforts made over the past four years in bringing these factories to near optimum production levels thus risk being lost.

(c) WFP urgently requires 26,000 tons of cereals to cover the needs of vulnerable people on the west coast to the end of this year. In addition, immediate pledges of 100,000 tons - including cereals and other commodities such as Corn Soya Blend, Dried Skimmed Milk and sugar - are required to meet distribution targets during the first quarter of 2003.

2) China

(a) On 11 November, WFP's Executive Director James T. Morris appealed to the People's Republic of China to make available part of the country's substantial grain surplus for needy emergency operations being undertaken elsewhere in Asia. China has made truly remarkable progress towards eliminating poverty and now produces far more food than it consumes. WFP urgently needs some of that food to help feed vulnerable and food insecure people in some of its key emergency operations, including those in North Korea and Afghanistan.

(b) During its visit to China, WFP Executive Director thanked the Government for its past contributions to WFP activities in the country. This year, it has provided more than USD 3 million, including USD 1.8 million to help cover the cost of shipping grain pledged by external donors for poverty alleviation projects in several provinces.

(c) Mr Morris noted that WFP has helped feed more than 200 million Chinese over the past 20 years. WFP's 2001-05 programme, for which the government has pledged to provide twice the value of resources supplied by external donors, seeks to assist 5.2 million people, many of them participating in food-for-work and food-for-training schemes. FFW activities often target minority ethnic groups and are carried out mostly by women and designed to meet the immediate needs of food-insecure households.

3) Laos

(a) On 11 November, WFP, in partnership with the Government of Laos, began distributing corn-soya blended food to 40,000 schoolchildren, as part of a campaign to build education and boost literacy rates in Laos. The WFP USD 6-million school feeding programme, the first ever in the Lao People's Democratic Republic, focuses on three of the poorest provinces where surveys show that over half of the people have never attended school. By the end of the third year of the project, the number of schoolchildren getting WFP food will rise to approximately 70,000.

(b) In addition, just over 5,000 children, who have to sleep in boarding houses during the school week, will also get supplementary rations. Under the umbrella of the school feeding programme, WFP is also launching a "take home rations for girls" scheme, under which a girl's parents receive food aid in exchange for letting their daughter go to school. Some 18,000 girls will be given monthly rations of rice and fish to give to their parents, provided that they attend school for at least 80 percent of the school days. An important adjunct to school feeding in Laos is a de-worming programme for students, undertaken by WFP in partnership with WHO.

E) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Northern Caucasus, (2) Georgia

1) Northern Caucasus

(a) Tension is increasing in Chechnya following the hostage crisis in Moscow in late October. Seven Chechen villages were reportedly blocked during the last week due to mopping-up operations by armed forces. The highway from Ingushetia to Grozny was also closed to civilian movements on 11-12 November. Nonetheless, People in Need Foundation (PINF) managed to deliver eight trucks of WFP food aid to Grozny on 12 November. On 10 November, four DRC employees were held for 24 hours by the military in Chechnya. In another incident, on 13 November, two ICRC national staff members were abducted on the road from Malgobek, Ingushetia to Grozny.

(b) Following ongoing verification of the IDP caseload, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) reported that 108,500 Chechen IDPs were registered in Ingushetia as of 13 November. Most of them live with host families. WFP allocated 1,500 tons of food, which will be distributed by DRC, Islamic Relief and SARCS to the registered IDPs in Ingushetia.

(c) As of 2 November, about 785,500 persons were living in Chechnya, according to DRC. This population includes 141,800 registered IDPs and 125,750 persons considered as vulnerable and in need of humanitarian assistance. In November WFP allocated 2,135 tons of food for a targeted caseload of 174,500 persons who will be assisted mainly through relief distributions and the school feeding programme. Within the school feeding programme, WFP allocated about 189 tons of food to DRC, IR, CPCD and CRDPC for 40,900 primary schoolchildren in Grozny city, Grozny Rural, Achkhoi-Martan, Sunzha and Gudermes regions. All the schools in those regions received kitchen utensils from WFP. Other WFP-supported programmes included FFW activities and support to institutions such as kindergartens and hospitals.

(d) WFP expects to face pipeline gaps in edible oil and sugar in November - December, as arrival of these commodities is not expected before the end of December.

2) Georgia

(a) Heavy rains and strong winds in West Georgia seriously affected the harvest of corn - the main staple food for this part of the country. The corn was planted with significant delay, due to the unfavourable weather conditions in April-May. As a result, the harvest is estimated to be 50-60 percent that of a normal year. These conditions are severely affecting the food security situation in the region, especially in view of the forthcoming winter months.

(b) Following a rapid assessment conducted recently by the Save the Children Fund, WFP intends to provide emergency food assistance to the population of Mestia district where a significant deterioration of the food security situation has been observed as a result of the staple crop failure. A 50-day ration will be distributed to 11,000 beneficiaries in the district.

(c) WFP distributed almost 3,200 tons of food during the month of October through its PRRO 6122.01. This includes 87 tons delivered to 4,000 Chechen refugees in the Pankisi Valley, completing the September-October ration. Distribution of WFP food was carried out by UNHCR. In addition, WFP assisted 43,800 vulnerable persons, providing them with 3,100 tons of food through 150 FFW projects in 31 districts.

F) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Colombia, (2) Ecuador, (3) Guatemala, (4) Honduras, (5) Nicaragua

1) Colombia

(a) Due to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Colombia, WFP and UNHCR are closely coordinating their respective programmes and jointly monitoring the conflict evolution and the population displacements in the province of Norte de Santander and across neighbouring countries. Last week, WFP delivered 43 tons of food assistance to 12 FFW and community kitchen projects in three provinces.

2) Ecuador

(a) According to Civil Defense, over 4,700 families have been affected by the recent eruption of the volcano El Reventador. An additional 80 families have lost all their properties. These families have found refuge in improvised shelters or are staying with relatives. Most of them are rural or indigenous families living in rural areas nearby the volcano. The Civil Defense in the Napo province informed that 800 persons who live on the outskirts of the volcano were evacuated and given refuge in El Chaco. The capital was also affected by the emission of a considerable quantity of ash, and one of the water reserves serving the city has been closed.

(b) According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the inter-agency evaluation mission, 100,000 hectares of crops and pastures have been covered with ash. In the cantons of El Chaco and Quijos, in the province of Napo (near the volcano), 40,000 hectares have been destroyed and 700 livestock heads are at risk. In Quijos the milk production has suffered a 50 percent loss. In the Sucumbios province 20,000 hectares and 5,000 heads of livestock have been affected. According to experts, losses in the agriculture and livestock sectors amount to USD 150 million.

(c) WFP and the Civil Defense have been coordinating the assessment missions. Given the current economic situation of the country and its limited capacity to fully respond to this emergency, the Government of Ecuador has requested WFP's assistance. WFP plans to provide food to the affected communities, targeting the most vulnerable groups who have lost their homes, crops and belongings.

3) Guatemala

(a) Unemployment throughout the country has risen as a result of the coffee crisis. The most affected provinces are San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Santa Rosa and Huehuetenango. Assessments of the food security situation of the affected population are being carried out.

(b) The Ministry of Public Health announced the continuation of the Programme for Acute Malnutrition Reduction. As from January 2003, the Nutritional Recovery Centres will become Community Distribution Centres.

4) Honduras

(a) WFP, jointly with the governments of Honduras and Canada, delivered micronutrients to assist 41,000 expectant women in the rural areas of El Paraiso province. In addition, 150 children suffering from acute malnutrition will be assisted through the WFP-UNICEF agreement in 5 communities of Intibuca province.

5) Nicaragua

(a) Ministry of Health authorities have confirmed the precarious situation being faced by the infant population in the region affected by the coffee crisis. According to the Sub-Director of Matagalpa Hospital, between the months of July and October, 10 children have died due to malnutrition and hunger-related diseases. This centre registers a daily average of 15 children, of which between 60 and 70 percent suffer acute malnutrition. During a WFP visit, 10 cases of Kwashiorkor or Kwashiorkor-Marasmus were found.

(b) An assessment mission visited the Guapotal community, in El Tuma-La Dalia municipality. Information provided by the Ministry of Health personnel and Volunteer Brigades, shows that out of the 266 children surveyed, 47 children are malnourished and 36 under risk of malnutrition.

(c) UNICEF, the Ministry of Health and WFP have started their three-month joint operation. During the first distribution, 88 tons of food will be delivered to 20 health centres. UNICEF is providing training to Ministry of Health personnel to improve the assistance to the affected population.

(d) The deterioration of roads leading to the North Atlantic Autonomous Region has temporarily impeded food deliveries to 17,000 flood-affected children.

G) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan

1) Afghanistan

(a) The security situation remained calm throughout the country over the last week, except in Mazari Sharif area (northern region) where localized factional conflicts continued. UN mission restrictions were in effect around Chahi. In Kabul (central region), the local curfew at midnight was lifted during the Ramadan period from 6 November through 5 December.

(b) From 5 to 12 November, WFP assisted more than 440,000 beneficiaries, providing them with 2,200 tons of food through various activities. The beneficiary caseload included 152,000 children who received food assistance under WFP Food for Education programme. School feeding has been playing an important role in enhancing the attendance rate of female students. The urban vulnerable bakery projects benefited over 147,000 persons.

(c) In addition, 23,500 persons received 270 tons of food through FFW and Food for asset creation projects (FOODAC). Eight new FFW and FOODAC projects were approved in Hirat, with focus on infrastructure rehabilitation and food security, under which 492,800 beneficiaries in total will receive 14,562 tons of food. In Kabul, local communities in Kabul province confirmed improvements in both quantity and quality of potable water, after the cleaning of springs with WFP food assistance under a FOODAC project completed in June 2002. In Nangarhar province of Jalal Abad, local communities in the areas severely affected by drought gained access to potable and irrigation water, after rehabilitation of several springs, canals and a road.

(d) Under the Relief and resettlement programme, 68,200 IDPs and returnees received food assistance. Recently, in line with the general phase out strategy for the Hirat IDP camps, WFP agreed with UNHCR to provide the newly arrived IDPs in the Shaidayee Camp with FFW assistance rather than free food distribution. It is expected that such an approach would ensure the provision of necessary food assistance to the IDPs, while at the same time providing a self-targeting mechanism based on genuine vulnerability.

(e) Finally, WFP delivered 34,000 tons of food or 72 percent of the total requirement of the vulnerable populations living in rural areas that potentially will become inaccessible during the winter.

Note: The section C) 4), paragraph (a) of WFP Emergency Report No. 45, dated 7 November 2002 which mentions that " During the week, WFP distributed 7,770 tons of maize meal, 14 tons of pulses and 28 tons of vegetable oil to approximately 72,000 beneficiaries." should be read as " During the week, WFP distributed 770 tons of maize meal, 14 tons of pulses and 28 tons of vegetable oil to approximately 72,000 beneficiaries".

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 46).