This report includes:
(A) Asia Region: (1) DPR of Korea, (2) Cambodia
(B) West and Central Africa Region: (1) Central African Republic, (2) Cote d'Ivoire
(C) Eastern and Central Africa Region: (1) Ethiopia, (2) Uganda, (3) Burundi, (4) Tanzania, (5) Kenya
(D) Southern Africa Region: (1) Regional overview, (2) Zimbabwe, (3) Zambia, (4) Lesotho, (5) Malawi, (6) Mozambique, (7) Swaziland, (8) Madagascar, (9) Angola, (10) Namibia
(E) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Pakistan, (3) Iran
(F) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Colombia, (2) Ecuador, (3) Guatemala, (4) Haiti, (5) Central America region
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) Asia Region: (1) DPR of Korea, (2) Cambodia
1) DPR of Korea
(a) Nearly 3 million nursery, kindergarten, primary and secondary school children, as well as pregnant and nursing women - all on the west coast - have not been receiving WFP food assistance during November. Owing to inadequate food in the pipeline, these cuts have had to be introduced at the outset of the harsh winter, which has arrived a few weeks early this year. WFP food rations supplement the meagre daily government allocations (half of what a refugee in a camp would receive) and provide the much-needed micronutrients to ensure nutritional health of the targeted vulnerable segments of the DPRK population - the youngest children and pregnant and nursing women. From early in the coming year, vulnerable groups on the east coast will also face ration cuts unless additional food is pledged and shipped immediately.
(b) WFP urgently requires over 100,000 tons of cereals and other commodities, such as Corn Soya Blend, Dried Skimmed Milk and sugar to meet distribution targets and local food production needs through the first quarter of 2003.
(c) Heavy snows in the northern and eastern parts of the country have been reported during the past week. Road blockages have hampered monitoring activities in some areas. Heating in children's institutions is again becoming a serious problem as lack of adequate fuel wood restricts heating to no more than a couple of classrooms in most nurseries and kindergartens. With cereal distributions to many of these institutions suspended in November, the nutritional status of the children could be at risk as they stay in very cold rooms and are restricted in movement and play.
(a) On 25 November, WFP reported that some 670,000 Cambodians are in need of food aid until the end of the year because of an extraordinary combination of drought and floods, and warned that global climate change could produce pockets of persistent food shortages in the years ahead. A WFP assessment of food needs ensuing from a severe drought in April followed by floods in August and September, estimates that 6,500 tons of food aid are required to help families in poor and disaster-prone districts over the next five weeks. WFP stressed that these new food shortages must serve as a "wake-up call" about the startling weather patterns that have affected the rice crop in affected areas for three consecutive years.
(b) Intensive work must be undertaken on ways to make people less vulnerable to these climatic anomalies. WFP has identified 187 "priority communes" (out of a total 1,621) where there has been either too little or too much precipitation. Instead of distributing food relief in these areas, WFP is providing over 1,700 tons of food for disaster mitigation projects, including the rehabilitation of community rice banks and rainwater reservoirs. This food will directly benefit an estimated 56,000 people in 116 villages in eight of the most affected provinces.
(c) Like many countries in southeast Asia, Cambodia has an annual "flood season" starting in August when torrential rains drive the rivers beyond their banks. When last year's floods hit, WFP provided emergency food aid to some 95,000 people who lost their homes or rice crops. But since 2001, the country has been hit by severe drought before the floods arrive, a combination that in some areas knocked out two planting seasons in a row. The majority of small-scale farmers in Cambodia rely on rainfall to water their crops.
B) West and Central Africa Region: (1) Central African Republic, (2) Cote d'Ivoire
1) Central African Republic
(a) Since 25 October Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic, has been cut off from most food production areas. Many households have been unable to access their farms north of the city. 650,000 people living in the city are facing considerable hardship due to non-payment of public sector salaries, lack of access to many family farms near Bangui, and increased food prices. WFP has provided approximately 270 tons of food to approximately 40,000 of the most affect people (IDPs, children and women). In addition, 100 tons of food have been prepositioned in several areas in case of further population displacements.
(b) WFP is concerned about the wealth of young children and pregnant/nursing women in Bangui, given the precarious food security situation of poor households. Prices have somewhat stabilized on the market, but this is simply because most people do not have money to buy food. WFP is currently preparing to provide safety net feeding to hospital patients and primary school children throughout Bangui. In addition, as affected areas in the northern part of the country become accessible, WFP will assist displaced families to return home and rebuild their lost assets.
2) Cote d'Ivoire
(a) In Yamoussoukro, displaced people from Bouaké continue to arrive to the Catholic Mission Transit centre, where they receive food aid and shelter while awaiting onward transportation. On 25 November, 532 displaced persons were on the site. In M'bahakro and Didievi, situated 92 and 75 km respectively from Bouaké, a large amount of people are living with host families. According to the heads of catholic missions, families reported that their food reserves were running out.
(b) WFP conducted an assessment mission in Korhogo, Férkéssedougou, Odienne and Daloa from 15 to 22 November and found that the authorities on both sides do allow humanitarian workers to carry out their work without much hindrance. In the regions of the Savanes and Denguele, farmers are currently harvesting rice, maize, yams and cassava. Basic social service institutions like hospitals and schools remained closed as doctors, paramedics and teachers have left. Fearing that health and sanitation will become a major problem, local NGOs and community leaders have appealed for medicines.
(c) In Bouaké, the preliminary results of the nutritional survey by Action Contre la Faim (ACF) on children under five years old, show that the food security is not yet seriously affecting their health. However, ACF, CARE and WFP in Bouaké recommend that preventive programmes such as ready-made meals through local charities are put in place to avoid malnutrition.
(d) As a response to the needs assessment in the northern areas, WFP is planning to set up a sub-office in Korhogo. Through this sub-office, WFP will closely monitor and report on the situation in the North, organise logistics for the region, and implement urgent targeted food programmes to vulnerable groups in Korhogo, Odienné, Ferekessédougou and other towns. Korhogo is well situated and has easy access to neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso. The sub-office in Yamoussoukro is going to urgently target food assistance to the host families and assess the needs of the displaced people in Zahibo.
C) Eastern and Central Africa Region: (1) Ethiopia, (2) Uganda, (3) Burundi, (4) Tanzania, (5) Kenya
(a) In an attack on the evening of 27 November at the Fugnido refugee camp in Gambella Region, a group of armed men entered the Dinka side of the camp and opened fire indiscriminately killing a number of Dinkas. Details are still emerging, but it appears that the attackers were from the Anuak tribe. Information as of 29 November indicates that at least 31 people from the Dinka tribe and two from the Shilluk tribe were killed (many of the victims are reported to have been women and children) and more than 20 people were injured. A majority of the Dinka refugees have left the camp and gone to the bush. WFP and UNHCR staff were relocated from the camp and are in Gambella town. At the end of October 2002 the Sudanese refugee population in Ethiopia stood at 81,000. Fugnido, the largest camp for Sudanese refugees, normally hosts 28,700 people. Half of the refugee population in Fugnido are Nuers, a third are Anuaks, and 11 percent are Dinkas, with several other tribal groups making up the balance.
(b) The twenty teams of the annual multi-agency needs assessment mission debriefed at the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC) on 27 November. The teams confirmed that most of the lowland areas of the country have been very badly hit by the drought, all the way from Tigray Region south into the upper part of SNNPR and east into West and East Hararghe zones of Oromiya Region. Very reduced or failed crops are reported in the hardest hit areas and there are major concerns about widespread water shortage for both people and livestock in these lowland areas in the coming months. The picture is mixed in the midland and highland areas of Amhara Region and SNNPR. In the south and southeast of the country, the Bale lowlands and Borena zone of Oromiya Region and southern zones of Somali Region have all benefited from on-going seasonal rains. Findings of the teams will be incorporated into the DPPC 2003 Appeal, which is tentatively scheduled to be launched on 6 December. WFP is actively involved in the preparation of the Appeal.
(c) In the seriously drought-affected Shinile zone of Somali Region, NGOs are stepping up activities to support Regional government initiatives in response to the joint government/UN/NGO special assessment in October. Water tankering will be started in all six districts of the zone by Save the Children US, who are also conducting an emergency nutritional assessment in these districts and are initiating an animal vaccination campaign. Other NGOs are also active in water and animal health programmes. ICRC continues to cover relief food needs in the two conflict-affected districts of Mieso and Afdem woredas, while other districts are covered by DPPC. The recent DPPC needs assessment mission confirmed that the food security, pasture and water situation in the whole zone is extremely critical. Elsewhere in Somali Region, under a UNICEF supported NGO pilot repatriation programme for people displaced by the drought of 1999/2000, three hundred families are being returned to their homes in Fik zone from an IDP settlement in Fafen, Jijiga zone. The first 133 families were moved on 24 November.
(a) The security situation in the Acholi sub-region continues to deteriorate. The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels continue to attack and loot villages, killing or abducting civilians. The attacks have intensified in frequency and brutality. Pader district is most affected by this renewed violence, with over 250,000 newly displaced people concentrated in 20 new camps. Renewed LRA attacks have rendered most humanitarian corridors outside Gulu and Kitgum districts inaccessible to UN staff.
(b) The heightened insecurity in the Acholi sub-region has severely reduced household food reserves and IDPs depend on WFP food distribution. This situation is a result of the displaced population's limited access to fields that had been planted, but had to be abandoned due to insecurity and the government's directive for people to relocate to protected camps. The displaced population can not risk movement beyond two kilometers out of the camps in search of food, for fear of being abducted or killed by LRA rebels.
(c) Despite insecurity, WFP continues to provide relief assistance under its Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation 10121.0 to over 700,000 vulnerable persons in three districts in northern Uganda, albeit under heavy military escort. WFP assistance is the main source of food within the Acholi sub-region. WFP delivered 4,600 tons of food as a monthly ration to IDPs in camps, abducted/returnee children; extremely vulnerable individuals; school children; mothers and children in supplementary and therapeutic feeding centres in the sub-region. Malnutrition has been reported among children under five years. To avoid a potential food security crisis, WFP borrowed 10,160 tons of tons from in-country sources, Sudan and D.R. Congo under PRRO 10121.0 to meet the increased food requirements.
(d) As a result of the increasing food needs, WFP is facing a shortfall of 44,141 tons of commodities to meet the needs of IDPs, refugees and other vulnerable groups in northern Uganda between December 2002 and June 2003 After WFP made an emergency appeal to donors for additional resources, donors' response has been promising, but no new contribution was confirmed during October.
(a) From 18 to 24 November, the security situation remained unstable in various provinces notably in Kayanza, Bubanza and Bujumbura Rural from where over 20 bombs were shelled on the capital. Planned distributions targeting 36,240 persons in three communes of Kayanza province were cancelled due to insecurity.
(b) With the intensification of the fighting, over 40,000 people have been displaced within Bubanza province; a further 10,000 persons were displaced from the outskirts of Bujumbura town. This new wave of displacement has resulted in an increased number of people in urgent need of food assistance. Although some IDPs started returning home, they have remained dependent on assistance after having lost their belongings. WFP, jointly with other agencies, is assessing the needs and conducting distributions in some of the affected areas such as Rushubi.
(c) In addition to insecurity and lack of access, insufficient food stocks have also hampered WFP operations. Despite recent food deliveries, WFP cereal and pulses' stocks are insufficient to adequately respond to the growing food aid requirements. Priority is still put on life-saving distributions to newly displaced persons.
(d) Despite the insecure situation, WFP was able to feed 17,200 persons that were left non-assisted during the previous week in Kabezi commune in Bujumbura Rural province. In addition, WFP, in collaboration with UNHCR, assisted almost 14,900 Congolese refugees in Muyinga, Bujumbura Rural and Cibitoke provinces over the last three weeks. Finally, WFP distributed return packages to 400 Burundian returnees repatriating from Tanzania to Ngozi province, under the facilitation of UNHCR.
(e) The joint WFP/UNHCR/NGOs needs assessment for the recent Congolese refugees in Cibitoke province recommended WFP to provide food rations to 7,100 persons from the most insecure places and hosted at Rugombo site. A census conducted by UNHCR and the local administration concluded that 2,450 refugees were hosted at Gatumba site in Bujumbura Rural province as of 20 November. WFP continued to collaborate with UNHCR for better identification of new coming refugees.
(a) From 4 to 17 November, WFP distributed about 3,950 tons of food, corresponding to a two-week ration, to over 524,400 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 19,000 malnourished refugees.
(b) Due to pipeline constraints, WFP plans to reduce the cereals ration for refugees by 28 percent, starting from the next food distribution cycle. This reduction, however, will not affect targeted and nutritional feeding programmes. Meetings with refugee leaders were held to inform them of these reductions and reassure them that the rations would be restored to normal once the situation improves.
(c) From 4 to 17 November, 1,074 Burundians and 1,450 Rwandans were voluntarily repatriated to their country of origin. This brings the number of Rwandans assisted to return home to over 6,500 since 1 January. At the same time, 1,900 refugees arrived in Tanzania from DR Congo, Burundi and Rwanda. The great majority of these refugees were coming from Burundi. A formal launching of the repatriation of Rwandans was expected to take place on 25 November, followed by daily convoys from 26-29 November. UNHCR and the Government of Rwanda are currently producing information material to be distributed in the camps.
(a) The WFP Kenya PRRO 6226.00 is facing an acute commodities shortfall and the prospect of pipeline breaks beginning in February 2003. The refugee programme has a total resourcing shortfall of almost 22,000 tons of commodities until the end of September 2003. Unless urgent new pledges are forthcoming, over 220,000 refugee beneficiaries cannot be provided with an adequate diet.
(b) The WFP Executive Board approved in October 2002 a budget increase to the current Country Programme. The budget increase of USD 30.8 million will enable WFP to continue providing food assistance to over 638,100 children in some 2,000 schools located in the semi-arid districts of the country, which until now have been under the expanded school feeding programme. These districts are still threatened by acute food insecurity following the effects of a prolonged drought over several consecutive years. The number of children expected to receive WFP school lunches in Kenya in 2003 will amount to 1.1 million.
(c) At the same time, the WFP Executive Board endorsed a new Country Strategy Outline for Kenya defining the areas of focus for WFP Kenya activities between 2004 and 2008. WFP's resources will be used to enable poor families, including those affected by HIV/AIDs, to gain and preserve assets, to mitigate the effects of natural disasters in areas vulnerable to recurring crises, and to support school feeding initiatives.
(d) According to the Famine Early Warning Network System, the exceptionally heavy rainfall has had differing impacts in different parts of the country. The extensive rainfall has caused flooding in the highland areas of the eastern pastoral provinces and in the coastal areas. The most serious flooding, which has occurred in Tana River, resulted in the collapse of a dam wall and the subsequent loss of life and livestock, and the displacement of households. The recovery prospects of pastoralist communities in these areas is likely to be jeopardized. In several other pastoralist districts, including Baringo and West Pokot, the heavy rainfall has been more beneficial.
(e) Heavy rains are also threatening to make the Garissa to Dadaab road temporarily impassable. As a result, the urgent delivery of 75 tons of food to the refugee camps in Dadaab was temporarily postponed. Deliveries have now resumed using smaller vehicles. However, weather forecasts anticipate that the current rains will continue until early December. In response, WFP has launched a special operation to repair the Garissa to Dadaab road and appealed to donors for USD 2.8 million to cover the emergency repairs and construction works.
D) Southern Africa Region: (1) Regional overview, (2) Zimbabwe, (3) Zambia, (4) Lesotho, (5) Malawi, (6) Mozambique, (7) Swaziland, (8) Madagascar, (9) Angola, (10) Namibia
1) Regional overview
(a) At a press conference in Johannesburg on 27 November, Stephen Lewis, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, noted that the regional crisis is "an HIV/AIDS induced famine complicated by drought and erratic rains." As HIV/AIDS is striking at the productive heart of the agricultural sector, it is likely that food insecurity will persist in the region in the foreseeable future, according to Lewis.
(b) National Vulnerability Assessment teams are conducting the second round of assessments in all six countries. Meanwhile, inter-agency training on the prevention of sexual abuse and exploitation is also taking place in the six countries covered by the WFP regional EMOP.
(a) As of 25 November, WFP has distributed 13,862 tons of food to 1.1 million beneficiaries. WFP distributions for November are expected to be below planned levels due to low stocks of food. WFP food monitors report worsening situations in various locations and in particular in Mashonaland West and Central Provinces as well as in Masvingo.
Following an agreement with the Government, Save the Children Fund (SC/UK) resumed operations in Zimbabwe, though not as a WFP Implementing Partner. HELP Zimbabwe and Action Contre la Faim have been approved as a new implementing partner of WFP.
(a) WFP implementation was slower during the week due to decreased supplies of commodities for dispatch to Implementing Partners; however the pipeline situation is expected to regain momentum in the coming weeks. 11,126 tons of white maize from South Africa have started to arrive in country, the first allotments of which are arriving in the refugee camps. Another 22,000 tons of maize are expected to arrive in country during early December.
(b) Heavy rains in Chipata have made some roads almost impassable for trucks, delaying food distributions. WFP monitors received reports of dramatic worsening of the food situation in this area. A field visit to the Northwestern Province found that agricultural inputs were lacking.
(c) The Government has released funds to the Food Reserve Agency to buy around 29,000 tons of maize in country. The Government reduced customs duty from 20 to 25 percent on various petroleum products.
(a) During the week, WFP distributed 847 tons of food to almost 69,400 beneficiaries. The dry spell in October and early November this year negatively affected crop production, especially pumpkins and beans. Rains in late November helped with some recovery of summer crops in the lowlands. It is reported that while lands have been ploughed and are ready for sowing, large areas are not yet planted as farmers face shortages of seed and farm inputs. Seed distribution has started at some WFP food distribution points.
(a) As food insecurity persists, WFP is facing a growing number of requests from communities and community leaders to provide food aid to an increased number of beneficiaries. Moderate seasonal rains have arrived in southern and central regions, and rural farmers are planting their crops. During the week, WFP received over 5,700 tons of mixed commodities for immediate dispatch under general food distributions and the HIV/AIDS Assistance to Malnourished Groups programme.
(a) WFP is phasing-in vulnerable group feeding activities under the emergency operation. Selection of most vulnerable localities is being completed by implementing partners, together with local authorities and WFP food aid monitors. Discussions are ongoing with the NGO VETAID for possible partnership with food for work activities in nine communities in Gaza Province.
(a) During the week, over 300 tons of food were dispatched to seven NGO partners. WFP held a workshop with all implementing partner field coordinators to discuss vulnerability and beneficiary targeting for December, and a training session on the prevention of sexual exploitation was conducted.
(a) On 25 November, WFP appealed for USD 8.4 million in cash to help feed 394,250 people severely affected this year by floods, drought and political turmoil in Madagascar. The funds are needed to purchase 18,400 tons of food aid to assist vulnerable communities over the next six months. WFP has already been assisting many of those affected by this year's natural and man-made crises with stocks borrowed from other programmes. Yet it is clear that WFP's distributions need to be expanded over the coming months to reach all those in need. WFP needs urgently further donor contributions.
(b) Following disputed presidential elections in December 2001, general strikes and blockades on the main highways crippled Madagascar's economy. Thousands of jobs were lost in the main urban centres and thousands of families were left destitute. As soon as the effects of the crisis on food availability at the household level were felt, WFP responded with supplementary feeding programmes and Food-for-Work (FFW) activities to help restore lost livelihoods. As part of the expanded operations, WFP will provide supplementary food aid to 22,500 malnourished children under five years of age, as well as to 4,500 pregnant women in Antananarivo, and five other main urban centres. A further 20,000 households in these same six urban areas will benefit from FFW projects.
(c) In the eastern province of Toamasina, thousands of hectares of farmland, mainly rice paddies, were destroyed by Cyclone Kesiny in May. Many families have now exhausted their food stocks and are increasingly dependent on food aid. WFP is planning to aid 20,000 people and their families in Toamasina through a range of FFW projects. These include removing excess sand from rice paddies and the rehabilitation of damaged agricultural infrastructure.
(d) Meanwhile, in the south, WFP will provide relief to 33,450 households who live in the 13 communes worst-affected by this year's severe drought. These people will also receive their WFP assistance through FFW projects. In addition to this latest emergency operation, WFP already supports 450,000 beneficiaries in Madagascar through community nutrition, school feeding, disaster mitigation and preparedness programmes.
(a) The security situation continues to be a concern with an attack in Benguela and mine incidents in Bie, Huila, Kuando Kubango and Moxico provinces.
(b) Movement of the populations from the Family Reception Areas (FRA) continues at different rates in different provinces, with some areas such as Kafima in Cunene province planning to close by the end of November, while FRAs in other provinces such as Malange are expected to remain open well into 2003. In the meantime, WFP continues to provide regular assistance to the population currently registered and living in the FRAs.
(c) There have been several cases of forced return reported recently, the most recent being in Ambuiva (already closed) and Catofe FRAs in Kwanza Sul. Other reported cases were from IDP camps in Kuito and Calal FRA in Moxico province. The Humanitarian Coordinator has reconvened an inter-agency meeting to address the issue with the Government.
(d) With the onset of the rainy season, access is also a concern with several roads and bridges already in a poor state, denying access to some areas, a situation that will likely become worse with the rains. WFP is trying to pre-position food commodities despite pipeline and logistical constraints. Although the movement of returnees has reduced significantly with the beginning of the rainy season, new arrivals continue to be registered in some municipalities.
(e) No contributions were confirmed during the week to WFP's Angola operations. The PRRO remains 33 percent funded to date.
(a) 18,400 refugees in Osire camp were provided WFP daily rations of 2,100 Kcal during the month of November. In addition, 400 refugees in Kassava transit centre received WFP assistance during November. UNHCR reported over 300 new arrivals, mainly from Angola, during the month of October, who were provided one-month WFP rations.
(b) The findings of the inter-agency drought assessment recently carried out in Namibia have been released. They show an immediate and ongoing cereal deficit until April 2003 in the majority of rural households. This is primarily attributed to low levels of rainfall, but is compounded by structural poverty throughout Namibia. The northern crop producing areas, particularly Kavango, are most affected. The assessment estimated that 301,000 people are extremely vulnerable and would require immediate food and non-food assistance for a six months period. Children under the age of five and elderly persons are particularly vulnerable. The report further says that the need for farm inputs such as seeds and fertilizer is critical and should be targeted to the households (approximately 50%) who have no seeds for the planting season.
(c) The Deputy Director of the Government Emergency Management Unit confirmed that food distributions for the drought-affected in Namibia started country-wide in November. A total of 34,000 tons of food are being procured and most of the commodities are being delivered except beans where there have been difficulties in procurement. A total of 340,000 persons are expected to benefit from this emergency assistance for a period of eight months.
E) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Pakistan, (3) Iran
(a) While much of the country was calm during this week, criminal incidents and insecurity arising from mines and explosive devices were significant in Kabul, Mazari Sharif and Kandahar. On 23 November, two international staff members of an NGO were brutally assaulted and robbed by armed men in the outskirts of Kabul city. In Mazari Sharif, the increase in criminality remains a concern; UN Agencies have been restricted from moving through the area after dark. However, there have been no new reports of conflict and the situation is deemed calm. Of note, a Commission for Disarmament was formed in Mazari Sharif.
(b) From 20 to 26 November, more than 400,000 beneficiaries received 2,000 tons of food commodities through various WFP activities. The beneficiary caseload included mainly 190,000 school children assisted under the Food for Education programme as well as 130,000 urban vulnerable people who received subsidized bread under various bakery projects. In addition, 61,000 IDPs received daily rations in camp feeding projects and 4,800 returnees were assisted while repatriating to their areas of origin. Finally, over 3,300 malnourished persons received nearly 61 tons of food through the Supplementary feeding programme.
(c) As of 26 November, WFP had delivered nearly 49,000 tons of food for some 221,500 vulnerable populations living in rural areas that potentially will become inaccessible during the winter. Some 3,800 tons still need to be delivered. In Jalal Abad, WFP food aid has assisted in eradicating poppy cultivation in Nangarhar province by providing farmers with an alternative source of food for the winter. The main road to Kost-W-Fring in Baghlan was blocked by snow, causing difficulties in food transportation. Ten UN fleets have been deployed to provide support in the region.
(a) The revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between UNHCR and WFP signed between the Executive Director of WFP and High Commissioner of UNHCR came into effect on 9 July. Under this new MOU, WFP will take over, on a pilot basis, the responsibility for final distribution of food aid in five selected countries. Pakistan has been selected as one of the countries where such pilot testing could take place. Since WFP Pakistan has a newly approved Emergency Operation for Afghan refugees, the arrangements for this pilot testing are expected to go into the new phase of this EMOP (12 months starting from January 2003). WFP and UNHCR at Islamabad level are currently working on this MOU in order to reflect the scope of cooperation and coordinated efforts of the two agencies.
(b) The WFP/FAO crop and food assessment mission has completed its field work. The mission visited 17 severely drought affected districts in Balochistan and Sindh. Preliminary findings of the mission indicate that drought conditions persist in many parts of these provinces. Coping mechanisms have been severely depleted in these areas and women and children are the worst affected groups. Malnutrition has increased the incidence of TB and hepatitis. Parts of Balochistan have received rainfall this winter after a dry spell of five years, which would to some extent help to recharge groundwater and fodder production.
(a) As of 26 November, almost 254,000 Afghan refugees had repatriated since 9 April under the UNHCR sponsored programme. A further 103,000 refugees returned on their own. WFP office in Zahedan is presently laying the groundwork for the implementation of the recovery component of the new PRRO 10213.0. Among these activities, WFP plans to assist 40,000 refugees, mostly women and girls, in the field of education and training.
(b) A Logistics Capacity Assessment mission was conducted in the western part of the country. Ahwaz, Kermanshah, Orumieh, Astara cities were visited as well as Bandar Abbas, Bandar Imam Khomeini, Khoramshahr and Bandar Anzali ports in order to assess logistics infrastructure.
(c) Over 1,000 tons of rice are arriving for PRRO 6126 on 30 November. The first consignment of a High Energy Biscuits donation of 10,000 tons to the school feeding programme in Afghanistan will be arriving at the port of Bandar Abbas at 6 December.
F) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Colombia, (2) Ecuador, (3) Guatemala, (4) Haiti, (5) Central America region
(a) On 23-24 November, more than 250 persons of the Barrancabermeja municipality were affected by clashes between armed groups. Eighty percent of these people are WFP community kitchens beneficiaries and most of them are displaced women. WFP is currently monitoring the situation.
(b) UNSECOORD placed the WFP Bogotá office on a high alert following a break-in in a neighbouring institution, a take over of an embassy in the area and several threats targeting the WFP office.
(c) During the following two weeks, WFP will deliver over 500 tons of food for FFW, community kitchen, nutritional recovery and preschool projects.
(a) On 20 November, a warehouse in the province of Chimborazo, holding explosive materials, exploded due to a faulty hand grenade. The impact of the explosion spread approximately 20km around the site, generating panic among the population, deaths, wounded, missing children and significant damage to basic infrastructure. WFP carried out a need assessment in the area and delivered food rations to 500 people within 24 hours of the incident. Over the next week, another 2,000 rations are planned to be delivered to the 800 affected people.
(b) WFP plans to deliver 2,500 one-month-food rations for families affected by El Reventador Volcano's eruption.
(a) Lack of rain has affected the northeastern part of the country. This is expected to have serious effects on the second harvest and could develop into a drought for the next summer.
(b) The coffee crisis is affecting the provinces of San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Santa Rosa and Huehuetenango. In most of these provinces, WFP is providing food assistance to the affected families. An assessment mission is taking place to further estimate the effect of the nutritional crisis in the area.
(c) Regional workshops, involving the Ministry of Agriculture and municipal mayors, were held to strengthen the municipal plans and assist the nutritional crisis in the country. As a result, organizational proposals and plans to cope with the nutritional crisis are expected. A first draft of the Letter of Understanding between the Government and WFP has been prepared for the implementation of PRRO 10212 and the follow up of EMOP 10174.
(a) The political situation continues to deteriorate. Thousands of Haitians have participated in several demonstrations all over the country bringing it to a stand still. In Port-Au-Prince, on 22 November, UN Agencies, embassies, schools, commercial activities and public and private transport were paralysed. The UN Security Coordination team advised all UN staff and their dependents to remain indoors.
5) Central American Nutritional Crisis
(a) Following increasing reports of malnutrition, particularly among children, related to the employment crisis and the recurrent shocks, WFP will carry out a rapid assessment of the nutritional situation in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The purpose is to provide a solid understanding of the malnutrition situation in the four countries, in particular that of young children and mothers. Results will support decisions for follow-up assessments and the type of appropriate response for WFP in the four countries.
Note: All tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tons.
(End WFP Emergency Report No 48).