WFP Emergency Report No. 49 of 2004

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 03 Dec 2004


(A) Highlights

(B) Global: WFP and World AIDS Day

(C) Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Iran, (3) Russian Federation

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

(E) West Africa: (1) Chad, (2) Cote d'Ivoire, (3) Guinea, (4) Liberia, (5) Sierra Leone

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

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

(H) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Bolivia, (2) Colombia, (3) Guatemala, (4) Haiti, (5) 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 (ODAP). 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.

A) Highlights:

  • From a WFP conducted mission in western Cote d'Ivoire, it appears that most Ivorians who fled to Liberia have now returned to their homes. The mission also found that the crisis has had no major and immediate impact on the food security of the population in the area, thanks to the ongoing harvest.
  • The UN Work Plan for Sudan for 2005 has been launched, requiring USD 1.5 billion for relief, recovery and development activities in the entire country. WFP's requirements in Darfur amount to approximately USD 460 million.
  • Due to the unavailability of fuel in Eritrea, no distributions of WFP-supplied food aid took place during November, and WFP's routine field monitoring trips remained suspended.
  • It is reported that floods in Somalia have resulted in thousands of victims. WFP, other agencies and local authorities have assessed food needs as a consequence of the floods, and WFP has continued to assist over 32,000 flood victims.

B) Global: World AIDS Day

(a) WFP celebrated World AIDS Day (1 December) in many of its country and regional offices worldwide with speeches, films, drawing competitions and other activities.

(b) In the lead up to World AIDS Day (1 December), the heads of WFP and World Vision joined forces to urge a massive increase in donor funds for school feeding. There is growing evidence linking the level of education to a stable or lower incidence of HIV. In addition, in areas of extreme poverty and high HIV prevalence, overstretched families who are forced to spend their increasingly scarce resources on health care, find it difficult to keep their children in school unless they have the incentive of school meals and take home rations.

(c) The HIV/AIDS pandemic is affecting young people disproportionately; WFP and World Vision aim to help protect this vital age group as part of their strategic, long-term relationship which involves a joint response to the epidemic at present being piloted in Burundi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Mauritania. WFP, as part of the activities, provides food assistance, while World Vision provides complementary activities, such as life skills training.

C) Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Iran, (3) Russian Federation

1) Afghanistan

(a) In the southwest, the compound of the Voluntary Association for the Rehabilitation of Afghanistan, a local NGO, in Nimroz province came under attack on 25 November. Three guards and one staff member were killed. On 28 November armed men attacked the United States Protection and Investigation (USPI) and local police camp on the Kandahar-Hirat road in Nimroz. Two policemen were killed and four wounded in the attack. The security situation remained relatively calm throughout other areas of the country.

(b) During the past week, over 629,950 beneficiaries received some 4,080 tons of WFP provided food.

(c) As part of the Government capacity building initiative, the United Nations Humanitarian Air Services (UNHAS) handed over a newly constructed waiting room at Fayz Abad airport to local authorities, on 29 November. UNHAS is committed to the reconstruction and improvement of the country's airfields and is working closely with Ariana Airlines at the Kabul International Airport.

(d) To facilitate transportation and provide access to surrounding areas, some 27 km of roads in Dara-I-Suf of Saman, were constructed or rehabilitated through food-for-work (FFW) projects. Some 68 shallow wells were dug in Samangan province to provide local population with clean drinking water.

(e) In Kandahar on 28 November, 82 staff of the Department of Education (DoE) received training in deworming. The second round of the campaign started in Kandahar and Helmand provinces on 29 November. Phase-two is targeting more than one million children in 14 major cities across the country.

2) Iran

(a) UNHCR and the Bureau of Aliens and Foreign Immigrant Affairs of the Ministry of Interior (BAFIA) have reached an agreement to close 12 Iraqi camps by the end of December this year. Some of them have already been evacuated by the refugees. The decision to close the 12 Iraqi camps is the result of the repatriation of the camp refugees and the consolidation of the refugees in the remaining 6 camps. Between 26 October and 1 December, over 12,535 Iraqi refugees were repatriated with UNHCR assistance.

(b) The total number of Afghan refugees who have returned home since 2 April 2002, amounts to some 1,096,925, of which about 776,650 were UNHCR assisted and over 320,270 returned spontaneously. From 26 October to 1 December, UNHCR assisted almost 8,985 returnees, while some 570 returned home spontaneously. No camp refugees were repatriated during the period.

(c) WFP, under its 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, is currently providing food assistance to 8,100 Iraqi and 31,500 Afghan refugees in 23 camps. Some 8,985 Afghan returnees received a WFP bread ration at border exit stations. In addition, 5,000 vulnerable orphans receive a monthly food ration from WFP through the Iranian Red Crescent Society. Furthermore, as an incentive for school enrolment and attendance, 4 kilos of oil are distributed to about 3,520 girls, on a monthly basis.

3) Russian Federation

(a) During the second half of November, the overall security situation in the region remained the same. It has been noted that federal and local law enforcement agencies have carried out a number of successful operations aimed at eliminating militants and their bases.

(b) According to the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), on 30 November, in Ingushetia there were 39,285 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Chechnya; of whom 24,721 reside in private accommodation, and 14,564 in spontaneous settlements.

(c) During the second fortnight of the month, WFP Cooperating Partners (CPs) completed the November relief distribution cycle in both Ingushetia and Chechnya. During that fortnight, over 145 tons of food commodities were distributed to some 13,700 vulnerable persons in Chechnya, and about 175 tons to some 16,230 IDPs registered in Ingushetia.

(d) In addition, over 315 tons of food commodities for the implementation of the School Feeding (SF) programme in November were distributed in October. In November, the SF expanded to Nozhai-Yurt ? a south-eastern mountainous district of Chechnya ? to include some 3,850 children in 56 school institutions. Currently the WFP SF programme assists some 75,080 children in 379 primary schools and kindergartens in four districts of Grozny city and 9 other districts of Chechnya.

(e) The Food-for-Work programme was continued in the city of Grozny and districts of Achkhoi-Martan, Gudermes, Shali, Kurchaloy and Urus-Martan by WFP (CPs) People in Need (PIN), Center for Prevention of Humanitarian Catastrophes (CPHC) and Open Continent. The total number of participants involved in the implementation of the programme in November was 2,800 (representing 14,000 beneficiaries).

(f) Furthermore, in the beginning of October some 4 tons of WFP food commodities for the Tuberculosis project were distributed to 350 in-patients and out-patients in TB hospitals of Chechnya and Ingushetia by WHO, the WFP partner in the TB programme in Ingushetia, and MSF?Holland, the partner in Chechnya. (g) During November, WFP also provided some 13 tons of food to complement the efforts of Caritas International in providing daily hot meals for 1,600 most vulnerable persons in Grozny city.

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

1) Burundi

(a) Insecurity and incidents of banditry have continued. A WFP staff member was attacked and robbed at gunpoint at his residence in Ngozi town. In Bujumbura town, a night guard at the residence of a WFP contractor was shot and killed during an act of robbery. Fighting between the members of the rebel group Front for National Liberation (FNL) and the National army was reported in Kanyosha commune, Bujumbura Rural province, as well as several road ambushes in different areas.

(b) On 29 November, demobilization activities for approximately 70,000 combatants from former rebel movements and the national army were launched, with a workshop to explain the roles of all partners in the demobilization process. WFP has already delivered 12 tons of food to Gitega and Muramvya demobilization centres to be used during the next two weeks. Food distribution started on 30 November in Muramvya and should follow in the other two centres by early next week.

(c) Between 22 and 28 November, WFP distributed a total of some 1,100 tons of food aid to almost 112,000 beneficiaries through different programme activities. Around 71,400 beneficiaries received about 560 tons of targeted food assistance in Gitega, Bujumbura Rural and Ngozi provinces. Emergency wet feeding was also organized for more than 1,300 most vulnerable displaced persons in Bujumbura Rural province. All distributions were conducted without problems. In Karusi province, distributions planned for 43,450 persons were postponed because beneficiaries and the local authorities were involved in registration for the referendum and forthcoming elections.

(d) Nearly 800 returnees from Tanzania arriving through transit points at the border provinces of Muyinga, Ruyigi and Makamba received a three-month returnee package, The number of returnees from Tanzania increased compared with the numbers in recent weeks.

(e) A joint mission by WFP, CARE and local authorities was carried out in two communes of Makamba province to review the number of people in need of food aid. Public validation of beneficiary lists was conducted and the number of beneficiaries formerly registered increased from some 4,820 to over 5,565. This increase was due to the presence of recent returnees in both communes. Public validation was also conducted in four communes of Bururi and Mwaro provinces. In Mwaro and Bujumbura Rural provinces, distribution committees were set up to facilitate forthcoming distributions.

(f) Deliveries of food commodities from the regional purchases increased. They need to continue at the expected pace to prevent stock ruptures. Pipeline breaks are still anticipated for various commodities in the coming months. WFP has been adjusting distribution plans and using commodity substitution in order to address the gaps and to ensure that planned distributions continue to the fullest extent possible.

2) D.R. Congo

(a) The international community's efforts to promote and support a durable peace in the Great Lakes Region are endangered by the mounting political crisis between DRC and Rwanda. The presence of Rwandan troops in North Kivu has been confirmed by military observers from the United Nations. The same source also confirmed that Rwanda is massing troops at the border with the town of Goma. According to OCHA, some ten thousand people have started to move to the north (Kayna, Kirumba and Lubero), fearing clashes between DRC government troops and their allies (all militia groups are hostile to Rwanda).

(b) In the Equateur province, WFP started food assistance to the first batch of returnees from the Central African Republic. In the north of Katanga province, WFP resumed an airlift operation from Kalemie to various remote locations to supply partners involved in supplementary and therapeutic feeding activities. In the Maniema province, a joint UN/NGO needs assessment mission in Kama expressed dismay at the low attendance at the supplementary feeding centre in November. This had been caused by delays in food deliveries which occurred when cargo companies decided to increase their prices after being awarded the transport contract.

(c) The growing tension resulting from the political crisis in eastern DRC remains a major concern. According to humanitarian sources, as many as 150,000 people in the North Kivu province may require food assistance should the security situation in North Kivu deteriorate. It feared that other eastern areas (South Kivu province, Maniema province, Ituri district and north of Katanga province) will also be badly affected. In such a case, WFP will need to revise upwards the total monthly food needs for eastern areas from some 5,000 tons to almost 10,000 tons.

3) Djibouti

(a) The 14th repatriation convoy to Somaliland this year left Djibouti on 24 November, with 511 persons (79 families). This brings the total number of persons repatriated to Somaliland this year from the two camps in Djibouti ? Ali Addeh and Holl-Holl - to about 8,085 persons (1,632 families). The total number of refugees remaining in three camps in Djibouti amounts to 17,585 ( Ali Added 6,955; Holl-Holl (6,855); and Aour Aoussa (3,775).The next repatriation is scheduled for December.

4) Eritrea

(a) The Government of Ethiopia announced that it accepted an independent commission's ruling on its border with Eritrea. Subsequently, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi called for immediate talks with Eritrea on implementing the commission's decision. The proposal, presented by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and approved by parliament, also includes the country's decision to resume payment of its dues to the Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission (EEBC), and to appoint field liaison officers to work along the border with the Commission on the demarcation process of the disputed border.

(b) During a debriefing at the Ministry of Agriculture for the FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) in Keren in Central Eritrea, the regional head of the Ministry of Agriculture ranked this year as one of the worst in terms of poor harvest, increasing food insecurity to dramatic levels. Even those regarded as "well off" have slid down the social ladder and have started to "share" relief food aid with the targeted food aid beneficiaries.

(c) Whatever crops matured, have been harvested. Even crop residues, which are usually gathered as animal fodder, are scarce this year. Herdsmen continue to criss-cross the region in search of water and pasture; many have migrated to the Northern Red Sea or Gash Barka regions hoping for better grazing lands.

(d) Due to the prevailing fuel shortage the availability of public and private transport, especially in the rural areas, is very poor. Large numbers of people keep thronging the bus stations, with most of them returning home either because they could not find transport, or because the fares have reached levels which are unaffordable. WFP's routine field monitoring trips remain suspended, and there were no distributions of WFP-supplied food aid in November due to the unavailability of fuel.

(e) The resourcing situation for both WFP's operations remained unchanged. EMOP 10261.1, Emergency Food Assistance to Victims of Crop Failure and Drought in Eritrea, is resourced for 77 percent now. About 50 percent of the planned food requirements for PRRO 10192.0, Food Assistance to War and Drought affected Persons in Eritrea, are covered.

5) Ethiopia

(a) Teams of the multi-agency pre-harvest main season (meher) assessment, led by the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC), gave a debriefing on 30 November. With some exceptions, good harvests are expected in most of the central and western crop producing parts of the country. Production details will be confirmed once the findings of the concurrent FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission are published, expected by early January. The DPPC-led teams focused on issues affecting expected food aid needs. Additional rains in early October eased the situation somewhat in cropping areas of eastern Amhara Region (except for areas bordering Afar Region) and in the midlands of East and West Hararghe. However many lowland areas of the country remain of concern, including parts of East and West Hararghe, the Bale lowlands and Borena, all in Oromiya Region, and South Omo and lowlands of Gama Gofa in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR). Eastern Tigray and parts of Southern and Central Tigray, areas of chronic food deficits, have had poor harvests, though the situation is alleviated in part by widespread food security measures put in place in recent years. Good harvests are expected in the western surplus areas of Tigray.

(b) In Somali Region, further rain in late November has eased the previously critical situation in Gashamo and Aware districts of Degehabour and the southern districts of Boh and Geladin in Warder zone. However, for pastoralists who lost a lot of animals in the extended severe dry season, even these rains will not relieve a very difficult situation in which livelihoods are threatened. Rains have not been sufficient in Denan and East Imi in Gode zone, and needed flooding for agriculture has not happened along the Shabele River and rivers in Afder and Liben zones, despite heavy flooding further downstream in Somalia.

(c) There is growing concern for conditions in the pastoralist Afar region, where the June-September rains were very poor, especially in Zones 1, 2 and 4. Already, unusual livestock movements are taking place much ahead of the usual end of the dry season migration. As in other pastoralist areas, the most vulnerable will be those who have suffered large animal losses in recent years.

(d) Currently WFP is covering approximately half of the needs of the total beneficiaries for November (3.7 million people, 70,000 tons) and December (2.8 million people, 57,000 tons).

6) Republic of Congo (RoC)

(a) During the period 9-12 November a joint Logistics/Programming assessment mission was carried out in the South Pool region which has recently been classified as UN security phase III. The mission aimed at assessing conditions before launching the School Feeding programme in this war-ravaged part of the country. The School Feeding programme was hampered in this area by problems related to security, access and availability of teachers. A total of 22 schools were visited in the districts of Kinkala, Louingui, Boko, Mbandza-Ndounga, and Goma-Tsétsé. All these schools could be deemed ready to start school canteens if the cooking utensils and equipment were provided. Teachers' and Women's Committees are available in most of them, but need to be trained in food storage and handling, as well as in data collection and reporting. No major logistics challenges were noted as localities covered by this assessment can be supplied through Kinkala, via the Matoumbou railway station.

7) Rwanda

(a) The security situation in all camps remained calm. No repatriation was reported during the week. No major changes were seen in the number of refugees in the four camps of Kiziba, Gihembe, Nkamira and Gikonko. However, an increase in the refugee numbers was noted in Nyagatare transit centre (TC) by about 315 and in Ngenda TC by some 110. The increase in Nyagatare was mainly due to members re-uniting with their respective families. The new arrivals at Ngenda TC claim that they have left Burundi due to insecurity there, but there are also signs that they have come to Rwanda because of food insecurity. Ex-refugees and other food insecure people were among the new caseload at Ngenda. This will be further followed up with UNHCR.

8) Somalia

(a) Heavy rains continued in most parts of Somalia and humanitarian workers in that country have reported that flash floods have resulted in thousands of victims. A joint mission of aid agencies and members from the Local Authority visited affected villages in Middle Shabelle Region. Most roads in the area are completely impassable and thousands of Somali are reported to be in need of food assistance. The team, travelling by boat on the Shabelle River, visited six of the most affected villages along the river and reported that some 2,000 families are in need of immediate assistance, including food.

(b) The Flood Working Group established by the Somalia Aid Coordination Body (SACB) sustained its work inside and outside Somalia reviewing reports on the floods coming from the field and taking appropriate measures. WFP continued to assist the flood victims in Somalia, reaching some 31,000 beneficiaries in Puntland with 550 tons of food and also assisting around 1,080 beneficiaries in Hudur town, South Central Somalia.

(c) The lower/middle Juba region in South Somalia remained with limited access to humanitarian workers due to high insecurity and poor road conditions. Despite these difficulties, WFP continued its efforts in assisting the population. Thus far, more than 1,050 tons of food commodities have been delivered to Kismayo. The final delivery to distribution points in Merere is pending improved road conditions.

(d) The School Feeding Survey carried out by WFP in Somalia for the expansion of the School Feeding programme is completed. A total of 10,000 additional pupils in 44 schools will be supported by WFP starting January 2005.

(e) A high-level UN mission led by Mr Jan Egeland, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, will visit Somalia between 3 and 6 December. The mission plans to visit Hargisa in North Somalia, Growe in Puntland and Wajid in South Somalia and to hold meetings with local authorities, UN Agencies and NGOs. The mission programme also includes site-visits of returnees, IDP settlements and drought-affected areas.

9) Sudan

(a) The UN Work Plan for Sudan 2005 was launched on 30 November in Geneva, Nairobi and Khartoum. The UN requirement covering relief, recovery and development activities totals USD 1.5 billion of which Darfur represents around USD 620 million. WFP's requirements in Darfur amount to approximately USD 460 million.

(b) The security situation in North Darfur seems to have improved slightly. The road between Kass ? Zallingei in South Darfur has now been open for UN movements. However, in West Darfur, operations are still suspended north of El Geneina. In West Darfur, the security situation in Jebel Moon remains unstable. Operations are still suspended north of El Geneina (Sileah, Jebel Moon and Kulbus). In addition, there have been indications of cross border movements by elements of the Chadian Army.

(c) In South Darfur, following the attacks on a police station outside Kalma camp on 21 November by Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) (that led to casualties on both sides), reports indicate that there have been two shooting incidents in the same area but of a lesser intensity. Banditry and looting remain a concern in South Darfur, particularly along the roads. The road between Nyala ? Kass ? Zallingei is now open. Previously, only the road between Nyala ? Kass was open for UN movements.

(d) At 28th November, a total of 27,125 tons of food had been despatched by road, rail and air from hubs in Khartoum and El Obeid to the Darfur state capitals. Some 20,150 tons of food were despatched to an estimated 1,151,485 beneficiaries (based of despatches) from Area Offices (AOs) to Cooperating Partners (CPs).

(e) Despatches by road accounted for 19,145 tons of mixed commodities, transported from El Obeid, Gedaref and Khartoum to the Darfurs. Transporters continue to express reluctance to operate along road corridors where security incidents have taken place. In October, a total of 17,967 tons were despatched. In November, beneficiaries have been receiving more complete food baskets, compared with previous months. This week, Save the Children US, Sudanese Red Crescent and Christian Relief Services distributed food to some 130,000 beneficiaries in 11 localities in South Darfur including Fur Burunga, Kirinding, Keranic and Gemeiza Babiker.

(f) Following a rapid nutrition assessment in Sandia Fandu and Marla in South Darfur, Action Contre la Faim (ACF) will start a supplementary feeding programme in the area. ACF also plans to conduct a nutrition survey in Geredia next week. CARE is planning to open a supplementary feeding centre in Nyala town in support of pregnant and nursing women.

(g) The GOAL nutrition survey, carried out in Kututm in North Darfur, indicates a deterioration in the nutritional status of the population compared with the survey done by Save the Children UK in March. The rate of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) recorded by the GOAL survey was 23.9 percent and the rate of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) was 1.7 percent, The report recommendations included continued general food distribution, improved pipeline, continued therapeutic and supplementary feeding programmes and improved coverage and health promotion activities. The survey will be repeated in January/February and will cover rural Kutum as well.

(h) Confirmed contributions received to date against the current EMOP amount to USD 181,201,841, representing 89 percent of the total requirement (project ends 31 Dec 2004). The majority of the Special Operations are well funded (92 percent resourced).

10) Uganda

(a) The ceasefire declared by the Government of Uganda (GoU) on 14 November continues to hold, although the major concern now is that it will expire on 3 December, before the follow-up actions are clear. A number of Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) commanders are reported to have already moved into the designated 300 square mile ceasefire zone. Ms Betty Bigombe, a former Minster for Northern Uganda, who is mediating between the GoU and the LRA, has met two top level LRA commanders for the second time.

(b) For the time being, the security situation is gradually improving. However, LRA rebels continue low-level attacks on civilians. Nine people were reported abducted in Awach in Gulu district; two of the abducted civilians were reported murdered.

(c) Mr Haile Menerios, UN Director of Political Affairs, visited Uganda from 29 November to 3 December and travelled to Gulu and Kitgum districts in northern Uganda. The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Jan Egeland, will visit Uganda from 7 to 8 December to follow up the humanitarian situation among the displaced population in northern Uganda and assess progress on the peace effort.

(d) Results of the MSF-Holland October nutrition survey in selected camps in Lira and one camp in Pader highlight extremely high Crude Mortality Rates and under five mortality. This was attributed to the poor health service and equally poor health seeking behaviour, poor living conditions, congestion and inappropriate sanitation and water facilities. The report indicates a GAM rate of 8.3 percent. Results from the African Humanitarian Action (AHA) October/November nutrition survey in Adjumani district indicate a GAM rate of 8.6 percent among children under five years.

(e) WFP food distribution continues to reach over 1.4 million displaced persons, 154,000 refugees and other vulnerable persons. During the period from 22 to 27 November, some 4,170 tons of WFP relief food assistance were distributed to 344,000 persons, including IDPs sheltering in camps in Gulu, Kitgum and Pader districts in the northern Acholi sub-region; refugees, school children and other vulnerable persons.

(f) WFP faces a shortfall of some 17,810 tons of food commodities (8,839 tons cereals, 3,439 tons pulses, 5,453 tons fortified blended foods, 64 tons vegetable oil and 17 tons sugar) with a funding gap of USD 10 million. Contributions are required to enable WFP to continue providing relief assistance to IDPs and refugees through April 2005.

E) West Africa: (1) Chad, (2) Cote d'Ivoire, (3) Guinea, (4) Liberia, (5) Sierra

1) Chad

(a) An update on WFP's operations in Chad will be available in WFP's Emergency Report of 10 December 2004.

2) Cote d'Ivoire

(a) As part of an African Union peace mission, South African President Thabo Mbeki arrived in Cote d'Ivoire on 2 December, for his second trip in less than a month to help steer the country towards peace. Mbeki's trip of several days is to take him both to the commercial capital Abidjan and to Bouake, the central stronghold of the Forces Nouvelles.

(b) WFP conducted a mission to western Côte d'Ivoire, near the Liberian border, to evaluate the humanitarian situation and the movement of Ivorians seeking refuge in Liberia; part of the mission included other humanitarian organisations such as OCHA, UNHCR, Save the Children and IOM. It appears that most Ivorians who fled to Liberia have now returned to their homes.

(c) WFP's mission also found that there is no major and immediate impact of the crisis on the population's food security in the area, thanks to the ongoing harvest. However, in some areas there are concerns about the marketability of the cash crops (due to insecurity, lack of traders because of difficult access in the area, and other circumstances). Problems associated with marketing cash crops will have medium and longer-term negative impacts on the population's food security.

(d) All WFP sub-offices are open and functional. Distributions have been limited to the towns for the past weeks; however, security clearance is gradually being given for distributions in outlying areas. In Korhogo and Bouake, distributions have commenced outside of the cities. From 23 to 30 November, 330 tons of various food commodities were distributed to over 23,000 people.

(e) WFP has not yet resumed its humanitarian air service flights to Man, following the harassment of crew and passengers by armed elements of the Forces Nouvelles on 25 November.

(f) WFP's Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation for 2005, PRRO 10372.0, Cote d' Ivoire Crisis and Regional Impact, was approved at the October session of WFP's Executive Board. However to date no contributions have been confirmed. The regional operation will target over 900,000 beneficiaries in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali with 34,000 tons of food (USD 28 million). Donors are requested to urgently confirm contributions, in order to allow adequate time for procurement and transport, and to avoid pipeline breaks in early 2005. Pipeline breaks early next year would be particularly serious, considering the unstable political situation in Cote d'Ivoire, and the possibility of population displacements within the country and the sub-region.

3) Guinea

(a) A second convoy of 209 Liberian refugees left the Laine Refugee Camp on 18 November through UNHCR's facilitated repatriation process (bringing the total number of returnees to 516 since the beginning of the process on 10 November). Some 1,000 Liberians are expected to return home in December.

(b) From 15 to 28 November, 490 metric tons of various food commodities were distributed to over 43,000 people.

(c) Due to the crisis in Cote d'Ivoire, a UN interagency mission, along with SENAH (the governmental humanitarian agency), visited the surroundings of Kankan (Upper Guinea) in order to assess preparedness for emergencies. WFP, UNHCR, WHO and UNICEF participated in the mission.

(d) WFP published the results of a baseline survey for a pilot project targeting People Living with HIV/AIDS in Conakry and N'Zerekore. The objective of the baseline was to determine the food security situation of the beneficiaries. According to the study, 78 percent of the 256 households interviewed cannot adequately meet their basic food needs.

(e) WFP's food pipeline in Guinea continues to face critical breaks, and a shortfall of approximately 3,300 tons is expected through the next six months. Additional contributions are required in order to avoid an interruption in the distributions.

4) Liberia

(a) On 26 November, the National Transitional Government Chairman lifted the curfew that was imposed in and around Monrovia on 29 October, following riots in the city. The Chairman warned that security will remain tight in and around Monrovia despite removal of movement restrictions. However, UN staff are still under the UN curfew regime (midnight to 06h00)

(b) From 24 to 30 November, 850 tons of food were distributed to 139,000 beneficiaries.

(c) In preparation for the expansion of school feeding activities to counties in the south?east, WFP in Zwedru commenced an assessment of schools in the area, to identify schools that meet the basic criteria for the feeding programme. Advice is also being given to those schools that do not meet the minimum requirements, on how to improve their facilities in order to become enrolled in the school feeding programme. Most schools visited so far have fairly good structures, latrines and water pumps.

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

5) Sierra Leone

(a) From 16 to 29 November, WFP distributed 560 tons of assorted food commodities to 79,000 beneficiaries.

(b) During this period, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, supported by WFP, organized a Conference in Freetown with the theme 'From War to Classroom; From Crisis to Recovery.' The aim of the meeting was to draw attention to the needs and conditions of the war-affected children in West Africa. Over 350 delegates, including dignitaries from 14 African countries as well as of the Italian Parliament, attended the two-day event.

(c) The food pipeline continues to face critical shortages. New contributions continue to be needed in order for WFP to be able to complete programmes in the coming months.

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

1) Regional

(a) The Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) 10310, Assistance to Populations in Southern Africa Vulnerable to Food Insecurity and the Impact of AIDS, which will start in January 2005, has received USD 4.1 million against USD 171 million required to purchase food for its first year operations. Further contributions are urgently sought to purchase 158,000 tons of food for distribution in the first half of the year.

2) Angola

(a) Two food security baseline surveys are currently being undertaken in the central highlands of Angola. Over 2000 households are being interviewed to better understand their livelihoods and food security situation. The results of the survey, which should be completed by March 2005, will be important inputs to the development of the next PRRO for Angola, which is scheduled to start in 2006.

(b) WFP's Ndalatando sub-office in Kwanza Norte province closed on 30 November. The 15,000 formerly displaced beneficiaries in the area, who returned to the province over one year ago, will receive the last general food distribution in December. Vulnerable beneficiaries will continue to get food and will be monitored from WFP's Uige Sub-office.

(c) The ongoing PRRO 10054.2, Support to Return and Resettlement, continues to be severely under funded. The operation still needs about USD 60 million, or 90,000 tons of additional food through the end of 2005.

3) Lesotho

(a) In November, the Government of Lesotho opened two centres in Leribe and Mafeteng to administer Anti-Retroviral Treatment to HIV/AIDS patients, as part of the national roll-out programme. The Government expects to reach 28,000 HIV infected people by the year 2005.

4) Malawi

(a) WFP's pipeline broke and the Government of Malawi, through its National Food Reserve Agency, made a loan of 10,000 tons to WFP, based on future pledges being completed in country.

(b) During December, WFP with Joint Emergency Food Aid Programme partners will be distributing 7,000 tons of mixed commodities to ensure that the food insecure people who were identified by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee, receive adequate support. This represents an increase from the approximate 4,500 tons that were distributed in November and it is expected that food aid needs will continue to grow as the lean period approaches.

5) Mozambique

(a) WFP chaired the UN Disaster Management Team (UNDMT) Working Group last week, to discuss the UNDMT workplan for 2005, as well as the results of the vulnerability assessment in northern Mozambique. The team also reviewed the National Government Contingency Plan and the UN Emergency Preparedness Plan.

6) Namibia

(a) WFP provided some 13,000 orphans and vulnerable children with food under EMOP 10334.0, Targeted Food Assistance for Orphans and Vulnerable Children Affected by Food Insecurity and the Impact of HIV/AIDS" in Caprivi, Kavango, Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions, from 24 November to 1 December.

7) Zimbabwe

(a) About 600,000 beneficiaries in Zimbabwe received WFP aid in October and November. During December, WFP will distribute food to about 1.6 million vulnerable people in the country, mostly in rural areas. This distribution will increase the amount of food available to vulnerable households at a time when their own stocks are running low. Targeted beneficiaries include the chronically ill, child-headed households and the disabled. About 25,000 tonnes of food will be distributed during the month.

(b) This month's assistance to vulnerable people will be carried out alongside WFP's ongoing primary school feeding, supplementary feeding for under-fives and home-based care support programmes for households affected by HIV/AIDS.

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

1) Bangladesh

(a) Lean season conditions, including high food prices; limited labour opportunities for the rural poor; forced sale of assets; and rural-to-urban migration, continue to affect most parts of the country. There are conflicting reports of the extent of harvests in some areas. The ongoing harvest of Aman-paddy crop has created some job opportunities among unskilled labourers, but fewer than usual, owing to extensive crop damage.

(b) Since September, under EMOP 10380, Assistance to Flood Affected People in Bangladesh, a total of 600,000 primary school children have continued to receive High Energy Biscuits, and the monthly utilization is around 1,000 tons.

(c) Preparations for the Supplementary Feeding Programme are ongoing. Distribution is expected to start on 15 December and to continue for 6 months. A one-off distribution of vegetable oil from the Government of Bangladesh will be carried out either on or before this date

(d) Plans to continue Vulnerable Group Rehabilitation distributions for December have been dropped, owing to the unavailability of resources.

(e) Resourcing levels of the EMOP remain largely inadequate, representing only 32 percent (up 2 percent since last week) of the total programme needs.

2) DPR Korea

(a) Under EMOP 10141.02, Emergency Assistance for Vulnerable Groups, some 17 factories out of 19 Local Food Production factories were operational during the reporting period. However, monitoring of the CMB factory in Huichon was not possible due to the inaccessibility of Chagang province. Production for the last week of November was 1,300 tons, which is below the weekly EMOP average.

(b) In accordance with the strict 'no access, no food' policy, WFP has informed the Government that starting from 1 December, all food deliveries to Chagang Province will be suspended for three months.

(c) With the recent arrival of large contributions, WFP is for the first time in two years able to feed all 6.5 million targeted beneficiaries with planned rations. Substantive new pledges will allow WFP to continue this support through May 2005, with the exception of oil that will run out as early as January for some beneficiary groups. However, shipments of rice should be expedited to avoid pipeline breaks in December-January.

3) Myanmar

(a) Last week, WFP opened a new sub-office in Magway for PRRO 10066.2, Assistance to Returnees and Vulnerable groups in North Rakhine State and Magway Division (Dry Zone) of Myanmar, in Magway Division. The opening was followed by an induction workshop for the potential cooperating partner NGOs and new WFP staff who will start the operation in six selected townships. Eight potential partners attended the workshop and a tentative plan for division of project area and selection of project activities were agreed upon between partners.

(b) In Northern Rakhine State, a total of some 475 tons of rice has been distributed to over 9,025 beneficiaries through vulnerable group feeding, food-for-education and food-for-work activities. Under food-for-education, school children were given a three months ration of food due to pipeline problems. In addition, in Northern Shan State (NSS), under EMOP 10345.0, Emergency Food Assistance to Ex-Poppy farmers in Northern Shan State, a total of 475 tons of rice was distributed to 31,325 beneficiaries during the month of October, through food-for-work, food-for-education and vulnerable group feeding. Under the community home based care project, a total of 12 tons was distributed to about 905 beneficiaries (181 households) living with HIV/AIDS and other chronically ill patients in central Dry zone.

(c) WFP organized a HIV awareness programme for 23 volunteers, with the technical support from AMDA in Laukkai. The Cooperating Partners sent 2 or 3 volunteers for each distribution point, and these have been trained as HIV awareness workers. A drawing competition for school children was organised by WFP to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and formed part of the 1 December-World AIDS Day campaign of the Ministry of Health.

(d) WFP also conducted a technical workshop for the forthcoming food-for-work activities, especially for Cooperating Partners, at Laukkai areas.

H) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Bolivia, (2) Colombia, (3) Guatemala, (4) Haiti, (5) Nicaragua.

1) Bolivia

(a) Despite the denials of the military intelligence service and judicial sources, rumours about a possible coup in Bolivia were strong, following a series of explosions. The security situation in Bolivia may get tense, as Municipal Elections are approaching (December 5th).

(b) Since 29 November, the national strike of the international freight transport sector, requesting value added tax exemption, has blocked roads close to four strategic national borders: Chile (Tambo Quemado), Argentina (Yacuiba), Brazil (Puerto Suarez) and Peru (Desaguadero). The strike and road blockades may affect WFP commodity deliveries, mainly wheat flour, to warehouses in several departments.

(c) The announced El Alto civic strike was suspended as this city reached an agreement with the Government last weekend.

(d) WFP finalized the distributions of the El Chaco drought and Cochabamba frost IRA-EMOP on 28 November, assisting approximately 8,600 families with food that is expected to last until the first half of December. Distributions in the El Chaco region will be continued under EMOP 10392.0, Prolonged Drought in the El Chaco region. The tender process to purchase the commodities locally has been initiated. It is expected that food will be delivered to the counterpart's warehouses by mid December in order to be able to continue the distributions to the affected families without interruptions.

2) Colombia

(a) New displacements were reported in the province of Antioquia. At least 950 people from rural areas, mainly children, were forced to flee to the municipality of Ituango for fear of being trapped in the warfare between armed groups. Killings due to clashes between rival illegal armed groups were also reported from the department of Choco. A bomb planted by suspected rebels exploded at a city office in Bogota killing one person and wounding six. WFP Colombia develops activities in these areas, but no security incidents affecting its operations have been reported.

(b) Colombia's worst rainy season since 1996 and a Pacific earthquake, keep causing floods and landslides, leaving some 20 people dead and over 335,000 homeless in 25 of the 32 provinces. At least 8,000 people in Santa Marta, capital city of the Magdalena Province, were affected in the last two days, as well as an undetermined number of families in the province of Choco.

(c) Some 450 Colombian paramilitaries handed over their weapons as an initial gesture in a peace deal in the north-eastern town of Turbo, Province of Antioquia.

(d) In the context of the PRRO 10158, Assistance to People Displaced by Violence, WFP distributed a total of some 175 tons of food to 18,935 people in 11 provinces. These commodities were distributed in Pre-School and School Feeding activities, Community Kitchens and Food-for-Work activities. Kitchen utensils for school and preeschool feeding projects and community kitchens were distributed in the Province of Santander.

3) Guatemala

(a) Two tremors of 3.9 and 3.3 magnitude in the Richter scale were felt in Guatemala's central region, including the provinces of Sacatepéquez, Chimaltenango and Guatemala. No damage or injuries were reported.

(b) In commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, several hundreds of women marched in Guatemala's capital, demanding protection and justice for the victims of violence. During 2004, around 450 women died as victims of violent incidents, noticeably more than the previous year.

(c) WFP assessed the performance of the second harvest or "postrera" in drought-prone areas with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Social Investment Fund, FAO, the Mesoamerican Food Security Early Warning System, and local authorities. Then assessment reported losses of corn and bean crops.

(d) The Ministry of Agriculture and private organizations have responded with food aid to the affected areas and the local response capacity seems to be adequate. There is concern, however, that the accumulated impact of crop losses this year, and possible additional losses next year as a result of an announced, albeit weak, "El Niño" phenomenon, may have a significant impact on vulnerable sectors of the population.

(e) The Government School Feeding Programme will contribute 1 quetzal (approximately USD 0.13 cents) daily for each child during the school year January-October 2005 for school breakfast and snacks. In addition, parents will be trained on food and nutrition.

4) Haiti

(a) The entire country remains in UN security phase III. Reports note increasing common crime and/or political violence in the areas of Port au Prince, Gonaives, Port de Paix and the North West of the country. Humanitarian activities have been affected by insecurity during most of the month of November: such as an incident with a WHO car that was held up at gunpoint and robbed. Various attacks on schools, banks and cars took also place. In and around Gonaives, attacks and looting of different NGO vehicles affected several CARE pick-up and trucks; a CARE ambulance carrying drugs for the Red Cross; an ACF Action Contre la Faim (ACF) truck; as well as an ADRA truck. In Cap Haitien, tension between the population and the Haitian police resulted in two civilians being killed. (b) Because of the strike among the custom authorities of the port of Port-a-Prince since 30 November, WFP still has some 200 containers of food at the port.

(c) During the past week, WFP food convoys continued to reach Gonaïves, without any incidents, at a rate of two convoys per week. Each convoy included 20 trucks carrying a total of 150 tons of food. WFP's implementing partner, CARE, distributed 150 tons of food to about 28,490 beneficiaries, affected by the floods in Gonaïves. Also during the past week, a total of some 335 tons of food were distributed at health centres and schools in the West, North and North-East Departments. A modified ration was used in order to use the stocks available within the country (CER was reduced and CSB was increased).

(d) Implementing partners in Cap Haitien, Mont-Organisé, and Capotille were trained in organizing school feeding and de-worming activities.

5) Nicaragua

(a) The country is facing another political crisis as the Parliament approved a constitutional reform which reduces the executive power of the Government. The reform has to be ratified in another parliamentary session to become effective. Due to the country's long-lasting institutional crisis, the international community expressed its concern and conditioned the continuation of its financial support on improved governance and independence of the legal system.

(b) During the past week, a WFP mission to the municipalities Matagalpa and Jinotega found a worsening food security situation in the areas affected by the coffee crisis, caused by rising prices of the food basket and lack of job opportunities in the coffee plantations.

(c) According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the prognostics of the second harvest are positive. Nevertheless, the Mesoamerican Food Security Early Warning System (MFEWS) reported reduced levels of soil moisture in the north-eastern area. These were a consequence of the drought during the first planting period and could negatively affect the harvest. WFP is monitoring the situation.

(d) WFP continued to distribute food in the context of PRRO 10212.0, covering a total of 78,960 school children. In addition, over 10,025 vulnerable children under 2 years of age, some 8,730 expectant and nursing women, and 2,000 poor rural families in the northern and central region of the country are being assisted under the regular programme.

(e) WFP in Nicaragua will face shortfalls for its PRRO through April 2005, beginning in January, of rice (470 tons) and beans (280 tons) in March; of vegetable oil (130 tons) and maize (some 570 tons). If no commodities are announced in the coming months or those that are announced arrive late, this PRRO will face serious pipeline breaks during the second quarter of the year 2005.

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