WFP Emergency Report No. 50 of 2004

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 10 Dec 2004


(A) Highlights
(B) Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Iraq

(C) East and Central Africa: (1) Burundi, (2) DR Congo, (3) Eritrea, (4) Ethiopia, (5) Rwanda, (6) Sudan, (7) Tanzania, (8) Uganda

(D) West Africa: (1) Chad, (2) Cote d'Ivoire, (3) Liberia, (4) Mauritania

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

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

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

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:

  • Due to insecurity, WFP continues to suspend temporarily its operations in North Darfur, except for those in Kebkabiyah, Kuttum and the state capital, El Fasher.
  • WFP provides food assistance in support of the recently started demobilization process of ex-combatants in Burundi
  • Following the rehabilitation of the railway on the Kisangani-Ubundu axis in DRC, to which WFP had contributed, access was given to over 100,000 vulnerable people. Consequently food distributions to malnourished children and their families could be resumed.

B) Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Iraq

1) Afghanistan

(a) Hamid Karzai was sworn in as Afghanistan's first democratically elected president on 7 December at the heavily fortified presidential palace in Kabul, amid threats by the ousted Taliban to disrupt the ceremony. A rocket landed in Bagrami district south of Kabul but caused no injuries. The security situation remained relatively calm throughout other areas of the country.

(b) From 2 to 8 December, some 617,855 beneficiaries received over 5,135 tons of food.

(c) The Government, UN agencies and NGOs met in Kandahar for the purpose of improving their coordination so that they could respond more effectively to the prevailing food insecurity in the region. Southern Afghanistan is one of the most severely drought-affected regions of the country and has a large number of internally displaced persons (IDPs). WFP briefed partners about its ongoing relief and recovery activities aimed at re-establishing livelihoods and household food security.

(d) To effectively implement food-for-work (FFW) projects in Karukh district of Hirat, the Department of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (DRRD) assisted WFP in monitoring the construction of roads, canals and Karezes (underground irrigation channels). In Jawzjan province, the DRRD conducted an assessment of refugees and IDPs on 5 December, identifying almost 1385 vulnerable households. All these families will be assisted through phase IV of the so-called Ogata Initiative, for a period of three months.

2) Iraq

(a) Recent events in Iraq have led to an increase in humanitarian needs in some crisis areas.

(b) Dispatches of the 1.6 million tons of food that WFP had procured in support to the Public Distribution System (PDS) in April this year are now complete. Reports indicate that PDS food distribution to all Iraqis was successfully carried out in most governorates for November, though shortages in some commodities are reported. WFP continues monitoring in all 18 Iraqi governorates, though information gathering in some governorates continues to be hindered by insecurity.

(c) The Minister of Planning and Development Cooperation has approved the establishment of a Vulnerability Assessment Unit in the Central Organization for Statistics and Information Technology (COSIT). WFP is working closely with Ministry officials on the terms of reference for the unit. In addition, WFP will provide training on Vulnerability Assessment Mapping (VAM) for COSIT staff.

(d) The Steering Committee of the International Reconstruction Facility Fund for Iraq approved a project, submitted by WFP, on safety nets and assistance to vulnerable groups, which will be implemented as part of WFP's emergency operation in Iraq.

(e) Following the training of trainers workshops held in Amman in October, workshop participants (members of programme management units) have started Emergency Operation (EMOP) implementation training in a number of governorates. Prior to food distribution, it is expected that more than 8,000 Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) members, as well as staff of Community Child Care Units (CCCUs) and Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC), will be trained in order to manage the operation at the community level.

C) East and Central Africa: (1) Burundi, (2) DR Congo, (3) Eritrea, (4) Ethiopia, (5) Rwanda, (6) Sudan, (7) Tanzania, (8) Uganda

1) Burundi

(a) Sporadic skirmishes between the national army or CNDD-FDD and the FNL rebels were reported in Bujumbura Rural. Criminality continued in various locations, including Bujumbura and Ngozi towns.

(b) Burundi's demobilization process started with 216 ex-combatants from both the national army and the former rebel groups, in Muramvya province. A bundle of light weapons was symbolically burnt by the President and the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General in Burundi, to launch the process. WFP started the delivery of food assistance to the three demobilization centres.

(c) Between 29 November and 5 December, WFP distributed a total of over 1,495 tons of food aid to 205,900 beneficiaries through different programme activities. Targeted food distributions reached more than 154,800 beneficiaries with some 1,235 tons of food assistance in Karuzi, Bujumbura Rural, Gitega and Rutana provinces. Emergency wet feeding was also organized for about 1,335 most vulnerable displaced persons in Kabezi commune of Bujumbura Rural province. All distributions were conducted without problems. In Bugendana commune of Gitega province, some 1,935 beneficiaries were not notified in time and were not present at the distribution point. The distribution was postponed. WFP also supplied nearly 70 tons of food assistance to some 11,645 malnourished persons in nutritional centres located in Ngozi, Ngozi and Ruyigi provinces.

(d) All targeted distributions were monitored and no major problems were reported. However, the monitors reported several cases of vulnerable persons that were not included in food distribution lists in Karusi province. They advised local committees to review the beneficiary lists again and to include those vulnerable persons. In Bujumbura Rural province, particularly in Kabezi commune, monitors reported the presence of local traders at the distribution site.

(e) Deliveries from the regional stocks and purchases need to be regularly reviewed and implemented, to prevent stock ruptures. Pipeline breaks are still anticipated for various commodities in the coming months, but no major distribution problems or delays are anticipated.

(f) A USAID mission including FFP, OTI, OFDA and Development (from Nairobi and Washington) completed its visit to Burundi. A meeting with WFP and a visit to one WFP project site were included in their itinerary. WFP also met with the visiting donor representatives from Germany and Netherlands.

2) D.R. Congo

(a) There was no improvement in the volatile security situation in eastern DRC. Armed confrontations between opposing militia groups were reported in the Ituri district. Looting of villages by various warring factions continued in North Kivu province. Fear of clashes between Rwandan soldiers and militia groups triggered several movements of displacement. WFP's cooperating partner Médecins Sans Frontières-France reported the influx of farmers from areas east of Lubero to the South (Miriki, Kanyabayonga, Kirumba and Luofu). Meanwhile, an estimated number of 46,000 people from the Walikale territory are said to have fled into the rain forest.

(b) A total of some 1,090 tons were provided to some 126,585 eligible beneficiaries in Lubumbashi, Kalemie, Goma, Bukavu, Kindu, Bunia and Kisangani. Most of the beneficiaries were IDPs assisted through general food distributions and seeds protection packages, and malnourished children and their families.

(c) The resumption of railway traffic on the Kisangani-Ubundu axis in the Oriental province was a major achievement for the humanitarian community as it gives access to over 100,000 vulnerable people. WFP contributed to the rehabilitation of the railway through the support of food-for-work activities. The inaugural humanitarian rail convoy took place on 3 December. The train was loaded with 30 tons of WFP food and other NGOs/UN agencies non-food items (NFIs) for the vulnerable populations. The supplying of WFP food to cooperating partners in the Maniema province allowed the resumption of food distribution to malnourished children and their families in nutrition centres.

(d) During the past week, flights of WFP humanitarian air passenger service were inaugurated. The humanitarian air service has been planned to operate for an initial period of nine months. The air fleet includes two aircrafts, of which one is stationed in Kinshasa and the other in Goma. The Special Operation will function on a partial recovery mode from its users, therefore leaving USD 2.9 million to be resourced through donors contributions.

3) Eritrea

(a) The Joint FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission finished its work in Eritrea on 3 December. In a de-briefing with donors and diplomatic missions, the national crop production was indicated to be lower than last year. At the same time, the Mission estimated that imports and carry-over stocks would be higher than expected, suggesting that despite the low domestic crop production, food aid requirements would remain more or less unchanged. The Mission's final report will be released in the course of this month with precise figures.

(b) Basic food commodities such as liquid milk, sugar, wheat and wheat flour remain unavailable in the eastern part of the country. Edible oil cannot be found in western Eritrea, and the price of local wheat has risen by more than 70 percent. Other cereals are also more costly, but the increase has not been so sharp.

(c) WFP welcomed the arrival of 42,500 tons of wheat to help alleviate the suffering of 600,000 Eritreans suffering from drought, as well as of an additional 300,000 people suffering from the effects of war and its economic impact. The wheat will support WFP's emergency and recovery operations in the particularly hard-hit areas of Gash Barka, Debub and Anseba, where nearly one million people depend on food assistance for their survival.

(d) Due to the persisting fuel crisis WFP's field monitoring remains temporarily suspended. The shortage also seriously delays food aid distributions through WFP's logistics counterpart, the Eritrean Relief and Refugee Commission (ERREC).

(e) Following a request of the ERREC, food assistance for 1,000 returnees has been pre-positioned in Tessenai, located in the western part of the country, close to its border with Sudan. On 2 December, a first convoy arrived consisting of 6 individuals. The arrival of more returnees from Port Sudan will be confirmed at a later stage.

(f) The resourcing situation for the PRRO 10192.0 has remained unchanged. Commitment coverage stands at about 50 percent of the estimated food requirements. As for the EMOP, WFP received a contribution of approximately USD 1.27 million, increasing the funding of this operation to USD 29.4 million or 84,909 tons of food commodities. This amount covers almost 80 percent of this operation's total resource requirements.

4) Ethiopia

(a) The annual FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission teams finished their field work and debriefed with the UN country team, donors, Ministry of Agriculture, Central Statistics Authority, other government offices, and NGOs on 6 and 7 December.

(b) The Mission's conclusions regarding cropping areas of the country are that total area cultivated has increased in nearly all parts of the country, except in Tigray and parts of Wollo in Amhara Region and East and West Hararghe. While production is down in these areas, and in certain other lowland areas, yields have increased in many other parts of the country. The rainfall pattern, while late in onset in some areas, was generally favourable for crop production. Agricultural inputs have increased, with significantly higher amounts of improved seed and fertilizer being purchased, especially in the areas that traditionally produce local surpluses.

(c) A FAO/WFP Special Report with total harvest estimates will be issued in January. The report will also incorporate findings of the multi-agency needs assessment teams led by the government's Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC), which will also be released separately in coming weeks. Food insecurity among vulnerable people in various parts of the country remains a serious concern. This includes some of the cropping areas covered by the FAO/WFP Mission and pastoral areas, which were assessed in more depth under the DPPC-led assessment.

(d) With the Oromiya regional authorities, the federal DPPC and UN agencies, WFP recently participated in an assessment of conditions in resettlement sites in western and southern parts of Oromiya Region. Several of the locations visited had been inaccessible during the main season rains of June to September. Conditions have improved in some areas, but most sites will continue to need some support and close monitoring, especially where harvests were reported not sufficient to provide a full year of food supplies for settler families. WFP, in consultation with donors, had provided over 1,090 tons of pulses, some 315 tons of oil and about 1,720 tons of blended food to cover urgent needs for the period June to September, following concerns earlier in the year; these foods supplemented the cereal rations supplied by the regional authorities. More recently, the regional food security office has purchased and distributed blended food to vulnerable groups in resettlement sites and further food purchases are being considered by the Oromiya regional authorities.

(e) A press release has been issued by WFP to bring attention to the shortfall in funding for the refugee operations under PRRO 10127.1. This follows an appeal made to donors on 5 November, which has not elicited response so far. Donors are asked to make urgently needed pledges. Currently the total numbers stand at 118,000 refugees, including Somali, Sudanese and Eritrean refugees. Plans for repatriation of remaining Somali refugees in Ayisha camp in Shinille in northern Somali Region will be delayed if supplies to cover repatriation food packages are not available. Urgent requirements are 8,000 tons of cereals, 400 tons of oil, 100 tons pulses, 50 tons each of salt and blended foods. The total value of these commodities, including all costs, is estimated at USD 4.2 million. WFP will face a cereal shortfall for this operation as early as February, followed by oil, pulses and blended foods in March and April 2005. Because of the imminent shortfall for cereals, WFP will reduce rations by 30 percent starting in January 2005.

5) Rwanda

(a) As far as the current tension between DRC and Rwanda is concerned, the Government of Rwanda still denies crossing the border into DRC. The security situation in all camps remained calm during the reporting week.

(b) There has been an increase of 636 new refugees in six camps. Only Nyagatare camp has not shown any change. During the previous two weeks the number of refugees stabilized by an overall increase of one percent; this week is marked by an increase of 1.4 percent (636 new refugees) compared to the previous week.

(c) As reported by UNHCR, there are now 1,152 refugees registered in Gisenyi, with 312 new arrivals from Congo. Following the arrival of 22 refugees, there are 20,004 refugees officially registered at Gihembe camp in Byumba. These include 18,329 refugees, who have already received ration cards. A total of 1,675 additional refugees have been recently recognized by UNHCR and the National Council as eligible for ration cards.

(d) The total number of Congolese refugees in Rwanda as at 8 December stands 42,291, which is 417 higher than the previous week. As for the total number of Burundian refugees in Rwanda, the number as at 8 December stands at 3,015 or up by 219 from the previous week.

6) Sudan

(a) Despite widespread insecurity in the Darfur region of western Sudan, WFP managed to deliver more than 22,000 tons of food aid to nearly 1.3 million people during November. People fed by WFP across Darfur received a balanced and complete food basket, which met their daily energy requirements: an important improvement since September when food delivered was short of a full ration.

(b) The assistance reached 127,000 more people than were fed in October, when armed clashes, civil unrest and banditry restricted WFP deliveries to only 1.1 million of the 1.6 million people confirmed by WFP to be in need in Darfur.

(c) Insecurity, however, remained a serious concern this week. WFP continues to temporarily suspend operations in North Darfur, except for those in the state capital of El Fasher, Kebkabiyah and Kutum, following resurgence of clashes between government and rebel forces two weeks ago. All UN operations from areas north of Sirbah to the north of El Geneina remain temporarily suspended, as the areas are NO GO. Highly unpredictable banditry remains a concern in South Darfur, where fighting between government and SLA forces around the village of Adwah has prompted renewed internal displacement of residents over the past week.

(d) As of 6 December, a total of over 5,030 tons of food has been despatched by road, rail and air from hubs in Khartoum and El Obeid to the Darfur state capitals. Some 3,640 tons of food were despatched to an estimated 208,115 beneficiaries (based of despatches) from Area Offices (AOs) to Cooperating Partners (CPs). In spite of heightened insecurity in November, WFP despatched about 29,535 tons of commodities from hubs in Khartoum and El Obeid to the Darfur state capitals, representing a 16 percent increase compared to October.

(e) The in-country WFP/FAO Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission is underway in the Darfurs. The mission will collect data on crop production and conduct market surveys in the three states over the next few weeks.

(f) WFP held a meeting with all CPs in Khartoum during the week, to discuss registration, new field level agreements and payments. The meeting included a briefing by IOM on the agreed upon registration form by the working group which included IOM, WFP, OCHA, SC-US, CARE, Sudanese Red Crescent, Norwegian Refugee Council and Danish Refugee Council. The forms, which will be implemented in 2005 for consistency in camp registration, will be linked to a centralised system for IOM to cross check information. Participants were also informed of the 25 critical areas, mostly close to urban centres, which require re-registration and verification. WFP also provided samples of ration cards to NGOs. The ration card includes areas for food and non-food distributions which CPs can use in future food/non-food distributions.

(g) The loss of productive assets, poor levels of cultivation, expectations of a poor harvest and high food crop prices will seriously affect the livelihoods of IDPs and a portion of the resident population in the Darfurs in 2005. The emergency operation therefore urgently needs resources to meet the needs of the affected population. In particular, the cereals pipeline is in need of additional resources to immediately repay outstanding loans and to avoid a break in February 2005. Confirmed contributions received to date against the current EMOP amount to USD 181,201,841, 89 percent of the total requirement (project ends 31 Dec 2004). The majority of Special Operations (SOs) are fairly well-funded (92 percent resourced). However, SO 10364.0 (inter-agency security telecommunications network) is now on hold until more funds are secured.

(h) Programming and coordination issues between the Northern and Southern Sectors of Sudan are currently taking place as part of the preparation and finalization of the next phase of EMOP 10048.3 to cover the East. As per the UN Workplan, this EMOP is broken down by geographical clusters; South, East (Kassala and Red Sea state) and the Transitional Zones (Abyei, Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile). The beneficiary categories include a) vulnerable residents (conflict and climate-affected populations); b) internally displaced (IDPs); and c) Refugee and IDP returnees.

(i) The Annual Needs Assessment 2004/2005 results and preliminary indications from the FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment suggest that cereal harvests have suffered from late and erratic rains and that the lack of seasonal flooding in the South has limited the availability of fish and wild foods. The combination of poor nutrition indicators and a below normal cereal harvest places populations in South Sudan, Transitional Areas, Kordofan and White Nile States and the East in an extremely vulnerable situation. Food assistance will therefore be required to maintain the nutritional status of those most vulnerable. The expected return of approximately 755,000 IDPs and refugee will further necessitate food assistance in the form of a 15-day transit package and a resettlement package to help them rebuild their lives.

7) Tanzania

(a) The repatriation of Burundian refugees is expected to remain low until early 2005. The decline is attributed to the refugees' perception of insecurity in Burundi and the recent postponement of Burundian elections. Meanwhile, as civil strife continues in eastern DRC, no Congolese refugees are expected to repatriate in 2004 or 2005. The beneficiary level therefore is expected to remain around 400,000 until political tensions in the Great Lakes Region subside.

(b) Due to late donor contributions, 2004 local purchases have been delayed, missing the optimal time of year to purchase in Tanzania. This resulted in less tonnage per dollar reducing overall planned pipeline figures. Furthermore, due to local supplier default, WFP was unable to procure 509 tons of maize as planned. Another 440 tons of damaged in-kind maize (damage occurred in transit) put the pipeline at further risk in 2004. The end result, implemented on 25 October, is the current 25 percent ration reduction of general distributions, which has prevented a total pipeline break. Although this has temporary prolonged food availability to the beneficiaries, the pipeline will break for the following commodities if contributions are not received immediately: (i) CSB, vegetable oil, salt in February 2005, and (ii) cereals in March 2005. These pipeline breaks are based on full rations, starting again in February 2005.

(c) To mitigate the impact of the ration cuts, supplementary and therapeutic feeding programmes would have to be increased thus requiring more resources in this area. Nutritional impact could result in acute global malnutrition jumping over the 5 percent mark, chronic malnutrition oscillating between 37 and 41.5 percent as well as the prevalence of anaemia would be much higher than acceptable at 30 percent in pregnant women and 35 percent in children under 5 years. The latest Joint Assessment Mission's recommendation to supplement the general ration of pulses can not be introduced either without additional resources. Unrest in the camps is very common when ration cuts are made or when food is not available, especially in terms of domestic violence. Refugees will also sell their assets to cope with the food shortage.

8) Uganda

(a) The ceasefire declared by the Government of Uganda (GoU) on 14 November remains in place and has been extended to 15 December, although the designated safe zone for the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has been reduced to 100 sq. km. Betty Bigombe, a former Minster for northern Uganda, who is mediating between the GoU and the LRA, together with a delegation of Acholi cultural leaders and elders, met with LRA commanders on 7 December. The security situation in Gulu, Kitgum, Pader and Lira districts remains relatively stable, although the LRA continues to attack civilians and loot property.

(b) The UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Jan Egeland, visited Uganda from 7 to 8 December .He held discussions with the President of Uganda regarding the humanitarian situation among the displaced population in northern Uganda and the current peace effort; he also met with the UN Country Team. In addition Dennis McNamara, the Special Adviser of the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator on Internal Displacement and Director of the Inter-Agency Internal Displacement Division of OCHA in Geneva, visited Uganda on 6 December to review preparations for a protection strategy and a plan for return of IDPs in northern Uganda.

(c) Results from the African Development and Emergency Organisation (ADEO) October nutrition survey in Palorinya refugee settlement in Moyo district indicate a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate of 6.9 percent among children under 5; results of the German Development Agency (ded) October nutrition survey in Madi Okollo refugee settlement Arua district indicate a GAM rate of 6.8 percent among children under 5.

(d) WFP food distributions continue to reach over 1.4 million displaced persons, 154,000 refugees and other vulnerable persons. During the period from 28 November to 4 December, about 3,910 tons of WFP relief food assistance was distributed to some 251,310 persons including IDPs sheltering in camps in Gulu and Pader districts in the northern Acholi sub-region; refugees, school children and other vulnerable persons.

(e) WFP faces a shortfall of 31,273 tons of food commodities (20,828 tons cereals, 3,672 tons pulses, 6,064 tons fortified blended foods, 529 tons vegetable oil and 180 tons sugar) with a funding gap of USD 17 million, required to maintain the food pipeline necessary to continue providing relief assistance to IDPs and refugees through May next year.

D) West Africa: (1) Chad, (2) Cote d'Ivoire, (3) Liberia, (4) Mauritania

1) Chad

(a) On 6 December, five people were reportedly killed overnight after their vehicle was attacked by bandits between Guereda and Abeche. Tension was also reported in Kodongo village (between Iriba and Tine), following a clash on 2 December between Zaghawa tribesmen and Tama men (an armed group of approx. 600 men). The confrontation left 3 dead and some 30 others wounded. The Government has reportedly taken security measures following alleged threats from the Tama group, who although not officially classified as rebels, are said to pose a security threat in the area. Presidential guard units, gendarmes and other paramilitary have been deployed in the area along the border. This deployment so far has no immediate effect on WFP and other humanitarian operations in the area.

(b) The latest estimated caseload reported by UNHCR totals some 201,535 refugees. This comprises of about 201,035 refugees in camps and some 500 refugees to be transferred from the border. UNHCR reported that refugees previously living in Tine have joined the camps, following the closure of the market place there.

(c) WFP has started the first cycle of December distributions in central and southern camps and has distributed some 712.615 tons of general food rations to 103,231 beneficiaries. The Blanket Supplementary Feeding programme is expected to start next week. Given slow cargo arrivals from Benghazi, WFP will carry out two distribution cycles in December. WFP expects to resume the normal distribution cycle effective January 2005.

(d) WFP is expected to receive some 1,750 tons of mixed commodities via the Libyan corridor and some 210 tons of sorghum from Nigeria by the end of the week.

(e) During the month of November, WFP UN Humanitarian Air Services (HAS) delivered some 5.1 tons of medical supplies for MSF Belgium from N'Djamena to Abéché and some 0.15 ton from Abeche to Iriba. WFP HAS also transported some 780 passengers via the N'Djamena-Abeche and Abeche-Iriba routings. WFP continues to operate the weekly regional flight on the N'Djamena-Yaoundé-Bangui routing.

(f) The final report of the Rapid Emergency Food Needs Assessment Mission for host communities in Eastern Chad is being finalised and will be released soon. Main findings of the mission are that the food security and living conditions of the local populations have been adversely affected by drought, refugee influx, locusts and insecurity. Despite the post harvest period, the price of cereal is very high in local markets and food stocks at house hold/community levels in most areas are insignificant. Alongside food insecurity, the local populations are facing water scarcity and health problems. Key recommendations of the mission include: (i) the immediate provision of general food rations to 117,200 affected people, and food-for-work interventions for 3,600 households until June 2005; (ii) provision of Seed Protection rations is planned for over 23,500 farm families.

(g) Action Contre la Faim (ACF) is planning to start a nutritional survey programme in the refugee camps and in the surrounding host communities using the same medical centres in the area. The survey will collect data on the nutritional status of children under five, measles vaccination coverage and retrospective mortality (3 months). The survey will begin on 13 December in Treguine camp and neighbouring local communities, and is expected to be completed by February. Preliminary results will be shared following each survey. A WFP nutritionist will participate in the survey programme.

2) Cote d'Ivoire

(a) On Monday, South Africa President Thabo Mbeki finished a four-day mission to Cote d'Ivoire. He announced that all sides in the Cote d'Ivoire conflict have agreed on a new peace plan. The new plan, based on the Marcoussis plan, includes timelines for implementing the measures, although the dates have not yet been made public.

(b) Albert Tévoédjrè, head of the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) and Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, announced his resignation on 24 November. His resignation will be effective at the end of the month, or when he is replaced.

(c) All WFP sub-offices are open and functional. During the past week, 240 tons of various food commodities were distributed to over 6,000 people.

(d) WFP's Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation for 2005, PRRO 10372.0, still has received no contributions. 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. The possibility of pipeline breaks in early 2005 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) Liberia

(a) Repatriation and resettlement of refugees and IDPs is continuing; since the start of the UN facilitated resettlement exercise in October, WFP has assisted some 4,000 IDPs and 3,400 refugees with a total of 250 tons of food commodities as a two months return package upon arrival at the way stations. The second trench of the two months' ration will be provided to the returnees in the communities they will resettle. The resettlement of refugees is currently taking place in the three counties of Grand Cape Mount, Bong and Montserrado Counties. For IDP's, the resettlement is presently taking place only in Grand Cape Mount County, due to logistic constraints with transporting the returnees. WFP is working very closely with its partner agencies to help expand the resettlement to other counties, and increase convoy movements to expedite the resettlement process.

(b) From 1 to 7 December, 700 tons of food were distributed to 64,000 beneficiaries in Liberia.

(c) During the week, a joint monitoring team comprised of WFP, German Agro Action (GAA) and Ministry of Education officials, carried out assessment visits to 5 IDP schools benefiting from the WFP Feeding Programme in Montserrado County. The mission verified the information related to non-stable enrolment figures and assessed the compliance to the implementation guidelines for the School Feeding Programme. Principals from the schools explained that due to the resettlement process, students that are repatriated from the IDP camps keep coming back to the IDP schools, hence causing unstable and fluctuating beneficiary figures in the schools. It is therefore recommended that a stronger coordination be developed between the school authorities and the repatriation team, to guard against this practice.

(d) The food security and nutrition survey data collection in Bomi County by WFP and its partners (World Vision, Save the Children and government counterparts) has been completed. Preliminary findings reveal that Bomi County is in dire need of basic infrastructures. Except for the mobile clinics, most parts of the county lack health facilities. Lack of educational facilities and shelter were reported to be some of the major problems faced by the resettling population. Although the survey was conducted in what should be typically a harvesting season, there was little harvest reported because people have only started to resettle in their communities and more people are waiting in IDP camps preparing for return. The majority of the population in Bomi Country has not yet embarked on reliable sources of livelihood, resulting in a high reliance on humanitarian assistance. This survey will provide baseline data on health & nutrition and on the food security situation in the county, in order to assist the planning and proper WFP targeting of aid interventions.

(e) 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.

4) Mauritania

(a) According to a FAO/CILSS/WFP crop assessment, the 2004 cereal production will be 36 percent below the 5 year average. The lean period will be longer and more severe than in a normal year. The livelihood of Mauritanians is threatened by three factors: locust infestation, seed access problems, and deterioration in the terms of trade for animal owners. A VAM survey has indicated that 60 percent of households are vulnerable to food insecurity.

(b) On the 23rd of November, the Government of Mauritania made an urgent food appeal for 84,000 tons of cereals and 27,000 tons of supplementary products. In addition, the Government has requested 135,000 tons of cattle feed, as most Mauritanians in rural areas rely heavily on their livestock for survival. The Government is also planning on doing subsidized sales of 100,000 tons of wheat.

(c) WFP and the Government are in the process of signing a Letter of Understanding for PRRO 10359.0 that will assist drought affected people. As the required tonnage for the operation has been increased from 30,000 to 50,000 tons of food, and because 60 more structurally vulnerable communes will be targeted, the PRRO budget will be revised accordingly.

(d) WFP is undertaking the evaluation of the operational capacity of implementing NGOs, in view of the forthcoming start of the PRRO food distributions. A major warehouse clean-up is underway in preparation for the arrival of the commodities that will be provided through the PRRO. There is ongoing warehouse management training for all warehouse managers.

(e) WFP's food-for-work programme is initiating its second delivery of 1500 tons of food for 2004, which will benefit 30,000 people.

(f) Some donations have started coming in to cover the cost of PRRO 10359.0. However, the PRRO is facing an imminent pipeline break, with only 5 percent of requirements having been committed by donors.

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

1) Regional

(a) According to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Drought Monitoring Centre, most of the countries in the SADC region have registered a total rainfall of between 0 and 90 mm so far this season. Dry pockets of less than 30 mm were recorded over Namibia, southern parts of South Africa, and central Zimbabwe. However, heavy rains were recorded in north-eastern Mozambique last week, resulting in temporary flooding in some areas. The African Weather Hazards Assessment reported that the outlook for the period from March to May 2005 indicates below normal rainfall across southern Mozambique. WFP continues to monitor the rainfall trends and possible impact on regional food security next year.

(b) About USD 171 million is urgently sought to support local and regional procurement of food for the first six months of the regional Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) 10310, Assistance to Populations in Southern Africa Vulnerable to Food Insecurity and the Impact of AIDS, in 2005.

2) Angola

(a) On 3 December, the Angolan Government contributed USD 4 million of the USD 7.5 million pledged for PRRO 10054.2., Support to Return and Resettlement. The PRRO urgently requires about USD 53 million to purchase 88,000 tons of food for distribution to returnees, through to the end of 2005.

3) Lesotho

(a) From 1 to 7 December, WFP and implementing partners distributed about 400 tons of food to 29,000 vulnerable people, including children less than five years of age; people affected by HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis and their families; pregnant and nursing mothers; and orphans.

4) Malawi

(a) From 1 to 8 December, WFP distributed 1,300 tons of food in collaboration with implementing partners in Malawi. From January to June 2005, WFP plans to assist a peak caseload of 1.17 million drought-affected people in southern Malawi, who will be unable to meet their food needs through to the next harvest. WFP, under its PRRO 10310, will also assist 168,000 chronically poor and food-insecure people in Malawi.

5) Mozambique

(a) In November, WFP and its partners distributed some 2,000 tons of food to about 97,000 beneficiaries. Last week, 480 tons were dispatched under the emergency relief operation.

6) Namibia

(a) About 480 refugees were repatriated by road from Osire refugee camp in the first week of December, bringing the number of repatriated refugees to 4,300 since EMOP 10145.1, Assistance to Angolan Refugees in Namibia, started in May 2004. WFP provides food rations during the repatriation process.

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

7) Zambia

(a) This week WFP launched a local food purchase operation, following Zambia's surplus harvest in 2004. In 2005, WFP plans to increase the amount of food purchase in Zambia to 90,000 tons, as long as there is another national surplus. This year WFP bought 80,000 tons of food in Zambia which helped to stimulate local agricultural markets. The food purchased was redistributed to vulnerable people in food deficit areas within the country.

(b) PRRO 10071.1, Food Assistance for Refugees from Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo, urgently requires USD 5.4 million to provide 8,000 tons of cereals, pulses, oil, and salt to about 86,000 refugees resident in six refugee camps through June 2005. Due to pipeline constraints, the ration for pulses and cereals were cut by half in October and November respectively.

8) Zimbabwe

(a) According to the November report by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS-Net), a significant proportion of rural Zimbabwean households have run out of food stocks and are finding it difficult to meet their needs due to limited supply and high market prices. The FEWS-Net report is validated by the local WFP monitoring system, which has recorded an average of 30 percent increase in maize prices since September. In the traditionally dry southern provinces, maize grain has already been sold at above Z$ 1,100 (USD 0.17) per kg in most rural areas, reaching Z$2,000 (USD 0.31) per kg in some of them.

(b) The Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) report of April 2004 had projected that around 41 percent of the rural population (3.3 million people) would be food insecure during the period December 2004 - March 2005 if the price of maize grain reached Z$750 (USD 0.12) a kg. Given that prices have reached levels well above USD 0.12 it is expected that the number of food insecure rural people will be much higher than original estimate of 3.3 million.

(c) Hungry households have resorted to employing a combination of coping strategies such as reducing the number and size of meals, and borrowing from neighbours, friends and relatives.

(d) Following last month's agreement from the Government, WFP plans to provide about 25,000 tons of food this month to 1.6 million vulnerable people under the vulnerable group feeding programme. The distributions cover targeted beneficiaries in 33 of Zimbabwe's 57 districts. This will take place alongside other activities, including supplementary feeding for malnourished children and home based care support programmes for HIV and AIDS affected households.

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

1) Bangladesh

(a) Harvesting of the Aman-rice crop is ongoing. Government figures suggest that the harvest has faced at least a 10 percent loss, owing to flood-related damage. Planting of Boro-paddy crop has started in some areas, creating some job opportunities among unskilled labourers, but less than usual, owing to extensive crop damage.

(b) Vulnerable Group Rehabilitation (VGR) activities have been terminated. The delivery of some 135 tons of vegetable oil which had been provided by the Government has also been completed, assisting roughly 330.000 beneficiaries.

(c) The Supplementary Feeding Programme will start next week, and food-for-work activities under the Rural Livelihood and Infrastructure Rehabilitation programme will commence a month later. WFP is considering an extension of the duration of Primary School Feeding activities to August 2005. At present they are scheduled to end in April next year.

(d) Resourcing levels remain largely inadequate, representing only 36.3 percent of the total programme needs.

2) DPR Korea

(a) From 4 to 10 December, 15 out of 19 WFP supported Local Food Production factories performed regularly during the week. The Chongjin noodle factory stopped production as it has fulfilled WFP requirements for 2004. The other 2 noodle factories on the East Coast will stop shortly for the same reason. Production for the week was 650 tons.

(b) 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. Substantial 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) India

(a) During a five-day official visit of WFP's Executive Director, James T. Morris, to India, WFP and the Government of India signed a cooperation agreement for the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS. WFP will supply technical expertise in a three-year project that uses food in a variety of ways to encourage prevention, care and support to people living with HIV and AIDS, as well as the treatment of opportunistic infections like tuberculosis

(b) In addition, the Government of India (GoI) has agreed to work with WFP to explore ways of applying India's strengths -- such as emergency response to natural disasters, food-for-work programmes and communications technology ? to the eradication of hunger and poverty, with a special focus on helping children.

(c) The GoI is WFP's leading "non-traditional" donor, with its pledge of one million metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan, delivered through WFP. This year, the GoI donated USD 24.5 million to WFP operations fighting hunger around the world.

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

1) Bolivia

(a) Municipal Elections proceeded without any major event on 5 December. More than 4.5 million voters were able to choose mayors and councillors in the country's 318 municipalities.

(b) On 3 December, the Government, organized a meeting with the donor community to request support for the drought affected people in El Chaco region. The representatives of IDB, Japan, Italy, Spain, Germany, FAO, PAHO, UNICEF and WFP were invited to see a presentation on the current situation by the Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Public Works and the Treasury. A contribution of 600 thousand euros for assistance through WFP was confirmed during the meeting. In addition, some USD 50,000 was offered to the Bolivian Government to help address the crisis.

(c) It is estimated that the food distributions under WFP's Emergency Operation (EMOP) can start by 15 December. WFP had already resumed Country Programme food distributions, on 6 December, just after the municipal elections.

2) Colombia

(a) UNHCR voiced new concerns over the situation in the Choco province, where indigenous communities are suffering as a result of clashes between armed groups and an ongoing blockade. UNHCR sent a team to Bebedó on 2 December to assess the situation, as clashes between rival illegal armed groups left at least 12 people dead and 13 people wounded. During the past week, at least 800 people from the municipality of Bebedó have been forced to flee.

(b) In the rural areas of the municipality of Apartado-Antioquia, where WFP implements relief and rehabilitation activities in the context of PRRO 10158, Food Assistance to People Displaced by Violence, three leaders of an indigenous community were murdered on 6 December by members of an illegal armed group. The Government of Antioquia Province demanded that illegal armed groups in Colombia respect the rights of the indigenous communities and the International Humanitarian Law. During the last four years, at least 360 indigenous people have been killed in Colombia.

(c) WFP, IOM, UNHCR and the Colombian Government Social Solidarity Network are working on a joint initiative to build community centres in several communities in the Bojayá area as the situation is becoming critical. There is concern that with the end of the rainy season in December-January, new clashes between armed groups would cause massive displacements of people.

(d) Official information indicates that approximately 211 displaced families are temporarily settled in the municipality of Ituango, province of Antioquia waiting for humanitarian assistance. These families were threatened by an illegal to take over of their lands. IDPs have received humanitarian assistance from the Colombian Social Solidarity Network.

(e) A total of some 320 tons of food were delivered during the past week in the context of the PRRO 10158. Food was distributed in 8 provinces reaching some 28,699 people. These commodities were distributed under food-for-work and food-for-training modalities, amongst nursing and expectant mothers, as well as for nutritional recovery.

3) Guatemala

(a) The National Institute of Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology reported volcanic activity at Fuego volcano. The explosions generated avalanches of incandescent volcanic blocks and lava flows rolled down the mountain's flanks. Weak and moderate explosions of the Santiaguito volcano caused slight ash-filled rains that fell on the Monte Bello and Monte Claro estates.

(b) According to a report from the Mesoamerican Food Security Early Warning System, the second or "postrera" harvest has been mediocre in certain areas of the provinces of El Progreso, Zacapa, Baja Verapaz and Quiche. The accumulated impact of crop losses in the first harvest and the poor second harvest may have a significant impact on the nutritional status of vulnerable populations in the affected areas.

(c) A new food distribution under the relief component of PRRO 10212 has been organized with the Ministry of Health. A total of 730 tons of maize, beans, vegetable oil, and CSB will be distributed to contribute to the nutritional recovery of children, pregnant and lactating women, and their families suffering from recurring shocks. The food aid will benefit around 9,700 families (48,500 beneficiaries) over a two-month period.

4) Haiti

(a) The entire country remains in UN security phase III. Common crime and political violence seem to be on the increase in the areas of Port au Prince, Gonaives, Port de Paix and the North West of the country. For instance, on 30 November a WHO car passing Cite Soleil was held up at gunpoint and the passengers were robbed of their valuables. Also on 30 November, various attacks on schools, banks and cars took place around Delmas, Lalue and Champs de Mars. In and around Gonaives, attacks were reported on different NGO vehicles, such as on those of CARE, Action Contre la Faim and ADRA. Humanitarian activities have been hampered by insecurity during most of the month of November.

(b) A strike among the custom authorities of the port of Port-a-Prince started on 30 November. WFP still has some 200 containers of food remaining at the port.

(c) During the past week, WFP food convoys have continued to reach Gonaïves without any incidents, at a rate of two convoys per week. Each convoy includes 20 trucks carrying a total of 150 tons of food.

(d) Targeted distributions are continuing in Gonaives. A total of 150 tons of food commodities were distributed by WFP's implementing partner CARE to some 28,490 beneficiaries in localities that had been heavily affected by the floods in the commune of Gonaïves. Distributions were held at an average of 2 to 3 distribution sites per day. The total food distributed in this city and its outskirts since the onset of the crisis is some 2,445 tons, while the total of food distributed in other affected areas is about 165 tons.

(e) Also during the past week, under both the EMOP and Country Programme, a total of some 335 tons of food was distributed in health centres and schools in the West, North and North-East departments. A modified ration was used in order to make use of the available stocks in the country.

(f) Training for implementing partners in the implementation of school feeding and de-worming activities was carried out in Cap Haitien, Mont-Organisé, and Capotille.

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