Afghanistan + 19 more

WFP Emergency Report No. 51 of 2002

Situation Report
Originally published
This report includes:
(A) Africa Hunger Alert Campaign

(B) Southern Africa Region: (1) Regional Overview, (2) Lesotho, (3) Malawi, (4) Mozambique, (5) Swaziland, (6) Zambia, (7) Zimbabwe, (8) Angola

(C) Eastern and Central Africa Region: (1) Eritrea, (2) Ethiopia, (3) Burundi, (4) Kenya

(D) West Africa Region: (1) Cote D'Ivoire, (2) Sierra Leone

(E) Asia Region: (1) DPR of Korea

(F) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Pakistan

(G) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Northern Caucasus

(H) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Colombia, (2) Ecuador, (3) El Salvador

From Francesco Strippoli, Director of the Office of Humanitarian Affairs; available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (, or by e-mail from

For information on resources, donors are requested to contact at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2009. Media queries should be directed to, telephone 39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

A) Africa Hunger Alert Campaign

(a) WFP officially launched on 16 December the Africa Hunger Alert campaign, aimed at drawing international attention to the unprecedented hunger crisis gripping the African continent where 38 million people face starvation. The campaign represents a global response to a growing number of spontaneous grass-roots initiatives in North America, Europe and Asia.

(b) As just one participant in a global campaign open to all organizations and individuals, WFP is using its website to provide information on the emergency as well as a forum for ideas. To coincide with the launch, a documentary on the hunger crisis and a statement by WFP Executive Director James T. Morris will be available to download at Participating organizations are encouraged to create their own web sites in an effort to generate urgently needed resources, and individuals are urged to lobby their governments.

(c) The hunger crisis in Africa has grown particularly acute in the wake of two major, simultaneous emergencies in the past year. In southern Africa, almost 15 million people are threatened in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique. In Ethiopia and Eritrea, an additional 12 to 16 million are at risk; millions more people also face starvation in Sudan, Angola, the Great Lakes region and West Africa.

(d) These catastrophic conditions are primarily the result of drought, the HIV/AIDS epidemic and, in some countries, political turmoil and failed economic policies. Of particular concern is the new phenomenon of shifting weather patterns, causing floods and droughts. The past two years have brought the highest number of weather-related disasters over the decade.

B) Southern Africa Region: (1) Regional Overview, (2) Lesotho, (3) Malawi, (4) Mozambique, (5) Swaziland, (6) Zambia, (7) Zimbabwe, (8) Angola

(1) Regional Overview

(a) Country teams have completed the fieldwork portion of the second round of rolling SADC VAC assessments. Data is now being consolidated and analysed for release in early January. Preliminary indications suggest that the humanitarian response has so far staved off wide-scale catastrophe but that overall vulnerability has not noticeably decreased. Emergency food aid will need to remain a lifeline well into 2003.

(b) In Zimbabwe, WFP field monitors report increasing numbers of people eating bananas and wild fruits. Prostitution as a means of household income is also reported to be on the increase, as is stock theft. There are also reports that less agricultural land is under cultivation this planting season than in previous seasons.

(c) As of December 17, the WFP EMOP 10200.0 is 61 percent funded. There remains a shortfall of USD 196 million.

(2) Lesotho

(a) The Ministry of Agriculture reported that less than 35 percent of the total arable land in the country is currently under cultivation. Frost prevented germination of some early crops. This week, a hailstorm also is reported to have caused crop damage. During the week, WFP distributed approximately 1500 tons of food to nearly 27,000 households. FAO continued seed distributions in all three districts.

(3) Malawi

(a) The central region of Malawi recorded rainfall this week, three weeks later than normal. A joint UN mid-year review of the Consolidated Appeal is underway. WFP has also contracted a consultant to analyse the relationship between food insecurity and HIV/AIDS in order to help WFP refine targeting mechanisms to reach vulnerable populations living with HIV/AIDS. Plans were completed to expand school feeding in January to a total of 201 schools.

(4) Mozambique

(a) The main Mozambican newspaper "Noticias" predicted an increase in urban food insecurity in the coming months, citing the combination of such factors as urbanization, HIV/AIDS, and increasing food prices prior to the harvest. WFP is increasing the content of CSB in the ration to enhance the levels of micronutrients and protein in the food basket. WFP will also provide UNICEF with CSB for a supplementary feeding program for malnourished children under six years of age.

(5) Swaziland

(a) WFP and World Vision met to discuss targeting, monitoring, and reporting issues as well as solutions to constraints encountered during distributions in the field. The discussion was fruitful and will be used as a basis for further discussions between WFP and Implementing Partners. During the week, 716 tons of commodities were dispatched to Implementing Partners for distribution.

(6) Zambia

(a) Stephen Lewis, the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS, visited Zambia from 11-15 December. Urging a concerted effort on the part of all agencies, Mr. Lewis commented during a field visit on the apparent high levels of hunger and mortality from HIV/AIDS. WFP is gearing up for increased distributions over the coming weeks, and has formally requested that Implementing Partners leave offices open and staff available through the holiday period.

(7) Zimbabwe

(a) WFP resumed distributions this week in Insiza district; distributions had been cancelled after a security incident in mid-October. Fuel shortages persist in the country; some Implementing Partners were forced to postpone distributions as they had insufficient fuel to reach all distribution points. An irrigation scheme for household vegetable gardens in Matobo District is failing because the dam supplying water is dying up. In Chipinge District, elderly women have been encountered begging for food, singing "Hunger is like a razor which cuts and injures the stomach."

(8) Angola

(a) WFP issues a press release on 19 December stating that its efforts to provide urgent food aid to skyrocketing numbers of people in Angola will be seriously crippled unless donations are received immediately from the international community. According to a WFP study on the vulnerability of the Angolan population, which was conducted over the past few months, between 2.1 and 2.4 million Angolans may need food aid until the next harvest in April and May 2003, a nearly one hundred percent increase from previous figures.

(b) In October, WFP appealed for a maximum of 1.5 million beneficiaries with a budget of USD 241 million. However, only one third of these resources have been pledged so far and WFP's food stocks are quickly disappearing, just when the number of people in need is growing at an alarming rate. Since the cessation of hostilities between the Angolan Government and UNITA forces in April, WFP has been able to reach dozens of previously inaccessible areas in the country and the arrival of food aid has helped to save thousands of lives. Millions of internally displaced Angolans are returning home, as are thousands of refugees in neighboring countries. Meanwhile, former UNITA soldiers will depend on humanitarian aid to feed their families until they are fully reintegrated into civilian life. The number of people WFP is targeting has already more than doubled since April.

(c) The ongoing effort to ensure that food aid is delivered to vulnerable communities throughout Angola is constantly hampered by logistical problems, such as derelict roads, broken bridges and the presence of landmines. The current rainy season has also exacerbated the situation, making it even more difficult for WFP to reach all of those in need. To improve the flow of humanitarian aid, WFP is urging the Angolan government to carry out essential work rapidly to improve the country's transport infrastructure.

(d) As part of WFP's humanitarian response, the agency also delivers crucial non-food items throughout the country and provides a passenger air service, as well as other logistical support, to improve access for the entire humanitarian community in Angola. These vital operations, however, are also threatened by lack of resources and WFP may be forced to bring them to a halt unless additional contributions are received soon. These logistical operations require a further USD 6 million until March 2003.

C) Eastern and Central Africa Region: (1) Eritrea, (2) Ethiopia, (3) Burundi, (4) Kenya

1) Eritrea

(a) WFP issued a press release on 20 December stating that the drought in Eritrea is exhausting people's ability to cope and WFP is increasingly concerned that food supplies will be insufficient to care for almost one million Eritreans in the coming months. WFP has only received USD 9 million of food and cash contributions against last month's USD 105 million request for food, part of a UN inter-agency appeal for 2003. From previous relief operations, WFP has enough food aid stocks to last until March/April 2003. However, unless firm donations are urgently made within the next few weeks, there will be a break in supply from April onwards.

(b) In Eritrea, more than two million people are seriously affected by a succession of droughts over the last four years, more than half the country's population. The breadbasket regions of Eritrea have experienced scarce and erratic rains, which have led to crop failure and livestock loss. The border conflict with Ethiopia, consequent population displacement and a shortage of agricultural inputs and labor, have exacerbated the problem. Many villagers say this year's drought is the most severe to hit the country in decades, and are comparing it with historic drought in 1942.

(c) The failure of the spring rains in Eritrea and the late arrival of the main rains which usually fall from June to September have meant that cereal planting was delayed and was not as extensive as usual. In October, joint crop assessments by Government, UN and NGOs reported an almost complete loss in the country's cereal harvest.

(d) On top of expected food shortages, a lack of available water is of equal concern. In many parts of the country, water catchments - which are normally full right after the rainy season - are extremely low. Reservoirs essential to help irrigate farmlands are almost dry. Many rivers are nothing more than sandy byways. Critical shortages of water for human and animal consumption are already a major threat due to the non-replenishment of the ground water table. Plans for widespread water distribution will need to be put into place.

(e) With the country just beginning to recover from the devastating border war, the current poor agricultural season could not have come at a worse time. The delayed rains have seriously affected the pastoralist community. Reports indicate that the number of livestock - mainly goats, sheep and cattle - has diminished in some districts by up to 20 percent from 2001. Already the price of cattle has dropped 30 percent from around 6,500 nakfa (USD 480) to just 4,500 nakfa (USD 330). Expected rains in areas where pastoralists normally migrate have not arrived. Economic recovery from livestock loss of this scale can take six to seven years.

2) Ethiopia

(a) Relief food distributions for December are targeted at 5.2 million drought-affected people, with needs being addressed by the Government, WFP and NGOs. The cereal requirements are expected to be over 80 percent covered but for supplementary food (fortified blended food and vegetable oil), the situation is less encouraging, with only 10 percent of requirements expected to be met. Food distributions for December have been relatively high but the next few months will be even more challenging: 2003 requirements are anticipated to peak between April and June with 11 million people requiring 180,000 tons of food per month.

(b) The immediate priority is to address needs in the first months of 2003. The relief food aid requirements for January-March are 415,000 tons: 119,000 tons in January for 7.3 million people; 133,000 tons in February for 8.1 million people; and 162,000 tons in March for 9.9 million people. As of 20 December, confirmed contributions that will be available for distributions in January stand at 83,000 tons (75,000 tons of cereals, 8,000 tons of fortified blended food and vegetable oil). Against the January requirements, coverage would be 67 percent for cereals, 79 percent for blended food and 60 percent for oil. While there have been concerns for the relief food pipeline beyond January, there are clear indications of recent progress in the confirmation of contributions for early 2003. It is anticipated that these contributions would enable the requirements for cereals in February and March to be covered.

3) Burundi

(a) During the week 9-15 December, through targeted and emergency distributions in Bujumbura Mairie, Bubanza, Bujumbura Rural, and Cankuzo, 74,740 beneficiaries received 560 tons of food. Additionally, 717 Burundians repatriating from Tanzania under the facilitation of UNHCR received a return package for returnees. Finally, 3,028 vulnerable persons in 18 social centres received 52 tons of food and 86 tons of food were distributed to 1,180 food-for-work participants in two communes of Ngozi province.

(b) From 9 to 15 December, the security situation remained unchanged despite the cease-fire accord reached by both the Government and one wing of the FDD rebels. A planned distribution targeting 10,910 persons in Mpanda commune of Bubanza province and a joint WFP/OCHA evaluation in Mubimbi commune of Bujumbura Rural were cancelled due to insecurity.

4) Kenya

(a) As at December 2002, there are 220,304 refugees in the Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps. Sixty-seven percent of refugees live in the Dadaab camps while 33 percent live in Kakuma. An estimated 61 percent of the refugees are Somali, 27 percent are Sudanese and the remainder are a variety of nationalities (Ugandan, Ethiopian, Rwandese and Congolese (DRC). Women and girls represent approximately 45 percent of the population. Throughout 2002, there has been a steady influx of refugees mostly from southern Sudan and Somalia. An estimated 550 new arrivals are registered and admitted to the camps each month. This influx is expected to continue in 2003. There are also sudden influxes due to insecurity in neighbouring countries.

(b) The monthly food requirement for the project is about 3,900 tons, consisting of cereals, pulses, oil, salt and blended food. The objective is to provide 2,167 kilocalories per person per day. However, due to insufficient resources the average provided in 2002 was 1,750 kcal. A pipeline break is expected in February 2003 unless donations/pledges are urgently received. The kcal provided to the refugees will drop to 1,878 Kcal by February 2003, a 13 percent reduction, and to 1,398 kcal in March, a 35 percent reduction. In addition to the general distribution, WFP provides supplementary and therapeutic feeding to a monthly estimate of 2,800 malnourished children under 5, pregnant and nursing mothers.

(c) WFP's school feeding program in Kenya consists of assistance to pre-primary/primary school feeding in arid and semi-arid lands and assistance to disadvantaged urban children. The program covers ten arid districts, eleven semi-arid districts and two unplanned settlements in Nairobi. The arid and semi-arid districts where WFP school feeding programmes are implemented have high dropout rates, low enrolment and achievement rates due a variety of factors, including poor state of school facilities and traditional nomadic lifestyles. Another serious obstacle is the chronic food insecurity and the inability to meet the high costs of education.

D) West Africa Region: (1) Cote D'Ivoire, (2) Sierra Leone

1) Côte d'Ivoire

(a) Fighting in the west between insurgents and loyalist forces resulted in at least 42,000 people (28,000 Liberian returnees and 14,000 Ivorian refugees) seeking refuge in Liberia. WFP estimates that about 15,000 IDPs have fled eastwards, near Daloa. An additional 2000 people have sought safety in the Nicla refugee camp, near Guiglo. In total, nearly 60,000 people have been displaced following the fighting in the western part of the country.

(b) The destruction of shantytowns in Abidjan is continuing. An estimated 5,000 people in Abidjan remain without shelter, and are either sleeping in the open on the site of their former homes, in transit centres run by UNHCR and IOM, or taking temporary shelter in mosques and churches. Remaining shantytowns are also experiencing population increases, creating social, sanitation and security problems.

(c) In Korhogo, although food is available in the market, lack of money remains a problem for many families, as banks remain closed and many businesses are not operational. Public and private workers, town dwellers and petty traders are affected by the gradual decrease in economic activities. There are no displaced people in camps in or around Korhogo, as they have reportedly crossed into Burkina Faso.

(d) In Bouaké, the general distribution ended on 17 December. A total of 340 tons has been distributed to 40,000 families. A meeting will be held to gather final results and analyse the effectiveness of this general distribution.

(e) A joint mission was undertaken over the weekend to the Daloa region consisting of WFP, Action Contre La Faim and OCHA. The objective was to evaluate the situation in terms of the number of displaced people following the humanitarian alert last week. The mission visited and assessed five sites. It was estimated that the following numbers of IDPs require food assistance: 4,000 in Daloa; 4,000 in Bonoufla; 3,000 in Zahibo; 1,750 in Belle Ville; and 1,650 in Zoukoubué.

(f) Food distributions were undertaken at the five sites during 17-19 December, to cover 15 days for a total of 14,400 people. A WFP monitor is supervising the deliver of food to local crisis committees.

(g) A WFP mission has been fielded (17-21 December) to follow-up on the reported influx of IDPs and refugees to the Nicla Peace Camp near Guiglo in the western region. UNHCR has requested food distributions for 5,300 refugees. So far, one month rations of bulgar wheat, vegetable oil, salt and pulses have been distributed to 1000 refugees. The remaining refugees will receive food rations during the next three days.

2) Sierra Leone

(a) The influx of new Liberian refugees into the country continued to dwindle between 2-15 December. WFP provided food to over 13,500 Liberian refugees in Jembe and Gerihun Camps.

(b) On 5 - 6 December, a UN donor mission coordinated by UNOCHA visited the country. Ten representatives from seven donor nations participated. The new WFP distribution center under construction at Jembe Refugee Camp and the WFP supported Therapeutic Feeding Center in Kailahun were among the sites visited by the team to assess projects supported by UN agencies.

(c) During the reporting period, WFP distributions reached a total of 60,165 beneficiaries with 484 tons of food. Vulnerable group feeding programmes (refugees, resettlement, returnees and institutions) supported 21,089 beneficiaries with 147 tons of food. Under the Emergency School Feeding programme, WFP supplied 53 tons of food to 27,223 children. The Therapeutic Feeding Centers/ Supplementary Feeding/ and Mother and Child Health Programmes (TFC/SFP/MCH) provided 25 tons of food to 2,779 beneficiaries (under-fives, pregnant women, lactating mothers and TFC caretakers). In the food-for-work programme, a total of 6,960 beneficiaries received 242 tons of food support. The food-for-training programme assisted 1,604 beneficiaries with 9 tons of food support. Safety nets (Institutional Feeding) provided 510 beneficiaries with 8 tons of food aid.

(d) In view of the pending closure of some activities within the TFC and SFP programme in early 2003, in Port Loko and Kambia Districts, WFP conducted an assessment of Public Health Units to determine the possibility of filling subsequent gaps in the SFP programme. The assessment revealed that supporting an SFP in the two districts would serve as a proactive measure to address malnutrition cases in the early stages, thereby reducing the overall mortality rate.

E) Asia Region: (1) DPR of Korea

1) DPR of Korea

(a) Without immediate new contributions, WFP will be unable to reach nearly 2.9 million vulnerable people with cereal distributions from early in the new year. This number includes: 760,000 children in nurseries, 385,000 children in kindergartens, 830,000 primary school children, 130,000 pregnant/nursing women, 550,000 elderly persons, and 225,000 caregivers in child institutions and hospitals.

(b) Immediate pledges of 82,300 tons are required to supplement expected arrivals to ensure that the pipeline is full during the first quarter of 2003. Commodity shortfalls for the first quarter include 75,800 tons of cereals for local food production (LFP) and distribution to core beneficiary groups, 1,200 tons of Dried Skimmed Milk to enable LFP factories to continue to operate, 4,900 tons of Corn Soya Blend for nurseries, kindergartens and pregnant/nursing women and 480 tons of sugar, mainly for nurseries.

(c) The stock situation for powdered milk for the LFP factories remains bleak. The seven biscuit factories will begin to close down from late December as stocks run out. The Munchon biscuit factory in Kangwon province will be the first to stop production, due to a lack of DSM. Other blended food products such as Cereal Milk Blend can be produced, though with modified recipes, until February.

F) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Pakistan

1) Afghanistan

(a) The Afghan Support Group (ASG) met in Oslo, Norway on 17-18 December. At this meeting, the Transitional Assistance Programme for Afghanistan (TAPA) was presented to donors, with a request for USD 815 million. WFP's Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) comprised USD 150 million of that total, for the first year alone. To date, donors have reportedly pledged USD 1.2 billion for Afghanistan in 2003, with a possibility of additional funding up to USD 2 billion.

(b) Between 11-17 December, some 613,900 beneficiaries received 6,523 tons of food through various WFP activities.

(c) This total includes a project benefiting 535 malnourished children, pregnant/lactating mothers, and hospital in-patients located in 17 hospitals in the provinces of Kabul, Paktia, Logar, Wardak, Parwan and Kapisa. Hospital authorities estimate the overall rate of morbidity and mortality has been reduced by almost 40 percent through the project.

(d) Also included is a food for asset creation project in Ghazni province that supported 8,400 families with 2,520 tons of wheat and developed infrastructure improvement of irrigation channels, construction of erosion barriers, road surfacing and the construction of a gravity fed piped water-supply system. Additionally, as a result of an infrastructure project, which involved 96 labourers, safe drinking water is now provided to 2,550 families in 14 districts of Kabul city through 51 rehabilitated wells.

(e) As of 15 December 2002, WFP has dispatched 52,440 tons of food for assistance to 1.3 million vulnerable populations living in rural areas across the country that potentially will become inaccessible during the winter. The balance of 393 tons is expected to be dispatched by the end of December 2002.

2) Pakistan

(a) The FAO/WFP crop and food assessment mission presented its findings to the Government of Pakistan on 12 December. The GoP showed grave concern about the suffering of people in drought-affected areas. It is likely that the Government will request WFP to provide emergency food assistance for 280,000 persons who are at great risk and need immediate assistance. A meeting with donors is planned on 13 January to share the finding of this report. WFP is working with the GoP to develop a request for emergency assistance for about USD 5.5 million for a period of six months.

(b) Urgent donor contributions are required for the new EMOP 10228 "Assistance to Afghan Refugees", as current resources will only cover food purchases and distributions until end January. A series of meetings are taking place with the main donors in Islamabad, informing them of this EMOP's requirements.

G) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Northern Caucasus

1) Northern Caucasus

(a) As of 15 December, the IDP population in Ingushetia has decreased to 104,400 from 108,500 registered on 30 November 2002. Out of that total, 20,400 (20 percent) are accommodated in tent camps, 28,050 (27 percent) in spontaneous settlements and 55,950 (54 percent) with local host families. A larger number of IDPs staying in spontaneous settlements in Malgobek district (from 3,675 to 4,610 IDPs) have been registered after the closure of Imam tent camp near Aki-Yurt in the beginning of December. The planned number of WFP beneficiaries in Ingushetia for the December relief distribution cycle is 108,900 IDPs.

(b) Following the closure of Imam tent camp in Ingushetia on 1 December, UN agencies and their partners have been trying to collect information on the exact location and number of IDPs from the former camp still staying in the republic. It is estimated that around 20 percent of the IDPs returned to Chechnya and some 80 percent of the camp population found shelter in spontaneous settlements as well as with host families in Ingushetia.

(c) According to the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) database, about 785,500 people were residing in the Republic of Chechnya as of 15 December. Out of these, about 141,800 are displaced within Chechnya and 125,750 belong to vulnerable groups. Since 30 November 2002, the number of WFP beneficiaries of relief distribution in the republic has increased to 180,504.

(d) A total of 2,870 tons of food will be distributed to 289,400 beneficiaries in Ingushetia and Chechnya during December.

H) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Colombia, (2) Ecuador, (3) El Salvador

1) Colombia

(a) WFP's Bogota office continues to operate on high security alert. Police deactivated five car bombs while others exploded in different neighborhoods and working areas.

(b) WFP is currently delivering 651 tons of food to 190 projects in 11 provinces. This total includes 209 tons to 44 food-for-work/food security projects and 442 tons to 146 school feeding and nutritional recovery projects.

2) Ecuador

(a) WFP and the Ministry of Agriculture are taking action to restore the agriculture sector, and the livelihoods of 600 families affected by the El Reventador volcano eruption. The assistance covers the three affected provinces: Pichincha, Napo and Sucumbios.

(b) During the week of 16 December, WFP and UNHCR will sign a cooperation agreement to assist 3,500 refugees in the border provinces with Colombia. WFP's assistance includes the distribution of full family food rations and further monitoring.

3) El Salvador

(a) A WFP mission to review the nutritional situation in El Salvador will take place this week as part of an initiative to evaluate the situation in areas affected by drought and the coffee crisis.

(b) As a follow-up to distributions, training on the proper use and preparation of CSB was given to more than 25 health promoters and doctors by the WFP Field Monitoring Unit. Distributions to areas hard hit by the coffee crisis continue in Ahuachapan and Sonsonate with special assistance to health and nutritional centers. WFP also continues to collect information on the status of malnutrition in the other coffee growing provinces including La Libertad, Usulutan, San Vicente, San Miguel and Morazan.

(c) PRRO 6089 is currently forecasting a shortfall of 120 tons of cereals in January. A supplier has been selected for the local purchase of 206 tons of red beans and deliveries are expected to begin in January.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 51).