WFP Emergency Report No. 51 of 2004

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 17 Dec 2004


(A) Highlights

(B) Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Azerbaijan, (3) Iran

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

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

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

(F) Asia: (1) Bangladesh, (2) China, (3) DPR Korea, (4) Myanmar

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

  • Due to insecurity in Sudan's Darfur region, food deliveries to Labado, Muhajiria and Rokera are on hold, with at least 160,000 people cut off from assistance.
  • WFP trucks stranded and distribution and monitoring in many areas became impossible, due to increased tensions in eastern DRC.

B) Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Azerbaijan, (3) Iran

1) Afghanistan

(a) The security situation remained relatively calm throughout the country. However, in Faryab province, factional fighting erupted between two local commanders on 11 December. UN vehicles, carrying eight staff, were caught in crossfire but escaped unharmed.

(b) From 9 to 15 December, over 551,865 beneficiaries received some 3,240 tons of food.

(c) In Fayz Abad, WFP and local authorities met in order to find ways to assist people who lost their crops due to adverse weather conditions (late rainfall and early snowfall). The partners agreed to carryout a joint assessment to determine the level of vulnerability in the area. Assistance will be provided to the food insecure population once the assessment is made. The implementation of the Greening Afghanistan Initiative (GAIN) was also discussed and the Government assured of its full cooperation and offered some land for the initiative. GAIN aims to initiate a country-wide environmental reform and awareness campaign through direct and indirect involvement in the reforestation of the forests and rangeland.

(d) To improve community access to social services, some 15 km of roads were constructed or rehabilitated in Nuristan, Nangarhar, Laghman and Kunar provinces and 10 km in Balkh province, through several food-for-work projects. These projects have contributed to strengthen linkage to surrounding areas and local markets.

2) Azarbaijan

(a) Due to a nearly 50 percent shortfall in resources, food distribution for 140,000 Azerbaijanis displaced by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict a decade ago, will come to a complete halt starting January. WFP is facing a USD 10 million shortfall, out of a total of USD 21 million, for the three-year humanitarian operation, which started in January 2003. The suspension of food rations will seriously undermine the already precarious nutritional status of the displaced. Only WFP's school feeding program, that supplies food to 5,300 primary school children, will continue, albeit on a limited scale.

(b) At the end of January, WFP will issue the results of its first food security and nutrition survey on the displaced population of Azerbaijan. The study will provide key information on the needs of the population, and will assist WFP in formulating its strategy beyond 2005.

3) 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, 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.

(b) Between 1 and 15 December, some 105 Iraqi refugees repatriated with UNHCR assistance. From the repatriated refugees, about 42 came from WFP assisted camps. There was no spontaneous repatriation from 1-15 December 2004.

(c) The total number of Afghan returnees since 2 April 2002 amounts to some 1,098,600 of which over 778,065 were UNHCR assisted and 320,535 spontaneous. Between 1 and 15 December, UNHCR assisted about 1,420 returnees while some 250 repatriated spontaneously. No camp refugees repatriated during that reporting period.

(d) Under PRRO 10213.0, Food Assistance & Support to Education of Afghan and Iraqi Refugees in the Islamic Republic of Iran, WFP currently provides food assistance to 8,100 Iraqi and 31,500 Afghan refugees in 23 camps. Some 1,420 Afghan returnees received a WFP bread ration at border exit stations. In addition, some 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, four kg of oil is distributed to about 3,520 girls on a monthly basis.

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

1) Burundi

(a) The official campaign in preparation for Burundi's constitutional referendum has been launched in the whole country. Assassinations were reported in Bujumbura Rural province and armed banditry in Ngozi. The demobilization process continued with the opening of the children demobilization centre in Gitega province (hosting 650 children to be demobilized).

(b) The province of Kirundo is facing increased food insecurity. This is caused by a combination of years of drought and the proliferation of the cassava virus called "mosaique". Great concerns have been expressed in the national press and, during the week, the Governor of Kirundo province called the Government and humanitarian organizations to increase food assistance. Over the last 12 months, WFP has more than doubled its distribution levels in this province. Distributions and close monitoring are still ongoing and will continue over the next weeks.

(c) Between 6 and 12 December, WFP distributed a total of some 1,835 tons of food aid to some 217,650 beneficiaries through different programme activities, such as targeted and emergency feeding; supplementary and therapeutic feeding; returnee packages; Food-for-Work (FFW); HIV/AIDS feeding; food for vulnerable groups in social centres; hospitals in-patients feeding; feeding to promote demobilization, reintegration and reinsertion of ex-combatants.

(d) WFP, in collaboration with UNICEF, CARE and the UN Peacekeeping Mission for Burundi (UNUB), organized a training-for-trainers on prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of beneficiaries.

2) DR Congo

(a) Increasing tension has been spreading in eastern DRC, starting from Goma, the capital city of the North Kivu province. Various news wires stated clashes between opposing armed factions, sometimes reporting clashes between newly arrived Rwandan soldiers and pre-1994 Rwandan soldiers who took refuge in the DRC, or between DRC militia factions and governmental troops. In a recent statement, the UN Peacekeeping Mission in DRC (MONUC) said that the clashes were internal within the DRC army and insisted that no evidence existed of Rwandan troops in Kanyabayonga.

(b) The World Food Programme is extremely concerned with the situation in eastern DRC, as persistent insecurity continues to hamper any attempt to provide assistance to people displaced by recent fighting.

(c) The most recent displacement of population follows clashes near Kanyabayonga, 112 km from Goma. Over the weekend the entire population of Kanyabayonga was reported to have moved north to Kayna or beyond. Following fresh clashes during the past days, displaced population are reported to be moving further north to Kirumba (10 km from Kayna). Figures concerning the number of displaced remain uncertain. WFP staff are unable to access the area to verify the situation of the families fleeing the fighting.

(d) Two weeks ago, another wave of displacement took place. Thousands of people moved to Kayna, Kirumba, the area between these two towns and region to the east of the Kayna/Kirumba axis, called south Lubero Territory. According to WFP partner, GAA-Butembo, 36,815 people were displaced. This figure needs, however, to be confirmed. This follows the displacement of some 46,000 people in the same area between July and September. Many of these had found refuge in the bigger towns of Kanyabayonga, Kayna, Kirumba and villages in the surrounding areas. Those IDPs in Kanyabayonga have been displaced once again two weeks ago and again in the most recent wave of fighting. The number of IDPs at this stage is, therefore, uncertain.

(e) When the recent fighting erupted, WFP had three trucks of the road, with 42.5 metric tonnes of food to assist recently displaced families in the area. These trucks are now stranded in Rushuru due to insecurity. Another 115 tons of food had already reached the town on Kanyabayong, but WFP implementing partners in the area were unable to distribute the food. Meanwhile, WFP has another 205 tons on stand-by to be dispatched to the area. These stocks were destined to assist recently displaced populations the eastern Congo.

(f) Over the last two months (Oct/Nov) WFP provided over 270 tons to more than 32.000 IDPs.

(g) From 6 to 12 December, under PRRO 10288.0, Populations Affected by Armed Conflict, WFP released about 695 tons of food to feed some 51,775 beneficiaries in the eastern provinces (South Kivu, Ituri district and Maniema). Most of the beneficiaries were resettled IDPs, who were entitled to seeds protection packages. They received three months rations.

(h) In the Ituri district, WFP started food distribution to 99,600 resettled IDPs through its cooperating partner German Agro Action. According to reports from Bunia, the caseload of ex-child combatants is still low. Feed-back received from ex-child combatants indicated that most of them were willing to join the demobilization program, but feared any retaliation from populations once they would have reintegrated their community.

(i) In the Maniema province, WFP completed the delivery of 30 tons of various food commodities to its cooperating partner ADRA, which carries out supplementing and therapeutic feeding programmes in Kalima (a locality at 101 km from Kindu, capital city of the Maniema province). WFP food will be reinforcing complementary contributions from UNICEF (F 100 therapeutic milk) and FAO (seeds and tools). However, in view of a WFP pipeline break, other cooperating partners in Kindu have decided to purchase locally pending dispatches from WFP.

(j) The crisis in DRC takes place at a time when WFP is running out of resources to assist those in need in the country. To date, WFP's two year operation (2004-2005) has been resourced at 30 percent. Out of the total USD 157 million required initially, only USD 47. 5 million have been resourced. Unless new funds are received by New Year for the Democratic Republic of Congo, WFP will be forced to cut by 30 percent the number of people provided with life-saving food aid and reduce the remaining beneficiaries' food rations by half.

3) Ethiopia

(a) The Productive Safety Net Programme is starting in January 2005 and aims at addressing the food needs (through food and cash transfers) for 5 million chronically food insecure people. The key features are multi-annual funding, a deliberate transition towards more cash-based programming, scaled-up public/community works, intentional linkages with broader food security programmes, and harmonized budgeting, monitoring and evaluation. WFP's PRRO, Enabling Livelihood Protection and Promotion, also starts in January. The operation has a safety net component but also has provision for relief for the transiently food insecure population.

(b) WFP is participating in the readiness mission for the Productive Safety Net Programme. The mission includes all of the funding partners (CIDA, DFID, DCI, EC, USAID, WFP and the World Bank). The mission is assisting the Government in assessing the readiness for the implementation and is finalizing pending programme details.

4) Kenya

(a) Despite recent developments towards peace in both Somalia and Sudan, persistent civil unrest in Somalia and political uncertainty in Sudan continue to prevent refugees from returning home. Recurrent drought and other natural disasters are additional deterrents.

(b) The performance of the 2004/05 short rains varied sharply between different parts of Kenya in November - with heavy rainfall being received in eastern and northwestern pastoral districts, but below normal rainfall being received in the southeastern marginal agricultural districts. The November reports from the Government's Arid Lands Resource Management Project indicate that rates of child malnutrition are declining in the eastern pastoral districts, but they still remain worryingly high particularly in Wajir, Mandera, Garissa and Tana River Districts. The reports also show that there are slight improvements in some pastoral food security indicators - milk availability has improved in Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Ijara, Isiolo and Moyale Districts

(c) Approximately 14,000 tons of food commodities were distributed to 1.3 million beneficiaries in November (about 80 percent of the target) under the WFP drought emergency operation in all the 26 drought-affected districts. The below target performance was due to logistical constraints including delays by lead agencies in setting up the community based targeting distribution system, and the inability to deliver food to some districts due to heavy rainfall. In addition, the November food basket consisted of cereals only. However, although most of these logistical constraints have now been resolved, an improved food basket will be available in December to only the seven worst affected districts (Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo and Samburu).

(d) The Kenya drought EMOP is scheduled to terminate at the end of January 2005. A joint food security assessment will be conducted in early January to review the need for possible extension of the relief operation in some parts of the country.

(e) The road to the Dadaab refugee camps, home to 137,000 mainly Somali refugees, remained largely impassable in November. Trucks carrying WFP food were stuck for days and in some cases for weeks. Numerous attempts were made to "rescue" the food, including offloading the food onto smaller trucks and, separating the head and trailer of the trucks. WFP is now working with the Ministry of Public Works to repair the most severely affected parts of the road to allow food to continue reaching the refugee camps.

(f) WFP's support to the refugees continues to suffer from a lack of cereals in the food basket. Currently a double ration of maize is being provided to the refugees to compensate for the lack of wheat flour. This situation is not desirable as post-distribution monitoring indicates that refugees will sell some of the maize to obtain wheat flour, which is more costly and which will therefore reduce the quantity of cereals available for consumption. Approximately USD 5 million is required up until April 2004 in order to provide a full food basket to the refugees. Contributions are urgently required given the lead time required in order to complete local purchases and/or ship food from abroad.

5) Republic of Congo

(a) UN staff have been asked to remain vigilant and prudent, because the security situation In RoC is beginning to deteriorate, like during every end of the year. There were reports on small incidents, perpetrated by army soldiers, as well as on isolated cases of armed robbery. In the Pool region, security tends to be less volatile in areas where army officials are present. But generally speaking, the presence of armed militias still noticeable in the area continues to be a threat to security.

(b) During November, under PRRO 10312.0, Assistance to Conflict Affected Populations, a total of over 510 tons was distributed to 13,070 recipients through various activities, such as HIV/AIDS feeding, vulnerable group feeding and Food for Training. Also, the distributions included food for about 1,470 vegetable farmers to support food production, complementing activities of FAO and local NGO's. Under the Food for Work/Rehabilitation programme, WFP supported the construction of six bridges in Niari region and the rehabilitation of a 35 km rural road.

(c) A joint Logistics/Programming assessment mission was carried out; from 9 through 12 November, in South Pool region, that was recently classified as security phase III. The mission aimed at assessing conditions before launching the school-feeding programme in the war-ravaged Kinkala, Louingui, Boko, Mbandza-Ndounga, and Goma-Tsétsé districts. The school feeding programme had been hampered in this area by problems related to security, access and availability of teachers. A total of 22 schools were visited. All these schools could be deemed ready to start school canteens, if the cooking utensils and equipment were provided. Teachers and Women 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.

6) Rwanda

(a) During the reporting period, there has been an increase of 185 new refugees in six camps. The total number of Congolese refugees in Rwanda as at 15 December stands some 42,355 and the total number of Burundian refugees in Rwanda as at 15 December stands at a little over 3,020. The security situation in all camps remained calm during the reporting week.

7) Sudan

(a) Humanitarian workers and convoys in South Darfur have come under increasing risk as a result of the deteriorating security situation this past week. Two Save the Children(SC)-UK staff were killed on the way towards Manawashi from Duma, South Darfur on 12 December. The deaths of the two local staff have led to a temporary suspension of Cooperating Partner (CP) SC-UK activities in South Darfur. The consequences of the deteriorating security in South Darfur are significant. Food deliveries to Labado, Muhajiria and Rokera are on hold, with at least 160,000 people cut off from assistance. The resulting insecurity has led to UNSECOORD classifying the Zalingie - Kass road as NO GO. The Nyala-El Fasher road, NO GO for UN, was also closed to commercial traffic this week. Fresh outbreaks of violence were also reported in North and West Darfur.

(b) The worsening security situation has heavily impacted road deliveries to the Darfurs this week and has serious implications for the December distribution plan. All transporters have reduced deliveries to El Fasher and El Geneina until the security situation improves. At least two transport companies have refused to deliver commodities to the South Darfur until their trucks, which are being held by the SLA and military intelligence, are released.

(c) As of 14 December, under WFP's Darfur emergency operation (EMOP) 10339.0, Emergency Food Assistance to Population Affected by War in Greater Darfur, a total of 13,175 tons of food has been dispatched by road, rail and air from hubs in Khartoum and El Obeid to the Darfur state capitals. An additional 11,818 tons of food were despatched to an estimated 675,315 beneficiaries (based of dispatches) from AOs in the three state capitals to Cooperating Partners (CPs).

(d) The field survey and data collection for the WFP/FAO Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission in the Darfurs was completed on 10 December. Findings from the survey will be reported in the next two weeks.

(e) WFP continued to meet with CPs this past week to sign new field level agreements for the Darfur EMOP in 2005. Under the new agreement, registration falls under the responsibility of the CP. WFP will provide support, which includes training on the registration process, the provision of a unified registration format and ration cards, in conjunction with IOM, and monitoring the registration process.

(f) WFP is purchasing almost 8,000 tons of sorghum locally, to meet the needs of the affected population in Darfur. Commodities will be delivered between 20 December and 31 January 2005. As indicated in the report of last week, sorghum prices have increased by 45 percent compared to this time last year, due to limited supplies. WFP anticipates that prices may decline once more stocks are available in the market between the end of January/early February. Prices are expected to decline further during the peak of the marketing season in April.

(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. WFP's Darfur EMOP 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 89 percent of the total requirement (the project ends on 31 December of this year). The majority of 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) As for WFP's other Emergency Operation in Sudan, Emergency Food Assistance for Population Affected by War and Drought, its next phase is broken down by geographical clusters; South, East (Kassala and Red Sea state) and the Transitional Zones (Abyei, Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile). The operation will benefit the vulnerable residents (both conflict and climate affected); IDP's and IDP returnees, and refugees.

(i) An interagency assessment mission visited Odi, Kassala State, to assess the inter-sectoral humanitarian needs of the resident population. The residents arrived three years ago and are mostly nomadic. The mission found that while the resident population is poor, they do not merit emergency food assistance at this point in time. However, the mission recommended targeted interventions such as supplementary feeding, if justified by a forthcoming nutritional assessment. In addition, the mission recommended food-for-recovery activities to improve water availability as well as sanitation conditions, in coordination with other agencies. Currently, there are no schools in Odi. However, if new schools are opened, those should be supported through food-for-education. (j) As for the Malakal, Upper Nile region, WFP, UNICEF, OCHA, the Government of Sudan and GOAL conducted an assessment mission in Akoka, in response to requests for emergency food and non-food assistance to IDPs and other vulnerable people. Preliminary findings from the mission indicate that a number of households could not adequately cultivate crops because of unavailability of seeds and required labour. In addition, while the effect of poor rains on crop production was difficult to validate, there were indications that the actual time of planting -- for those households who had seeds -- may negatively impact crop production. The mission will present key findings and recommendations in a final report due in the next two weeks.

(k) Sudan's war and drought emergency operation 10048.02 requires a total of 345,325 tons of food or USD 367,973,225. Confirmed contributions received to date against this EMOP amount to US$ 239,512,276 with a remaining shortfall of about 34.9% of the total operational requirements. Upon finalisation of the EMOP 10048.3, WFP plans to assist an estimated 3.2 million people from January-December 2005, with gross requirements of over 267,900 tons of assorted food commodities, at a total cost of USD 307,806,424.

8) Tanzania

(a) In a meeting with refugee representatives, District Commissioners for the districts hosting refugees in western Tanzania announced that Tanzanian Government restrictions on refugee movement and agricultural activities would be enforced more strictly in the future. Refugee markets will remain closed and business exchange between refugees and local people will remain prohibited. The District Commissioners instructed local police forces to enforce these regulations strictly as the Government believes that violation of refugee movement restrictions is contributing to growing crime in the area.

(b) Only five new arrivals were received at refugee camps in western Tanzania in November. As of 30 November, however, an additional 194 refugees had arrived at reception centres or way stations and were awaiting screening.

(c) A total of some 1,650 refugees repatriated in November, i.e. about 1,435 Burundian refugees (facilitated) and some 215 DRC refugees (spontaneous). This compares to almost 1,360 in October. Overall, the numbers repatriating remain far below the January to September 2004 monthly average of 8,652.

9) Uganda

(a) The ceasefire declared by the Government of Uganda (GoU) on 14 November remained in place and has been extended, although the designated safe zone for the Lord's Resistance Army has been reduced to 100 sq. km. The Government announced that the ceasefire zone has been extended to southern Sudan, to allow rebel leader Joseph Kony to meet with his deputy. It is anticipated that Mrs. Betty Bigombe, a former Minster for northern Uganda, who is mediating between the GoU and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), may meet the LRA leader soon.

(b) During the week, the security situation in Gulu, Kitgum, Pader and Lira districts remained relatively stable, although the LRA continue to attack civilians and loot property outside of the ceasefire area, causing anxiety among the civilian population.

(c) WFP food distribution continues to reach some 1.4 million displaced persons, 154,000 refugees and other vulnerable persons. During the period from 6 to 10 December 2004, some 4,245 tons of WFP relief food assistance was distributed to 301,100 persons, including IDPs sheltering in camps in Gulu, Pader and Lira districts in the northern Acholi sub-region; refugees, school children and other vulnerable persons

(d) WFP and Makerere University will jointly implement Nutrition and Health activities in all 100 IDP camps in northern Uganda and the Karamoja region. The one-year partnership will include a baseline survey of current nutrition and health knowledge, attitudes and practices for the development of communication tools and materials and recipes incorporating CSB for WFP beneficiaries

(e) The US ambassador visited a WFP-supported nutrition centre in Bundibugyo district on 9 December

(f) WFP faces a shortfall of some 24,590 tons of food commodities with a funding gap of USD 13 million, required to maintain the food pipeline necessary to continue providing relief assistance to IDPs and refugees through May 2005.

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

1) Chad

(a) On 12 December, a group of seven Chadian rebels were captured by government forces and transferred to N'Djamena. Continued Chadian military movement in north-eastern areas is raising concerns for the humanitarian community. The military is reportedly in search of water. Government suspicion over the use of Thurayas (satellite radios) obliges the humanitarian community to be careful.

(b) The estimated caseload reported by UNHCR as of 12 December totals 202,630 refugees. This comprises of 201,130 refugees in camps and some 500 refugees to be transferred from the border. Another 4,000 refugees are located at border sites and do not wish to be transferred. UNHCR reported a total of 3,750 new arrivals in Bredjing, Farchana and Guereda refugee camps.

(c) WFP has completed the first 15-day general food distribution cycle for December in all eleven refugee camps. This comprised of some 1,475 tons of food commodities to almost 197,430 beneficiaries. This distribution occurred before UNHCR conducted a new registration in Amnabak refugee camp, where there was an increase in refugee numbers. This additional caseload will be included in the second distribution cycle for December, which is planned to start next week.

(d) Although WFP's upstream pipeline is healthy, shortfalls are still expected for oil and salt in case of late cargo arrivals from Benghazi.

(e) In addition, WFP UN Humanitarian Air Services (HAS) delivered some 1.5 ton of medical supplies for MSF Belgium and MSF Holland from N'Djamena to Abeche. WFP HAS also provided two charter aircrafts to transport a Spanish delegation from N'Djamena to Abeche on 9 and 13 December. WFP's weekly regional flight on the N'Djamena-Yaoundé-Bangui routing is ongoing

(f) During last week, Food For Peace (FFP) Regional Officer, Ms. Carolyne Hughes, completed a three day visit to Eastern Chad to view FFP programmes in support of WFP assistance to Sudanese refugees. Ms. Hughes visited four refugee camps, as well as WFP warehouses, refugees' schools and the Therapeutic Feeding Centre, managed by MSF Holland. Ms. Hughes appreciated the great improvement in WFP's operations since her last visit.

2) Cote d'Ivoire

(a) The UN Security Council has delayed the application of targeted sanctions, including a travel ban and the freezing of assets belonging to specific actors in the Ivorian crisis, in order to give South African President Mbeki's mediation efforts time to work. A 13-month ban on arms sales imposed on November 15 remains, however.

(b) UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called for an additional infantry battalion of 850 soldiers to act as a reserve force in Abidjan, along with 125 additional police officers. If approved by the Security Council, the reinforcements would bring the peacekeeping mission's authorized troop strength from 6,240 to 7,466.

(c) WFP, UNICEF and OCHA participated in an inter-agency mission in M'Bahiakro and Priko (central part of the country), to assess the situation of approximately 2500 people who were displaced by the fighting last month. As this population is unable to return to their villages, their situation remains precarious. WFP will provide an initial one month full-ration to the 2500 beneficiary caseload; WFP will then re-assess the situation to see if continued assistance will be necessary.

(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) Guinea

(a) The facilitated repatriation process of Liberian refugees is ongoing. On 3 December and 9 December, two convoys transported some 452 Liberians, bringing the total to 969 since the beginning of the process on 10 November. A total of 1500 are expected to have returned home by the end of December. This is substantially lower than the foreseen number of facilitated repatriation of 4000 refugees in 2004.

(b) From 29 November to 13 December, WFP distributed 530 tons of food to 45,000 beneficiaries. Due to dwindling food stocks, the refugees continue to receive a reduced ration of 1600 kcal (a practice which started in September). Continuing this practice will have serious implications for the nutritional situation of the refugees, especially in Laine and Nonah, where refugees have limited coping mechanisms. A Household Food Security survey, carried out in the camps in May 2004, showed that almost 50 percent of the refugee population wouldn't have enough resources to meet their minimal food needs in case of a 1600 kcal reduced ration.

(c) Current stocks will only allow distributions in December and January. The February situation is critical. Due to late arrival of additional contributions, WFP is prompted to consider delaying deliveries under Emergency School Feeding activities, which could lead to a two month's break of the school meals. Additional donor support is urgently needed in order to enable WFP to provide full rations to the refugees and continue school feeding.

4) Liberia

(a) From 7 to 12 December, 1,000 tons of food were distributed to 96,500 beneficiaries. WFP continues to provide resettlement packages to IDPs, whose return into their original communities is being facilitated by UNHCR and other agencies. During the before mentioned period, two convoys of 430 IDPs were dispatched from IDP camps in Montesserrado Country and resettled in Grand Cape Mount County. As of 12 December, some 1,100 families comprising of 6,000 IDPs have been assisted in returning home since the beginning of the resettlement exercise on 8 November this year. The resettlement process continues to be slow due to various factors, including logistic constraints with transporting the returnees.

(b) The resettlement of refugees is also continuing, and from 7 to 12 December, some 405 Liberian refugees arrived in Monrovia by air from Nigeria and Ghana. About 3,900 Liberian refugees have been repatriated and have been assisted with a total of 130 tons of food since the launch of the repatriation exercise in October 2004.

(c) During the first week of December, WFP, the Ministry of Health and Partners conducted a food security and nutrition survey in Bomi County. The survey was aimed at providing baseline data on health & nutrition and food security situation in the county. A total of 900 households occupied by some 5,365 inhabitants were surveyed. The results indicate a global acute malnutrition of 5 percent and a severe acute malnutrition rate of 0.7 percent. Stunting levels remain high at 32 percent while underweight was 22 percent. Crude Mortality was 1.08 deaths per 10,000 per day, while under-five mortality was 1.53 deaths per 10,000 per day.

(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 30 November to 13 December, WFP distributed 150 tons of assorted food commodities to 13,300 beneficiaries.

(b) The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Germany, Ms. Eva Luise Kohler, visited the Gondama Refugee Camp in Bo district, accompanied by WFP staff.

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

1) Regional

(a) Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) 10310, Assistance to Populations in Southern Africa. Vulnerable to Food Insecurity and the Impact of AIDS, urgently seeks USD 171 million for its first year of operation. Critical cash contributions are needed to procure food to be distributed during the 'hunger season' in the first quarter of 2005.

2) Angola

(a) PRRO 10054.2, Support to Return and Resettlement, still requires about USD 50 million to provide about 80,000 tons of food to returnees in 2005.

3) Lesotho

(a) From 8 to 14 December, WFP and its partners distributed 1,200 tons of food to some 93,000 vulnerable people, including households affected by HIV/AIDS.

4) Malawi

(a) On 14 December, WFP and UNICEF signed a memorandum of understanding to provide a framework for cooperation and joint programming to assist vulnerable populations and contribute towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. WFP will strengthen partnership with line ministries from Government, national and international NGOs, civil society, other UN agencies and donors in the implementation of joint programmes.

5) Mozambique

(a) WFP met with French and Nordic cooperation agencies, as well as with USAID and DFID this week to discuss collaboration and partnership for the relief and recovery operation in 2005. WFP plans to provide 36,000 tons of food to 1.2 million beneficiaries in 2005.

6) Namibia

(a) Last week, about 8,000 orphans and vulnerable children received WFP food in Kavango, Caprivi and Oshikoto regions under EMOP 10334.0, Targeted Food Assistance Orphans and Vulnerable Children Affected by Food Insecurity and Impact of HIV/AIDS.

7) Swaziland

(a) The Swaziland component of PRRO 10310, Assistance to Populations in Southern Africa Vulnerable to Food Insecurity and the Impact of AIDS, was officially launched on 8 December. WFP plans to provide food to 165,000 vulnerable people who require short-term emergency aid until the harvest in April 2005.

8) Zimbabwe

(a) The SADC Drought Monitoring Centre reported that Zimbabwe might experience below normal rainfall in the critical growing period of January to March 2005. The rainy season, which normally begins in early November, started late in December. In addition to the threat of inadequate rains, late distribution of seed and a severe shortage of fertilizer could also affect the harvest.

(b) The price of the staple maize continues to rise as the 'lean season' progresses. In the city of Mutare in eastern Zimbabwe, the average price of maize has increased by 60 percent since September. Queues of people waiting to buy maize are occurring in parts of the country, particularly in the dry south. Declining supplies and the exhaustion of farmer-held stocks partly explain the steep price increases. A three-year ban on commercial imports and restrictions on the internal movement of maize have contributed to the increasing shortfall in supplies.

(c) The Government is expected to pass into law the Non-Governmental Organizations Bill within a month. The proposed law will bring NGO operations under tighter government control and could curtail operations of some of the WFP implementing partners.

(d) Food distribution to a targeted 1.6 million Zimbabweans is progressing on schedule. About 8,000 tons of food was distributed to 449,000 people by 12 December. WFP expects to complete the distribution of over 25,000 tons by the end of December

F) Asia: (1) Bangladesh, (2) China, (3) DPR Korea, (4) Myanmar

1) Bangladesh

(a) Harvesting of the Aman-rice crop is ongoing. Market surveys suggest higher than usual prices of different kinds of rice and other fresh products. The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) has recorded over 10 percentage food price inflation after the flood.

(b) On 11 and 12 December, WFP and UNICEF conducted an Information, Education and Communication (IEC) session among 60 project coordinators of all five partner NGOs in the Supplementary Feeding Programme that forms part of emergency operation (EMOP) 10380, Assistance to Flood Affected People in Bangladesh. The identification of project participants (422,250) has been completed now. Food distribution under this programme will commence on 18 December.

(c) About 2,000 tons of high energy biscuits (HEB) have been distributed, under the same EMOP, to some 600,000 primary school students since September, representing just over half of the current total allocation. The remaining quantity of HEB would meet requirements until February 2005. If additional resources are realised, WFP would to extend the duration of assistance to August next year.

(d) The distribution of some 135 tons of vegetable oil from the Government of Bangladesh among 330,000 beneficiaries is expected to be fully implemented one of these days.

(e) Nearly 4 months after the start of the EMOP, resourcing levels remains largely inadequate, representing only 36.3 percent of the total needs.

2) China

(a) WFP and China have celebrated a 25-year partnership with a landmark agreement to join efforts to combat global hunger. In addition to a promise of increased Chinese funding for WFP operations, both sides are working on an agreement that would make China's expertise and talent available to the agency to strengthen its capacity to respond to sudden food emergencies. Frequently afflicted by natural disasters - flooding, drought and earthquakes - China has developed exemplary capabilities to manage their consequences.

(b) WFP's Executive Director, James T Morris, during a five-day visit to China, met with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, and travelled to the western province of Gansu, where WFP and the Government are together implementing a range of poverty alleviation projects. WFP plans to phase out food assistance to China next year, as the country attained national food self-sufficiency in the mid-1990s. The Chinese Government has been an increasingly strong supporter of WFP's work in the country itself and abroad.

3) DPR Korea

(a) From 11 to 17 December, 17 out of 19 WFP- supported Local Food Production factories have been operational. The Chongjin, Wonsan and Hamhung noodle factories, and the CSM/CMB factories in Hamhung have already fulfilled the production quota for 2004 and have therefore suspended production until 20 December. Production for the second week of December was 430 tons.

(b) This month WFP is again 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. Because of access limitations, operations in Chagang Province will be suspended from December 2004 through February 2005. This impacts 7 counties where WFP previously had access.

(c) Sugar was restored in corn soya milk/cereal milk blend recipes, with the receipt of the first shipment early December. Stocks of dry skimmed milk however will start running low in February and new pledges are urgently needed for the production of biscuits and blended food.

4) Myanmar

(a) Under PRRO 10066.2, Assistance to Returnees and Vulnerable Groups in North Rakhine State and Magway Division of Myanmar, the vulnerability to food insecurity- ranking exercise of villages in six selected townships is being carried out in the central dry zone Magway Division. Following a coordination meeting on 14 December in Yangon, project proposals from eight cooperating partners (CP) are being finalized. The household baselines are being planned for early January 2005.

(b) The annual diplomatic visit to Northern Rakhine State (NRS), the other PRRO target area, was held between 8-10 December. Visits focused on UN and NGO activities in NRS and included a visit to Ngan Chaung primary school, where take-home rations were being distributed under the school feeding component of the PRRO. Under the community home-based care component, the monthly November distribution to 103 families with people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) and to 353 other chronically ill people was continued.

(c) Under EMOP 10345.0, Emergency Food Assistance to Ex-Poppy Farmers in Northern Shan State, Myanmar, Food-for-Work workshops for cooperating partners in Laukkai Kokang were held. Many of the schemes that have started focus on rural village access roads, community water supply schemes and school renovations that are necessary due to the increased attendance of students since the EMOP's take-home rations started in July this year. Following the training of volunteers on HIV/AIDS awareness, conducted during the end of November, these volunteers, under guidance of CP's, have started disseminating their messages during the food distribution exercises.

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

1) Colombia

(a) UNHCR reported fresh violence against indigenous communities in the Uraba region, northern Colombia. Inhabitants of Las Playas, a small settlement in Uraba, are considering a massive displacement if the situation remains volatile. UNHCR promised to step up its activities in the region to improve protection for the Embera-Catío ethnic group.

(b) According to the new versión of UNICEF's "State of the World Children", Colombia is the world's fourth worst violator of children's rights. The report points out that girls as young as 12 are submitted sexually to the armed forces in order to ensure their families' safety.

(c) A joint WFP - IOM (International Organization for Migrations) and UNCHR mission assessed the situation in the rural areas of the municipality of Bojayá and provided assistance to the indigenous communities of Playita, Egoroquera, Hoja Blanca, Union Cuiti, and Union Baquiaza, currently at risk due to the blockade established by different armed groups in the zone. A young nursing mother died of hunger recently in the community of La Playita. The mission provided food to support 1,500 people during the construction of community centers in each one of these localities, as well as of an aqueduct in the community of Union Baquiaza under WFP Food-for-Work activities.

(d) A total of about 465 tons of food was delivered last week in the context of the PRRO 10158, Assistance to People Displaced by Violence. The food was distributed in 13 provinces reaching some 58,370 people. These commodities were distributed under the modality of Food-for-Work / Food-for-Training activities to nursing and expectant mothers for nutritional recovery, in community kitchens and school feeding programmes.

2) Guatemala

(a) The Constitutional Court has suspended for the third time the compensation payments for members of the former Civil Self-Defense Patrols or ex-PAC. According to the Court, the law that sanctions the compensation payments fails to specify clearly the source of the funds. This decision may trigger new protests by members of the former paramilitary group.

(b) Heavy rains in the province of Petén flooded several houses in Santa Elena and Flores. In the municipality of La Unión, province of Zacapa, some 20 houses are at risk of collapsing as a result of landslides that have progressively eroded the hill where the houses stand.

(c) The National Coordinating Committee for Disaster Reduction held a three-day earthquake drill in order to assess the capacity of emergency response agencies and promote disaster preparedness. Some 3,000 people participated in the exercise, including search and rescue teams from El Salvador and Honduras.

(d) WFP dispatched nearly 350 tons of maize, beans, vegetable oil, and CSB to community distribution and therapeutic feeding centers run by the Ministry of Health, to contribute to the nutritional recovery of children, pregnant and lactating women, and their families suffering from recurring shocks. The food aid will benefit over 4,100 families (20,500 beneficiaries) over a two-month period.

3) Haiti

(a) The entire country continues under UN security phase III. Several shooting incidents were reported during the week in parts of Port-au-Prince, mainly in Cité Soleil, Bel-Air, Delmas and La Saline areas. Up to five people were reportedly killed. On 14 December 2004, the MINUSTAH together with the Haitian National Policy launched a major security operation in "Cité Soleil". The MINUSTAH forces are planning to establish and maintain a permanent presence in the area and gradually hand over responsibility of its security to the national police.The insecurity continues to hamper humanitarian operations, affecting WFP directly. Two WFP vehicles were reported hijacked on 13 December. The drivers were released and no WFP staff member was injured in the incidents.

(b) Following the end of the strike that had paralyzed Port-au-Prince's port operations for the last two weeks, WFP started moving its food containers from Port-au-Prince seaport to its central warehouse. WFP was able to remove 24 containers (out of 379 containers) during the first two days. However, the operation is still hampered by the situation of insecurity prevailing around the port area.

(c) Under WFP's flood emergency operation (EMOP) in Haiti, a total of about 150 tons of WFP food commodities were distributed by implementing partner CARE to 5,025 beneficiaries in localities that had been heavily affected by the flooding in the commune of Gonaïves. Distributions were held at a rate of 1-2 distribution sites per day. In addition, 40 tons were distributed to 650 families affected by the floods in the country's Northwest.

(d) In addition, a total of over 215 tons of food was delivered to health centres (EMOP and Country Programme) in the West, North and North-East departments and through the various Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation activities in the North-West.

(e) Training for implementing partners in running school feeding and de-worming activities continued at 85 schools of the North and North-East. During the training, school directors received guidance for the proper management of school-feeding operations during this scholastic year.

(f) WFP signed an agreement with AMURT-USA, a WFP implementing partner, regarding the provision of emergency assistance to populations in the Department of Artibonite, affected by the floods that occurred after the passage of Hurricane Jeanne.

(g) On 14 December, WFP released a music video by Haitian singer/songwriter Wyclef Jean, who visited flood-stricken parts of Haiti in October, and whose new song 'Gonaïves' seeks to raise awareness and support for thousands of people still recovering from the devastation. During his recent visit to Haiti, the Grammy-award winner visited WFP projects, where he witnessed the critical need for food aid and other assistance for those still reeling from their tragic loss of life and possessions.

4) Nicaragua

(a) The political crisis in the country continues, as the executive power appealed for legal protection at the Supreme Court, accusing the parliament of destabilizing the powers of the State. The governance of the country is seriously affected by the crisis. During the past week, ex-president Arnoldo Aleman was released from prison and submitted to house arrest at his farm "El Chile".

(b) According to the Ministry of Agriculture, no significant losses in the second harvest (Postrera) have been reported. Nevertheless, the rapid assessment performed by WFP in November showed that a significant number of farmers sowed less area with basic grains than normal, which is affecting the poorest farmers' access to food. The Ministry of Agriculture is only reporting losses with respect to areas cultivated, hence not taking into account areas that were not planted as a result of the drought that caused widespread losses of the first harvest. WFP is monitoring the situation.

(c) WFP continued to distribute food in the context of PRRO 10212.0 covering a total of 78,960 school children in Nicaragua. 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.

(d) WFP in Nicaragua will face shortfall for its PRRO 10212.0 through May 2005, of rice (504 tons), beans (441 tons), vegetable oil (253 tons) and maize (1,296 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 2005.

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