WFP Emergency Report No. 9 of 2005

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 25 Feb 2005
(A) Highlights
(B) Middle East,Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan (2) Iran (3) Pakistan (4) Russian Federation (Caucasus)

(C) East & Central Africa: (1) Burundi (2) Congo, DR (3) Djibouti (4) Eritrea (5) Ethiopia (6) Kenya (7) Rwanda (8) Sudan (9) Tanzania (10) Uganda

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

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

(F) Asia: (1) Bangladesh (2) India (3) Indonesia (4) Korea (DPR) (5) Maldives (6) Myanmar (7) Sri Lanka

(G) Latin America and Caribbean: (1) Colombia (2) Cuba (3) Guatemala (4) Guyana (5) Haiti (6) Nicaragua

(A) Highlights

(a) In response to the current emergency that arose due to extreme weather conditions in Afghanistan and Pakistan, WFP is launching an Immediate Response project in Pakistan. Some 50,000 of the most vulnerable people in Afghanistan's affected areas have already received food assistance.

(b) WFP forms part of an inter agency assessment mission, investigating needs from the earthquake in Kerman Province, Iran.

(c) Field work for the Government of Indonesia-led Nutrition Surveillance System, supported by WFP and other UN agencies and international NGOs, began this week in 13 districts in Aceh province.

(d) In India, the distribution of high energy biscuits to 133,000 tsunami affected beneficiaries was finalized.

(e) WFP is closely monitoring influxes of returnees in different parts of southern Sudan in order to provide timely food assistance.

(f) An assessment mission in Kenya found that approximately 1.6 million drought-affected people need food assistance possibly until August 2005, including 420,000 school children

(g) WFP plans to increase food distributions in Burundi, after assessment findings revealed a food deficit increase of 6 percent.

(h) WFP is providing food aid to some 4,260 refugees who fled from civil strife in eastern DRC into Uganda.

(B) Middle East,Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Afghanistan (2) Iran (3) Pakistan (4) Russian Federation (Caucasus)

(1) Afghanistan

(a) The security situation remained relatively calm throughout most of the country.

(b) The adverse weather conditions across the country particularly in the north, centre and the west, continued to hamper humanitarian operations in these areas. WFP is joining hands with the Government, United Nations agencies and other partners to combat the acute food insecurity arising from extreme weather conditions in several parts of the country. Highly affected areas include central Ghor and southern Zabul and Uruzgan provinces, where thousands of vulnerable people are cut off from rest of the country due to road closures as a result of heavy and prolonged snowfalls. WFP has assisted 50,000 of the most vulnerable people in the affected areas, in response to the current emergency situation.

(c) Efforts continue to assist food insecure populations in the severely affected districts of Shahrak, Tulak, Pasaband and Taywara of Ghor. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and WFP have reached Shahrak by road and started food distribution in the area. WFP in collaboration with the Government and the coalition forces will soon launch food airdrops in areas inaccessible due to bad road conditions.

(d) In Zabul, nearly 5,500 families in some of the worst affected districts received emergency food assistance. Food was airlifted to the remote areas using military helicopters. Furthermore, 240 families were assisted in Chora and Khas Uruzgan districts of Uruzgan province.

(e) To help reopen the land routes in Ghor, WFP in partnership with the Department of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (DRRD) has mobilized some 600 workers through food-for-work projects to remove snow from blocked roads to enable aid convoys to get through. Snow clearing projects are also underway in the central Ghazni province.

(f) In addition to the above mentioned emergency response activities, WFP continued with its ongoing activities. Overall, during the period from 16 to 23 February, some 442,100 beneficiaries received 3,350 tons of food across the country.

(g) Under a Food-For-Work (FFW) project recently completed in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar, six springs, three check-dams and 12 karezes (underground irrigation channels) were rehabilitated. FFW interventions aim to enhance agricultural production and improve community access to social services through the construction or rehabilitation of communal infrastructure.

(2) Iran

(a) An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale occurred on Tuesday 22 February in Zarand, Kerman Province (750KM south-east of Tehran) at 05:55 local time. Based on the latest information received from the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS), 430 persons are confirmed dead, while 900 persons are injured. The affected region comprises 40 villages and 3 main towns, with an overall population of 40,000 persons. The Office of the Natural Disaster Task Force, within the Ministry of Interior, has informed that search and rescue operations have ended, except in two remote villages.

(b) The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has not requested international assistance, although assistance offered, either in-kind or cash, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

(c) National authorities and the IRCS are distributing relief items to the affected population. Although temporary shelters and tents have been provided, the IRCS reported that the additional tents and generators still figure among the most urgently needed items. IRCS is also distributing food rations to the affected population.

(d) The UN Disaster Management Team met on 22 February, and agreed to send an inter-agency assessment mission to the affected region on 26 February. The mission will comprise officials from WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, WFP, OCHA and UNFPA.

(3) Pakistan

(a) From the beginning of February heavy rains have continued intermittently in the southern part of Pakistan's Balochistan Province, causing floods and disasters including the collapse of dams along the coast of the Arabian Sea. Continued heavy snowfalls in Asad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Provinces and in the mountainous areas in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have also generated avalanches and landslides.

(b) The Government of Pakistan has immediately provided some relief to the needy people. Various national and international NGOs are also actively involved in the relief operations. Due to the heavy snow falls, rains and floods, the accessibility of the areas has been one of the key problems.

(c) WFP has been actively participating in the UN Disaster Management Team (UNDMT) and was part of two rapid assessment missions in Balochistan, NWFP and AJK provinces. Based on the outcomes of the assessment reports, the UNDMT, including WFP, identified the immediate need for an Emergency Relief Operation.

(d) WFP will as a first step, approve an Immediate Response project up to half a million USD, in order to provide food assistance to affected areas of Balochistan, NWFP and AJK, The second step will be the formulation of an emergency project for a duration of three months which is expected to be considered and approved by the end of next week.

(4) Russian Federation (Caucasus)

(a) During the first half of February, the overall security situation in the region remained unchanged. The ceasefire that had been declared by the militants until 23 February did not hold completely, as last week Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) vehicles in Chechnya were attacked. On the other hand, the LEA seems to have used this period to intensify its efforts to eliminate militants and their bases, reason for which the threat to UN staff in the North Caucasus has not increased.

(b) According to the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), as of 15 February, in Ingushetia there were 33,965 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Chechnya of whom about 21,905 reside in private accommodation, and 12,060 in spontaneous settlements.

(c) During the first fortnightof February, under relief distribution activities, WFP Cooperating Partners (CPs) distributed 1,190 tons of food to around 102,000 vulnerable persons in Chechnya and some 385 tons for 32,800 IDPs in Ingushetia.

(d) Food commodities for the school feeding programme for February had been distributed through CPs in January. Some 112,000 children in kindergartens and 1st to 6th grades are currently provided with daily hot meals and high energy biscuits in nine districts of Chechnya. In Ingushetia, WFP also complements the daily hot meals for some 1,670 children in IDP schools, by providing them with basic food commodities through Caritas International.

(e) The Food for Work programme was continued in the city of Grozny and districts of Achkhoi-Martan, Gudermes, Shali, Kurchaloy and Urus-Martan by WFP CPs - People in Need (PIN), Center for Prevention of Humanitarian Catastrophes (CPHC) and Open Continent (OC). The total number of participants involved in the implementation of the programme in February is 2,210 (representing 11,050 beneficiaries). WFP provided some 4 tons of food for the TB programme, which currently covers some 350 in- and outpatients in TB institutions in Ingushetia and Chechnya.

(f) In February, WFP provided some 13 tons of food for the Dining Hall project, to complement the efforts of Caritas Internationalis in providing daily hot meals for 1,600 of the most vulnerable persons in Grozny city.

(g) To date, total contributions to EMOP 10128.1, Emergency food Assistance to Vulnerable Households in the North Caucasus, amount to USD 16.4 mln (62 percent) against USD 26.6 mln required for the period until June 2005. Within the next six months, WFP expects shortfalls in wheat flour, sugar, salt, and high energy biscuits. Those shortfalls, if not covered, may affect all WFP programmes in the region.

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

For information on resources, donors are requested to contact:

Valerie Sequeira
Valerie.Sequeira@wfp.org
tel: +39 06 6513 2009
Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome - Italy

Media queries should be directed to:

Brenda Barton
Brenda.Barton@wfp.org
tel: +39 06 6513 2602
Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome - Italy

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