Albania + 3 more

WFP Bi-Weekly Balkan Operations Situation Report: 21 March 2000

EMOP 6136.01- Food assistance to refugees, IDPs and social cases in the Balkan region
The Bi-Weekly Balkan Operations Sitrep is published on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.

Countries covered
Commodity Commitment (MT)
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania Cereals
Total Net Needs*
Beneficiaries of EMOP 6136.01
January - March
April - June
July - December
F.R.Y. - Kosovo
F.R.Y. - Serbia (without Kosovo)
F.R.Y. - Montenegro
F.Y.R. of Macedonia
Total Balkans


Violence continues in northern Mitrovica. On 7 March, 16 KFOR soldiers, 20 Serbs and 5 Albanians were injured in the violence.

The situation in southern Serbia, near the city of Gjilan (Kosovo), remains tense. As of 16 March, roughly 8,650 IDPs (UNHCR) have crossed into the Gjilan area from southern Serbia (persons arriving after 26 January 2000).

The PreparednessTask Force (WFP, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO, ICRC and NGOs) is currently in the process of a verification exercise to re-confirm present IDP numbers that have arrived from southern Serbia; enhancement of present registration system to provide ongoing, accurate IDP figures in a timely manner (responsible agency to be identified); preparation of reception centres; preparation of guidelines for the provision of food aid (based on needs assessment and with clear separation of new IDP caseload from the EMOP caseload). In addition, registration and collective centre sites have been identified in Gjilan, Ferizaj, and Glogovac. World Vision has already set up a temporary tent camp and ICRC is currently feeding approximately 1,000 IDPs through a local soup kitchen. WFP is co-ordinating closely with all the agencies involved in the planning in order to avoid duplication


FRY - Kosovo

The rural and urban Food economy assessments have been completed. The finding of the Assessment were presented to international and national partners (UNMIK Pillars, KFOR, Implementing Partners' Head of Agency, MTS Heads) on 10 March. Findings have confirmed that, thanks to improved economic conditions (spec. casual work opportunities in the construction sector, increased casual labour rates, salary payments to public sector employees, increased rural business activity), a phase-down of food aid from 900,000 to 600,000 beneficiaries, as anticipated in the EMOP document, is possible.

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) - Serbia (excluding Kosovo)

The southern Serbia security situation remains tense with armed clashes occurring on a regular basis. In early March, UNLO office in Belgrade reported that a UN vehicle ambushed by ethnic Albanians near the administrative border between Serbia and Kosovo in the Presevo area (southern Serbia). An Irish OCHA member was wounded in the exchange. The attackers later apologised for the attack and stated that they had mistaken the vehicle for a Serbian police vehicle. Agencies in Kraljevo have been advised to ensure their vehicles are clearly marked with stickers and flags to avoid confusion. In addition, a security advisory has been issued for 24 March, the one-year anniversary of the start of the NATO bombardment.

It has been confirmed that there were large quantities of cyanide and heavy metals washed into the fields of the most productive area of Serbia as a result of an industrial waste spill. It is not known at this time how this will effect the upcoming harvest.

A Food Economy Assessment is in process in Serbia. The mission will be in Serbia for three weeks to develop an overview of the current food security situation, in particular among vulnerable households.

WFP continues to discuss distribution plans with ACF, CARE, and IISA. IISA will distribute WFP commodities to refugees in collective centres and social cases in institutions. With this arrangement, which excludes YRC involvement, WFP is negotiating with the US for use of US commodities for these beneficiary caseloads.

WFP continues to work closely with the YRC to improve the monitoring and distribution systems within Serbia.

FRY - Montenegro

WFP chaired the Coastal Food Co-ordination meeting in Ulcinj. The participating agencies provided information on their activities and stated that the distribution of bulk food, fresh food and supplementary food had been carried out without any major problems. UNHCR reported on their assessment together with ACF on the Roma and IDP caseload on the coast. Some agencies reported they have plans to suspend the distribution of fresh and supplementary food at the end of March in order to start self-reliance programmes.

In addition, WFP organised a General Food Aid Co-ordination meeting for all agencies involved in providing food assistance to vulnerable people in Montenegro. Apart from WFP, the meeting was attended by UNHCR, CRS, MCI, ACF, HELP, MPDL, CARE, CRIC, and Premiere Urgence. The results of February distribution as well as the plans for future food aid activities in the region were presented. All organisations stated that their food aid programmes were carried out according to the plan.


The Macedonian Millers Association has made an accusation that 65,000 MT of "Kosovo flour" have been sold or bartered on the Macedonian black market since July, not by beneficiaries, but by NGOs and by implication, WFP. The complaint was made to the USDA Ag. Attache in Sophia, Bulgaria. Quantities involved are equivalent to total wheat flour quantity distributed in Kosovo over the four months from November to February. the FAO/WFP Food Security Surveillance Unit has been mobilized to verify factors affecting wheat flour markets in Macedonia. In addition, WFP Skopje and WFP Kosovo are coordinating with MCI and CRS to focus monitoring on verifying possible diversions of smaller quantities. To date, monitoring results confirm the effective distribution to beneficiary households.

UNHCR has completed the registration and verification exercise for Humanitarian Assisted Persons in FYRoM on 11 March 2000. The latest numbers are as follows:

Number of refugees in host families 6,699
Number of refugees in collective centres 2,428
Number of undocumented refugees (approx) 4,500

Total number of refugees in FYRoM 13,627

In consideration of the tense situation in southern Serbia, WFP and UNHCR have established a joint contingency plan to receive up to 40,000 IDPs.


The Regional Manager met with implementing partners, ADRA and MCI, and agreed that WFP will enter into formal partnership agreement for the ongoing social cases programme.


Confirmed contributions to EMOP 6136.01 as of 14 March 2000 amount to approximately 51.5 million dollars (42.26%). The current shortfall is 70.4 million dollars.

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