WFP Emergency Report No. 47 of 2000

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 24 Nov 2000
This report includes: (A) Palestinian Territory (B) East Timor (C) Russian Federation / Northern Caucasus (D) Angola (E) Ethiopia (F) Eritrea (G) Sierra Leone (H) Republic of Congo (I) Burundi (J) FR Yugoslavia / Kosovo (K) Albania
From Francesco Strippoli, Senior Humanitarian Adviser. Available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (www.wfp.org), or by e-mail from Zlatan.Milisic@wfp.org. 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 Trevor.Rowe@wfp.org, telephone 39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

A. Palestinian Territory

(a) There has been a sharp escalation of security incidents in the Palestinian Territory and Israel in the past week. This has included the heaviest bombardment by Israeli Defence Forces of Palestinian-controlled areas since the current wave of clashes began in September. Restrictions in mobility between Palestinian towns and border closures have been further tightened in the past week and the humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating. Essential United Nations staff remain on duty in Gaza City.

(b) WFP emergency food is being distributed in the Gaza Strip to an initial 65,000 people, using 650 tons of wheat flour purchased locally with funding from WFP's Immediate Response Account. The beneficiaries are part of a targeted population of 257,500 to be assisted under WFP's recently-approved Emergency Operation (EMOP). Distributions started on 13 November in Gaza City and continued on 19 November in Nusayrat. So far, beneficiaries have received some 400 tons of food under the EMOP. After the escalation of violence in Gaza on 20 November, trucks carrying WFP food could not reach distribution centres in Khan Yunis and Rafah because of roadblocks. If access cannot be secured, food distributions in Khan Yunis and Rafah will start on 24 November, using pre-positioned stocks (150 tons of wheat flour) to be distributed under the supervision of local emergency committees. However, WFP's main implementing partner, the Ministry of Social Affairs of the Palestinian Authority, expects an easing of the movement restrictions in the coming days.

(c) WFP urges donors to contribute to the EMOP, noting that it is for additional beneficiaries to those covered by the on-going Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO). The PRRO assists 104,000 people who are long-term special hardship cases among the non-refugee population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

B. East Timor

(a) The security situation continues to be under control with no new incidents reported. As a result, districts which were under security phase II have been downgraded to phase I.

(b) Food deliveries during the week were the following: Overland deliveries of 50 tons to Aileu, 80 tons to Same and 40 tons to both Liquica and Maliana; Barge deliveries of 400 tons to Oecussi and 150 tons to Suai; A two-day helicopter operation delivering 70 tons to Lolotoe sub-district (Opa). As the rainy season has set in, WFP focuses on pre-positioning food in sector West in anticipation of road deterioration resulting from future heavy rains.

(c) WFP provided food assistance to 410 returnees from West Timor. Each of them was given 5 kg of rice and a Humanitarian Daily Ration. This was the largest influx of refugees in the last few months. The total number of returnees since 08 October 1999 has reached 171,587.

(d) WFP provided transport assistance to USAID (24 tons of timber were delivered to Liquica) and to UNTAET Education division (to support the delivering of textbooks).

(e) WFP school feeding programme is currently in the planning process. School feeding assessment is expected to start next week in several districts.

C. Russian Federation / Northern Caucasus

(a) In Ingushetia, WFP has allocated 2,400 tons of food to assist a total of 158,000 registered IDPs during the month of November. As of 15 November, over 950 tons of WFP food commodities had been distributed to 63,000 beneficiaries by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and Islamic Relief (IR).

(b) UNHCR has now completed its last round of food distribution to host families in Ingushetia. From the beginning of November, the Swiss Disaster Relief has commenced distribution of cash to about 16,000 host families. This cash assistance represents compensation to host families for utilities (gas, electricity and water) consumed by IDPs while residing with them.

(c) In Chechnya, WFP has allocated over 1,000 tons of food commodities for distribution in November. This amount of food is being distributed through several implementing partners involved in direct distribution, food for work and institutional feeding. The total planned number of beneficiaries to be assisted during the month of November is 81,000 people, out of whom it is reported that 25,000 had received their ration in the first half of the month.

(d) Food distribution for some 46,000 IDPs and vulnerable groups started on 13 November in three districts of Grozny namely, Leninsky, Oktyabrski and Zavodskoy. Some 12,000 persons have received the WFP food rations in the above mentioned districts through the People in Need Foundation's direct distribution.

(e) On 13 November, DRC dispatched a convoy of approximately 198 tons of WFP food to Staropromyslovski, the fourth district of Grozny. This quantity of food is being distributed among 15,966 targeted beneficiaries in the district.

(f) The Center for Peacemaking and Community Development has started its food for work and institutional feeding projects in Achkhoy Martan and Urus Martan regions of Chechnya.

(g) The WFP Executive Director, jointly with the Director-General of FAO, approved on 20 November 2000 the continuation of WFP activities in the Northern Caucasus. Throughout 2001, WFP plans to provide assistance to 335,000 persons affected by the hostilities. Assistance will target primarily IDPs, residents of social institutions (orphanages, hospitals, etc.), single-parent households, pregnant women and nursing mothers, children and the elderly.

D. Angola

(a) The overall contribution towards the WFP PRRO 6159.00 remains USD 117,771,584 or 57 percent of the total operational requirement. To address the shortfalls of corn soya blend (CSB) and pulses, WFP has reduced the beneficiary population of CSB and is giving this product only to the most vulnerable groups. At the same time, WFP is using bilateral donations in cash to purchase CSB and pulses. These funds will enable WFP to cover the most immediate needs. However, further contributions for the PRRO are still urgently needed.

(b) Benguela: Up to the two first weeks of November 2000, WFP has provided 6,568 families with 88 tons of seeds and farming goods for the first agricultural season. The distribution figure is 24 percent of the planned figure, owing to the transportation insecurities on key roads. Three attacks on commercial trucks were reported during the week.

(c) Bie: Insecurity in the province has caused the arrival of 7,438 new IDPs into Kuito town during the week, with the majority arriving from N'harea (4,025), Cambandua (1,204) and Kuningha (1,309). The insecurity situation southwest of Kuito has been particularly worrying, provoking a further displacement of hundreds of people into Kuito. During the months of October and November alone, 18,909 new IDPs have arrived in Kuito. During the week, WFP delivered 789 tons of food to NGOs for 59,565 beneficiaries.

(d) Kuanza Sul: 91 tons of food commodities were distributed via different projects to 1,926 beneficiaries during the week. The commodities were distributed mainly for food-for-work activities for school construction, shelter construction for the resettlement programme of IDPs and the tree planting project.

(e) Moxico: An arrival of 214 new IDPs into Luena was reported, due to insecurity along the borders of Zambia and the provinces of Lunda Sul, Malanje and Bie. This brings the total number of IDPs arriving in Luena in November to 538.

(f) Uige: A total of 3,501 people from Kiongwa, Kissanga and Kibianga villages are temporarily seeking shelter in Uige, awaiting improvements of security in their own villages.

E. Ethiopia

(a) According to Ethiopia FEWS Net Report from 10 November, most crop dependent areas received sufficient rainfall for crop development during the rainy season. Harvesting has begun and will continue through December. Unusual rainfall in early November may have damaged cereal grains that have not yet been harvested. The impact of these late rains on crop production will be assessed in November and December.

(b) The FAO/WFP crop and food supply assessment started on 16 November. Six teams will be in the field for approximately three weeks.

(c) The joint Government/UN/NGO/donors led annual Emergency Needs Assessment started on 11 November. The teams will evaluate the outcome of the Meher harvest and its impact on food security for the majority of the population. They will also look at the beneficiaries' access to non-cereals and for which groups it will be necessary to include a variety of commodities in the food basket, such as pulses and vegetable oil.

(d) MSF-B has reopened a Therapeutic Feeding Center (TFC) in Denan following the results of a nutritional survey one month after the TFC was closed down. There are currently 60 children in the TFC, mostly consisting of newly arrived IDPs.

(e) UNHCR, WFP and ARRA have completed the registration of the Kunama refugees from Eritrea. The total number after registration is 3,190 refugees.

(f) School feeding has started in the Bonga refugee camp (Gambella) for approximately 2,000 students. It is anticipated that school feeding for some 2,800 students will start in the Sherkole refugee camp (Assosa) before the end of the year.

(g) As of 17 November, some 1,600 Kenyans left Ethiopia to be repatriated to Kenya.

F. Eritrea

(a) A total of 10,577 tons of WFP food commodities were delivered to cover the month of November, targeting war-affected people in the Debub and Gash Barka regions and drought affected persons in the Northern Red Sea Region.

(b) WFP in-country stock with ERREC as at 18 November amounted to 11,557 tons of mixed food commodities, including 6,498 tons of food for the war-affected people under EMOP 6044.01 and 5,059 tons for the drought-affected people under EMOP 6227.00. A total of 31,000 tons of wheat for the war-affected is still to be received from the vessel Massawa.

(c) An assessment of the relief food requirement for the year 2001 is ongoing. WFP expects to have the results of this exercise available by early December.

G. Sierra Leone

(a) With the signing of the new cease-fire agreement and new prospects of disarmament in the country, WFP resumed distribution for the Demobilisation, Disarmament and Rehabilitation Programme (DDRP) by distributing approximately 9 tons of food to 550 ex-combatants in Port Loko. This is due to be followed by food distribution to the DDR camp in Daru.

(b) During the week, WFP distributed a total of 416 tons of food to 58,701 people in Freetown, Bo and Kenema. Some 342 tons of food was distributed to 52,840 school children in Bo, Kenema, and Lungi. WFP teams reported a significant increase in school children attendance with a higher percentage of girls.

H. Republic of Congo

(a) During the month of October, WFP distributed 650 tons of food to 37,076 people.

(b) WFP's Executive Board met in October and approved the PRRO 6265.00 for the Republic of Congo. The operation is to assist over 342,000 beneficiaries over a period of two years starting from January 2001.

I. Burundi

(a) The Minister of Education jointly with the WFP Representative launched the pilot project of School Feeding for the primary schools in the drought-affected Northern province of Kirundo. The pilot project is assisting approximately 10,000 children in four communes affected by the drought in Kirundo province. In the coming months WFP plans to assist an additional 60,000 school children in Muyinga, Kirundo and Ngozi provinces. These provinces have been targeted because they have been seriously struck by drought resulting in a decrease in school attendance due to hunger. Since school feeding has begun, many pupils who had deserted school have returned and the number is regularly increasing.

(b) The Government continued to explain the content of the Arusha peace accord to people in Burundi. Nationals were briefed on the accord using a three-page compiled document. The people rose various ideas and concerns regarding the implementation of the accord.

(c) The security situation remained unchanged in Bujumbura. Heavy gunshots were heard in the surrounding areas of the capital and some attacks were also reported in Eastern and Southern provinces.

(d) The UN Secretary General Special Representative in the Great Lakes region, Ambassador Berhanu Dinka, was appointed by the UN Secretary General to be President of the Follow-up Committee " Commission de Suivi for the implementation of Arusha peace accord in Burundi". He carried out a visit in Burundi and met with different High Authorities including the warring parties and those who participated in Arusha talks to discuss modalities of implementation.

(e) During the past two weeks, WFP has distributed emergency relief food assistance via its partners to 66,378 persons, seeds protection rations to 73,960 victims of drought in Kirundo province and refugee rations to 2,000 persons in Cibitoke province. In addition WFP dispatched 24 tons of food destined to benefit 2,769 orphans and physically handicapped persons.

J. FR Yugoslavia / Kosovo

(a) On 17 November, the Executive Director of WFP and the Director General of FAO jointly approved the new phase of the Regional Emergency Operation for the Balkans Region for the year 2001. The Operation is due to commence from 1 January 2001. This operation in particular focuses on providing assistance to vulnerable people in Serbia whom are facing escalating prices and harsh new economic realities.

(b) Under this Emergency Operation, WFP plans to provide some 166,000 tons of food commodities at a total cost of around USD 90 million to assist some 980,000 people in the Region. The assistance provided will be in the form of food rations of wheat flour, pulses, oil and sugar. The beneficiaries will include some 700,000 people in Serbia and 150,000 in Kosovo. The remaining 130,000 persons targeted will be in Montenegro (68,000), Albania (54,500) and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (7,500).

(c) With the recent liberalisation of market prices in Serbia, the costs of essential food commodities have soared beyond the reach of many consumers. Destitute, unemployed and pensioners have been hardest hit by the escalating prices. The food aid of WFP will help fill the gap between the price of food and these people's purchasing power. The food assistance they receive from WFP will also enable them to use their meagre financial resources to supplement their food supplies and to meet essential non-food needs.

(d) In addition to the hardship cases among the local Serbian population, the beneficiaries in Serbia will also include refugees from the conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the second half of 2001, the number of beneficiaries in Serbia is expected to drop to some 450,000 beneficiaries, as the economy improves and more employment opportunities become available to the beneficiaries and durable solutions are found for many refugees.

(e) In Kosovo, WFP will continue to provide food assistance to the most vulnerable persons such as the handicapped, the sick and the women headed households. WFP assistance will be gradually scaled down, as most of these beneficiaries should begin to receive cash support from the state run social welfare system, which is now being set-up. WFP will endeavour to ensure that the food aid recipients, who are also the ones most in need of assistance, are eventually covered by Kosovo's social welfare system.

(f) In Montenegro, Albania and the Former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, WFP assistance will be provided to local vulnerable populations, internally displaced people and refugees.

K. Albania

(a) Distributions of WFP food commodities, via NGOs, have in the last month amounted to 826 tons (with figures from Kukes not reported) in the following regions: Fier (192 tons), Berat (121 tons), Tirana and Durres (53 tons), Shkoder (460 tons), targeting 46487 beneficiaries.

(b) To date, the WFP food stock in Kavaja amounts to 2367 tons. Discussions with the Mayor of Durres have held positive hope of the Government allocating a 10,000 square meters plot of land to WFP, where wiikhalls could be erected for central storage purposes and eventually relinquishing the Kavaja sheds.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 47)