(B) West Africa: (1) Chad (2) Cote d'Ivoire (3) Liberia (4) Mauritania
(C) Southern Africa: (1) Regional (2) Angola (3) Lesotho (4) Madagascar (5) Malawi (6) Mozambique (7) Swaziland (8) Zambia (9) Zimbabwe
(D) Asia: (1) Bangladesh (2) Indonesia (3) Korea (DPR) (4) Maldives (5) Myanmar (6) Sri Lanka
(E) Latin America and Caribbean: (1) Bolivia (2) Colombia (3) Cuba (4) Guatemala (5) Haiti (6) Nicaragua
(A) East & Central Africa:
(a) A mortar-shell attack on some central residential areas of the capital occurred on 15 March. Reportedly, the Front for National Liberation (FNL) was behind this attack. Killings of civilians and armed robberies continue to be reported in several areas of the country. After receiving threats from members of neighbouring communities, over 1,000 Burundians have fled the northern provinces and sought refuge in Rwanda during the past couple of weeks.
(b) The country has been receiving normal to above-normal rainfall. This has encouraged farmers who were hoping for a normal harvest. Nonetheless, the lack of agricultural inputs constitutes a serious threat to the success of the season.
(c) WFP distributed close to 2,000 tons of food aid to over 255,400 beneficiaries through different activities.
(d) The distribution of the Seeds Protection Rations continues. Some 1,500 tons were distributed to over 39,000 families in Kirundo, Muyinga, Gitega and Ruyigi provinces. Fourteen new Food-For-Work (FFW) projects, amounting to over 5,100 tons of food aid, have been approved in Kirundo, Muyinga and Gitega provinces. They aim at relieving acute short-term food insecurity.
(e) The National Secretariat in charge of demobilisation reported that 5,600 former combatants from armed groups and the national defence forces have been demobilized so far. WFP provides food to all demobilisation centres.
(f) Unless additional donor contributions are received, food shortages might occur, starting in May for some commodities and in June and July for others. Given the current projections, the food security situation might deteriorate further from May onwards if crop yields for the next harvest are below normal levels. Close monitoring of the pipeline and food deliveries is thus warranted. (
2) Congo, DR
(a) In Bunia on Sunday, 13 March, the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) gave an ultimatum to all the militia groups, mainly in Ituri district, to disarm before 31 March. The militiamen were to disarm and return to civil life or join the national army. After the Sunday ultimatum, peacekeepers could use force to restore peace in DRC, following the instructions of the United Nations. Steps have been taken to reinforce the United Nations Mission in the DRC (MONUC) with the deployment of African forces in the near future.
(b) The judges of the new International Criminal Court (ICC) had their first hearing on the DRC cases last week in the Hague. It focused on the inquiry into war crimes allegedly committed in the DRC. The ICC is the world's first permanent tribunal for trying cases involving genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. To keep the court impartial, the procedural hearing will be held in a closed session with no members of the press or public allowed to attend.
(c) Increasing numbers of Congolese refugees continue to cross from Tanzania into Uvira and Fizi in South Kivu each day. The security situation in both towns is reported to be calm and this may explain the decision of the refugees to return home.
(d) The reunification exercise of the Congolese army continued in North Kivu. As a result, 150 demobilized child soldiers are already sheltered in two rehabilitation centres in Rutshuru. Meanwhile, Caritas and World Vision, WFP's implementing partners, dispatched food to assist war-affected people in Buramba (Rutshuru territories), Nyabiondo and Masisi.
(e) On 10 March, WFP and a local NGO conducted a monitoring mission in Baraka and Kazimia, north of Fizi, to monitor the rehabilitation of feeder roads and income generating projects involving women victims of sexual violence.
(a) The fifth convoy this year of the voluntary repatriation of refugees originating from Somaliland was organized on 15 March. A total of 123 families or 617 persons from Holl-Holl camp in Djibouti were safely repatriated to Borama and Garbo-Dadar in the province of Awdal. The caseload of refugees now stands at 11,373 refugees in the two camps of Ali Addeh (5,542) and Holl-Holl (5,831).
(a) On Friday, the Government of Eritrea strongly denied allegations that it has massed troops along its border with Sudan. The denial followed reports in Sudanese media quoting the governor of Sudan's eastern state of Kassala, who stated that Eritrea was boosting its forces along the border for purposes of spying. Relations between Eritrea and Sudan are tense with the two governments frequently accusing each other of supporting opposition movements on the other's soil.
(b) In the western region of the country, intensive land preparation is expected to start between April and June, depending on the geographical location and rainfall pattern. In all sub-regions, residents report tight food availability, especially after the food rations had to be reduced due to limited relief food aid stocks in the country.
(c) The livestock in these sub-regions is beginning to show signs of the effects of drought, and many herdsmen are moving towards riverbanks in search of food and water for their animals. Animal deaths have not yet been reported. The central region experienced a few rain showers including hail - which are exceptional for this time of the year.
(d) While monitoring food distributions in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in the southwestern part of the country, WFP field monitors observed that all water pumps except one, did not function. The camp's administration was trucking the water to the residents.
(a) There are concerns about deteriorating humanitarian conditions in pocket areas of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR), Oromia and Somali regions. Humanitarian partners and WFP field monitors report signs of increasing food insecurity, and the situation is being closely monitored. Rains have been received in Jijiga zone in Somali region in recent days. This could potentially ease water shortages currently experienced in the area, but continued monitoring is required on the onset of the "gu" rains, which normally start at the end of March and continue until end of April. In Afar, rains were received in zones 3, 4 and 5 but as these are not the most affected areas of the region in terms of food insecurity, and close monitoring of the northern parts of the region is needed.
(b) The Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), which aims at assisting up to 5 million chronically food insecure people through cash or food transfers in 2005, officially started in mid-February. External financing resources have been transferred from federal to regional authorities. Community works of the PSNP are underway in many areas, but most areas have not made food or cash transfers to beneficiaries so far. If substantial transfers can be effected from the end of March, food security conditions should improve considerably in the chronically food insecure areas under the PSNP. For relief food distributions, in February, new emergency food allocations were made for Afar, Tigray, Oromia and Gambella regions, with total allocations amounting to 35,500 tons. In Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR), carry-over stocks at regional level from 2004 were utilized. Similarly, Amhara relief distributions are expected to start in April, using 2004 carryovers. Food allocated last month is still being dispatched, with food having reached most localities in Afar and transport ongoing in Tigray and Gambella regions. In Gambella region, transportation is being hampered by recent security incidents.
(c) Relief food requirements for March are 55,000 tons for 3 million people. In the absence of confirmed contributions from donors, WFP has had to resort to its special loan facility which allows borrowings to be made against forecast contributions, rather than actual contributions. While this will ensure that relief distributions can continue for March and part of April, WFP urges donors to confirm contributions currently under negotiation and to make additional resources available for Ethiopia. Confirmed contributions of emergency food aid stand at only 25 percent of the requirements set out in the 2005 Humanitarian Appeal.
(a) Rainfall outlook for the next 3 months is above average; the critical issue will be its distribution.
(b) In addition to 849 Burundian refugees registered by UNHCR coming from the provinces of Karuzi, Kirundo and Muyinga to Rwanda, 250 more were registered on 14 March. Among them, people from the Abatwa ethnic group (pygmies) have crossed for the first time into Rwanda, which means that the situation in Burundi is getting serious since this group does not move easily. The number of unaccompanied minors among these refugees is alarmingly high.
(c) During the past week, another 295 new arrivals were received in Nyamure and Gikonko camps and a two-week food ration was distributed to them. A total of about 290 tons of mixed food commodities was distributed to some 18,000 Congolese refugees in Kiziba camp in Kibuye. The total number of Congolese and Burundian refugees currently in Rwanda is 44,469 and 4,702, respectively, making a total of 49,171.
(d) A total of 233 Rwandan returnees from Congo and Uganda were received at Gisenyi and Byumba. They all received a 3-month ration.
(e) The food situation is serious with accumulated arrears for already executed works under the Food-For-Work (FFW) programme. Further ration cuts are contemplated and no new FFW activities will be approved before the pipeline situation improves. School Feeding is being affected by the food loans to the PRRO; a budget revision is being prepared to accommodate increased needs.
(a) The general insecurity and lawlessness that inhibits the provision of humanitarian assistance in many parts of Somalia have increased - notably in parts of Sool and Sanag in the North, Lower Juba Valley, Gedo and Benadir (including Mogadishu) in the South and Galgadud/South Mudug in central Somalia.
(b) Relief distributions under the PRRO, Food Aid for Relief and Recovery, were completed with 1,350 tons reaching 135,000 beneficiaries from communities in the North which have been affected by the year long drought, mudslides and flashfloods. However, regular programmes in the social support sector, such as the support given to mother and child health clinics, orphanages and FFW activities which are aimed at rehabilitation have been on-going in WFP operating areas such as Bay and Bakol regions.
(c) WFP Somalia continues with the third round of distributions to assist the Tsunamiaffected communities along the northeast coastline of Somalia. Some 50 tons of food commodities have been dispatched, reaching 3,300 beneficiaries of the 30,000 affected population.
(d) The Tsunami Inter-Agency Assessment Mission of the Northeast Somali Coastline between Hafun and Gara'ad published its final mission report on 11 March. The main recommendations included: 1) The need to promote livelihood recovery and support the fishing livelihood, especially through new fishing gear and resource transfer until the next fishing season; 2) the rehabilitation and /or new construction of more sustainable and reliable new water sources; 3) road rehabilitation and improvement to ensure a quick response as well as market access for inputs and export of the area's main source of income, the fishing industry; and 4) immediate reconstruction of houses destroyed by the Tsunami in particular in Hafun, Baner Beyla, Dharinragas and Kulub.
(e) WFP together with AFREC, a local NGO, distributed over 820 tons of assorted food commodities that were pre-positioned in Kismayo for Marere and satellite villages in the Lower Juba Valley as targeted relief distribution.
(a) DARFUR: The security situation in Darfur remains fragile with increased incidents over the week. Fighting was reported south of Western Jebel Marrah. Unconfirmed reports state that the fighting is between the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Government of Sudan (GoS). In addition, cattle raiding and looting of commercial vehicles continue in South Darfur. Restrictions of movements within the Darfurs, due to insecurity, are severely hampering food distributions. Fighting between the National Movement for Reform and Development (NMRD) and the GoS in West Darfur was also reported.
(b) Humanitarian operations have been affected by the suspension of WFP-HAS helicopter flights in North Darfur, due to a break in communication between the SLA and the UN in North Darfur. Planned field assessments in North Darfur, particularly to areas with gaps in humanitarian assistance, have been put on hold due to the suspension of the helicopters. In West Darfur, movements of UN vehicles outside of Geneina were suspended following three days of attacks on vehicles belonging to international NGOs by armed bandits.
(c) WFP dispatched close to 13,000 tons to an estimated 726,334 beneficiaries (based on dispatches) from 1-14 March. A total of 1,700 tons of food was airlifted or airdropped into the Darfurs during that period. As of 14 March, some 20,300 tons of food have been dispatched by road and air from Khartoum and El Obeid to the Darfur state capitals, representing 55 percent of the monthly distribution plan of 36,800 tons and 47 percent of the overall monthly dispatch plan of 43,000 tons. It should be noted that the monthly dispatch plan includes 6,300 tons for dispatch to West Darfur for pre-positioning purposes. WFP will continue to pre-position commodities in West Darfur before the onset of the rainy season to prevent the disruption of food supplies to the population.
(d) WFP will continue to advocate for blanket supplementary feeding across the Darfurs, considering that the present encouraging nutritional situation can be attributed to regular food distributions and good health, water and sanitation facilities in this period of the dry season.
(e) Together with International Organization of Migration (IOM) and Cooperating Partners, WFP is currently undertaking a massive registration exercise across the three Darfur states. All parties have been heavily engaged in the preparation of this exercise over the last six months. The registration exercise has been relatively smooth to date.
(f) Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Holland and Action Contre la Faim (ACF) presented the results of nutrition surveys carried out in February 2005 in Kalma camp and Nyala town respectively. In both areas Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) dropped compared with September 2004. Meanwhile, preliminary reports from medical and nutrition agencies working in Kalma camp indicated a sharp increase in the mortality rate of children under five this past week. In South Darfur, an increase in IDP movements into areas that currently receive WFP food rations and other humanitarian assistance was observed. Over 25,000 new arrivals were registered (10,767 new arrivals in Firdos and Abu Matariq in Ed Daien locality; 1,967 in Adilla; 12,649 new arrivals in Um Dukhum, Mukjar locality). An additional 161 Dinka IDPs voluntarily returned to south Sudan in a convoy of six trucks. Khor Omer has served as the transit point for these IDPs originating from various areas.
(g) A USD 30 million budget revision is currently undergoing approval to increase the cereal ration from 13.5 kilograms to 15 kilograms per beneficiary per month from April to December 2005. This increase will compensate for Kcal losses due to milling and will contribute to mitigating cereal supply scarcity in markets due to insecurity and drought.
(h) To cover the requirements of a monthly average of 2.3 million beneficiaries, WFP has estimated a total requirement of some 453,200 tons (USD 438.2 million). So far, WFP has received USD 258.4 million, representing a 41 percent shortfall. A significant amount of contributions received was provided as in-kind cereals (USD 220 million).
(i) The cereal pipeline will most likely remain healthy through October. However, the status of the non-cereals pipeline remains a serious concern. Despite loans of USD 20 million and borrowings of 31,000 tons of commodities to overcome non-cereal shortfalls, food distributions in some locations in Darfur are already lacking sugar, causing some distress among beneficiaries. Further pipeline breaks are expected for salt and CSB in July and pulses and oil in August. Contributions are urgently required for non-cereals so that WFP can 1) guarantee a complete food basket to beneficiaries and 2) successfully pre-position commodities in key locations before the onset of the rainy season. The non-cereal requirements for the months, June-August, are estimated at a total of 18,000 tons. As it takes at least six months for a contribution to translate into food at household levels, contributions need to be pledged immediately to arrive on time.
(j) The Special Operation for logistics support in Darfur faces a shortfall of USD 26.7 million. One hundred long-haul trucks must be procured urgently to augment logistics capacity.
(k) The WFP-Humanitarian Air Services, which provides services to the entire humanitarian community in Sudan, faces a shortfall of USD 17 million. Of this, USD 5 million is urgently required to continue contracting and deploying the passenger aircraft required in the coming months in support of the movement of passengers and humanitarian cargo in Sudan. With monthly operating costs of 2 million, funding will not be sufficient to continue with the current fleet after the end of March, affecting regular flight schedules or air transport of non-food items.
(l) OPERATION LIFELINE SUDAN (Southern Sudan). In an effort to stabilize sorghum prices, the Strategic Reserve Authority (SRA) has allocated 30,000 sacks of sorghum for the Red Sea State markets. Market surveys undertaken this week in Port Sudan indicated no change in the average price of sorghum. The SRA has also injected huge supplies of cereals in White Nile State which resulted in a remarkable decrease in cereal prices.
(m) An interagency mission comprising FAO, WFP, WHO, UNICEF,NCA and Care International undertook a rapid assessment mission in Aweil and Gogrial, Bahr El Ghazal during the first week of March. The objective of the mission was to assess the trend of returnees reported by local authorities. Both Aweil and Gogrial are considered as potential return areas. Food shortages resulting from a poor harvest and crop failure were observed in both areas and Gogrial was reported as the hardest hit. The majority of food commodities originates from areas controlled by the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA). Some malnutrition cases were reported by Aweil hospital. The team also noted the scarcity of clean drinking water inside the towns and on their peripheries. WFP plans to carry out a registration/verification exercise in the coming weeks.
(n) WFP and GOAL held a meeting following a GOAL nutrition survey which reported Global Acute Malnutrition at 24.8% and severe Acute Malnutrition at 3%. WFP recommended that ongoing assistance being provided through GOAL to Mother and Child Health (MCH) feeding centres in Malakal should be expanded to areas where the levels of malnutrition were highest. In addition, WFP and GOAL agreed to work with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on standardizing nutrition based programmes in Malakal and to also consider supporting community-based initiatives and health and nutrition training activities.
(o) The WFP registration/verification exercise that started last week in the Nuba Mountains is ongoing. During the week, the Sudanese Red Crescent (SRC) registered 53 new returnees (50 percent female) from Khartoum, who will proceed to their original villages. WFP and SRC are finalizing an agreement to cover general food distribution and rations for an estimated 10,000 returnees.
(p) A USD 3 million contribution was confirmed during the week. This contribution comes in addition to the recent donations totaling USD 19.2 million. Confirmation of contributions is urgently required to allow commodities to be pre-positioned before the onset of the rainy season. Some 9,600 tons from the 2005 contributions are expected to arrive in country between March and May. However, stocks will start to become depleted in early May if the average monthly distribution of 26,300 tons, which includes an allocation for the returnees caseload, is achieved. The total shortfall from March to August is estimated at 50,800 tons of mixed commodities. So far, the total contributions received against the OLS EMOP amount to over USD 42 million, representing an 86 percent shortfall of the total requirements.
(q) On 11 March, a Budget Revision was approved for EMOP 10048.3 increasing the original budget by USD 425,052. The purpose of the budget increase is to allow the pre-positioning of an emergency transit ration of 15-days high energy biscuits to be distributed to returning IDPs. This transit ration will provide necessary food inputs to a targeted 43,500 returning IDP beneficiaries en route to their home locations.
(r) During the week, a USD 1 million was confirmed against the Special Operation 10368 in support of the EMOP 10048.3. The SO faces a 70 percent shortfall against its total requirements. The total operational value is estimated at USD 89 million.
(a) A total of about 3,400 Burundian refugees returned to Burundi in February.
(b) Some 402,600 beneficiaries received over 1,100 tons of food through general distribution, supplementary feeding and therapeutic feeding in refugee camps in western Tanzania. Over 10,000 Tanzanians in the host communities surrounding the camps were supported with WFP host community activities.
(c) Preliminary feedback on the ration changes from beneficiaries in Ngara indicated that the increase in pulses was appreciated. However, many refugees expressed concerns over the reductions in all other commodities and the complete lack of any corn-soya blend (CSB) in particular. This coupled with the continued market closures is placing added stress on beneficiary coping mechanisms.
(d) Evaluations of School Feeding for formerly out of school HIV/AIDS orphans and Food-For-Training at Kayanga Vocational Training Institute were completed. The two projects were carried out successfully and consequently WFP will continue both activities throughout 2005. The evaluation of the Food-For-Work project in Kibondo, involving the construction of secondary schools, was also completed during the month, and an extension of the project for a third phase was recommended.
(e) In Kigoma, WFP signed an agreement with a local NGO, Movement for Improvement and Boosting Organization (MIBO's), through which WFP will provide Food-For-Training related to environmental protection and tree planting. The training will be conducted for 230 facilitators and subsequently to 920 community members in Kigoma rural villages.
(f) In preparation for 2006, the WFP Great Lakes Evaluation Mission visited the Tanzania Refugee Operation in Kigoma and Kagera regions. The evaluation team focused on whether or not the current PRRO met its stated objectives and to formulate the next phase PRRO document.
(g) An in-kind contribution of USD 411,149 was received. A new ration modification took effect on 14 March, increasing the ration provided to refugees from 1,323 Kcals to 1,617 Kcals per day (i.e. 87 percent of the normal ration level). While the rations of maize were augmented, the PRRO still faces serious shortfalls of CSB, vegetable oil and salt for the coming months.
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