Angola + 15 more

WFP Emergency Report No. 34 of 2001

This report includes: (A) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Balkans, (2) Russian Federation (B) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Honduras, (2) El Salvador, (3) Nicaragua, (4) Ecuador, (5) Bolivia (C) East Africa Region: (1) Somalia, (2) Ethiopia, (3) Eritrea, (4) Tanzania (D) Central Africa Region: Angola (E) West Africa Region: (1) Sierra Leone, (2) Guinea, (3) Liberia
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) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Balkans, (2) Russian Federation

(1) Balkans

(a) Kosovo

1. The inflow of refugees from fYRoM has decreased significantly following the Framework Agreement signed last week. WFP, in collaboration with its local distribution partners (LDPs), started the monthly food distribution to 52,000 refugees on 20 August.

2. WFP and international implementing partners (IPs) have trained LDPs on targeting of vulnerable refugees in preparation for September deliveries, which will follow a targeted rather than blanket distribution approach.

3. WFP completed food distribution to 101,000 beneficiaries under the safety net programme, on 17 August. WFP will reduce the number of beneficiaries to 70,000 ?75,000 by October, in line with its exit strategy. WFP, IPs and LDPs have agreed on beneficiary numbers for each area of responsibility.

(b) Serbia

1. WFP is currently assisting 9,200 registered refugees from fYRoM who have fled to southern Serbia.

2. The final report of the WFP/UNHCR Joint Food Needs Assessment Mission (JFNAM) has been submitted to the Ministry of Social Affairs. WFP will organise internal and regional meetings with all Local Committee Meeting participants in order to discuss the implementation of the JFNAM's recommendations and the shift of focus in WFP's programme.

3. The Joint WFP/FAO Crop and Food Assessment Mission report has been finalised and will be distributed shortly.

(c) fYRoM

1. Targeting, monitoring, enhanced self-reliance and diversification of assistance schemes have paved the way for a scaling down of the current refugee caseload receiving WFP food assistance. Effective 1 September, the beneficiary caseload will drop from 5,500 to some 4,600.

2. The signing of the agreement on constitutional change took place on 13 August. The deployment of NATO's "Operation Essential Harvest" advance team continued over the period 17-19 August. As of 22 August, the number of IDPs stood at some 60,000. The overall security situation remains locally tense as sporadic cease-fire violations continue to be reported in the west and north of the country. Displaced people from villages that have been directly affected by the fighting are reluctant to return home until they feel fully assured that their security is guaranteed.

(d) Montenegro

1. The July/August distribution for 17,000 social cases and 8,800 pensioners has been completed. Checking of waybills showed that, in most municipalities, the arrival of commodities was timely. Pensioner Clubs will review beneficiary lists for the next distribution cycle with no change in the overall number of eligible pensioners. WFP and IFRC decided that a new, unified ledger would be used for all categories starting with the November/December distribution.

(2) Russian Federation: (a) Ingushetia, (b) Chechnya

According to the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) database, a total of 145,300 Chechen IDPs have been registered in Ingushetia as of 15 August, while 133,425 IDPs and 112,460 vulnerable people are currently staying in Chechnya. DRC, with the support of WFP and UNHCR, started a household survey in Achkhoy-Martanovskiy and Sunzhenskiy Districts of Chechnya, on 20 August. The information gathered will be used to target the most needy households for WFP food aid.

(a) Ingushetia

1. WFP, in collaboration with DRC and Islamic Relief (IR), distributed 965 tons of food to over 68,000 IDPs in Ingushetia, during the first two weeks of August. WFP staff interviewed displaced families in Malgobek, Muzhichi, Surkhakhi, Nesterovskaya, Ekazhevo and Yandare, who indicated their general satisfaction regarding the food distribution.

2. The survey of market prices in Ingushetia revealed that the new wheat harvest has brought down considerably the prices of wheat flour.

(b) Chechnya

1. WFP, in collaboration with DRC, distributed 108 tons of food to over 7,600 beneficiaries in Staropromislovskiy district of Grozny, during the first two weeks of August. People in Need Foundation (PINF) assisted 28,000 people in Zavodskoy, Leninskiy and Octyabrskiy districts of Grozny, providing them with 444 tons of food. An additional 18,500 beneficiaries are currently receiving WFP assistance. WFP, in partnership with Caritas Internationalis, continues to assist four Children's Centres in Grozny.

2. This month WFP suspended food assistance in the Achkhoy-Martanovskiy district, due to a divergence with some of the local administration representatives over the distribution modalities.

3. WFP and IR are discussing the possible start of a Women's Bakery Project in the city of Gudermes, through which bread would be distributed on alternate days to about 5,000 vulnerable people.

4. Despite a new contribution valued at USD 14.6 million, WFP foresees food shortfalls in October. Urgent cash contributions are required for local purchase of food; this would cover requirements until November, when commodities will be available.

(B) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Honduras, (2) El Salvador, (3) Nicaragua, (4) Ecuador, (5) Bolivia

WFP has received confirmation of a contribution of 4,800 tons of food, value at USD 2,122,530 to assist drought-affected victims in Central America.

(1) Honduras

(a) WFP continues distributing emergency food rations in the most affected areas, in collaboration with local authorities and various NGOs, including World Vision, Save the Children and Atlas Logistique. As of 22 August, 1,059 tons of food have been distributed among drought-affected people in the provinces of Choluteca, Valle, Francisco Morazan, El Paraiso, La Paz, Comayagua and Intibuca.

(b) Other organisations such as CARE, COPECO, the Red Cross and Mennonites Committee for Social Action have also been distributing food to drought-affected people. The Ministry of Agriculture and donors intend to provide seeds for the second agricultural cycle.

(2) El Salvador

(a) WFP Emergency Operation has been extended to 13 January 2002. WFP in collaboration with its 30 NGO partners has distributed 7,591 tons of food to 200,000 earthquake victims through Food For Work (FFW) activities over the last 6 months. WFP has so far received USD 4,400,000 out of USD 9,940,857 of the initial commitment. Due to the lack of resources, WFP will reduce the beneficiary caseload to 75,000 people during September and October. Additional distributions will be depending on new contributions.

(b) The National Secretariat of the Family (SNF) distributed 45 tons of WFP food to 431 drought- affected families in the eastern province of La Union. An additional 3,000 families will be reached next week in La Union and San Miguel. Meanwhile, NGOs have begun FFW projects targeting another 10,000 drought affected families involved in sowing activities in the eastern regions. WFP will require additional resources to meet the needs of an estimated 20,000 extremely vulnerable families.

(3) Nicaragua

(a) WFP plans to assist 9,083 drought-affected families who lost over 50 percent of their maize crop, through FFW activities during 3 months. In addition, around 12,000 pre-schools children and 28,000 primary schools children currently assisted by WFP will receive an increased ration. Distributions are scheduled to start next week.

(b) WFP visited the floods-affected communities of Alamikamba and Klarim Dam on 15 August, to monitor food distribution among Misquito families. The team confirmed that people are in dire need of medical assistance, medicine (strikethrough: s) and clean drinking water.

(c) WFP visited on 14-16 August, the El Tuma-La Dalia district, where the population has been seriously affected by the coffee crisis. WFP in collaboration with the Government and several organisations are now assisting the most affected among the population.

(4) Ecuador

(a) The Tungurahua volcano's activity has destroyed an estimated 36,000 hectares of cropland, damaged 3,107 homes, poisoned pastures, killed live stock and contaminated drinking water, since 4 August. More than 4,500 families, mostly poor farmers have lost their limited assets and crops and are now at high risk of food insecurity. This situation has upset years of progress achieved in many rural communities.

(b) As an immediate response, WFP intends to assist the most vulnerable among 4,500 affected families in Tungurahua, Chimborazo and Bolivar provinces. WFP is extending some of its development activities to the affected areas in order to provide high nutritional sustenance to children under two as well as to pregnant and lactating mothers. WFP is also facilitating emergency needs assessments as well as coordinating with the Local Emergency Operation Committees to establish logistic and communication systems for food aid distribution.

(5) Bolivia

(a) Floods during the first three months of the year combined with droughts have affected more than 350,000 people. Most are subsistence farmers that are facing food insecurity in the short-run. Approximately 119,000 hectares of crops, mostly basic food basket crops have been lost and important productive infrastructure has been destroyed.

(b) WFP approved in February an Emergency Operation to provide assistance to 94,300 persons with 4,920 tons of food. Food distributed under WFP Emergency Operation has been drawn from WFP/Government regular development projects. As of 22 August, over 2,400 tons of wheat have been provided to approximately 200,000 people affected by the floods. Food distribution under EMOP 10033.0 has not taken place since July due to lack of resources and WFP is currently supporting the reconstruction of infrastructure through FFW activities within the regular development projects and an additional donor contribution. WFP expects to face a wheat shortfall of 4,500 tons.

(C) East Africa Region: (1) Somalia, (2) Ethiopia, (3) Eritrea, (4) Tanzania

(1) Somalia

(a) On 22 August, WFP warned that more than half a million Somalis face a serious food crisis, following the almost total failure of rains in southern Somalia. The worst affected areas are Gedo and the Bay-Bakool sorghum belt. This area usually produces 70 to 75 percent of the annual sorghum crop. However, this year's harvest is not expected to reach more than ten percent of the average yield.

(b) The dry weather has also seriously affected the grazing and fodder conditions for livestock. Many families have already left the area, searching better grazing or seeking alternative means of survival.

(c) The poor harvest is hitting many areas where levels of malnutrition have been relatively high for the last two years. Assessments carried out in Bay, Bakool and Gedo as well as information collected from feeding centres indicate that many poor families have no stocks from previous years and possibilities to generate income are very limited.

(d) Somalia will need 40,000 tons of food assistance in the coming months to avoid a humanitarian crisis, according to WFP estimates. WFP is deeply concerned that food is made available to those worst affected and has already issued an appeal for 20,000 tons of food assistance.

(2) Ethiopia

(a) The Government's Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC) released the inter-agency assessment report on the Belg and Gu rains and food availability, undertaken in June. Based on the findings, DPPC revised the number of people targeted for assistance down from 6.2 million in January to 4.6 in August, with the numbers steadily declining to 1.2 million in December. However, the number of pastoralists in Somali Region requiring assistance will remain constant, around 1 million. The total cereal requirement is estimated at 252,333 tons, some of which is covered by carry-over stocks and recently confirmed pledges.

(b) This year's Belg rain and harvest were perhaps among the best in recent years. Many of the Belg season crops areas have managed to produce enough to see them through to the next harvest (meher) in November and December. Maize and sorghum, which are long cycle meher crops planted during the season, have also benefited greatly from the good and timely rain.

(c) In view of adjusted DPPC needs as well as recently confirmed pledges, the current overall shortfall to cover these needs to the end of December is 24,800 tons of cereals and approximately 38,600 tons of CSB and oil. A pipeline break is expected by late November, but there are indications of further donations which may cover the needs to the end of the year. For contingency purposes, additional donations are required towards WFP Emergency Operation 10030, which includes a bridging period to end of January 2002.

(d) Heavy rain fall has continued over recent weeks throughout the country, except the eastern and southern parts of Somali region and lowland areas of Bale in Oromiya region. As a result, heavy flooding has reportedly affected thousands in the Gambela and Afar regions, Eastern Shoa of Oromiya region and South Omo in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR). The DPPC and WFP have visited the affected areas to assess the extent of the damage, which is said to be more than usual. Preliminary estimates indicate that some 100,000 people would require assistance. DPPC is providing food assistance, which includes 180 tons of WFP-supplied high energy biscuits. The main requirement at this time is shelter material. UNICEF has responded by providing plastic sheeting for 4,500 families.

(e) The WFP-contracted short-haul trucks continue their operation in the Somali region during August. DPPC have requested WFP to extend the short-haul trucks' contract through September 2001.

(3) Eritrea

(a) Eritrean Relief and Refugee Committee (ERREC) reported distribution of 2,622 tons of food to 217,933 war and drought -affected persons in Debub, Gash Barka and Anseba Regions, between 6 and 19 August.

(b) WFP conducted a school feeding survey in the Debub Region. WFP found that most of the schools visited in Mai Mine sub-region, where the Ministry of Education reports a high drop out rate, were hardly accessible by roads and located in or near suspected mine infested areas. A number of additional factors limiting school enrolment were identified and will be taken into account to determine which facilities will be required in order for the surveyed schools to be fully operational. A similar survey is presently being conducted in the regions of Anseba, Northern Red Sea and Gash Barka.

(c) The results of a nutrition survey conducted by Concern in part of Anseba Region indicate a sharp increase in the global malnutrition rate to over 20 percent. In response, WFP and the Government will ensure that regular general distribution be resumed shortly, borrowing food from EMOP 10052.

(d) The regions of Anseba, Debub and Gash Barka recorded heavy rains between 6 and 19 August, which are likely to positively impact on prospective crop yields. However, WFP observed that excess rainwater in Mai Aini and Tsorona (Debub Region) submerged many planted fields. In addition, the recent precipitation in Gash Barka region greatly accentuated the soil erosion.

(e) The general situation in and around the Temporary Security Zone remains calm. However, the road conditions continue to deteriorate alongside the heavy rains in the Gash Barka and Debub regions. Mine incidents are frequently reported, particularly in the Gash Barka region where rains have increased the risk of land mines being washed onto previously cleared roads.

(4) Tanzania

(a) WFP distributed a total of 3,785 tons of food to 532,642 refugees living in various camps located in Kigoma, Kibondo, Kasulu and Ngara districts, during the second half of August. WFP supplied around 90 percent of the food ration, except for 5,685 extremely vulnerable individuals, who received a full ration.

(b) In addition, WFP supported various Supplementary and Therapeutic Feeding Centres (SFC and TFCs), providing 66 tons of food to around 17,240 malnourished cases. During the same period, 130 refugees were assisted in returning to their communities in Rwanda, bringing to 1,917 the total number of Rwandese assisted in returning home since 1 January.

(c) A total of 756 new refugees arrived in Tanzania from Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda during the first half of August.

(D) Central Africa Region: Angola

(a) The situation remained precarious last week, in several areas, including Bie, Kwanza-Norte, Malange and Huila provinces. Arrivals of new IDPs were also reported in Benguela, Bie, Huila, Malange and Uige provinces.

(b) Military instability has intensified in Quibocolo (Uige province) along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 10 August, forcing 397 people to flee to Uige. WFP have airlifted additional quantities of food to Makela de Zombo (Uige province), near the border with DRC to address the needs of 7,000 new IDPs arrived in town. UNHCR reported up to 10,000 new Angolan refugees, arrived to Kidomopolo area in DRC. WFP and other humanitarian agencies have already mobilised emergency assistance to these new refugees.

(c) WFP in collaboration with CRS assisted 1,064 children through a community kitchen project, in Cubal (Benguela province). Last week, 141 newly displaced people, arriving from Sassamo, Quikuesse and Lomone, were settled in the Municipality of Balombo, while 106 persons reportedly arrive from Ebanga village in the area of Lussole and Canjola.

(d) WFP supplied 553 tons of food to its partners to be distributed to 43,456 beneficiaries in Bié province.1,890 new IDPs coming from Kunhinga, Andulo, Chipeta and Chinguar have arrived to Kuito (Bié province) from 11 to 15 August and will be registered over the next few days, according to the Ministry of Social Action and Reinsertion (MINARS).

(e) 134 newly displaced people, fleeing insecurity in Chipindo and Chicomba municipality were registered by MINARS, WFP and NRC in Matala (Huila province). WFP in collaboration with NRC assisted them with food and non-food items. 512 IDPs have reportedly arrived in Cacula and Hoque and will receive assistance, upon completion of registration. Furthermore, 150 new IDPs have arrived from Chipindo and Huambo in Hoque and were, given their poor nutritional and physical condition, immediately assisted by WFP.

(f) 60 new IDPs arrived from Kiculungo, Samba-Caju, and Luinga (Ambaca) villages in Kwanza Norte province, during the last few weeks. The total number of deaths following the attack on a train on 10 August, between Luanda and Dondo, has reportedly risen to 256. WFP airlifted 175 kgs of medicine donated by AMI to Ndalatando hospital to assist the wounded victims. Last week, WFP distributed 63 tons of food to 4,240 IDPs in Mucondo area (Lunda Sul province).

(E) West Africa Region: (1) Sierra Leone, (2) Guinea, (3) Liberia

(1) Sierra Leone

(a) The security situation in the Western and Southern Provinces as well as in Kenema region continues to be relatively calm. WFP is closely monitoring the situation in Buedu, where 2,000 refugees have fled from Liberia. Security considerations continue to prevent WFP from operating in this area.

(b) WFP distributed a total of 246 tons of food to 13,303 beneficiaries, under various programmes from 13 to 19 August. This includes food assistance to IDPs in the Western area. An inter-agency verification of IDPs in the camps is scheduled to take place in mid-September.

(c) WFP has also delivered 98 tons of food to 8,800 returnees in Freetown area and is currently distributing 207 tons of food to 15,923 returnees in Lokomasama chiefdom. Relocation of a small number of returnees currently in transit camps in Freetown to Bandajuma, Tiama and Barri has begun. WFP in collaboration with Norwegian Refugee Council distributed 63 tons of food to 5,075 returnees at the Jembe settlement. In addition, 500 Sierra Leonean returnees transiting through the Ggbaima way station en route to Jembe were given a wet ration.

(d) In addition, WFP in collaboration with CARITAS completed distribution of 43 tons of food to 1000 families in Safroko Limba chiefdom (Bombali district) under a Food-for-Agriculture (FFAg) project. 122 tons of food were distributed to 2,855 beneficiaries, in Kailahun district. Based on the findings of a recent assessment confirming the food insecurity of the population in Dodo chiefdom (Kenema district), WFP assisted on 16-18 August 1,168 families with 50 tons of food distributed through FFAg. WFP delivered 44 tons of food to 4,442 people involved in FFW projects, including road rehabilitation and Water and Sanitation programmes in Kakua, Baoma, Valunia and G/Lenken chiefdoms.

(e) WFP assisted 950 malnourished children admitted in TFCs and SFCs, providing them with 8 tons of food. 3,020 pregnant and lactating mothers and 1,630 children in Interim Care Centres and orphanages received 52 tons of food, during the week.

(f) Finally, WFP delivered 40 tons of food to the Koidu Disarmament, Demobilisation and Re-integration (DDR) camp, where 7,200 RUF and CDF ex-combatants have been disarmed. WFP has also delivered 15 tons of food in support of the disarmament process in Kabala and Moyamba.

(g) WFP expects a shortfall of 1,036 tons of pulses. WFP will require additional commitments to meet food requirements in December. Continued shortfalls in salt have resulted in exclusion of salt from the Emergency School Feeding Programme ration. Current cereal, oil and sugar commitments are expected to meet WFP's food requirements for 2001. However, these commodities arriving in December, WFP expects shortfalls in October and November, unless stocks within the region can cover the needs.

(2) Guinea

(a) A total of 27,871 IDPs and refugees received 351 tons of WFP food throughout the country, last week. WFP in collaboration with ICRC completed distribution of 47 tons of food to 2,609 IDPs in Kissidougou and 847 IDPs in Boola (N'zerekore region). WFP started food distribution in Mamou on 6 August and has assisted 2,100 IDPs with 29 tons of food, as of 19 August.

(b) WFP in partnership with Première Urgence distributed 270 tons of food to 21,895 refugees in Telikoro and Kountayah camps (Albadaria region). A verification of the refugee caseload in Kountayah camp has recently started.

(c) WFP continues to support the on-going transfer of refugees to the Kola camp (N'Zérékoré region), providing dry and wet rations through the International Refugee Committee (IRC), upon arrival of the refugees in the camp. This past week, 420 refugees were transferred to the Kola camp, bringing the total of transferred refugees to 941.

(d) WFP, UNDP, UNICEF, UNHCR and Government officials undertook several joint missions to Gueckedou to identify possible road rehabilitation, disposal of waste, and water evacuation projects. WFP supported various TFC and SFC programmes in Gueckedou district, providing them with food to cover their needs for 3 months. Action Contre la Faim (ACF), with WFP support, is targeting a monthly average of 1,000 malnourished children and pregnant and nursing mothers.

(e) Following reports of a deteriorating food security situation in the Languette area, WFP has been liaising with its partners to seek ways of addressing the situation. WFP has provided ACF and the International Federation of the Red Cross with food for the SFCs in the Dabola hospital and the Sembakounya refugee camp.

(3) Liberia

(a) Fresh fighting has erupted between Government forces and dissidents in northern Lofa County, according to the Ministry of National Defence. The town of Kpatazu, near the border with Guinea has been reportedly burnt down. The Security Council has expressed concern over the continued fighting and urged all parties involved to show restraint and engage in dialogue.

(b) WFP distributed 102 tons of food to 9,499 beneficiaries in Bong, Harper and Zwedru counties, under various feeding programmes between 16 and 22 August. WFP and UNHCR met in Monrovia on 21 August to seek ways of limiting the effects of pipeline breaks on food distribution to Sierra Leonean refugees in Sinje, Cape Mount county in September. WFP suspended all FFW and Food for Training (FFT) projects on 20 August, pending improvement of the food pipeline situation.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 34)