WFP Emergency Report No. 42 of 2000

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 20 Oct 2000
This report includes: (A) Resources Situation: Refugee Operations in Africa, Donor Consultation (B) Palestinian Territory (C) Vietnam (D) Uganda (E) Horn of Africa: Kenya and Eritrea (F) Sierra Leone (G) Southern Africa: Angola and Namibia (H) East Timor (I) Events: UN World Food Day, Awards Ceremony 2000, Executive Board Session
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 Marius.deGaayFortman@wfp.org at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2004 or 06 6513 2250. 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) Resources Situation

(1) Refugee Operations in Africa

(a) WFP and UNHCR addressed a joint letter to donors on 16 October, appealing for increased funding and support for refugee feeding operations in Africa, where food shortages are already apparent or expected in the coming months. Funding shortfalls of over USD 54 million have been reported in the refugee feeding operations in Tanzania, Guinea, Kenya, D.R. Congo, Zambia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Rwanda, Namibia and Gabon. The shortfalls have already resulted in the reduction of food rations in some operations.

(b) Refugee feeding operations with highest funding constraints for the period October to June (9 months) are: Tanzania with a shortfall of USD 18.7 million, Guinea USD 11.5 million, Ethiopia USD 9 million, Uganda USD 4 million, D.R. Congo USD 3.2 million, Kenya USD 2.3 million, Sudan USD 1.9 million, Zambia USD 1.48 million and Rwanda USD 900,000.

(2) Donor Consultation

(a) On 26 October in Rome, WFP is hosting a consultation with donors and representatives of the WFP Executive Board Bureau on the resources and food pipeline situation in WFP operations facing substantive funding deficits. The consultation will include the launching of the "Blue Book" - Projected 2001 Needs for WFP Development and Emergency activities - and discussion on the following WFP operations: Central and West Asia Drought, Balkans, Northern Caucasus, Mekong Flood Response, Angola, Kenya, West Africa, Central America, Colombia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Algeria, Iraq and North Africa. The "Yellow Pages" - 2000 Estimated Food Needs and Shortfalls for WFP assisted Emergency and Protracted Relief Operations, Development Projects and Special Operations - will be distributed a few days prior to the meeting.

(B) Palestinian Territory

(a) The entry points between Israel and Gaza Strip/West Bank remain closed, affecting local markets and employment opportunities. The movement of goods and personnel between the provinces within West Bank, however, has been allowed from 19 October. The authorities in Israel have also been instructed by the Foreign Minister that all humanitarian assistance, medical equipment and food be transferred to the Palestinian Authority without delay. This will depend on the local security situation.

(b) Essential UN staff remain on duty in Jerusalem and Gaza.

(c) Following a period between June and September, when no food aid distributions were carried out due to shortage of resources, recent arrivals of WFP food allowed resumption of distributions for 104,000 hardship cases. The distributions started on 2 October through the Ministry of Social Affairs and have continued since in the Gaza Strip. The distributions were resumed in two provinces in the West Bank - Hebron (on 16 October) and Nablus (on 18 October), while in Tulkarem they are expected to start on 21 October and in Kalkilia on 23 October. In the other provinces in the West Bank, it is hoped that the distributions will start next week.

(d) Deliveries of food to nine institutions for handicapped children, orphans and elderly persons, run by local NGOs and Catholic Relief Services, will also start next week. World Vision International is planning emergency food distributions in selected villages, for about 600 families. The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) continues its routine food distributions to the refugee population, which includes hardship cases as well as pregnant and nursing mothers.

(e) Upon the request of the Ministry of Social Affairs, WFP has agreed to provide monthly emergency food aid rations to 4,900 families whose members have been unable to work because of the closure of entry points and do not have other income. This activity will be assisted within the framework of the ongoing protracted relief and recovery operation.

(C) Vietnam

(a) The implementation of the WFP EMOP, approved under delegated authority and using funds from the WFP's Immediate Response Account, is currently under process. A total of 945 tons of rice are to be distributed to some 42,000 beneficiaries. The allocation of food aid by province has been adjusted in view of the latest information concerning the most urgent needs, as follows: Long An 210 tons, An Giang 315 tons, Dong Thap 420 tons.

(b) First deliveries and distributions of rice have started on 19 October and it is expected that all deliveries will be completed by the end of October, while the distributions will continue until mid-November. The rice will be delivered by the supplier to provincial centres and directly handed over to the selected districts for onward transportation and distribution. Distributions will be implemented by the Southern Chapter of the Vietnam Red Cross and the whole process will be closely and regularly monitored by WFP.

Preparation of the provincial level "relief maps" is currently underway, to ensure clarity and transparency on the involvement of different partners in the relief operation. This will facilitate monitoring, ensure that overlapping is avoided and help identify gaps in the relief operations.

(D) Uganda

(a) WFP approved an emergency operation to assist 190,000 people worst affected by drought in the Karamoja region of Uganda. Through this EMOP, WFP is planning to provide 12,222 tons of food aid over a period of six months, October to April.

(b) Deaths linked to the Ebola virus have been confirmed in areas where WFP distributes food, notably in Gulu district where 390,000 displaced people have found sanctuary in IDP camps.

(c) People living in IDP camps in areas where the Ebola disease has taken grip will continue to receive WFP food aid despite the outbreak. Special measures will be put into place at the food distribution sites, such as protective clothing and extra security. WFP has agreed to start providing relief food to hospitals caring for Ebola patients, which will help nourish infected individuals and seal off the hospital to outsiders.

(d) WFP has appealed for USD 39 million to assist the displaced people in the north, as well as refugees and vulnerable groups in Uganda, but so far only 22 percent of the requirement has been covered.

(e) WFP is planning to spend USD 50 million over the next two years to ensure that hundreds of thousands of northern Ugandans living in precarious conditions continue to receive food aid .

(f) Violent attacks by rebel groups operating in the north continue and tens of thousands of people have been forced out of their homes. Many have sought shelter and protection in ad-hoc camps near urban centres. Earlier this month, an attack on Padibe camp (25 km north of Kitgum) which hosts 30,000 IDPs, resulted in 12 people being killed, 40 injured, and 400 homes burned to the ground.

(g) WFP is trying to ensure that food aid continues to reach these people whose lives have been devastated by the violence. Attacks, ambushes and constant threats against aid workers in this region make this a difficult operation, requiring WFP to deliver food under military escort.

(h) WFP is currently feeding in Uganda over 550,000 IDPs, nearly 80 percent of whom are living in the north of the country. The remainder are based in the south-western district of Bundibudgyo. WFP also provides food to 153,000 mainly Sudanese refugees, living in the northern West Nile region.

(i) Over the next two years, WFP is hoping to go beyond just providing emergency assistance and focus on setting up food-for-work and training programmes. These projects will give those displaced by violence, but also communities vulnerable to food shortages, the skills and opportunities to enhance their agricultural production and economic development.

(E) Horn of Africa

(1) Kenya

(a) A project proposal for the extension of the drought emergency operation (EMOP) into 2001 is under preparation. The drought operation is currently feeding 2,890,000 people in nineteen districts through general distributions and additional 1,041,000 children through the Expanded School Feeding Programme.

(b) Up to date, 75 percent of the net requirements for the drought EMOP in Kenya has been covered by the donors. Additional food has been supplied on the basis of loans made from the WFP's Immediate Response Account and UN's Central Emergency Revolving Fund (at a total value of USD 10 million), but these loans need to be resourced and repaid.

(c) Due to a one-month long delay in the clearance of wheat by customs, food distributions for October have been delayed and are not expected to start before 23 October.

(d) A joint mission comprising the Ministry of Health, World Vision and CIDA, carried out a nutritional survey in Baringo district, sampling 1,011 children. The results indicate global acute malnutrition of 23.4 percent (including severe acute malnutrition of 5.4 percent). The situation had improved to an extent since June, when the global acute malnutrition was 33 and severe 8 percent. The improvements have been attributed to limited rainfall that improved pasture and water availability and relief food distributions.

(e) A third incident within two weeks, where an NGOs vehicle has come under fire, was reported in Wajir. All personnel working in insecure areas within the framework of the WFP EMOP have been requested to travel in only at day-time and under armed escort.

(2) Eritrea

(a) A total of 5,289 tons of food aid provided by WFP was distributed during the week, to 239,668 beneficiaries - 3,175 tons to 198,028 war-affected persons in Debub and Gash Barka Regions (monthly ration) and 2,114 tons to 41,640 drought-affected persons in the Northern Red Sea Region (ration for three months). A total of 8,042 tons of food was distributed during the first 13 days of October, to 404,530 beneficiaries.

(b) WFP successfully completed a Household Food Economy Training workshop in Dubarwa on 13 October. A total of 22 participants from government ministries, UN agencies and NGOs attended the session. A similar training is planned for 16-20 October in Keren. WFP preparation for the Annual Food Needs Assessment is ongoing and the fieldwork is expected to start in the first week of November.

(c) WFP met with the local ERREC representative in Gash Barka Region and discussed implementation issues, including targeting, adherence to standard ration, pre-distribution meetings, timely distribution and reporting and storage management. WFP expressed concern about a reported exclusion of females from relief committees.

(d) The spatial distribution of rainfall is decreasing in the whole country. Highest rainfall during the week was recorded in Massawa in the Northern Red Sea Region (44 mm). A VAM mission is currently in the country.

(F) Sierra Leone

(a) Fighting along the border of Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia continued. Heavy battles were reported in Sierra Leone villages of Kaseri, Tumbu, and Kichum. Villages along the border and refugee camps in Guinea remained inaccessible to humanitarian agencies due to security concerns. Although not in large number, returning refugees and IDPs continued to arrive into Lungi, reporting continues attacks and harassment by the military on the way. The returnees also reported that the refugees still in camps in Guinea are not allowed free movement in and out of the camps and once the movement is allowed the numbers of returnees would increase.

(b) WFP continued to monitor the situation and distribute food to returnees and IDPs (who fled fighting in Kambia District) arriving to Lungi. A total of 30 tons of food was distributed to 19,989 returning refugees, and 27 tons to vulnerable IDPs. Overall, WFP distributed a total of 1,270 tons of food to 116,358 beneficiaries in the country, during the week.

(c) In-country food stocks of WFP consist of 5,275 tons. Cereals shortfall remains a concern. WFP will have to further reduce its programmes by the end of November if the situation does not improve.

(d) WFP concluded distributions for 3,695 beneficiaries in Tasso Island and 2,165 in Pepel Island. Food security situation on the islands is considered to be stabilising, so WFP is planning to stop general distributions and continue only emergency school feeding.

(e) WFP distributed food to 9,529 beneficiaries during the week in Bo, including 8,000 school children. A total of 34,657 beneficiaries in Kenema received WFP-supplied food aid, over 31,000 of them school children and 2,335 returnees from Liberia.

(G) Southern Africa

(1) Angola

(a) European Commission confirmed a contribution through WFP of 14,000 tons of maize and 1,300 tons of oil, valued at USD 10,566,299. Funding availability for the WFP operation targeting war-affected people in Angola has reached 56 percent of the total requirements.

(b) The repair of the airstrip in Cuito Cuanavale by the local administration enabled WFP to resume transportation of food and non-food items there, while in Kuito, the first supplies of material and equipment for the repair of the runway arrived and more is expected in the coming weeks.

(c) A total of 402 tons of relief food were transported overland from Luanda to N'dalatando, Sumbe, Malanje and Bengo and 2,506 tons of food and 400 tons of non-food items air-lifted from Catumbela and Lobito to Kuito, Balombo, Malanje, Ganda, Cubal, Huambo, Saurimo and Luena.

(d) Bie: MINARS reported arrivals of 6,540 new IDPs in the last two weeks. WFP is currently verifying the report. During the week, WFP delivered 861 tons of food for 51,820 beneficiaries in Kuito.

(e) Huambo: An assessment of security and humanitarian situation took place in Bailundo, by a mission consisting of OCHA, WFP, UNICEF, UN Security, and five NGO implementing partners.

(f) Kuando Kubango: According to the local administration, recent fighting in the south of Moxico province has displaced some 3,000 people who fled towards the Sede of Cuito Cuanavale (some three walking days away from their places of origin). Only seven families have arrived in the Sede so far.

(g) Lunda Sul: WFP continued verification of 295 IDPs from Sombo, who were reported to have arrived in the last week on September and delivered 282 tons of food for 26,708 beneficiaries in Mona Quimbundo, Cacolo, Arredores, Lubalo and Muconda.

(h) Moxico: Due to tense situation in municipalities along the border to Zambia and provinces of Lunda Sul, Malanje and Bie, 177 newly displaced persons arrived in Luena from Moxico and Bie. A mission composed of WFP, OCHA, MINARS Humanitarian Coordination Unit and six implementing partners visited resettlement area of Sacassange on 10 October, to assess the living conditions of 6,692 resettled persons in Luchazes and Bundas. The number of new admissions in the MSF-B nutritional centre remains stable, with an average of 20-25 per week.

(i) Uige: Constructions of houses for IDP resettlement continued in Kituma, with food-for-work support from WFP. MINARS reported the arrival of 113 IDPs in Uige from Malangenao and that 3,739 IDPs returned voluntarily to Quitexi and 7,615 to Songo, due to improved security.

(j) Small-scale ambushes and attacks characterised the security situation during the week. Incidents and tensions were reported in Cunene, Huambo, Huila, Kuando Kubango, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Moxico and Uige. It was reported that a commercial road convoy from Lobito has reached Huambo (Benguela) successfully, using the direct route via Ganda, for the first time since 1998.

(2) Namibia

(a) The number of refugees in the Osire Camp continued to increase and exceeded 14,600. The situation in the camp has calmed down after the last week's incident, which left four refugees hospitalised with machete wounds. New clearance, transport and storage arrangements have been put in place by WFP and are expected to reduce post-port handling costs significantly.

(H) East Timor

(a) The security situation has been under control and WFP operations continued as planned. During the week, a total of 405 tons were delivered overland from Dili to Aileu (35), Gleno (100), Liquica (100), Maliana (100) and Same (70), and 100 tons to Oecussi by barge. Helicopter operation in Bobonaro enabled a completion of the monthly vulnerable group feeding distribution.

(b) A total of 466 spontaneous refugee returns were recorded during October, around 200 this week. There is no indication of increased movements along the border. WFP provided 114 returnees with an individual food package. Nutritional status of the returnees was reported to be satisfactory.

(c) WFP continued to provide logistical support to a number of organisations operating in East Timor, including UNICEF and FAO. WFP distributed food donations from the US Government to the ICRC hospital and a number of child care centres in Dili and Liquica.

(I) WFP Events

(1) UN World Food Day

(a) On the occasion of the UN World Food Day, the Executive Director of WFP, Catherine Bertini called on the international and humanitarian communities to work together toward practical solutions that will end the scourge of global hunger. She said that it is now possible to envision a world without hunger, because the resources, the political will and a broad public interest are beginning to converge with low-cost technologies for the benefit of the countless poor and hungry people around the globe.

(b) Bertini cited the Internet as an example of a revolutionary, cost-effective technology that can be used in the campaign to end world hunger and said that more than 100 million clicks on the Hunger Site since 1 June 1999 demonstrate how successful the Internet has been as the means to informing people about hunger issues. The click-to-donate trademark of the Hunger Site has generated over $3 million in contributions to WFP, which was chosen by the site's founder as the main recipient of donations.

(c) Bertini also said that school feedings are an excellent example of a relatively modest humanitarian investment that makes a huge difference to the lives of the world's poorest and hungriest children, at the time of their lives when they need it most. She noted that WFP, a global leader in school lunch programmes, can provide a nutritious meal to a schoolchild for just a few cents - yet these daily meals dramatically improve that child's health, education and nutritional status.

(2) Awards Ceremony 2000

(a) George McGovern, former U.S. Senator, presidential candidate, war hero and now one of leading US diplomats and humanitarians, received the WFP's "Food for Life" Award at a ceremony at WFP headquarters in Rome on 19 October. Ambassador McGovern, currently serving as the U.S. ambassador to the UN food and agriculture agencies in Rome, was instrumental in the creation of WFP. He is currently pursuing a universal school lunch programme for 300 million hungry children by 2015, an initiative endowed by the US government, which announced a USD 300 million inaugural contribution in July.

(b) Former WFP Executive Director James Ingram also received the Food for Life Award for his role in guiding WFP, the world's largest food aid agency, to greater autonomy and strong ability to respond to crises. Mr. Ingram joined the ceremony by satellite link from Canberra, Australia.

(c) The inauguration of the Food for Life Award was the highlight of WFP's annual ceremony honouring WFP staff members for valour, merit and efficiency.

(3) Executive Board Session

(a) The third session in the year 2000 of the WFP's governing body will take place next week on 23 to 26 October in Rome. The Executive Board will discuss and review policy issues, financial and budgetary matters, evaluation reports, organisational and procedural matters, operational matters (including approval of project documents and review of already approved ones) and reports by the Executive Director on operational matters.

(b) The Executive Board will consider approval of the following protracted relief and recovery operations (PRRO): Cambodia 6038.01, DR Congo 6274, Republic of Congo 6265, West Africa Coastal 6271, the budget increase for Nepal 6151. The board will review the following PRROs approved by the WFP Executive Director: Bangladesh 6155.01, Dominican Republic 6202, India 6211, Mali 5804.01, Palestinian Territory 6214, Yemen 6090.01, Zambia 6134.01, as well as the implementation of the PRRO Somalia 6073.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No 42)