From Jean-Jacques Graisse, Assistant Executive Director. Available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page at http://www.wfp.org/ or by electronic mail from Deborah.Hicks@wfp.org or Natasha.Nadazdin@wfp.org (fax 39 06 6513 2854). For information on resources, donors are requested to contact Aleesa.Blum@wfp.org or Marius.deGaayFortman@wfp.org at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2004 or 06 6513 2250. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.
This issue of the Emergency Report was prepared by Natasha Nadazdin and Deborah Hicks.
PART I - HIGHLIGHTS
(Details below in Part II)
A. VENEZUELA - FLOODS
1. WFP emergency operation for flood/mudslide victims
a) WFP to provide emergency food to 110,000 flood victims in Venezuela; five-month emergency operation (EMOP 6210) from January through May 2000 to provide some 9,300 tons of rice, maize, pulses and cooking oil at total WFP cost of USD 5 million; recent flooding particularly affected states of Zulia, Vargas, Miranda, Nueva Esparta, Yaracuy, Falcon, Carabobo, Tachira and Federal District of Caracas; donors requested to contribute.
b) Prior to EMOP 6210, on December 21 WFP short-term relief operation worth USD 200,000 started for some 20,000 persons worst affected by floods due to torrential rains on 15 and 16 December.
c) Joint FAO/WFP crop and food supply assessment mission to be in January to assess needs for rehabilitation of the agricultural sector and further food aid.
B. INDONESIA - EAST TIMOR
a) Report on FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission to East Timor, of 21 December 1999, now on the Web at http://www.fao.org - click on Economics, then GIEWS, then Special Reports.
1. Update - information as of 29 December
a) Security situation: In Malange, trucks hired for WFP distributions involved in a mine incident and a road ambush; Kuito-Chinguar road closed due to insecurity; incidents reported on Huambo-Cuima road. In Moxico, road movements restricted to Lucano and Lucusse areas.
b) Bie: On 17 December, WFP Deputy Regional Director for Africa and the Programme Coordinator for Angola visited ; according to recentMSF/B, ICRC and MINSA nutritional surveys in Kuito, mostly women (85 percent) affected by pellagra; WFP providing dried fish and studying effect of other food items for pellagra prevention and treatment.
c) Uige: expected convoys were delayed due to heavy rains, prices high and availability of commodities on market declined; second harvest expected in January may bring relief to both residents and IDPs.
d) Angolan refugees in Namibia: On 29 December UNHCR in Namibia reported some 2,300 arrivals from Angola; upon request from Namibian Government, WFP to provide food aid to some 7,500 refugees in Osire camp.
1. Update - information as of 25 December
a) Meeting of Technical Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (TCHA) held on 14 -15 December in Geneva; beneficiary protocol between Government of Sudan, SPLM and OLS signed. Meeting of International Advisory Committee (IAC) on OLS on 17 December held in Geneva on humanitarian cease-fire security and access issues.
b) WFP and CRS recently carried out rapid food aid distributions in drought and insecurity affected locations in Kapoeta county of Eastern Equatoria; some 45,000 food insecure Didinga IDPs and local Dinka inhabitants reached. c) WFP food deliveries to Natinga temporarily interrupted after an armed threat against a WFP convoy monitor on 17 December.
d) Together with USAID and CRS, WFP to organize series of workshops in 2000 for some 450 NGO field staff, counterparts and local populations on indigenous plant foods, their use and potential.
E. EAST AFRICA: BURUNDI AND TANZANIA
1. Burundi - information as of 19 December
a) UN staff movement remains suspended outside Bujumbura after UN Security Management Team conducted security assessment visits in several provinces; WFP continues to supply food through partners.
b) WFP-provided food distributed in Busoni, Kirundo and Ntega to some 187,600 persons affected by drought.
c) WFP to provide seeds protection rations during FAO seed distributions for season 2000 B end January.
PART II - DETAILS
1. WFP OPERATION FOR VICTIMS OF FLOODS/MUDSLIDES - information as of 30 December
1.1 New Emergency Operation (EMOP 6210)
a) WFP will provide rations to 110,000 victims of recent floods in Venezuela under its newly approved five-month emergency operation (EMOP 6210) from January through May 2000. Of these people, 65 percent are extremely poor women and children less than 5 years old. The flooding has affected eight states including Zulia, Vargas, Miranda, Nueva Esparta, Yaracuy, Falcon, Carabobo, Tachira, as well as the Federal District of Caracas.
b) Widespread flooding and mudslides on 15 and 16 December caused massive damage to Venezuela's infrastructure, agriculture and industry. Between 30,000 and 50,000 people are believed to have perished in the disaster and it is estimated that over 23,000 homes were totally destroyed and over 61,000 were damaged. More than 150,000 inhabitants have been left homeless.
c) WFP is requesting donors to contribute to the USD 5 million worth emergency operation (EMOP 6210) to purchase, transport and distribute approximately nine thousand tons of rice, maize, pulses and cooking oil. As it is not yet established whether the country's heavily damaged port can receive shipments, WFP plans to purchase foodstuffs on the local market for distribution to flood victims.
d) Apart from the emergency food aid, WFP will also provide food as payment in work schemes aimed at reconstruction and agricultural rehabilitation activities to people displaced for prolonged periods of time.
e) The main government counterpart in the implementation of the WFP emergency operation will be the Ministry of Production and Commerce, which includes the Vice Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Also, implementing partners are sought from the public and private sector, and among national/international non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In addition, WFP will coordinate with bilateral programmes such as the EU, and those funded by the international financial institutions, mainly International Development Bank, in order to pool resources and will continue to work closely with the UN Disaster Management Team (UNESCO, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO/PAHO) and OCHA.
1.2 Prior to this emergency operation, on December 21 WFP began a USD 200,000 short-term relief operation to deliver food to some 20,000 worst affected persons.
1.3 A joint crop and food supply assessment mission conducted by WFP and FAO will be fielded during the first half of January to assess needs for rehabilitation of the agricultural sector and further food aid needs. It is estimated that 35,210 hectares of basic grains and cash crops were lost in the disaster.
B. INDONESIA - EAST TIMOR
1.1 The Report of the FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission to East Timor, dated 21 December 1999, is now available on the Web at http://www.fao.org - click on Economics, then GIEWS, then Special Reports.
1. UPDATE - information as of 29 December
1.1 Security situation:
a) In Malange, a truck hired by ADRA-N to distribute WFP food hit a mine in Kissako, and five trucks, of which one returning to Luanda after delivering WFP commodities in Malange, were burnt in an ambush attack near Kokolo. In Huambo area, continued attacks have been reported on the road Huambo-Cuima, the same route used by WFP for the three large road convoys of maize delivered to Huambo in October and November. As of 29 December, the road Kuito-Chinguar is still closed and insecurity is moving north of Kuito, to Catabola and Camacupa Municipalities.
b) In Moxico, due to continued insecurity in the area of Lumbala N'guimbo, the south-east of the province, road movements are strictly restricted to Lucano and Lucusse.
a) On 17 December, the WFP Deputy Regional Director for Africa and the Programme Coordinator for Angola went to Kuito to observe WFP activities in the area. They met with representatives of UN agencies and NGOs operating in the Province to define a common strategy for humanitarian assistance.
b) From 24 to 29 December, MSF/B, ICRC and MINSA (Ministry of Health) carried out two nutritional surveys: one in the centre of Kuito and another one on the outskirts of the city. The surveys aim at better targeting internally displace persons (IDPs) and residents at risk of pellagra, which is already affecting nearly 700 people, mostly women over 15 years old (85 percent). WFP has been providing dried fish to families of children at supplementary feeding centres, through MSF/B and CARE International (a total of 32,500 people). The outcome of the surveys will be shared with WFP and UNICEF, who are already studying the benefits of using CSB, groundnuts and dried fish as well as other means of prevention and treatment of pellagra.
1.3 Huambo: On 17 December, a WFP mission went to Caala and visited MSF/France nutritional centres, four PICs [Community Infant Programmes] and one community kitchen. The mission concluded that the nutritional situation in Caala, of both IDPs and residents, needed to be addressed urgently.
1.4 Uige: Reported increased malnutrition amongst IDP children in Uige and Negage continues to raise concern. WFP has visited all feeding centres and public kitchens run by Red Barnet, MINARS, CARITAS and CUAMM, where 60-70 percent of attendant IDPs are not receiving food through general distribution. WFP has proposed meetings with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), UCAH and MINARS in order to identify better ways of verifying beneficiary lists and ensuring that general distribution targets IDPs. Also in Uige, market prices rose dramatically over the reporting period and availability of commodities on the market declined, as the expected convoys to Uige were delayed due to heavy rains. However, most resident people have access to green vegetables and other agricultural products. With the existing relative security and the access to better agricultural land, the second planting season, which starts in January, is expected to benefit both the IDPs and residents.
1.5 Angolan refugees in Namibia: Intense military activities in the Angolan Kuando Kubango province along the Namibian border are causing more Angolans to seek refuge in Namibia. UNHCR in Namibia as of 29 December reported that more than 2,300 Angolans had arrived in Namibia, via Kahenge and Rundu, fleeing fighting in the areas of Cuangar, Calai and Dirico in the south of the province. The number of Angolan refugees in Namibia now totals 7,500 persons. The road Menongue-Cuchi was closed following attacks of civilian convoys. Upon the request from the Namibian Government, WFP food aid will be provided to some 7,500 refugees in Osire camp. UNHCR is covering their food needs until March 2000, when WFP will start providing food assistance under a six-month long operation.
1. UPDATE - information as of 25 December
1.1 On 14 -15 December a meeting of the Technical Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (TCHA) was held in Geneva, where of a beneficiary protocol between the Government of Sudan, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) was signed. The protocol includes provisions for war-affected civilian populations to have the right to receive humanitarian aid, to retain all humanitarian assistance for which they are targeted, to receive protection as well as the right to protection from forcible relocation from their legal or recognized place of residence.
1.2 On 17 December WFP also attended the meeting of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) on OLS which took place in Geneva. Topics covered by the IAC include the humanitarian cease-fire, the draft beneficiary protocol and IDP situation, security and access issues, strategies for 2000 and multi-sectoral programming for the Nuba mountains area.
1.3 In the week of 19-25 December, WFP and CRS carried out a number of rapid food aid distributions in various food insecure locations in Kapoeta county of Eastern Equatoria, affected by drought and insecurity. The rapid intervention was carried out after WFP and CRS received reports of a worsening food security situation in the area following drought and continued insecurity preventing cultivation and access by aid agencies. Through these distributions, over 45,000 food insecure Didinga internally displaced persons (IDPs) and local Dinka inhabitants were reached. The New Cush to Chukudum road remains a "no-go" area for longer-term interventions.
1.4 In Equatoria on 17 December a WFP convoy monitor was threatened by an armed soldier while accompanying a WFP food truck to an IDP camp in Natinga ahead of an upcoming food distribution. OLS and local counterparts are addressing the incident, and WFP food deliveries to Natinga have been suspended until further notice.
1.5 Indigenous Wild Food Plants: During lean periods before crops are harvested populations include wild food plants in their diet to overcome food crises, a fact sometimes disregarded by organizations providing food aid. WFP, in conjunction with USAID and CRS, is planning a series of workshops in 2000 to train around 450 NGO field staff, counterparts and local populations on "indigenous plant foods, their use and potential". Workshops are planned for Twic, Rumbek and Gogrial counties (Bahr el Ghazal) in January, in Aweil East and West and Wau counties (Bahr el Ghazal) in February and in other areas such as Bor County, Jonglei and Upper Nile in later months. The workshops aim to inform the participants about key, existing resource materials on this topic, and impart practical tools to collect information on wild food plants, use existing baseline information and identify links with their humanitarian assistance programmes. The workshops will have a strong participatory focus with practical data collection exercises, brainstorming and feed-back to the local communities. The workshops will concentrate on the wild foods specific to the particular location where the workshop is being held. The series of workshops will later be reviewed to draw out possible lessons for policy-making.
E. EAST AFRICA - BURUNDI AND TANZANIA
1. BURUNDI - information as of 19 December
1.1 With the incursions of rebels in the south and the east of the country, the situation remained unpredictable. During the weeks leading to 19 December, security deteriorated in Bujumbura. Sporadic confrontations were reported between the army and the rebels in Bujumbura rural, Rutana and Makamba provinces.
1.2 The UN Security Management Team conducted security assessment visits in the more stable provinces of the country to review security situation. The team met with local authorities and discussed with them the security situation prevailing in different areas under their respective control. The movement of UN staff remained suspended outside Bujumbura but WFP continued to supply food through its partners.
1.3 After Bugabira commune, WFP continued providing food to other communes affected by drought in Kirundo province. Between 6 and 19 December more than 187,600 people from Busoni, Kirundo and Ntega communes benefited from 1,038 tons of food distributed by WFP partner CARE.
1.4 Beside Kirundo province, other provinces in the north and the east of Burundi were reported to be suffering from food shortages due to bad crops resulting from irregular rainfall. An assessment conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock funded by FAO and WFP was carried out across the country to evaluate the effects of drought. On the basis of the assessment results, WFP plans to continue its interventions in favour of the drought-affected in January 2000.
1.5 The Governor of Kayanza province reported to WFP that all the communes in Kayanza were hit by unfavourable climate with irregular rain in some areas and hail in others. People did not harvest enough for their subsistence and are suffering from hunger. An estimated total of 28,000 families are affected by the situation.
1.6 Seeds Protection Rations: Given the changes of climate within the region, FAO reported the season 2000 B would start one month earlier than usual. Instead of starting with the end of February it will begin with the end of January. Therefore, subject to food availability in the country, WFP is preparing to provide seed protection rations (so that seed is not consumed as food) as FAO will be distributing seeds to targeted regions. Both distributions are planned to start in the second half of January 2000. First priority is being put on Kirundo, Muyinga, Cankuzo, Makamba and Ruyigi provinces.
2. TANZANIA - information as of 19 December
2.1 The rate of influx of Burundian refugees into the Kigoma region has suddenly increased. According to the data available for this week from all camps, the refugee caseload in both Ngara and Kigoma region is 410,700. The increased rate of new arrivals into Kibondo and Kasulu districts was noted since 17 December. Recorded figure in Kibondo between 17 and 19 December at Nduta camp reception centre is 2,000. In Kasulu, a total of 1,890 new asylum seekers were received by mid-December at various border points and registered at Muyovosi camp. WFP will use a small CSB stock at hand for the new arrivals and Supplementary Feeding Programmes.
2.2 Recently UNHCR has stopped receiving new arrivals in Mtendeli camp as it is full. All new arrivals are being sent to Nduta camp to fill 2,000 empty plots which will also be filled soon if the influx continues at the current rate WFP has allocated 4 containers to TCRS and IRC for temporary use at the Karago contingency site for new arrivals.
Note: all tonnage figures in report above refer to metric tons
(End WFP Emergency Report No. 51 of 1999 - December 30, 1999)