WFP Emergency Report No. 8 of 2005

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 18 Feb 2005
(A) Highlights

(B) East & Central Africa: (1) Burundi (2) Congo, DR (3) Djibouti (4) Eritrea (5) Ethiopia (6) Rwanda (7) Somalia (8) Sudan (9) Tanzania (10) Uganda

(C) West Africa: (1) Chad (2) Cote d'Ivoire (3) Liberia

(D) Southern Africa: (1) Regional (2) Angola (3) Lesotho (4) Madagascar (5) Malawi (6) Mozambique (7) Swaziland (8) Zambia (9) Zimbabwe

(E) Asia: (1) Bangladesh (2) India (3) Indonesia (4) Korea (DPR) (5) Maldives (6) Myanmar (7) Sri Lanka

(F) Latin America and Caribbean: (1) Guyana floods (2) Bolivia (3) Colombia (4) Guatemala (5) Haiti (6) Nicaragua

(A) Highlights

(a) The Government of Indonesia has requested WFP to assume full responsability for feeding displaced persons in Aceh and North Sumatra.

(b) Findings of WFP's Emergency Food Security Assessment Mission in Aceh province, Indonesia, were released on 16 February.

(c) WFP and the Government of Sri Lanka are negotiating in view of the recently issued ban on rice imports. The ban could seriously affect WFP's pipeline from March on.

(d) The livelihood situational analysis carried out by FAO, WFP and the Ministry of Agriculture in seven administrative units in North Darfur, Sudan, concluded that the resident populations are now beginning to feel the impact of last year's poor rains, coupled with the security situation, which is affecting normal coping mechanisms of people throughout the Darfur region.

(e) WFP food distributions continue to assist people fleeing civil strife in DRC.

(f) In Colombia, WFP is preparing for additional food distributions in view of new displacements of people affected by recent flooding and violence.

(g) A national strike of school teachers is affecting WFP's school feeding programme in Nicaragua.

(B) East & Central Africa: (1) Burundi (2) Congo, DR (3) Djibouti (4) Eritrea (5) Ethiopia (6) Rwanda (7) Somalia (8) Sudan (9) Tanzania (10) Uganda

(1) Burundi

(a) Cases of armed banditry continue to be reported in several provinces. Alleged thieves were caught and killed on the spot by local populations in Bujumbura and Kayanza.

(b) WFP distributed close to 2,000 tons of food aid to over 272,000 beneficiaries.

(c) The joint FAO/WFP/UNICEF/Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI) Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM) was completed and the draft report is being finalised. The results show an increased need for food assistance throughout the year. Food insecurity affects most provinces in the country with the north, east and central parts being most affected. Food aid distributions have been augmented by more than 50 percent for the forthcoming Seeds Protection Rations campaign.

(d) Beneficiaries interviewed in an HIV/AIDS centre in Gitega province have requested an increase in their food ration in order to cope better with the side effects of their anti-retroviral drugs treatment.

(2) Congo, DR

(a) Insecurity continued to prevail in the East. Attention was focused on the violence which unlashed in the Ituri district, causing the displacement of up to 80,000 persons, according to MONUC. This wave of violence was rooted in confrontations between the Hema and Lendu ethnics. Over 70 villages were reportedly burnt down.

(b) In the South Kivu province, lingering confrontations were still reported in Walungu. Unpaid soldiers continued to ransom peasant farmers through illegal road blocks.

(c) WFP targeted with food the Ituri newly displaced civilians who were accessible. Out of the estimated 80,000, some 230 tons of food were provided to 27,500 people to cover their needs for one month. Food assistance was distributed together with other items such as medicines, from sister agencies and NGOs. WFP food was distributed by its cooperating partner German Agro Action.

(d) In the South Kivu province, WFP was preparing for needs assessment missions in several districts, from where alarms had been raised on the food insecurity of peasant farmers. Thousands of people in Kaniola, Kabare, Lobana, Ninja and Budodo were reportedly facing increased food insecurity. In Budodo, WFP distributed about 15 tons of food to cover the needs of about 1,160 eligible beneficiaries for two weeks. During the past week, WFP released over 345 tons of food from its warehouse in Bukavu, to support the various programmes (nutrition, Food-for-Work, Food-for-Training, vulnerable groups feeding, HIV/AIDS, DDRR).

(3) Djibouti

(a) Under WFP's development project, WFP is supporting school feeding, which aims to provide a morning and a lunch snack six days a week, 200 days a year to around 11,500 children who attend school regularly. WFP together with the government counterpart for the school feeding programme (SFP) last week visited three schools in Tadjourah city and rural schools in Randa, Dorra and Moudo to monitor the functioning of the SFP and to see how the distribution of take-home rations to girls was impacting girls' enrollment and attendance.

(b) Under the chairmanship of the Minister of Housing and Environment, the Steering Committee of the Obock reconstruction project met on 12 February in Obock city to review the progress of the project and to discuss constraints and lessons learned with technicians and beneficiaries. The Obock reconstruction project, launched in January 2003 aims at reconstructing 304 houses that were destroyed during the internal conflict of 1991-1994. Out of the 240 houses planned for construction in Obock, 115 are already completed. For the three other sites of this project, namely Yoboki (District of Dikhil), Dorra and Randa (District of Tadjourah), where 64 houses are also to be constructed and/or rehabilitated, the works will start in May and are expected to be completed by August. WFP participates in this project by providing food-for-work (FFW) rations to unskilled workers.

(c) After the failure of the first 2005 convoy of voluntary repatriation on 8 February due to cash problems faced by UNHCR, a convoy of 285 refugees left Djibouti on 14 February to Borama, Abdoulkader and Guerissa in Somaliland. Twenty-four families (138 persons) from Holl Holl camp, and 23 families (147 persons) from Ali Addeh camp participated in the voluntary repatriation. WFP provided nine-month food packages to all refugees. It is expected that in 2005 about 6,200 refugees will return home.

(4) Eritrea

(a) The President of the UN Security Council said this week that the 15-member body was considering requesting Secretary-General Kofi Annan to send either an envoy or a mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea to help push forward the "political dialogue" between the two Horn of Africa neighbours. The Council was considering this request after Ethiopian troops were seen concentrated on the border with Eritrea, which according to the Ambassador of Benin who holds the Council's rotating presidency for the month "could result in aggravating the tensions between the two countries".

(b) The central region of Eritrea reports increasing difficulties with water supply, including in Asmara. With only few exceptions, the population receives water only once or twice per week.

(c) Although the fuel crisis has eased, the coupon system is still in place. WFP has been allocated sufficient diesel for the monitoring of its activities, and food transport is no longer hindered by a shortage of fuel.

(d) The resettlement of IDPs of the Adi Keshi camp was completed on 10 February. The camp was totally evacuated with most people returning to their places of origin; resettlement/reconstruction activities have started in six villages. All these settlements are equipped with basic public services such as health service, schools and water supply. Some households have yet to be allocated land.

(e) As of January 2005, WFP has revised its beneficiary figures for Emergency Operation (EMOP) 10261.01, Emergency Food Assistance to Victims of Crop Failure and Drought in Eritrea, upwards. WFP will now provide food to 840,000 people, with a total requirement of 108,508 tons of food. The commitment coverage stands at USD 26 million or approximately 58,000 tons of food commodities. This amount covers about 53 percent of this operation's total resource requirements.

(f) For the PRRO, a total of 33,908 tons will be required to meet the needs of 325,000 beneficiaries from January to June 2005. Out of this total, some 21,500 tons or 63.5 percent have been resourced and about USD 235,000 have been donated from various sources and can be programmed for the purchase of commodities.

(5) Ethiopia

(a) WFP Ethiopia's bleak resourcing outlook for emergency food assistance made prioritisation necessary and only the very worst areas received allocations.

(b) The joint WFP/Regional Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau/UNICEF/Regional Bureau of Health "Extended Outreach Strategy for Child Survival Initiatives" (EOS/CSI), which was initiated in 2004 in the Southern Nations and Nationalities People Region (SNNPR), will now be extended to other regions.

(c) This targeted supplementary feeding scheme includes nutritional screening and a basic health care package, implemented by the Regional Health Bureau and supported by UNICEF, and a three-month fortified supplementary food ration, consisting of Corn Soy Blend and vitamin A fortified vegetable oil, provided by WFP and the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission to children between 6-59 months and pregnant and nursing women identified as malnourished.

(d) In Somali region, " training of trainers" took place in January. The participants were staff members representing local government partners in districts that form part of the initiative. The training included health and nutrition education, logistics and implementation. During the coming months, the training will be carried out among community women who will be food distribution agents and deliver health and nutrition messages to the beneficiaries of the initiative. In Tigray, nutritional screening is currently being undertaken by partners and the first distributions are planned for mid-March. In Amhara, a first action plan is being developed, while food distribution points are being identified by WFP and the regional authorities. Oromia region recently endorsed the initiative, and preparations to start implementation of the program will now start.

(e) The initiative continues to be implemented in SNNPR, with the third round of distributions currently being carried out to around 106,000 beneficiaries. The program in SNNPR is now advancing to a hand-over phase, with the regional government taking on responsibilities for the full implementation of the food components. WFP will continue to monitor and provide support to the regional authorities.

(f) Ethiopia's pipeline situation for emergency food assistance remains critical, with cereal resources running out by March. In January, only 26 percent of requirements were met. For February 90 percent of requirements may be covered, depending on indications of additional contributions. Only 11 percent of March's requirements for emergency food have been met, leaving a shortfall of 39,000 tons of cereals. In February, some 2.4 million people are in need of food aid; a figure that will rise to an estimated 2.9 million in March and 3.1 million in April. Contributions to the weak pipeline would ensure continuous assistance to these food insecure populations.

(6) Rwanda

(a) The political and security situation in Rwanda remained calm. During the past week, the number of Congolese and Burundian refugees in Rwanda totalled 48,065. This is the second highest increase since mid-November 2004.

(b) Food distributions for the month of February were completed in all refugee camps, except Kiziba camp, where distributions are ongoing. Food distribution for approximately 505 refugees residing outside the camps has been put on hold until UNHCR clarifies the situation.

(7) Somalia

(a) Phase 1 of WFP's assistance to tsunami-affected poeple was completed more than a week ago. WFP has been in consultations with other UN agencies carrying out assessments in the field to come up with a uniform approach towards assisting the affected areas.

(b) WFP and other agencies providing relief assistance to tsunami affected people in Somalia have been meeting with Puntland authorities to arrive at agreeable beneficiary figures, identifying villages that have received half monthly rations and identifying long term intervention strategies that will rebuild livelihoods.

(8) Sudan

(a) Darfur Region:

(b) Overall, the security situation was calm in the Darfurs during the past week, except for incidents reported by pilots in North Darfur. Since helicopters had come under small arm fire, helicopter movements on the affected route (to Malha, north east of El Fasher) have been suspended.

(c) In West Darfur, some positive developments have been spotted as leaders of Arab tribes have this week entered into discussions with the Darfurians. It is still too early to know whether this will translate into a calmer and improved security situation in the area. Security assessments were also undertaken in the past week along the road from Habilah up through Masteri. After finding another route, the road is open from Geneina along Masteri, as Masteri remains an area with security concerns. Reportedly also another incident took place where armed men disrupted a WFP food distribution by Cooperating Partner (CP) Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Buri, north of El Geneina. No one was harmed but food commodities were looted. CRS resumed food distribution on Saturday 12 February.

(d) In South Darfur, the past week has been quiet apart from some cattle looting by unidentified armed elements South East of Nyala. As of 9 February, the road between Zalingie and Nertiti has been declared a GO area, partly due to the increased patrols by AU forces. Similarly, the road between Manwashi and Nyala was cleared by UN Security. However, the road between Manwashi and El Fasher remains closed.

(e) As of 14 February, a total of some 13,835 tons of food has been dispatched by road and air from Khartoum and El Obeid to the Darfur state capitals, representing 29 percent of the monthly plan. Dispatches to date have been affected by insufficient stocks at hubs for onward dispatch to the Darfurs and the low trucking capacity available from Port Sudan. Dispatches from the three state capitals to Cooperating Partners (CPs) between 1 - 14 February total about 12,020 tons of food to an estimated 686,971 beneficiaries (based on despatches).

(f) WFP is preparing a special operation to reinforce the logistics corridor in Libya. The corridor will increase the available logistics capacity to assist food deliveries into West Darfur and Chad.

(g) WFP has commissioned studies to determine the magnitude of the factors impacting food security in Sudan. An in-depth analysis of rainfall and vegetation index is currently being carried out. The results will be available by end of February.

(h) In West Darfur, a taskforce chaired by IOM is working on the voluntary movement of IDPs from Abuzar to Madrasa. WFP has been providing food through CP Save the Children US to the school where the IDPs have been residing in Abuzar. Madrasa is a newly established camp in Geneina. In Sisi, the Community Relief Committee informed CP Sudanese Red Crescent that the community has requested that food distributions cease until the break in the sugar pipeline has been resolved. In Furu Buranga, results from a recent nutritional survey by Save the Children US indicate a Global Acute Malnutrition rate of 6.6 percent and a SAM rate of 0.3 percent.

(i) In South Darfur, MSF reported that cases of malnutrition had decreased in Mukjar area, whilst increasing in Um Dokhon. Um Dokhon recently received an influx of IDPs from Rahed El Bird and has fewer water and sanitation facilities. During the week, more than 235 individuals voluntarily returned to South Sudan in the Northern Bahr Al Ghazal after transiting in Khor Omer camp. These individuals, of Dinka origin, reportedly came from Muhajiria, Nyala, Sani Daliba, Abu Karinka and Yassin.

(j) In North Darfur, in the weekly Food Security Meeting, FAO presented the results of the livelihood situational analysis carried out together with WFP and Ministry of Agriculture. The analysis covered seven administrative units in North Darfur. Overall it was reported that the resident populations are now beginning to feel the impact of the poor rains from last year, coupled with the security situation affecting their normal coping mechanisms. In Abu Shouk, verification by CP Sudanese Red Crescent continues as new arrivals enter the camp. The CP estimates a caseload of 89,000. With the growing numbers, the international community has been requested to organise the new camp (Abushouk II) and provide shelter, water and health services. The February food distribution in Abu Shouk has been delayed due to the lack of sugar.

(k) Confirmed contributions to date amount to just over USD 240 million - or almost 55 percent of total requirements. WFP has received enough cereals to cover 90 percent of requirements for 2005. However, contributions are urgently required for non-cereals so that WFP can guarantee a complete food basket to beneficiaries and successfully pre-position to key locations before the onset of the rainy season. WFP has borrowed USD 40 million to pre-finance the purchase of much-needed sugar, salt and other non-cereals in order to overcome shortfalls, in addition to the local purchases of cereals to overcome January shortfalls. Given that the delivery time from Port Sudan to Darfur takes an average of two months, on top of four months for contributions to materialise in Port Sudan, contributions for non-cereals are required by latest March.

(l) The Special Operation for logistics support in Darfur faces a shortfall of USD 27 million. To ensure that the logistics capacity is in place to support the increased number of beneficiaries expected during the lean season. 100 long haul trucks will have to be procured urgently. In despite of a recent contribution, the WFP-Humanitarian Air Services still faces a shortfall of USD 17 million. Furthermore, the special operation currently being prepared for the logistics corridor through Libya is estimated at USD 4.5 million and will, once approved, require urgent funding to ensure that the corridor can be used prior to the rainy season in support of West Darfur.

(m) Operations Lifeline Sudan:

(n) The overall security situation was calm during the week except for one incident reported from Southern Sudan.

(o) In the South, WFP has made a pilot delivery of 100 tons of cereals by road to Wau during the first week of February. Delivery to Wau via this mode of transport had been suspended since early 2004 due to the security situation. Up to date, 3 out of 5 trucks have already arrived to Wau. The remaining trucks, delayed for technical reasons, are expected to reach the town within the next two days. According to WFP plans, the next 10 trucks will be loaded with 250 tons of assorted food commodities early next week, to continue with pre-positioning before the rainy season.

(p) Airdrop operations have also taken place during the week in Bahr El Ghazal region. WFP delivered about 149 tons of assorted commodities through airdrop in Aweng, Aroyo, Nyamlel, and Akuem areas in Bahr El Ghazal.

(q) According to local authorities in Aweil and Twic counties in Bahr El Ghazal, the main return routes for returning IDPs include Meriam-Warawara and Meriam-Gog Machar routes. The community in Warawara has started clearing the proposed airstrip and drop zone, which WFP plans to use for serving the expected returnees on arrival. WFP plans to distribute half-month rations to those returnees.

(r) In Western Equatoria region, WFP has approved two food-for-asset projects. Another five projects are currently being implemented by Save the Children Fund- Sweden, the major partner in rehabilitation of school infrastructure. Rehabilitation of all the targeted schools is in an advanced stage.

(s) A joint UN, Government of Sudan and NGOs Nutrition and Food Security survey has started on 17 February in Eastern Sudan to assess the root cause of chronic food insecurity in the region and the possible impact of current insecurity on people's livelihood.

(t) WFP led a UN Cross-Line Mission that originated from Malakal between 10-16 February. The mission included UNICEF, OCHA, Medair, UNSECOORD, HAC, SRRC and UNFSCO. The mission was preceded by a Cross Line Security Assessment Team that assessed the Malakal-Tonga Corridor. An expected outcome of the assessment is the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Shilluk IDPs who have returned to their villages of origin. WFP has drawn plans of action for airdrops, food distributions, assessments and verification exercises to be conducted in the coming weeks in Pibor, Bor and Malakal surroundings.

(u) Confirmed contributions received to date against the USD 301 million required for EMOP 10048.3, Food Assistance to Population Affected by War and Drought, amount to USD 25 million. This represents only 8 percent of the total requirements. A total of 10,774 tons of commodities are confirmed to date against a requirement of 267,899 tons. The EMOP will face pipeline breaks with all commodities running out by June if the requirements for period February through July 2005 are not achieved. The six-month requirements include an allocation for the returnee caseload. The stocks are projected to run out during the critical hunger gap May/June when the food demand is at its peak. Urgent contributions are immediately needed to respond to the pressing food requirements totalling 47,050 tons of mixed commodities.

(9) Tanzania

(a) In a meeting with refugees in Kibondo, western Tanzania, Tanzanian Minister for Home Affairs, Hon. Omar Mapuri called on all Burundians to repatriate. He reminded them that Burundians are no longer accepted as prima facie refugee cases, but must undergo individual status determination. Those who cannot justify their claims will be regarded as illegal immigrants. A total of 2,524 refugees repatriated to Burundi in January. This is similar to the figures for the previous three months.

(b) A total of 400,920 beneficiaries received over 1,100 tons of food through general distribution, supplementary feeding and through therapeutic feeding activities in refugee camps in western Tanzania. Some 13,000 Tanzanians in the host communities surrounding the camps were supported with WFP host community activities, including Food-for-Work, Food-for-Training, Food-for-Hospitals and school feeding. In partnership with NGOs, WFP also continued to support refugee self reliance activities, including vegetable gardening and sunflower oil /groundnut sharecropping.

(c) No new contributions were confirmed. The PRRO faces serious shortfalls of corn-soya -blend, vegetable oil and salt for the coming six months. A new ration modification took effect on 15 February, providing refugees with just 1,323 Kcals per day (i.e. 65.1 percent of the normal ration level). Rations of some commodities will increase from 14 March; however, a return to normal levels is not expected until at least mid-June.

(10) Uganda

(a) On Wednesday 16 February, the Lord's Resistance Army chief spokesman, Brig. Sam Kolo, who had led the LRA team to failed peace talks in December 2004, surrendered to the Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF). Following the Government's announcement of an 18-day cease-fire in a limited area of northern Uganda two weeks ago (to allow the LRA leadership to resume consultations with the chief peace mediator, Ms. Betty Bigombe), no definite date has been set for the negotiating teams to meet. The cease-fire will expire on Tuesday 22 February.

(b) Continuing Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) hostilities against the civilian population raise concerns that a cessation of hostilities agreement may not be finalized by the deadline, which will result in an all out military offensive against the rebels. It is apparent that there is presently a split within the LRA leadership between one faction that favours peace talks and another that does not.

(c) Following an influx of refugees fleeing civil strife in eastern DRC into western Uganda in January, UNHCR has to date transferred about 4,040 refugees from Ishasha in Kanungu district and Nkondo in Hoima district to Kyaka II refugee settlement in Kyenjojo district. WFP continues to provide the new arrivals with food assistance.

(d) WFP food distribution continues to reach 1.4 million displaced persons, 192,000 refugees and other vulnerable persons. During the period from 5 to 12 February, WFP distributed some 3,620 tons of relief food assistance to about 370,300 persons including IDPs sheltering in camps in Gulu, Kitgum, Pader and Lira districts, refugees, children in nutrition centres and other vulnerable persons.

(e) WFP began distributing relief food assistance to drought-affected agro-pastoralists in the Karamoja region, bordering Turkana in Kenya, last week. The drought relief assistance is planned to continue until the next harvest in September 2005, and will assist 560,000 persons during the peak of the hungry season from April through July 2005.

(f) WFP faces a shortfall of about 82,075 tons with a funding gap of USD 50 million, required to maintain the food pipeline necessary to continue providing relief assistance to IDPs and refugees through September this year. Unless new contributions are confirmed urgently, WFP will run out of commodities in May and the nutritional status of 1.4 million displaced persons in northern Uganda, mostly women and children, will be jeopardized.

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

For information on resources, donors are requested to contact:

Valerie Sequeira
Valerie.Sequeira@wfp.org
tel: +39 06 6513 2009
Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome - Italy

Media queries should be directed to:

Brenda Barton
Brenda.Barton@wfp.org
tel: +39 06 6513 2602
Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome - Italy

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