Bolivia + 6 more

ODM emergency situation report update 19 Sep 2001: Central America, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru

1.  Central American drought
a. Pipeline situation for Central American drought victims

The four WFP Central American Country Offices are facing the difficult task of providing assistance to the drought victims with the limited resources they have on hand. Taking into account that as of 20 September the only confirmed contribution is the 4,800 MT of commodities from the United States, which has not yet arrived to Central America, the Country Offices have continued to borrow food from other existing WFP operations/projects in their respective countries. Country offices are also reducing the actual number of beneficiaries they are assisting vis-à-vis the number of planned beneficiaries due to scarce resources.

Pipeline breaks pending the arrival of the 4,800 MT are as follows:


Cereals, vegetable oil and pulses in late September.


Vegetable oil in October.


Cereals, vegetable oil and pulses in September.

El Salvador

Cereals and pulses in November.

It should be noted that the above-mentioned contribution of 4,800 MT represents only 29% of the required commodities to meet the needs of the population affected by the drought.  Hence, further breaks in the pipeline between now and the end of the year are inevitable unless new contributions are received.

b. El Salvador:

PRRO 6089 Assistance to drought victims:

Following the distributions carried out by the government in which 532 MT of maize was provided to 5,320 drought-affected families in the eastern part of the country, another 206 MT was distributed by CRS in the provinces of Usulutan, San Miguel, La Union, and Morazan. 3,500 families received FFW rations following the sowing activities carried out by these beneficiaries with NFI's supplied by CRS.  CARE and WLF are expected to carry out in the following 2 weeks distributions to another 6,300 families.

EMOP 10022.0 assistance to earthquake victims:

Distributions to earthquake-affected families have resumed following the distribution by CARE (and its 7 counterpart NGO's) to 12,130 families in the provinces of Usulutan and San Vicente. Another 4,000 families were assisted by WLF (and its 15 counterpart NGOs) in the provinces of La Libertad, Sonsonate and Ahuachapan. FUSADES (a national NGO) also provided food assistance to 1,257 families.  1,003 MT have been distributed over the last week, bringing the total food distributed by this operation since the first earthquake on 13 January to 8,973 MT. Another 2,000 MT will be distributed over the next two months by these NGO's and CRS to only 15,000 families out of the original 40,000 families, due to a more than 40% shortfall of commodities vis-a-vis the original commitment.

Events that highlight the vulnerability to disasters of El Salvador:

On 18 September a 5.0 (Richter scale) tremor took place in El Salvador. Its epicentre was 20 km south off the coastline of the province of La Paz. Fortunately no major damages were reported.

On 15 September, a landslide took place in a community on the Chinchontepec volcano in the province of San Vicente. This landslide affected 74 families that lived in temporary houses provided to them after the February 2001 earthquake. Ten temporary houses were totally destroyed.        

These type of events, particularly the mudslides, are expected to occur with increasing frequency over the next two months due to the intensification of the rainy season and the weakening of terrains resulting from the earthquakes, and underline El Salvador's extremely high vulnerability to natural disasters.

c. Guatemala:

Rains continue to be scarce in the eastern parts of the country, although recently there has been a minor increase in precipitation. In the southern and western areas, rains may provoke flooding.

The estimate of 15,900 affected families remains the same. The figure of 452 malnourished children in rehabilitation centres is expected to increase.

WFP has distributed 602.24 MT of food since 31 August.

A new proposal is under preparation that includes the different agencies involved in food assistance: a) general emergency assistance; b) assistance for families with malnourished family members; c) centres for malnourished children. The Government (SEGEPLAN) is preparing a proposal to assist the poorest and most vulnerable districts. This plan will have three stages: emergency, stabilization, and development. The UN system is preparing an action plan that includes these three stages.

d. Honduras

During the first 36 days of the drought emergency, 1,085 MT of food had been distributed. This is equivalent to 471,925 rations of 2.3 kilos for 13,110 families (65,550 beneficiaries).

The most drought-affected provinces are being assisted, including El Paraiso with 484 MT, Francisco Morazan with 233 MT, Choluteca with 221 MT, Comayagua with 77 MT, Intibucá with 50 MT, and Valle with 20 MT.

e. Nicaragua


WFP has completed its first distribution of food assistance to families that suffered crop losses due to the drought.

In a meeting chaired by WFP on 18 September with the Ministry of Agriculture and FAO, it was decided that joint field visits were to be carried out during the second week of October to assess the drought situation.  The objective is to verify in situ, whether the crops are growing satisfactorily, to corroborate that the poorest of the drought-affected families did receive seeds for planting and how well they are coping with the situation.  


In addition to WFP's food distribution in the Autonomous North Atlantic Region, OXFAM-GB is now intervening with medicine, mobilisation of health brigades and water filters. When the rain stops, they will initiate a project of construction and rehabilitation of water and sanitation facilities. The Danish Embassy has donated seeds for the next planting season.

A local NGO is carrying out an assessment of the reported flooding in the Autonomous South Atlantic Region, and the WFP Country Office is awaiting the results to decide what further action to take.

On 20 September, a tropical depression began affecting Nicaragua. This will most likely provoke new floods and mudslides.


WFP continues to assist victims of the floods and droughts that took place during the first quarter of this year in the areas where the regular development activities are present. Through Basic Activity 01 - Rural Development, WFP is supporting affected farmers in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of their community assets. Regular development resources and DFID's special contribution are being utilised for this purpose.

The Ministry of Agriculture is gathering additional information on the situation in areas where regular WFP programs are not present. Once this information is available, WFP will be able to effectively focus its support on families that are facing food insecurity due to the loss of their subsistence crops in those areas.

The following table presents data on emergency food distributed to beneficiaries:

Benefited families
Total Tonnage
La Paz
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 12,812
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 292,075
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 627
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 7,851
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 123,356
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 292
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 1,562
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 36,860
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 109
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 3,892
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 47,150
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 112
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 2,542
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 45,144
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 103
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 8,246
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 189,130
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 445
Santa Cruz
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 2,967
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 27,604
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 66

The first multilateral cash contributions to the EMOP have been confirmed. Approximately USD 530,000  (about 28% of the required resources) has been contributed. The Country Office is considering local/regional purchases in order to have food available as soon as possible.

Due to the large volume of regular stocks (1,753 MT) borrowed to address the needs of the emergency, WFP's regular programme activities are now facing deficits. These resources urgently need to be reimbursed.

The EMOP continues to have a shortfall of about 4,500 MT (wheat equivalent).

3.  Ecuador

The Tungurahua Volcano continues with variable periods of volcanic activity.  The emissions of ash continue to seriously affect the Quero and Mocha districts in the province of Tungurahua.  According to the latest survey, the number of affected persons remains close to 40,000 people - the majority being small farmers - and 53,000 hectares of spoiled land.

Small farmers have been forced to take extreme measures in the wake of the present situation.  In an attempt to salvage as much as possible, crops were harvested prematurely; nevertheless, results were poor.  Part of the harvest was sold and the remaining seeds, usually saved for planting, have been eaten by the affected families.

WFP has programmed its third distribution for the last two weeks of September, with 6,895 rations to be distributed with the assistance of the Provincial Civil Defence.  

WFP participated in last week's meeting with the Foreign Minister. The Government underlined the necessity to continue supporting the Tungurahua Volcano Emergency situation.  

WFP is participating in an UN interagency committee (PAHO/WHO, OCHA, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WFP) to coordinate all emergency information and actions: sharing information; coordinating participatory assessments (WFP and PAHO); and planning activities that focus on food assistance (WFP in charge of purchase and distribution), water issues (resources provided by UNICEF and monitoring conducted by PAHO), health (UNICEF purchases medications distributed by PAHO) and medical attention provided in clinics and homes (by local authorities with the Ministry of Health).

4.  PERU:

WFP staff travelled to Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna, to monitor the implementation of IRA EMOP 10096.0 (Assistance to Earthquake Victims). Over 30,000 earthquake affected persons have been assisted with 244 MT of food, including 204 MT of rice, 24 MT pulses and 17 MT of vegetable oil, thus representing 68% of commodities programmed for distribution. The other 32% of food commodities are expected to be distributed next week.

Food is in great demand by the affected families since they are using most of their resources to rehabilitate their houses destroyed or damaged by the earthquakes.  WFP's emergency food assistance therefore represents is an appropriate and valuable resource for these families.

The LOU of EMOP 10102.0 (Assistance to Earthquake Victims) will be signed shortly. This operation aims at providing emergency food assistance to 30,000 persons, with a total value of USD 828,000.  3,807  MT are required for this emergency operation.