1. Bolivia Forest Fire
Reporting Period: 08/23 to 09/02/2002
Some 30,000 hectares of forest and natural grazing lands were destroyed by last week's fire in the Tarija region. The major concern is that the vast affected basin constitutes the main water source for human consumption and irrigation of the city of Tarija and the surrounding rural communities. Since the fire consumed a large part of the protecting vegetation, there is the risk that, during the next rainy season, runoff will erode the soil and carry sediments that will make water undrinkable and destroy the irrigation systems. Furthermore, the pastures and forest that caught fire were important livelihood sources for surrounding communities.
Based on the damage assessment, WFP prepared a "Re-forestation and Reconstruction Plan" for the affected area. With about 36,000 food rations and other NFIs, WFP in collaboration with FAO and local NGOs will implement activities aimed at preventing future effects. The reforestation and reconstruction activities will involve approximately 425 families of 12 rural communities. WFP Country Director along with the FAO Representative and the Minister of Agriculture visited the forest fire site, and met regional authorities and farmer's organizations.
Reporting Period: 08/27 to 09/02/2002
a) Significant Events:
During the reporting period, approximately 1,000 persons returned to their place of origin. 65 other families arrived to a WFP's FFW-supported community. WFP and counterparts are defining the follow-up actions to address food shortage, overcrowding, and the precarious health conditions.
Due to last week's new displacements, the security situation and the nature of WFP's support is being reviewed.
In the province of Sincelejo, WFP will expand its FFT activities to assist more than 250 new IDPs.
WFP successfully delivered food assistance to more than 270 communities, as follows:
- 35.5 MT of food to 21 FFW projects in 18 municipalities.
- 170 MT of food to nutritional recovery and preschool projects were distributed to 18,870 beneficiaries.
Reporting Period: 08/20 to 09/02/2002
a) Significant Events:
A growing concern is the increasing number of families that are being economically affected by the regional coffee crisis, caused by extremely low international prices. An estimated 30,000 families that are traditionally employed on coffee plantations are without any source of income. With no other employment foreseen nor an increase of prices expected, the situation is likely to deteriorate. The Government of El Salvador and WFP are evaluating the possibilities of assisting those families that are most vulnerable.
The northeastern region of the country continues to be affected by the drought. WFP monitors continue to visit areas that may be affected by shortfalls in rainfall. Overall, the situation in the country is not alarming, however monitoring of the situation will be needed for the second harvesting period. Because of early drought warnings, the postrera seeding has been this year longer than normal.
The CO will evaluate tenders for the local purchase of 838 MT of Maize for PRRO 6089. Purchases will be made with Italian and Irish contributions.
1,111 MT of French donated rice is expected to arrive on the week of 02 September.
Reporting Date: 09/03/2002
a) Significant Events:
The Office of the Human Rights Procurador reports that 14 persons have died of hunger and approximately 1,481 families have moved to the highways demanding government assistance.
WFP staff visited the province of Matagalpa to evaluate the FFW program that is being implemented in the most affected areas and to assess the food security situation. According to beneficiaries, food assistance is addressing the most immediate needs of the population and serves as an incentive for small farmers not to migrate to other regions.
On the week of 02 September, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of the Family and the Ministry of Agriculture are expected to initiate a plan to update the information regarding people on the highways and provide them medical and food assistance. Seeds are also to be delivered to land owners.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, 3.9% of the subsistence crops at the national level have been lost due to this year's drought. Maize crops are the most affected. Leon and Chinandega continue to be the most drought-affected provinces.
On the week of 26 August, 481.87 MT of food were distributed to approximately 8,212 small farmers in the northern provinces of Jinotega, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia and Madriz through FFW activities, whose main objective is to alleviate the effects of the coffee crisis.
USAID's PVOs are implementing FFW activities for 10,000 heads of households in the northern regions of the country. CRS is also assisting, through FFW, approximately 5,000 peasants. CARE is providing assistance to 692 heads of households.
The situation in Guyana continues to deteriorate. Parties are split along ethnic lines. However, attempts to resume talks between the two main political parties are underway with the help of Sir Paul Reeves, special envoy of the Secretary General of the Commonwealth.
The level of violent crimes has increased during the last month. 9 policemen are reported murdered since April 2002.