Bolivia + 5 more

ODM-WFP emergency situation report on Latin America & the Caribbean 29 Aug 2002

Situation Report
Originally published
1. Bolivia Forest Fire

Reporting Period: 08/17 to 08/22/2002

Significant Events:

Some 30,000 hectares of forest and natural grazing lands were destroyed by last week's fire. WFP's counterpart in coordination with Civil Defense and government authorities conducted an initial assessment. Although some families were affected, no fatal victims were reported. WFP supported fire-fighting volunteers with tools and transportation. The pastures and forest that caught fire are important livelihood sources for surrounding communities. WFP conducted a food security assessment that may result in a plan of intervention.

2. Colombia

PRRO 6139.0

Reporting Period: 08/21 to 08/26/2002

a) Significant Events:

WFP continues to monitor the food security situation of returning IDPs. Since February 2002, 1,560 persons have voluntarily returned to the municipality of El Salado. WFP delivered food aid for two months, as well as 300 start-up packages that include seeds, farming tools and small farm animals.

In the Province of Sucre, WFP is providing food assistance to over 5,100 IDPs, the majority of whom are young school children. WFP successfully delivered food assistance to 700 IDPs in Yondo, San Pablo, Cantagallo and Puerto Wilches last week. WFP has now completed food deliveries along the Atrato River area in the Choco province to 2,117 IDPs returning to their place of origin.

b) Security:

UNSECOORD issued a report to all UN staff to adhere to all security guidelines in view of a possible increase of violent actions on the part of armed groups.

On the week of 12 August a joint WFP-UNHCR mission to the municipality of Turbo was cancelled due to unsafe circumstances. All other WFP monitoring visits were approved.

c) Implementation:

On the week of 26 August, WFP will deliver 264 MT of food to over 53,000 IDPs in 11 provinces.

3. Ecuador

Reporting Date: 08/27/02002

a) Significant Events:

Due to continuing activity by the Tungurahua Volcano between 06 and 11 August, large areas of the province of Bolivar have been affected by ash emissions. These vary in intensify depending on the volcano's activity and the wind direction. The ash has caused a negative impact on the population's health and minor problems in livestock, crops and pastures. Provincial authorities have observed the presence of ash in cereal crops and estimated that 5,000 Ha of crops and 10,000 Ha of pastures have been affected. Consequently agricultural and livestock production will diminish by 5 to 10%.

In the provinces of Tungurahua and Chimborazo, especially in hazardous areas of the Quero, Penipe and Guano districts, volcanic ash has reached a 2.5 cm thickness.

Water remains drinkable, although a regular control of quality is required.

b) Implementation:

To respond to food requirements, WFP Ecuador will carry out a needs evaluation assessment and deliver food rations if required. Monitoring of these actions will be performed in the weeks following the intervention.

4. Guatemala

EMOP 10174.0

Reporting Period: 08/01 to 08/15/2002

a) Significant Events:

The irregular rainy season continues to affect the eastern provinces of El Progreso, Zacapa and Chiquimula. This is expected to reduce the production levels during the first 2002 harvest season.

WFP reached an agreement with a local NGO that will extend food coverage to the municipalities of Jutiapa, Jalapa and San Marcos.

b) Implementation:

Beneficiaries increased to 15,802 during August. Through rapid assessment missions, 6 additional municipalities have been identified as food insecure. Operations will begin in the Pasaco, Quezada, Jalapa, Malacatan, Sibinal and San Carlos Alzatate districts.

Children assisted
May-August 2002


c) Logistics:

During the reporting period, a Finnish contribution of 510 MT of pulses and a German-Canadian contribution of 1,148 MT of CSB arrived in Guatemala.

5. Honduras

Reporting Period: 08/19 to 08/26/2002

Significant Events:

Approximately 22,000 Ha of maize, sorghum and bean crops have been lost due to lack of rain. This represents a total loss of over 13,000 MT of subsistence crops. Assessment missions are taking place in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture to further estimate the damages caused by this year's drought.

6. Nicaragua

Reporting Period: 08/19 to 08/23/2002

a) Significant Events:

Coffee workers continue to demand assistance from the government, particularly in the northern provinces of Matagalpa and Jinotega where food insecurity has severely affected people, especially young children. Most of the affected families are landless and homeless. Because coffee production is practically the only economic activity in the region, other sources of employment are just about non-existent. Thus, many of the affected people have moved from the coffee plantations to the main highways and cities to draw the government's attention. The local press has reported that at least five children died on the week of 12 August due to the severe malnutrition associated with infectious diseases. This information has been confirmed by government sources.

In some communities located in the dry areas, people are harvesting small quantities of grains (beans and maize) from the first planting season (May-August). However, they are not optimistic about the availability of water during the second planting season due to insufficient rain during the recent weeks. This may delay or hinder the sowing of cereal crops.

b) Implementation:

WFP has initiated food distribution in the region affected by the coffee crisis. The government counterpart for this operation is the Ministry of Agriculture and the co-executing partners are the associations of coffee producers and small farmers co-operatives. WFP is monitoring food distributions.