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WFP Emergency Report No. 06 of 2000

Source
Posted
Originally published
This report includes: A) East Africa: Burundi and Uganda B) Democratic Republic of Congo C) Mozambique - Floods D) Angola E) Sierra Leone F) Sudan.
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. EAST AFRICA: BURUNDI AND UGANDA

1. Burundi regroupment camps - information as of 11 February

a) Government of Burundi confirms dismantlement of an initial 11 regroupment sites in Bujumbura Rural, starting 7 February; full programme covering a further 13 sites under preparation. Maramvya camp population informed by Ministry of Interior on 10 February that they could return to their homes.

b) No return packages as such will be provided, but returning populations on their hills will be assisted by WFP until next harvest.

c) New WFP EMOP being prepared to meet increased food needs in Bujumbura Rural, to address problem of rising malnutrition in the regroupment camps.

2. Uganda - information as of 10 February

a) Worsening food situation due to drought in Karamoja region, especially in districts of Moroto and Kotido. WFP EMOP under preparation.

b) Northern districts of Gulu and Kitgum relatively calm during the last two weeks; WFP awaiting clearance from Government to restart food distributions.

c) A new protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO 6176), approved by the WFP Executive Board on 9 February, to assist 932,000 IDPs and Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda over two years, beginning April; total food required is 83,000 tons, total WFP cost of USD 50.6 million. Donor contributions sought.

B. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

1. Update - information as of 10 February

a) Inter-ethnic clashes between the Lendu and Hema in Bunia in rebel-held part of north-eastern DR Congo reported to have left more than 5,000 people dead over recent months. UN mission with WFP participation due to visit the area 11 February.

b) Continued concern for people displaced by fighting in Sud-Kivu in eastern DR Congo; 100,000 to 120,000 IDPs remain under difficult conditions.

C. MOZAMBIQUE

1. Flood relief operations - information as of 11 February

a) Torrential rains and flooding continue across most of Mozambique. High river levels cause extensive damage around Maputo and Matola. In the north, growing concern as the Save and Buzi Rivers flood.

b) In Maputu, about 100,000 people or 10 percent of city population affected by floods; 8,100 people sheltered at 11 centres, where WFP provides food. In Matola, a quarter of the population of 420,000 affected; 2,000 people assisted at seven sites.

c) Helicopters provided by the Government of Mozambique and by South Africa are evacuating people and moving in WFP food and other relief items to towns and villages cut off by the flooding in Maputu and other provinces.

d) Joint missions of Government, Red Cross, WFP/UN, bilateral assistance agencies and NGOs currently assessing flood-affected areas. Government appeals on 10 February for USD 2.7 million to assist some 150,000 people; total does not include cost of food assistance.

D. ANGOLA

1. Update - information as of 9 February

a) Air operations: restriction on number of WFP cargo flights per day to Kuito limits food deliveries. Ban on 727 cargo flights landing at Kuito Kuanavale airport interrupts WFP distributions; WFP investigating possibility of using other types of aircraft. Continued closure of Negage runway for repairs affects WFP programmes in that area; some food flown into nearby smaller airstrip at Uige using different type of aircraft.

b) Commercial road convoy of 80 trucks arrived in Huambo on 4 February after delay due to needed repairs to bridge en route. Convoy included twelve trucks carrying 300 tons of WFP maize.

2. WFP emergency operation for Angolan refugees in Namibia

a) Influx of refugees into Namibia from Angola continues; refugees now number 8,000. Further funding urgently required for EMOP 6206.

E. SIERRA LEONE

1. Update - information as of 10 February

a) WFP visit to Port Loko scheduled for 9 February to review the situation and make recommendations for further action in both the Disarmament, Demilitarisation and Rehabilitation and IDP programmes.

b) WFP assistance to IDPs to camps in the Western area to be phased out in February for IDPs originating from areas designated as safe by the Government; two-month resettlement package to be given in area of origin.

c) UN Security Council agrees on 7 February to increase size of UN peacekeeping force in Sierra Leone from 6,000 to 11,100 troops.

d) Results of first FAO Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission to visit Sierra Leone since November 1996 now available on the Web at <http://www.fao.org> - click on Economics, then GIEWS, then Special Reports and Alerts.

F. SUDAN

1. Update - information as of 10 February

a) Pro-government militia in Old Fangak in southern Sudan on 10 February release four people who were on Operation Lifeline Sudan aircraft detained on 3 February.

PART II - DETAILS

A. EAST AFRICA: BURUNDI AND UGANDA

1. BURUNDI - REGROUPMENT CAMPS - information as of 11 February

1.1 On 7 February the Representative of the Secretary General for internally displaced persons (IDPs), Dr. Francis Deng, reported to the UN agencies that the Government of Burundi had confirmed the dismantlement of an initial 11regroupment sites in Bujumbura Rural would start on that date and that a full programme covering a further 13 sites was under preparation. The agencies stressed the importance of being kept informed about the calendar for dismantling of these 24 sites in order to plan their assistance accordingly. No notice was given regarding the camps dismantled on 7 February.

1.2 The Minister of the Interior was in the province 10 February and informed the population in Maramvya camp (some 4,850 people) that they could return to their hills.

1.3 WFP will continue to feed populations both in regroupment sites or on the hills. Food needs assessments will take place. WFP's strategy is to not provide return packages as such, but to continue feeding returning populations on their hills until the next harvest. WFP's distribution calendar will be adjusted to match the calendar for the dismantling of the sites.

1.4 In order to effectively meet the increased food needs of populations in the province of Bujumbura Rural, WFP is preparing a new Emergency Operation. The operation will attempt to address the rising malnutrition in the regroupment camps, where lack of access to land, water, health care and appropriate sanitation are combining to create immense suffering for hundreds of thousands of people.

2. UGANDA - information as of 10 February

2.1 Drought - Karamoja region

a) Recent reports confirm a worsening food situation in the Karamoja region in north-eastern Uganda. The two districts of Moroto and Kotido in Karamoja have been severely hit by drought and the reports indicate that some people have already died of hunger. People from rural areas are migrating to towns in search of food and as a result prices of food commodities in the markets have increased by over 50 percent. Sales of cattle have increased and prices have plummeted by up to 75 percent.

b) WFP is preparing an emergency operation to address the new serious food insecurity problems caused by the drought. An inter-agency drought assessment mission to Karamoja carried out in December had already recommended provision of food aid for the area, through the expansion of the WFP school feeding project and food-for-work activities.

2.2 Assistance to IDPs in the north

a) The security situation in Gulu and Kitgum districts in northern Uganda has been relatively calm during the last two weeks, but food distributions have not yet started, as WFP is awaiting clearance from Government authorities. The movement of staff and food by road between Gulu and Kitgum is currently restricted and coordinated by the army. The number of internally displaced persons in Gulu and Kitgum totals 319,860 persons and the number is reported to be increasing due to people returning to the camps for protection. The last general food distributions were carried out in December.

b) A new protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO 6176), approved by the WFP Executive Board on 9 February, will provide assistance to 932,000 IDPs and Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda over two years. The operation is scheduled to start in April, and will provide some 83,000 metric tons of food aid at the total WFP cost of USD 50.6 million. Donors are invited to contribute.

B. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

1. UPDATE - information as of 10 February

1.1 In Bunia, in the newly created province of Ituri (formerly Orientale province), in the rebel-held part of north-eastern DR Congo next to Lake Albert, inter-ethnic clashes between the Lendu and Hema communities have reportedly killed over 5,000 people in recent months. A UN mission including two WFP staff members from eastern DR Congo is visiting the area 11 February for a meeting with the authorities in order to assess possibilities for assistance, taking into account the security situation which recently forced MSF-H to withdraw from the area. WFP is ready to provide assistance and has already stored food in Kampala for that purpose.

1.2 Meanwhile, concern for people displaced by fighting in the Sud-Kivu province of eastern DR Congo continues. Some of the roughly 250,000 people who fled their homes in 1999 have since returned, but there are still 100,000 to 120,000 people who live under difficult conditions away from their places of origin, unable to ensure their own nutritional security.

1.3 Fighting has pushed a number of people to Bukavu and surrounding towns where aid workers can reach them, but others remain in regions where insecurity hampers WFP efforts. As a result, an increasing number of cases of malnutrition are being reported in a fertile region which in the past exported food.

C. MOZAMBIQUE

1. FLOODS - information as of 11 February

1.1 Torrential rains and flooding are continuing across most of Mozambique. The Incomati, Umbeluzi and Sabie Rivers have risen to their highest levels ever recorded, causing extensive damage especially near the capital Maputo, and around Matola, 45 km to the west of Maputo. Of special concern is the north of the country where the Save and Buzi Rivers have begun flooding.

1.2 Province of Maputo and Maputo city

a) In the capital Maputo, about 100,000 people or 10 percent of its inhabitants have been affected by floods. Some 8,100 people are sheltered at 11 centres in the city. Wet feeding is ongoing with WFP-provided food.

b) In Matola, a city of 420,000 inhabitants, an estimated 100,000 people have been affected by the floods. Some 2,000 people were being housed at seven sites and with food being provided by WFP and other agencies. A WFP food monitor has been deployed to Matola.

c) In the remainder of Maputo Province the number of persons needing emergency assistance has gone up from 56,000 to 70,000 since 10 February. Food and other assistance is provided to smaller towns and villages including Sabie and Boane which are partly flooded and surrounded by water. Helicopters provided by the Government of Mozambique and by South Africa are evacuating people and moving in WFP food and other relief items to sites which cannot be reached by road.

1.3 Province of Gaza

a) The road linking the province of Gaza with Maputo is cut off at two places. Helicopters operate to evacuate flood victims and deliver supplies. In Xai-Xai, the capital of the province, 5,000 people and in Chokwe 2,000 people had to be evacuated from flooded areas to schools and other shelters. These numbers are likely to increase as the level of the Limpopo River rises further.

1.4 Province of Inhambane

a) Flooding from the Save River is affecting the Govuro district in the north of the province. WFP had pre-positioned some food in Vilankulos and Inhassoro before the road was cut off. The food is enough to feed 18,000 people for two weeks but so far no assessment of the number of people needing assistance is available.

1.5 Province of Sofala

a) The Buzi River flooded most of Buzi district in Sofala province. Close to 40,000 people need assistance. Some 120 tons of WFP food from the WFP warehouse in Beira is being moved to the area. There is no access to the southern part of the province and the main road to Maputo is cut off in Chibabava district.

b) Joint missions comprised of INGC (Instituto Nacional de Gestao de Calamidades), concerned Ministries, Red Cross, WFP, other UN agencies, bilateral assistance agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are currently assessing flood-affected areas. The Government, at a meeting with donors on 10 February, launched an appeal for emergency assistance to some 150,000 people at a value of USD 2.7 million. The cost of food assistance was not included in this amount.

D. ANGOLA

1. UPDATE - information as of 9 February

1.1 UN agency Security Coordinators and other observers report that the security situation throughout most provinces has been relatively calm over the past week, though the situation remains tense in some areas.

1.2 Air operations

a) Bie: A restriction on WFP cargo flights to Kuito (four cargo flights per day) is causing difficulties in supplying enough food for planned distributions to IDPs. In order to maintain programmes at their full level, WFP needs approximately 6-8 food flights each day. Other humanitarian agencies relying on WFP to transport essential non-food items to the city are also affected. WFP is prioritizing its vulnerable group feeding programmes, but the restriction of flights and resulting cut back in distributions adds to the precarious nutritional situation of IDP populations and to the ongoing threat of a pellagra epidemic. The Civil Aviation Authority, ENANA, claims that the restriction in flights is necessary because of the scheduled maintenance on the runway at Kuito.

b) Kuando Kubango: A ban on 727 cargo flights landing at the airport at Kuito Kuanavale has caused the interruption of WFP distributions, as there is not enough food in stock to assist all beneficiaries. WFP is currently investigating the possibility of using other types of aircraft.

c) Negage: The continued closure of Negage runway for repairs affects WFP programmes in the area. Distributions to IDPs have been placed on hold and vulnerable group feeding programmes have been prioritized. Update as of 14 February: WFP has since last week been using a different type of aircraft to fly emergency food to the nearby smaller airstrip at Uige.

1.3 Huambo: A commercial road convoy composed of 80 trucks arrived in Huambo on 4 February. Twelve trucks carrying 300 tons of WFP maize were received as a part of the convoy, which had been delayed due to repairs to a bridge en route.

1.4 Malange: On 31 January, a Food Aid Coordination meeting with WFP and a total of 30 implementing partners was held. Crucial issues were discussed such as the pipeline situation, planned monitoring activities and results, and a common food aid workplan for the first few months of 2000.

2. WFP emergency operation for Angolan refugees in Namibia

2.1 A steady influx of refugees into Namibia from Angola continues, with the total number now over 8,000. WFP will be revising its budget and tonnage needed for the operation as the situation demands. In the meantime, WFP is proceeding with the local purchase of one month's food supply to provide assistance to these refugees.

2.2 Further funding is required urgently for the new emergency operations (EMOP 6206), which was originally designed to support 7,500 people over a period of six months.

E. SIERRA LEONE

1. UPDATE - information as of 10 February

1.1 A WFP visit to Port Loko was planned for 9 February to review the situation and make recommendations for further action in both the Disarmament, Demilitarisation and Rehabilitation (DDR) and IDP programmes. There have been growing security concerns over recent weeks in the Port Loko DDR site. WFP has had to twice postpone delivery of food to feed 4,034 IDPs in the area.

1.2 WFP's assistance to IDPs to camps in the Western area will be phased out in February for IDPs originating from areas designated as safe by the Government. IDPs will be assisted with a two-month resettlement package in their area of origin followed by food-for-agriculture assistance to see them through the planting season. IDPs from areas still designated as unsafe will qualify for further assistance in the camps in Freetown until their area of origin is declared safe. WFP currently assists 28,320 IDPs in six camps around Freetown.

1.3 WFP in collaboration with CARE has completed registration of more than 110 villages in Lower Yoni, Tonkolili district in northern Sierra Leone where a population of 34,000 people was registered. WFP is currently establishing how many of the returning people in the region need food assistance. Lower Yoni was affected by fighting last year and farming activities were not possible. ICRC recently distributed farming materials. WFP food distribution is intended to support vulnerable families and to encourage people to resume farming.

1.4 An inter-agency needs assessment mission to Makeni comprising WFP, various NGOs and HACU scheduled for 1 February was delayed on the advice of UNAMSIL after the RUF had detained 20 UNAMSIL personnel based in Makeni for six hours and took some weapons away from them.

1.5 The UN Security Council agreed on 7 February to increase the size of the UN peacekeeping force in Sierra Leone from 6,000 to 11,100 troops. It also expanded the force's mandate to include such tasks as providing security at government buildings and airports, facilitating the free flow of people, goods and humanitarian aid, and helping guard and destroy weapons due to be surrendered.

1.6 An FAO Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission visited Sierra Leone from 29 November to 11 December to carry out an assessment of the food situation in the territories where security allowed it. This was the first FAO crop and food supply assessment in the country since November 1996. The Mission found that the agricultural sector has been extensively disrupted throughout the country, including the Southern region where relative peace now prevails. The full mission report is available at the FAO home page on the Web at <http://www.fao.org> - go to Economics, then GIEWS, then Special Reports and Alerts.

F. SUDAN

1. UPDATE - information as of 10 February

1.1 On 10 February pro-government militia in the southern Sudan released persons who were on board an Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) aircraft detained in Old Fangak on 3 February. Those released were the crew of two pilots, an OLS official and a local counterpart. Following negotiations between the UN, the Government of Sudan and the militia, the released hostages were flown by the UN to the north-west Kenyan border post of Lokichokio, which is used as the base for UN operations in southern Sudan.

Note: all tonnage figures in report above refer to metric tons

(End WFP Emergency Report No. 06 of 2000 - February 10, 2000)