Rome, 27 October 2008 - Facts, figures and the lastest updates from WFP's high profile emergencies.
An emergency response preparedness plan for UNHAS has been reviewed and updated. Seven WFP aircraft based in Sudan have landing clearances for Chad, and three of them for Cameroon. Cameroon clearances are expected for all seven by 1 November 2008. These aircraft will serve as backup assets for Chad in case of emergency evacuations. An Aviation Field Operation Safety Review (Safety Audit) was also conducted by the Regional Aviation Safety Unit from OMJ. The audit report is yet to be released.
Following reports of increased GAM rates in the Gassiré area (10.1 percent in Sept 2008), WFP has been requested to provide food assistance to IDPs in the Gassiré site. Provision is also being made to provide a 30-day food assistance to IDPs in the Kerfi area who have lost their food stocks in early August 2008as a result of inter-ethnic clashes between IDPs and local populations.
On 23 October, the Famine and Early Warning System-Network (FEWS-Net) issued an alert on the high probability of extreme worsening food insecurity in parts of south-eastern and northern Ethiopia. Despite recent rains, replenishment of water and pasture remain critically low in most pastoral areas. According to FEWS-Net, additional assistance is needed until at least June 2009.
WFP actively participated in the Productive Safety Net Programme's mid-term evaluation mission to ensure that issues of food management and response to shocks have been properly managed
The number of displaced due to floods has risen to over 5,000 in the central and western areas. WFP assistance is not yet requested by the Government. However, WFP is closely monitoring the situation.
WFP has temporarily relocated its field office in Wunrok, Warrap State, set up in May 2008 in support of IDPs and vulnerable host communities affected by the Abyei conflict, to higher grounds due to severe flooding. Efforts are underway to explore other optionsdue to annual floods experienced in the region.
WFP, FAO, UNICEF and the Government of Sudan launched the joint Darfur Food Security and Livelihoods Assessment (DFSLA) and Darfur Nutrition Assessment (DNA) on 26 October 2008. These will provide an update on the food security and nutrition status of displaced and vulnerable people in Darfur, as well as recommend immediate and medium-term programme interventions. A new development is the de-linking of the nutrition component from the food security and livelihood assessment. The DNA, led by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF, will occur in tandem with the DFSLA. Data will be collected from 1,575 households in 45 locations in the three Darfur states (900 households for the DFSLA and an additional 675 households for the DNA). Data collection and analysis is expected to be completed by mid December, with the final report available by end January 2009. Insecurity will pose a significant challenge in completing the assessment this year, as most locations are inaccessible by road. The assessment teams will rely on UNHAS for air transport to targeted areas.
On 23 October 2008, the House of Assembly unanimously supported a motion declaring the food security situation in the country a national disaster. They also agreed to a fair distribution of food regardless of political affiliation. =B7 Under the Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) programme, nearly 350,000 people have received food aid as of 18 October 2008. The VGF target is to scale up distributions each week in October 2008 to reach a total of 1.8 million beneficiaries by the end of the month.
Based on the May CFSAM result, a total of 1.2 million mt of commodities needs to be imported this year to cover the needs of the population. Presently, approximately 435,000 mt have been imported; 175,000 mt by the government and 260,000 mt have been resourced by the international community. The estimated cereal deficit in the country is 800,000 mt.