Colombia + 4 more

ODM-WFP Emergency Situation Report on Latin America and the Caribbean 9 Sep 2003

Situation Report
Originally published
a) Significant Events

A high level of pressure from illegal armed groups on some rural municipalities has resulted in a displacement of people living in the Department of Choco. Last week, two leaders were assassinated.

Around Quibdo, numerous families have been waiting for several weeks for an improvement in safety conditions that would allow them to return home. The presence of guerillas and paramilitaries in the northern rural area of the Department of Antioquia has increased tension and generated fear among the population.

b) Implementation

A cassava production project implemented by WFP and local municipalities, with the support of the government implementing partner "Social Solidarity Network", in the Department of Antioquia, has provided 210 displaced families (with a majority of households headed by women) with resources and capacity building. Skills developed through the project are contributing to the creation of new vocations for some beneficiaries.


a) Significant Events

WFP, Civil Defense, the Ministry of Agriculture, and local municipalities will begin a recovery project this week to support people affected by Tungurahua Volcano's ash emissions. The project includes the provision of food aid to families at high risk, crop improvements, protection of family orchards with roofs, and reforestation of watersheds.

WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNDP are working with the Government and NGOs to prepare immediate response projects in the areas of health and housing.


a) Implementation

A pilot workshop to support the Central America PRRO Baseline Study was held during the week in Guatemala to train staff from WFP COs and government implementing agencies on the tools and forms to be used during the field survey that will take place in Guatemala in the next two weeks. As this workshop will be replicated in the other PRRO countries in the coming weeks, followed by a data collection in the field, WFP staff from El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras participated in the final three days of this pilot training session.


a) Significant events

A moderate earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale shook Southern coastal regions on 5 September. No injuries or major damage was reported.

b) Implementation

A workshop is being held this week to train field monitors in the use of the "Community Profile Survey Form", which will be used to characterize communities that will participate in PRRO 10212 activities over the next two years.

c) Logistics

Delivery of a local purchase of 80 MT of red beans for PRRO 10212.0 will begin this week.


a) Significant Events

Persistent rains in the form of storms and heavy downpours have prompted the National Coordinating Committee for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) to declare Yellow Alert in view of the rising risk of landslides and floods. The National Institute of Seismology, Meteorology and Hydrology has forecasted that September will show the highest rainfall rates for the year.

Heavy rains accompanied by strong winds triggered flooding in Guatemala City and caused landslides in some areas of the capital city. A flash flood in Los Espinos River caused the collapse of a bridge and the isolation of two communities in the Municipality of Esquipulas, Department of Chiquimula.

Although the number of pneumonia cases had been reduced in the last weeks, a new outbreak of respiratory diseases has sent dozens of children to the National Hospital in the capital city, resulting in an overcrowding of the emergency ward. To date, more than 74,000 children have been diagnosed with pneumonia, an increase of almost 6,400 cases from last year.

b) Security

Three armed men assaulted a WFP staff member this week as he got off the bus in the morning on his way to the office, stealing cash and personal documents. Increasing crime and insecurity continues to pose a risk to the staff in the country. Recent statistics published by the Government report 20,000 robberies and assaults in the first 8 months of the year.


a) Significant Events

The third food distribution under the Central America PRRO for vulnerable groups (children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years and expectant and nursing women) is under way. A total of 12,115 people are being assisted with some 254 MT of food.

The second food distribution to 6,400 families participating in the FFW component is also taking place. This includes the provision of assistance to 1,200 additional families that were identified in the "Plantones" (temporary roadside shelters) and that are now back in their communities. A total of 598 MT of food are being distributed.

Some 11,490 children in the municipality of Matagalpa have also benefited from the first school feeding distribution under the PRRO. A total of 83.5 MT of food is being distributed.

All food rations include maize, beans, CSB and vegetable oil.


The third and last food distribution of the year to the drought and flood-affected areas of the Northern Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) is being carried out. A total of 347 MT of food are being distributed to 57,510 pre and primary school boys and girls. Food rations include maize, rice, CSM, beans and vegetable oil.