Colombia + 4 more

ODM-WFP emergency situation report on Latin America & the Caribbean 18 Apr 2002


1. Colombia

Reporting Period: 04/08 to 04/16/2002

a) Significant Events:

Violence continued to affect Colombia: (a) On 13 April a bomb went off apparently aimed at presidential candidate Alvaro Uribe, killing five persons and wounding 15 others. (b) On 9 April, eight bombings took place in Bogota forcing the evacuation of Government offices. WFP's Bogota office continued to function normally. (c) Armed groups abducted 12 lawmakers in Cali. (d) Two soldiers were killed in clashes with the armed groups.

A joint government-WFP mission took place to assess the situation in the Santander province. The mission detected an alarming increase in the number of displaced families to over 7,500 persons. According to information provided by NGOs, about 12,000 families are blocked in rural areas by armed groups. Reports indicate that these families have health and nutritional problems as well as limited access to food. A humanitarian UN/Government mission is being organized this week to the area, and will be waiting for security clearances.

b) Security:

On the week of 08 April, the WFP sub-office in Medellin continued to report restricted access to the San Carlos municipality (Antioquia province), causing the cancellation of WFP food deliveries.

WFP field staff was authorized to travel for monitoring purposes.

c) Implementation:

120 MT of food will be delivered this week. 25 MT to 11,454 beneficiaries of the Pre-school project and 95 MT to 3,387 beneficiaries of the Nutritional recovery project.

2. Ecuador

Reporting Period: 04/15/2002

a) Significant Events:

According to the Civil Defense, 25 persons have died as a consequence of the floods, 35,904 people (6,839 families) have been affected of which 2,502 people (481 families) are considered to be seriously affected. 2,098 families have been evacuated from their homes. Also, 6,493 homes have been damaged, including 333 of that have been totally destroyed.

The situation continues to worsen, especially in the coastal provinces, due to the heavy rains and floods. Much precipitation is foreseen for the rest of April. The health situation continues to be the main problem. Stagnant, dirty water provides the breeding grounds for mosquitoes, spreading dengue and malaria in the affected areas. A WFP-Ecuador team visited the provinces of Manabi, Guayas, Los Rios and El Oro, to evaluate the situation in some of the worst affected areas, meet with WFP counterparts and distribute emergency food rations.

WFP will be visiting the province of Esmeraldas this week to evaluate the situation.

b) Implementation:

On the week of 08 April, WFP distributed 2000 emergency food rations in the province of Manabi, 500 in the province of El Oro and 500 in the province of Los Rios. Distribution of 1000 rations in the province of Guayas and 200 in Bolivar are pending.

3. El Salvador

EMOP 10022: Assistance to Earthquake Victims in El Salvador

PRRO 6089: Reconstruction and rehabilitation for families affected by Hurricane Mitch and Drought 2001-2002

Reporting Period: 04/08 to 04/15/2002

a) Significant Events:

EMOP 10022

PRRO 6089

Unexpected and unseasonable rains hit El Salvador on the week of 08 April, causing floods in the capital and in other parts of the country. WFP made a rapid assessment of the situation and concluded that long-term solutions need to be found for the terrible conditions in which most of the affected population lives in. There is an urgent need to continue the reconstruction efforts that began after the 2001 earthquake. Even though thousands of families have received assistance with the EMOP, thousands more remain in precarious conditions, living under light plastic sheeting and old corrugated metal sheets. These 'temporary' houses are very vulnerable as any minor storm can easily destroy them.

The effects of torrential rains serve as a reminder that housing is a priority in any situation and that the health of children, men and women depend on it.

b) Implementation:

A mission from INCAP (Central America and Panama Nutrition Institute) arrived in El Salvador to begin a national food consumption census. This census will be carried out with the Ministry of Health, Education and Agriculture and is sponsored in part by WFP with funds from the Canadian Impact Grant (US$ 30,000). UNICEF and USAID are also participating in this study that will help focalize development and emergency interventions. 18,000 households will be included in the census.

c) Pipeline:

132 MT of beans have arrived in good conditions on 07 April, trans-shipped from Argentina through Guatemala. This was a significant contribution from the Italian and Finnish Governments to PRRO 6089.

4. Guatemala

Reporting Period: 04/17/2002

a) Significant Events:

EMOP 10174

During the first fifteen days of April, assessment visits took place in 27 municipalities with high levels of acute malnutrition. WFP and the Ministry of Public Health prepared the guidelines for monitoring and implementation aspects. The first food distribution is expected to take place toward the end of April, targeting 400 children and their families in nutritional centers, as well as 10,362 children and their families in open or communal centers. Agreements have been arranged with World Vision, Action Against Hunger and others.

This first distribution will take place with a loan from PRRO 6089, since this operation has received to date US$ 1.4 million, with a 69% shortfall. WFP Guatemala and HQ are contacting several donors in order to obtain the additionally required funds.

b) Implementation:


The third distribution of commodities (1,453 MT) from PRRO 6089 that arrived to the communities in March is benefiting 103,040 drought-affected people (20,608 families). Food distribution included 12 children centers of nutritional recovery in the provinces of Zacapa, Jalapa, Chiquimula, Baja Verapaz and Santa Rosa. Some 12,000 families will require 800 MT/month in food assistance until the harvesting season.

5. Peru

Reporting Period: 04/14/2002

a) Significant Events:

On the week of 08 April, heavy rains caused overflows of the river Piura affecting 4 towns. There are more than one thousand affected families, hundreds of flooded houses and at least 500 isolated people. A large number of farm animals were killed and thousands of hectares of crops were destroyed.

b) Security:

Due to the rains, major roads such as northern Pan-American Highway have been interrupted, complicating the flow of government assistance.

c) Implementation:

The Government has limited resources and has sent 50 MT of food and 340 housing modules to assist the needs of the most affected people. The Emergency Committee of the province of Piura has been activated. There has not been a request for WFP emergency food assistance from the Government. However, if the situation continues to deteriorate the CO is considering different options, among them triggering an IRA-EMOP.