Colombia + 2 more

ODM-WFP Emergency Situation Report on Latin America & the Caribbean 18 Mar 2003

Situation Report
Originally published
1. Ecuador
Reporting Period: 03/11 to 03/18/2003

a. Significant Events


On February 28 an IRA/EMOP (immediate response) for USD 176,640 was presented to Rome to cover the food needs of refugees and asylum seekers fleeing armed conflict in Colombia. The EMOP calls for 1,360 individual food rations to be distributed each month for a period of nine months. The total number of beneficiaries will be monitored over the nine months. This type of operation is expected to be continued under the Regional Project for Refugees covering Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador, planned to start in January 2004. The WFP Ecuador Country Office and UNHCR have been coordinating food assistance for refugee activities since last year. In January 2003, the agencies entered into a three-month cooperation agreement to assist 650 families per month identified as Colombian refugees in five provinces.

Tungurahua Volcano

A new peak of volcanic activity was registered last week, with gas emissions affecting 3,000 farmers in the counties of Quero and Pelileo. A layer of ash covers more than 400 hectares, threatening the loss of crops and pastureland. WFP Ecuador and the Civil Defense are monitoring the situation and have developed an immediate plan of action in case of emergency.

2. Nicaragua

Reporting Period: 03/11 to 03/18/2003

a. Implementation

Food distribution to 590 primary schools and pre-school centers in six municipalities of the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) began in order to initiate school feeding activities for 49,846 boys and girls of indigenous communities affected by floods. As of this month, the programme will extend to an additional 13,786 boys and girls in 259 schools of the Siuna, Rosita and Bonanza municipalities. Poor road conditions, especially during the winter months, and the remoteness of many communities have hampered food deliveries. To address this constraint, WFP is using two 8MT trucks to deliver food as close to the final delivery points as possible. School Feeding Committees, formed by parents and with support from local institutions, are responsible for storage of commodities and food preparation.

3. Colombia

Reporting Period: 03/11 to 03/18/2003

a. Implementation

Since March, access to the municipalities of San Luis, San Carlos, Cocorná, Granada and San Francisco in Eastern Antioqueño has been blocked. Food deliveries, and the corresponding food-for-work and supplementary feeding activities, were temporarily suspended.

Threats by armed groups to WFP-contracted transporters, using the Manizales - Quibdo and Medellin - Quibdo roads, have halted deliveries for pre-school nutritional recovery activities. Efforts to negotiate access through these areas remain unsuccessful.