ODM-WFP emergency situation report on Latin America & the Caribbean 10 Oct 2002

from World Food Programme
Published on 10 Oct 2002
1. Cuba

Hurricane Isidore and Hurricane Lili

Reporting Period: 09/26 to 10/02/2002

a) Significant Events:

Within ten days, two category-2 hurricanes hit Cuba: Hurricane Isidore made landfall on 20 September while Hurricane Lili did so on 1 October. The most affected areas were the province of Pinar del Rio and the Isla de la Juventud. More than 280,000 persons were evacuated as a precaution before Isidore arrived, while about 300,000 were evacuated before the arrival of Lili.

Two UN missions (formed by UNDP, FAO, WFP, UNICEF, UNESCO and PAHO) were fielded (26 September after Isidore and 3 October after Lili) to assess damages. Government officials and Civil Defense representatives accompanied the missions. Food crops, citrus and tobacco plantations in both affected regions were largely destroyed, therefore causing a serious blow to Cuba's economy.

Hurricane Isidore seriously damaged infrastructure (houses, hospitals, schools, roads, electric, telephone and water systems), as well agriculture: root vegetable, rice, grains mainly maize, sugar and fruits. About 24,000 MT of citrus were affected and 132 MT of coffee was lost. Thousands of livestock were also lost.

Hurricane Lili caused the death of one person and destroyed thousands of homes and tobacco installations, uprooted trees and ripped off the roofs of the few houses that were not damaged by Hurricane Isidore. Ninety percent of the tobacco sheds were damaged and 37,847 houses were affected in Pinar del Rio. Of these, 3,760 were totally destroyed (out of a total of 211,322 houses in the province). In the Isla de la Juventud 7,800 houses were damaged, including 1253, which were completely destroyed. 409 of the 941 provincial schools were destroyed, as well as 241 health centers. In Isle of Youth and Pinar del Rio province, citrus plantations suffered heavy losses.

Estimates are that approximately $10.3 million will be needed in Pinar del Rio and $2.2 million for the Isla de la Juventud for recovery in the areas of agriculture, livestock, and productive infrastructure (not including the cost of housing).

WFP response:

WFP has approved an IRA/EMOP to assist approximately 49,000 vulnerable persons (children under 5 years old and expectant mothers) mainly those living in shelters, during 45 days. The Government is providing assistance to affected families with its limited resources, prioritising expectant mothers. These efforts, however, will be limited due to the reduced amounts of food availability. WFP assistance will be complementary to that of Government's assistance.

2. Colombia

PRRO 6139.0

Reporting Period: 10/01 to 10/07/2002

a) Significant Events:

UN agencies in Colombia have finalized the Humanitarian Plan of Action (HPA). This plan gives special attention to the areas of food security, reconstruction, prevention of displacement and protection of IDPs. The main objective of the HPA is to contribute to the re-establishment and effective exercise of human rights of IDPs and other population affected by the conflict.

PRRO beneficiaries continue to be affected by blockades imposed by armed groups in a number of municipalities and provinces. Food commodities could not be delivered to the municipality of Granada in the province of Antioquia.

b) Implementation:

WFP will include food for up to one month through the provision of 1,432 kits, comprised of agricultural tools, seeds and fertilizers. Kits will be delivered to beneficiaries of 30 projects in 27 provinces.

During the first week of October, WFP delivered 85 MT of food to 14 PRRO projects in three provinces.

3. El Salvador

PRRO 6089.0

Reporting Period: 09/24 to 10/07/2002

a) Significant Events:

WFP is carrying out regular monitoring visits to the coffee producing areas in the western region. Initial results will be consolidated to obtain figures on the number of affected families and children, and the precise quantities needed for a food aid response. Preliminary results justify an urgent response. Monitoring will now shift to other coffee producing areas not yet covered.

WFP is actively engaged in the preparation of a multi-faceted response with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, National Secretary of the Family, UNICEF and PAHO. A proposal has been presented that will provide additional food rations through Government Child Care Centres, Community Homes providing child care and community storage centres. WFP will respond with available stocks. UNICEF has confirmed a distribution of 19 MT of Incaparina (a Central American food blend) to assist children suffering from severe malnutrition. The Ministry of Health has sufficient stocks of micronutrients to last until December 2002.

As the coffee crisis will continue affecting families in the long run, options are being considered to examine programmes that may provide alternative incomes to families. Discussions with NGOs will be held in the coming weeks on this subject.

Heavy rains continue to fall in most of the country allaying fears of a continuing drought in the eastern regions of the country.

b) Implementation:

The drought response reaching affected families in the northeast continues to generate new food requests from NGOs. CRS has requested 155 MT; CARE International 190 MT and Action Aid 14.5 MT. Other NGOs are expected to distribute additional food soon.

c) Pipeline:

An Irish donation of 248 MT of CSB is en route to El Salvador by road from Guatemala. The local purchase of 830 MT of white maize has been approved and is currently being bagged and readied for transshipment to the different warehouses in the country.

4. Guatemala

Hurricane Isidore

EMOP 10174.0

Reporting Period: 09/14 to 09/30/2002

a) Significant Events:

Hurricane Isidore affected the southern and western coasts of the country causing landslides and flooding. Assessments indicate that despite material and human losses, there have not been major losses in agriculture. According to preliminary data from the southern coastal region, losses have been registered in the agricultural and fishery sector for at least 350 households.

Since May, EMOP 10174.0 (Emergency assistance to families affected by drought with accurate malnourished children) has distributed a total of 2,828 MT of food aid.

5. Guyana

a) Significant events

The private sector of Guyana launched a "total shut-down of Guyana" for 9-10 October. The drastic action was intended to draw the attention of the political leaders on the major problem facing Guyana: safety and security of citizens.

Organizers demand that:

  • The Government and political parties recognize that the country is in a deep crisis

  • The Government and political parties come together to solve the crisis without preconditions

  • The Government security forces take more direct actions to solve the crisis

  • The Government explains to the citizens its failure to uphold and enforce the fundamental rights of peace and security for its citizens
The UNDP Country Office is monitoring the situation.

6. Honduras


Reporting Period: 09/26 to 10/02/2002

a) Implementation:

Distribution to the drought-affected households took place during August and September to 24 communities of 8 municipalities in the province of El Paraiso.

A second delivery is planned to take place in October and November to 66 communities in 18 municipalities of the provinces of Choluteca, El Paraiso, Francisco Morazan, and La Paz.

6. Jamaica

Hurricane Lili

Reporting Date: 10/08/2002

a) Significant Events:

Hurricane Lili caused major flooding throughout the country. According to IFRC major damage was reported in the eastern part of the country. Floods and mudslides killed 4 persons and forced the evacuation of approximately 1,400 persons to temporary shelters. Sugar cane fields were seriously damaged.

7. Mexico

Hurricane Isidore

Reporting Date: 10/08/2002

a) Significant Events:

Hurricane Isidore hit Mexico on 23 September. According to IFRC, over 590,000 persons were affected by the passing of the hurricane. In Campeche and Chiapas 39,000 and 10,000 persons were affected respectively. Other 70,000 persons were evacuated from high-risk coastal areas.