Eritrea + 4 more

WFP Emergency Report No. 26 of 2000

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
This report includes: A) Horn of Africa: Ethiopia and Eritrea B) Sierra Leone C) Angola D) Tajikistan - drought.
From Francesco Strippoli, Senior Humanitarian Advisor. Available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page at http://www.wfp.org/ or by e-mail from Natasha.Nadazdin@wfp.org . For information on resources, donors are requested to contact Aleesa.Blum@wfp.org or Marius.deGaayFortman@wfp.org at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2004 or 06 6513 2250. Media queries should be directed to Trevor.Rowe@wfp.org telephone 39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

PART I - HIGHLIGHTS
(Details below in Part II)

A. HORN OF AFRICA

1. Ethiopia - information as of 27 June

a) First preliminary findings of belg and pastoral assessments indicate significant numbers of additional people in need of food assistance; DPPC's formal announcement of results expected shortly.

b) Oromiya Region: in Bale zone rains were late by six to eight weeks, ceased early and were erratic in distribution; crop performance deteriorates with declining altitude; livestock condition improved with increased availability of pasture and water, however, green pasture resulting from rains may not be sufficient until next rains in September/October; number of people requiring relief food assistance raised from 161,200 to 215,000 until the end of the year; food situation in Borena zone more stable, partly as result of more humanitarian presence.

c) WFP to increase its short haul trucks fleet by 140 new vehicles.

2. Eritrea - information as of 26 June

a) Following ceasefire agreement of 18 June, movements of population from areas of conflict (Adi-Quala, Mai-Mine, Tsorona) to Salina IDP camp and Gash Barka and Anseba regions declined; some 4,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Senafe and Adikeiah moved to Hariena camp which now hosts a total of 47,360 IDPs.

b) In collaboration with Eritrean government, Ethiopia and Eritrea Red Cross facilitated return of 2,000 Ethiopians from Eritrea to date.

c) In Anseba, 885 tons of food commodities donated by LWF delivered to Keren, later to be transported to Gelep and Habero sub-regions.

d) WFP and ERREC prepare distribution plans for some 80, 000 Eritreans expected to return to Eritrea from Sudan and be relocated in the Forto and Dige areas.

e) WFP monitoring team visited Adikeshi, Hariena, Salina, and Debat IDP camps, Tsorona, Maisaala, Molover and Tessenei to monitor WFP food deliveries/ distribution and population movements, and to form Relief Committees to ensure that WFP food commodities reach the intended population.

B. SIERRA LEONE

1. Update - information as of 25 June

a) Insecurity reported between Port Loko and Kambia District.

b) WFP food aid distribution in Mile 91 delayed on 26 June due to insecurity, then continued on 27 June.

c) In Conakry Dee, Lungi area, WFP distribution interrupted on 15 June due to security threats.

d) Over the past week WFP distributes a total of 1,550 tons of assorted food commodities to some 100,000 beneficiaries countrywide.

C. ANGOLA

1. Update - information as of 28 June

a) Small-scale ambushes and attacks continue throughout Angola.

b) WFP food aid pipeline: WFP received new confirmation of 4,200 tons of oil and 10,800 tons of maize from US and 1,600 tons of yellow split peas from Canada; despite new contributions WFP food aid pipeline remains weak with only 42 percent of project requirements covered to date.

c) Angolan refugees in Namibia: Osire refugee camp in Namibia now hosts some 11,950 Angolan refugees; 1,120 new arrivals in June; WFP recently approves budget expansion for emergency operation (EMOP 6206) which provides assistance to Angolan refugees in Namibia, to assist 14,000 persons per month from 1 August through January 2001.

D. TAJIKISTAN

1. Drought - information as of 22 June

a) Total cereal crop expected to range between 330,000 and 380,000 tons, compared to 475,000 tons last year; cereal deficit may amount to 620,000 tons; expected low crop to increase risk of severe malnutrition; coping mechanisms exhausted and crop loss to result in further decline of living standard of vulnerable population.

b) WFP and FAO crop and food supply assessment to start on 4 July; assessment mission will determine which districts in Khatlon are most affected and in need of food assistance.

c) WFP Tajikistan food stocks currently low, new shipments expected by August; WFP planning to provide immediate small-scale relief to the affected population under its current protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO 6087) for vulnerable groups.

PART II - DETAILS

A. HORN OF AFRICA

1. Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict

1.1 The cease-fire agreement signed on 18 June brought fighting to an end, but several key issues remain yet to be resolved. A comprehensive peace plan requires the final demarcation of the border, and technical experts from both sides are to meet in the US shortly. Delegations from Ethiopia and Eritrea are due to resume indirect talks in Algiers early next month.

2. Ethiopia - information as of 29 June

2.1 The first teams are back from the belg and pastoral assessments. According to preliminary indications, there are significant numbers of additional people in need of food assistance. The formal announcement of the revised figures is expected shortly from the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC). Reports from the belg teams are expected by the end of this week. The four teams that went to Somali and Afar Region are expected back by the end of this week, and will have preliminary reports by early next week. The preliminary analysis carried out by the WFP Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping Unit is in line with the counterpart figures.

2.2 Oromiya Region

a) The belg assessment report for Bale zone (Oromiya Region) states that rains were late by 6-8 weeks, ceased early and were erratic in distribution. Crop performance is reported to deteriorate with declining altitude, with little crop harvest expected in lowland areas. The livestock condition is reported to be improved with increased availability of pasture and water. However, the green pasture resulting from the rains may not be sufficient until the next rains, expected in September/October. In general, the assessment mission found that the prospect of improved food security in the lowland areas of the zone is poor up to the end of the year. The number of people requiring relief food assistance has been raised from 161,200 to 215,000 to the end of the year. The mission found one of the lowland woredas of the zone (Meda Welabu) to be in need of immediate attention, as it has not received sufficient amounts of relief food this year. General food rations and supplementary food are currently being distributed by a local church organisation, Mekaneyesus, but additional partners are needed. WFP is currently examining further possibilities with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and donors.

b) The assessment team visited Borena zone in Oromiya Region and found the situation to be more stable than in Bale zone, partly due to the higher number of NGO interventions and regular relief distributions. Pastures and water conditions are largely improved, but as in Bale zone, the situation may deteriorate if the next rains (expected in September) fail. It was found that malnutrition amongst the elderly has dramatically increased. This is explained as an effect of the traditional coping mechanism, where priority is given to younger family members in times of food shortage. The mission echoed the Special Envoy's recommendation on the need for an enhanced food basket by including pulses (included in the budget revision), due to the low availability of protein-rich livestock products, normally an integral part of the diet in these areas.

2.3 DPPC and the Ethiopian Ministry of Transport have in principle agreed to WFP bringing in a fleet of 140 short haul trucks to supplement existing fleet. The 140 trucks in the WFP-managed short haul fleet will probably be positioned as follows: 60 trucks in Dire Dawa, 40 trucks in Nazareth/Shasemene and 40 trucks in Kombolcha. An engineer from the contracting company has been visiting Ethiopia to assess the roads in order to determine what type of trucks to bring in.

2.4 The Israeli government has contributed to WFP two nutrition/health experts for an initial two weeks consultancy. On 28 June, the experts went on a field visit to Damot Weyde in North Omo, SNNPR (Southern Nation, Nationalities and Peoples Regions Region). During their stay, they will also visit Gode. Meetings with government representatives, health authorities, UNICEF and NGOs intervening in the nutritional sector have also been arranged. The experts will prepare a plan of action and will in particular look into the issue of establishing a nutrition coordination unit in the Early Warning Department of the DPPC.

3. Eritrea - information as of 26 June

3.1 Following the signing of cease-fire agreement on June 18, movements of population from areas of conflict (Adi-Quala, Mai-Mine, Tsorona) to Salina IDP camp and Gash Barka and Anseba regions have declined. However, a total of some 4,000 IDPs from Senafe and Adikeiah have moved to Hariena camp. The population of Hariena camp is now 47,360 IDPs.

3.2 The population of Debat camp, some 49, 668 IDPs, are being relocated to Afabet due to fear of malaria which is prevalent in Debat area. The Eritrean Refugees and Relief Commission (ERREC) has provided transport to move IDPs to Afabet Camp, Agordat, and Mensura villages (Mensura, Hagaz, and Mongolo).

3.3 Ethiopians displaced from Shekat and Senafe during the 1998 have started to go back to Ethiopia. In collaboration with the Eritrean government Ethiopia and Eritrea Red Cross are facilitating the voluntary repatriation. To date 2,000 Ethiopians have repatriated from Eritrea.

3.4 The delivery of food for drought-affected persons has started in Anseba region. To date, 885 tons of food commodities donated by the Lutheran World Federation have been delivered to Keren, later to be transported to Gelep and Habero sub-regions depending on the availability of trucks. Deliveries of food commodities to drought-affected regions will continue.

3.5 WFP and ERREC have jointly prepared distribution plans to meet the food requirements of approximately 80, 000 Eritreans expected to return to Eritrea from Sudan and be relocated in the Forto and Dige areas. According to UNHCR, the Eritrean returnees will be bringing non-food items donated to them during their stay in Sudanese camps. It was agreed that WFP-donated temporary storage facilities will be erected in Forto and Dige. An issue of major concern is to have an adequate amount of commodities in stock for these returnees prior to the impending rainy season, which will make further transportation increasingly difficult.

3.6 WFP monitoring team visited Adikeshi, Hariena, Salina, and Debat IDP camps, Tsorona, Maisaala, Molover and Tessenei to track WFP food deliveries/distribution, monitor population movements, and form Relief Committees to ensure that WFP food commodities reach the intended population.

a) Adikeshi camp: A joint Government/UN/NGO assessment team visited Adi-Keshi Camp to confirm reports of forced evacuation of Eritreans living south of Gash River to the camp. Findings of the team indicate that of the 25,000 IDP populations in the camp, 9,000 were new arrivals either expelled by Ethiopia forces from Upper Gash or fled without food and non-food items due to fear of insecurity. Priority needs of the new arrivals include shelter, food, medicine and other non-food items. WFP and ERREC have prepared a distribution plan to provide food aid for 3,000 IDPs, new arrivals that have not received food aid due to transport constraints.

b) Tessenei: WFP distributed eight tons of humanitarian daily rations to the internally displaced population in Tessenei composed of about 85 to 90 percent women and children. The WFP assessment team indicated that about 2,000 IDPs have returned to Tessenei and about 800 IDPs are waiting to be transported from Talatasha. Most of the pre-war Tessenei population estimated at 18,000 was displaced to Lafa, a border town in Sudan.

c) In Molover, WFP provided eight tons of humanitarian daily rations for 4,000 internally displaced. It is estimated that the population of Molover is comprised of approximately 4,000 IDPs who replaced the original residents who fled to Dige and Hashinket.

3.7 During the reporting period 984 tons of food were distributed to 237,342 beneficiaries.

B. SIERRA LEONE

1. UPDATE - information as of 25 June

1.1 On 25 June Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels attacked Katonga, a village along the boarders between Port Loko and Kambia District in the Lokomasama chiefdom. This village is approximately 25 km from the Lungi International Airport, which is a major base for the UNAMSIL forces.

1.2 In the villages surrounding Mile 91, WFP team had to delay the distribution for over 10,000 IDPs after rebels attacked Mogbolo, a village near Mile 91 town. According to the team, they saw IDPs fleeing the area, and were advised by UNAMSIL not to proceed into Mile 91. Upon a later security assessment of the area, security clearance was given to WFP to continue with the distribution that was scheduled to start on 27 June.

1.3 In Conakry Dee (Lungi area) WFP distributed over 76 tons of food to 10,012 IDPs. This distribution was interrupted on 15 June 2000 because of security threats in the area. At the same verification of these IDPs from both influxes (25,260 and 16,188) has been done.

1.4 In Tasso and Kakum Islands, WFP dispatched over 118 tons of food to some 8,100 beneficiaries. The intervention will target both the IDPs and the local population following an assessment that highlighted the growing needs for both groups. Following the emergency response intervention, WFP, together with its implementing partners, will continue with food-for-agriculture interventions to enhance local food production.

1.5 A WFP convoy carrying over 208 metric tons was sent to Port Loko for 14,300 internally displaced. UNAMSIL tightened their presence in the road from Freetown to Port Loko that provided adequate security for the convoys to proceed.

1.6 During the reporting period WFP distributed a total of 1,550 tons of assorted food commodities to 99,891 beneficiaries countrywide.

1.7 An ECOWAS delegation has been in Sierra Leone to negotiate a cease-fire between the warring parties. The objective of the negotiations was to have the parties withdraw to the positions they had prior to the Lome peace.

C. ANGOLA

1. UPDATE - information as of 28 June

1.1 Small-scale ambushes and attacks continue throughout Angola, in particular in the provinces of Kuando Kubango, Kwanza Norte, Kwanza Sul, Lunda Sul and Norte, Malange, Moxico and Uige.

1.2 Pipeline situation:

a) On 16 June, WFP received confirmation of a new contribution of 4,200 tons of oil and 10,800 tons of maize from the US. This contribution, valued at approximately USD 12.6 million, will support WFP relief activities under the current protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO 6159). On 22 June, the Government of Canada confirmed a new contribution of 1,600 tons of yellow split peas valued at USD 1.3 million for distribution under ongoing WFP relief programmes.

b) Despite the recently confirmed contributions, the WFP food aid pipeline remains weak with only 42 percent of project requirements covered by confirmed donations. It is planned that the current PRRO 6159 be extended in time to 31 March 2001 thereby putting additional pressures on the existing pipeline but allowing sufficient time to incorporate transition strategies into the new project.

1.3 Angolan refugees in Namibia:

a) The population of the Osire refugee camp in Namibia has been steadily increasing during the month of June. From 1-27 June, a total of approximately 1,120 persons arrived in the camp so that the total number of refugees registered by UNHCR and the Ministry of Home Affairs as of 27 June was approximately 11,950.

b) On 23 June, WFP approved a new emergency operation (EMOP 6206.01) in order to continue providing assistance to the Angolan refugees in Namibia. Under this operation, WFP will distribute a total of 1,399 tons of relief food aid to an average of 14,000 beneficiaries per month at a total cost to WFP of USD 698,568. The new operation is expected to start on 1 August and will last through January 2001, thereby taking over from the on-going emergency operation (EMOP 6206).

D. TAJIKISTAN

1. Drought - information as of 22 June

1.1 The 2000 domestic cereal production in Tajikistan is expected to be dramatically lower than last year when brown rust affected major cereal crops.

1.2 The country is reportedly experiencing the lowest precipitation levels in 74 years, coupled with above average ground temperatures. The declining water level in central rivers affected the poorly functioning irrigation system in Khatlon, which is the main wheat-producing province. Rain-fed crops may fail completely. On the other hand, irrigated crops have been less affected and average yields are expected to be between 1.5 to 2.5 tons per hectare. The cereal-cultivated areas have not been significantly reduced and remain around 400,000 hectares.This year would be the third in a row in which wheat production declines.

1.3 It is expected that the total cereal crop will range between 330,000 and 380,000 tons, compared to 475,000 tons last year, while the domestic need is about one million tons. The country will suffer from a cereal deficit of 620,000 tons at least, but commercial imports are expected to make up for 300,000 tons. Food assistance to Tajikistan never exceeds 100,000 metric tons

1.4 The expected low crop will increase the risk of severe malnutrition, which has been rising over the past few years with global chronic malnutrition rates of more than 40 percent. Coping mechanisms are exhausted and the crop loss will result in a further decline of the living standard of the vulnerable population, who do not have income to purchase wheat at the already rising prices at the local markets.

1.5 WFP and FAO will conduct a crop and food supply assessment which is scheduled to start on 4 July and will last for two weeks.

1.6 Problems are expected to arise in September, if not earlier. Relief food assistance should therefore start in districts most affected by the drought. WFP will conduct an assessment during the first week of July, to determine which districts in Khatlon are most affected and in need of food assistance.

1.7 WFP Tajikistan food stocks are currently low. However 2,885 tons of wheat flour and 600 tons of vegetable are scheduled to arrive shortly in the country. By August, WFP expects to receive 8,970 tons of wheat flour and 400 tons of sugar. WFP is planning to provide some immediate small-scale relief to the affected population under its current protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO 6087) for vulnerable groups.

Note: all tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tons

(End WFP Emergency Report No. 26 of 2000 - June 30, 2000)