An inter-agency team is currently assessing the second yearly planting season that is usually harvested during mid-November. This inter-agency team is composed of representatives from the Ministries of Agriculture and Health, the Social Investment Fund, the National Peace Fund, local municipalities, FAO, UNICEF and WFP. The assessment will determine the impact of the lack of rain on food production as well as the impact on food security at the family level. The assessment team is currently visiting Santa Rosa, Escuintla, San Marcos, Jalapa and Zacapa. Preliminary results are expected to be available the week 3 December.
WFP Honduras has distributed 4,730 MT to 30,193 drought-affected families.
According to the Government's statistics institute (INE) this year's production of maize will be of 377,372 MT, compared to the five-year average of 590,909 MT/year. As the national yearly demand is of approximately 727,272 MT, a 48% deficit is projected for 2001. This situation underlines the food insecurity situation of thousands of families. The declining purchasing power of poor households, the impact of decreasing coffee prices on family income, and other factors further exacerbate the situation.
In response to the intense flooding caused by tropical storm Michelle, World Vision has distributed WFP food in Morazán, Jocón, Yoro y Yorito. Different FFW initiatives are taking place, including the rehabilitation of water systems, roads, houses, and agricultural plots.
The first distribution of commodities under the Hurricane Iris IRA/EMOP 10136 has taken place, with the targeted 4000 beneficiaries having received food assistance. Ministry of Human Development officials carried out distribution on 21-22 November in the Stann Creek District and on 22-24 November in the Toledo District. These represent the areas the most severely affected the hurricane. Commodities were procured in Belize and Mexico.
Arrangements are taking place with PAHO/WHO in order to use WFP food as an incentive in a flexible food-for-work scheme aimed at implementing a community water and sanitation project. This PAHO/WHO project will rebuild and improve the community installations that were destroyed by Hurricane Iris and will be performed in close collaboration with local community leaders.
WFP is coordinating efforts with the Peruvian Red Cross and with several local NGOs aimed at training people on how to rebuild their homes that were affected or destroyed by the 23 June earthquake. With the first contribution to EMOP 10102 (Assistance to earthquake victims) WFP is in the process of procuring beans, rice and vegetable oil for EMOP 10102. At the same time, Government authorities (PRONAA) are finalizing, with the assistance of WFP, the process of selecting beneficiaries in the Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna provinces.
During the 15 months of its assistance to preschoolers, school children and families displaced by the violence in Colombia, WFP reached more than 127,000 beneficiaries through 127 FFW projects, 112 schools, 85 kindergartens and 69 nutritional recuperation, soup kitchen and other relief activities.
In the context of the beginning of the presidential election campaign, WFP is working on contingency plans for the delivery of food in the most secure manner to beneficiaries in coordination with Government, the International Red Cross, and other UN agencies and NGOs. WFP deliveries, carried out by private companies, are being affected by an increasing number of high-jackings and a rising number of roadblocks by armed groups. Losses, varying from 840 pre-school lunches to more than 18,000 school rations, have been recovered at a high cost to the insurers. This situation of growing insecurity is driving up costs and reducing the number of private companies willing to deliver food to several parts of the country.
WFP, Governmental and NGO partners have carried out an extensive self-evaluation in both rural and urban areas. Only a limited number of visits were cancelled due to security reasons. Results of the evaluation will be discussed with national partners and donors the week of 3 December in order to feed into a request for prolonged assistance for displaced persons, with particularly dire needs among displaced children of preschool and school age.