WFP Emergency Report No. 18 of 2000

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 05 May 2000
This report includes: A) South Asia drought: India, Afghanistan and Pakistan B) Ethiopia - drought C) Dominican Republic.
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. SOUTH ASIA - DROUGHT: INDIA, AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN

1. India - information as of 3 May

a) In western state of Rajasthan drought affects millions of people; WFP immediately made available 1,500 tons of food aid; further 2,000 tons added to pipeline for drought victims, to be distributed through food-for-work activities; a new WFP protracted relief and recovery operation under preparation.

b) Government estimates some 26 million persons and 35 million cattle affected; wheat and barley production lowest in five years; shortages of drinking water and fodder causing large-scale migration.

c) WFP working closely with India and Rajasthan Governments, NGOs; drought victims received 1,480 tons of WFP food commodities through food for work; further WFP food-for-work projects planned in districts of Banswara, Dungarpur, Sirohi and Rajsamand; WFP food will also be provided to districts of Udaipur, Tonk, Bhilwara, Chittorgarh and Ajmer.

d) Most of food-for-work activities used to rebuild water harvesting and storage structures and increase local capacity to withstand future natural calamities.

e) WFP requests approval from Government to double rations for women and children beneficiaries of Integrated Child Development Scheme.

2. Afghanistan

a) Populations in southern Afghan lost almost all rainfed wheat crops and up to 80 percent of their livestock due to drought; worst affected provinces are Zabul, Kandahar, Nimroz, and Helmand.

b) WFP plans to feed some 400,000 neediest people until the first harvest due in June 2001; WFP food requirement - 30,000 tons; WFP to continue emergency food distribution started in February, to provide another 3,000 tons of wheat flour for drought-stricken families in May; WFP food aid to be distributed through self-help projects.

c) Rainfed crop badly damaged, river beds empty, drinking water scarce; only some irrigated wheat fields partly survived drought.

d) Nomadic Kuchis facing extreme difficulties as entirely dependent of livestock - some lost all their animals.

e) Joint FAO/WFP team to visit southern provinces of Afghanistan and
Herat city in the north-west in early May to assess the situation.

3. Pakistan

a) WFP and FAO joint crop and food supply assessment mission under way in Blochistan to estimate effects of current drought; previous UN inter-agency needs assessment mission visited Aranji Sub-Tehsil of District Khuzdar in Blochistan from 21 to 27 March; WFP then provided vegetable oil for 6,000 families to complement Government emergency food
distribution.

B. ETHIOPIA - DROUGHT

1. Update - information as of 3 May

a) On 26 April, UN team including WFP, UNICEF, WHO and UNDP visited Gode.

b) Somali Region: small amounts of erratic rainfall in late April not enough to substantially replenish ground water supplies; Gode used as hub for supplies to the wider area, planes flying in and out on daily basis. In April, 3,845 tons WFP food aid allocated for distribution to Gode; WFP food allocated to Korahe, Shinile, Jijiga, Warder, Degehabur, Fik, Afder and Liben; Italian Government's donation to WFP of 100 tons of CSB arrived in Gode for distribution in Somali Region.

c) Apart from UN agencies, humanitarian organizations active in Somali region include ACF, CRS, CARE, LWF, ICRC, Menschen fur Menschen.

d) Pledges confirmed by OPEC, Canada, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, France (mostly in-kind cereal contributions); Switzerland and Canada contribute funds for road and port rehabilitation in Djibouti.

e) As of 3 May, of the 758,039 metric tons of cereals requested by Government in January a total of 656,821 metric tons (87 percent) resourced.

f) WFP concerned at poor resourcing for emergency operation for IDPs (EMOP 6080) - only 54 percent of cereal requirements received; WFP drought operation well funded.

C. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

1. Update on WFP Hurricane Georges operations

a) On 2 May WFP signs Letter of Understanding with Government for implementation of protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO 6202) to assist victims of Hurricane Georges; WFP cost - USD 3.9 million, Government's cost USD 2.8 million.

b) WFP to assist 60,000 persons during first and 50,000 persons during second year of implementation; beneficiaries include 12,000 malnourished children and 3,000 nursing mothers or pregnant women throughout duration of operation; food to be provided for food-insecure populations in provinces of Barahona, Monte Plata and San Cristobal.

PART II - DETAILS

A. SOUTH ASIA - DROUGHT: INDIA, AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN

1. India - information as of 3 May

1.1 In India's western state of Rajasthan the drought is affecting millions of people, forcing them to leave their homes in search of food and water. WFP immediately made available 1,500 tons of pre-positioned food stocks and added a further 2,000 tons to its pipeline to support food-for-work activities. Furthermore, a new WFP protracted relief and recovery operation is being prepared to provide additional necessary food assistance for drought victims.

1.2 The state of Rajasthan, worst hit by the drought, has poor water resources and has endured inadequate monsoon rainfall over the past two years. The Government estimates that about 26 million persons and 35 million cattle have been affected. Out of 32 districts in the state, 26 have been declared as drought affected. Wheat and barley production has hit the lowest level in five years and area under oilseeds and pulses have also been severely affected. Many households have no money to purchase food. In addition, shortages of drinking water (due to lowering of the water table) and fodder are contributing to large-scale migration. The situation is extremely serious for the most marginalized populations, specifically women, children and the elderly.

1.3 WFP has responded to the drought in close collaboration with both the Government of the State of Rajasthan and the Government of India (GOI). Drought victims received WFP food aid (1,300 tons of wheat, 130 tons of pulses and 50 tons of vegetable oil) through food-for-work activities implemented by the Government's Forestry Department. Based on the available data from the State Government and the WFP Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) unit, WFP will also support food-for-work activities in the districts of Banswara, Dungarpur, Sirohi and Rajsamand. WFP staff are currently investigating possibilities of distributions through NGO partners. The additional 2,000 tons of food aid now in the pipeline will be used in the districts of Udaipur, Tonk, Bhilwara, Chittorgarh and Ajmer.

1.4 It is anticipated that most of the food-for-work activities using the WFP commodities will be for building water harvesting and storage structures. This will increase the capability of affected populations to withstand the impact of natural calamities in the future.

1.5 WFP has formally requested approval from the GOI to double the rations to pregnant women and children, most vulnerable to the drought, under its Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). Commodities necessary for this are in stock and available for immediate distribution.

1.6 WFP collaborates with other UN bodies within the UN Disaster Management Team and, in addition, has also taken the lead in establishing a NGO/UN coordination group.

2. Afghanistan

2.1 Populations in southern Afghan provinces may face a difficult summer after having lost almost all their rain-fed wheat crops and up to 80 percent of their livestock due to the lack of precipitation. Many will need humanitarian food aid to survive the harsh conditions of a severe drought for the second consecutive year. Worst-affected provinces are Zabul, Kandahar, Nimroz, and Helmand.

2.2 WFP plans to feed more than 400,000 neediest people in the drought-hit provinces for the coming 12 months until the first harvest begins in June 2001. For this operation WFP will need some 30,000 tons of food. Due to a similar severe drought last year, WFP started an emergency food distribution in South Afghanistan in February helping about 200,000 people for the last two months and is now planning to provide another 3,000 tons of wheat flour for these families in May. WFP assistance to drought-victims will consist of food aid for destitute villagers that could engage in self-help projects such as well digging or clearing the Karezes (underground water irrigation channels).

2.3 Much of the crop is badly damaged, river beds are empty and drinking water is scarce. Only some of the wheat fields irrigated by underground water channels seem to have partly survived the drought. In addition, a WFP team that travelled recently in the area saw scattered animal carcasses along the road and observed many dead or badly affected fruit trees. Many villagers are considering moving to Pakistan, now equally suffering from the same drought. The rain season in Afghanistan is over and the southern provinces are unlikely to receive any more rain before November. The next harvest will be in the summer of 2001.

2.4 While settled rural and urban communities are badly affected, the Kuchis, the nomads of Afghanistan, have been facing even worse conditions. Those who lost all their animals have migrated close to urban centres like Kandahar city in search for food aid water.

2.5 In 1999, due to the earlier drought, Afghanistan domestic production of wheat was 1.1 million metric tons short of its needs. This year, it could be much worse. A joint FAO/WFP team will visit the southern provinces of Afghanistan and Herat city in the north-west in early May to assess the situation.

2.6 WFP is already helping some 1.5 million hungry Afghans in its ongoing protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO 6064.01) that will provide 190,000 tons of food aid by the end of 2001 at a cost of USD 88 million.

3. Pakistan

3.1 A WFP and FAO joint crop and food supply assessment mission is under way in Pakistan in order to estimate the effects of the current drought and is due to be completed in three weeks. After a UN inter-agency needs assessment mission had visited Aranji Sub-Tehsil of District Khuzdar in Blochistan from 21 to 27 March, the UN Disaster Management Team decided to provide certain relief items that could complement the items the Government and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) were providing to the families in the most affected drought areas of Khuzdar and Lasbela. WFP then provided 6,000 4-litre tins of vegetable oil (one per family) and UNICEF provided water purification tablets and re-hydration salts.

3.2 According to the Government, half a million people in Balochistan are affected, whereas in Sindh about 2.5 million people are hit by the crisis. This is the second year of drought in Balochistan due to El-Nino and La-Nina weather phenomena.

B. ETHIOPIA - DROUGHT

1. Update - information as of 3 May

1.1 On 26 April, a UN team including WFP, UNICEF, WHO and UNDP visited Gode. During their visit the group met with local officials, spoke with organizations working in Gode zone, and discussed plans for joint UN premises to be set up in Gode town.

1.2 Somali Region:

a) Somali Region received small amounts of erratic rainfall during the latter part of April. Areas in Fik, Liben, Gode, Degehabur, and Korahe received up to 10 millimeters of rain. Unfortunately, this amount is not enough to substantially replenish ground water supplies, though it will make surface areas greener.

b) Gode continues to be a hub for supplies allocated to the zone and nearby zones, with planes flying in and out on a daily basis. During the month of April, 3,845 tons of WFP food aid were to be distributed in Gode

c) Korahe: Action Contre La Faim (ACF) opened the first therapeutic feeding centre in the town of Kebri Dehar on 25 April with 38 severely malnourished children. ACF also organized supplementary food distributions in Geladid, Dalat, Dawahale, and Jilahle on 28 April, targeting up to 5,000 moderately malnourished children. For the month of April, 1,238 tons of WFP food aid were allocated to Korahe.

d) In Shinile and Jijiga, WFP has been coordinating its activities with NGO partners active or planning to become active in the area: Menschen fur Menschen, CRS, CARE, and Lutheran World Federation (LWF). In Jijiga, CRS is providing food aid to 3,250 beneficiaries per month, and CARE is providing cereals for 8,000 beneficiaries per month. WFP April allocations of relief food were 1,054 tons to Shinile and 599 tons to Jijiga.

e) Warder and Degehabur: According to ACF reports, no international NGO is working in Warder. ACF is planning to undertake an assessment to this zone shortly. In Degehabur, the International Rescue Committee has secured funding for a water intervention. UNICEF is funding a team to undertake a nutritional, water, and health assessment in Degehabur in the first half of May. WFP allocated 677 tons of food to Warder and 1,750 tons to Degehabur for the month of April.

f) Other WFP food aid allocations are: 1,365 tons to Fik, 2,569 tons to Afder and 1,616 tons to Liben.

g) The first of five teams undertaking the seasonal situation analysis assessment returned to Addis Ababa on 27 April. According to local officials, the belg has failed; the planting of seeds took place on less than five percent of the land actually prepared for belg production.

h) The majority of this prepared land could eventually be seeded with meher crop production with the exception of areas badly affected by waterlogging. According to DPP (Disaster Prevention and Preparedness) woreda officials, beneficiary numbers have increased: a) in belg producing areas because of the continuous depletion of assets, and b) in meher producing areas, because the harvest was even less than what was predicted by the crop assessment exercise carried out last year due to frost and pests.

i) As a follow-up to the visit of the Special Envoy, an inter-agency mission to Somali region is planned from Dire Dawa. The mission will move by plane to different zones in Somali Region.

j) Complete distribution data for the month of April are not yet available. However, field staff report that as of 30 April, 48 percent of the planned WFP April allocation had been dispatched to Somali Region. It is feared that the recent rainfall in the areas may further delay deliveries if road conditions deteriorate.

k) An Italian Government's donation to WFP of 100 tons of CSB arrived in Gode on 27 April for use in Somali Region.

1.3 WFP received confirmation for pledges from OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), Canada, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, France (mostly in-kind cereal contributions). In addition to this, Switzerland and Canada contributed funds toward the WFP Special Operation for the rehabilitation of the Djibouti port and the Djibouit-Galaffi road.

1.4 As of 3 May, of the 758,039 metric tons of cereals requested by the Government in January 656,821 metric tons (87 percent) have been resourced.

1.5 The ongoing WFP drought emergency operation (EMOP 6218) has received a total of 193,251 metric tons or 76 percent of its food requirements against the total of 253,500 tons required. Remaining shortfalls include 53,420 tons (25 percent) of cereals, 4,092 tons (13 percent) of supplementary food, and 2,900 tons (100 percent) of oil requirements.

1.6 To date, confirmed pledges have been received to cover 87 percent of blended food requirements requested by WFP under EMOP 6218. Globally, however, there remains a 32 percent shortfall of 18,423 tons of blended food. In attempts to avoid pipeline breaks, WFP is looking into possible diversions. WFP has also requested donors to provide cash for local and regional purchasing, thus reducing the time necessary to get food into the country.

1.7 Internally displaced people: There is concern regarding the resourcing status of the emergency operation for IDPs (internally displaced persons) EMOP 6080. To date, only 54 percent of cereal requirements have been resourced. No confirmed pledges have been received for blended foods and pulses. Almost the entire oil requirement has been resourced.

1.8 At the end of April, the Government of Ethiopia announced plans to place all available transport assets (long and short haul vehicles) under the major transport umbrellas to centralize the transport of humanitarian aid. Under this arrangement all organizations, including UN, will have to put in a transport request to the GOE, who will then assign a company to move the consignment. WFP is currently seeking clarification from the Vice Minister of Transport as to final arrangements.

C. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

1. Update on WFP Hurricane Georges operations

1.1 On 2 May WFP singed a Letter of Understanding with the Government of the Dominican Republic for the implementation of a protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO 6202) to assist the populations affected by the Hurricane Georges. The total WFP cost for this operation is USD 3.9 million, while the Government's cost will be USD 2.8 million.

1.2 Under this operation WFP will assist 60,000 persons during the first and 50,000 persons during the second year of the implementation. The beneficiaries will also include 12,000 malnourished children and 3,000 nursing mothers or pregnant women during the two-year period. Food assistance will be provided to populations experiencing food insecurity in 48 settlements in the provinces of Barahona, Monte Plata and San Cristobal.

1.3 Prior to this operation, WFP implemented an emergency operation (EMOP 6070) to assist victims of the Hurricane Georges that swept through the eastern part of the Caribbean in September 1998 inflicting damage to infrastructure and agriculture and causing deaths.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No. 18 of 2000 - May 5, 2000)