WFP Emergency Report No. 3 of 2004
This report includes:
A) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Iran, (2) Afghanistan
B) East and Central Africa: (1) Burundi, (2) Democratic Republic of Congo, (3) Eritrea, (4) Ethiopia, (5) Kenya, (6) Republic of Congo, (7) Rwanda, (8) Sudan, (9) Tanzania, (10) Uganda
C) West Africa: (1) Côte d'Ivoire, (2) Guinea, (3) Liberia
D) Southern Africa: (1) Regional, (2) Angola, (3) Lesotho, (4) Madagascar, (5) Malawi, (6) Mozambique, (7) Swaziland, (8) Zambia, (9) Zimbabwe
E) Asia: 1) DPRK
F) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Bolivia, (2) Colombia, (3) Guatemala, (4) Haiti
From David Morton, Director of the Transport, Preparedness and Response Division (OTP); available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (www.wfp.org), or by e-mail from Carlo.Scaramella@wfp.org, Chief of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit (OEP). For information on resources, donors are requested to contact Valerie.Sequeira@wfp.org at WFP Rome, telephone +39 06 6513 2009. Media queries should be directed to Brenda.Barton@wfp.org, telephone +39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.
A) Middle East and Central Asia: 1) Iran 2) Afghanistan
(a) Under EMOP 10332.0, Food Assistance to earthquake victims in BAM, WFP CO got USD 1m advance from the Immediate Response Account in order to start borrowing from in-country stocks and make local purchases for relief operation for earth quake victims. WFP commodities are being moved to IRCS warehouse at Kerman for repacking and distribution.
(b) WFP is operating a UN Humanitarian Air Service passenger aircraft to provide transport services for UN staff, NGOs relief workers and donor representatives from Tehran to Kerman and Bam. As of 14 January, UN staff, NGO,-staff, donor representatives & relief workers have used the services with an occupancy rate of >90%. The next flights are scheduled for 14, 17 and 19 January. In view of the high occupancy rate and further needs Resident Coordinator has approached OCHA to arrange for continuation of service for ten more days.
(c) Initial estimates indicate that long-term recovery & reconstruction of Bam could cost between US$ 700 and 1000 million. Latrines and showers are still major priority, for both Bam population and relief workers.
(d) According to latest updates, 1,200 Afghans died during the earthquake. Around 2000 refugees remain in Bam. Most of them lost their ID cards, and have difficulties accessing relief items. A number of them are reported to camp in open air. Authorities are being approached on this issue.
(e) The registration of food aid beneficiaries by IRCS is continuing. Further refinement of target population for WFP commodities is being discussed. The Iranian Government has given WFP permission to use a three months supply of WFP's current wheat flour stocks (for Afghan and Iraqi refugees). This will be handed over to IRCS in Kerman, whereas quantities of rice, vegetable oil , beans and sugar are to be borrowed from existing WFP stocks in refugee camps. Salt and more beans are being purchased locally. High Energy Biscuits, as a donation from India are being borrowed from WFP Afghanistan at the port of Bandar Abbas. The CO may need to borrow further quantities of rice (100 MT) and sugar (58 MT) from the Afghan operation. The baking capacity is still insufficient: the State Organization of Grain is looking into this.
(f) In each district, there are 1 to 3 distribution points, which is not enough to reach all registered beneficiaries. IRCS is considering tent by tent distribution, at least as long as people are still camping next to their former homes.
(g) The international community has responded generously to the request for assistance: the value of total financial and in-kind contributions recorded by OCHA as of 6 Jan 2004 amounts to USD 80.3 million. Through the UN-IFRC Flash Appeal launched on Thursday 8 January, the UN appealed for USD 30 million, while the IFRC appealed for CHF 52 million, of which CHF 14m has already been covered.
(a) In the north, UN missions to Gusfandi and Kohistanat districts in Saripul province remained suspended. An improvised explosive device was discovered near UNAMA office in Mazari Sharif and removed safely. The anti-drug operation launched by the Coalition in the north east is causing security concerns, including stopping and searching of UN vehicles. Sixteen WFP trucks were stopped and searched by armed police on the road between Fayz Abad and Kunduz.
(b) In the east, military operations in Kunar and Nuristan provinces continued and all UN missions remain suspended throughout the region, including Nangarhar and Laghman provinces.
(c) UN missions to south eastern and southern provinces remained impeded due to insecurity with missions on the Kabul - Gardez road, in the vicinity of Kandahar city and in Lashkargar district in Hilmand province, being cleared on a case-by-case basis. Several security incidents took place during the week in Kandahar city. Two bomb explosions killed 14 and injured 70 people and two hand grenades exploded at the compounds of UNHCR and the Coordination of Afghan Aid, a local NGO, with no casualties.
(d) In the west, UN missions on Shindand Dilaram highway and to Bakwa and Bala Buluk districts in Farah province remained suspended. Two incidents of armed robbery involving international NGOs' vehicles with national staff took place on the road from Hirat to Baghdis.
(e) During the reporting period, 556,618 beneficiaries received some 1,779 MT of food. In addition, distribution of 45 MT of food to 250 Afghan families affected by the earthquake in Bam, (see above, Iran), has been completed in Farah province. Some 35 families (210 beneficiaries) received 6 MT of food during the week. WFP is preparing to provide an additional 16 MT of food to 90 families expected to cross the Afghan-Iranian border. Some 1,219 MT of food commodities were dispatched from external logistics hubs to extended delivery points inside Afghanistan.
(f) In Balkh, Jawzjan and Samangan provinces, WFP met with the provincial Departments of Education (DoE) to follow-up on their readiness and assess their capacity to take over the implementation of food-for-teachers activities, including the introduction of food-for-education focal persons and establishment of a coordination unit in the DoE office.
(g) In order to assess a need for a new bakery in Kabul city, WFP, with support of the community members, is currently identifying households in need of assistance. The survey covered 200 widow headed households. In Mazari Sharif, evaluation of ongoing bakery projects is underway.
(h) WFP participated in a monthly winter preparedness coordination meeting for Kabul city, chaired by CARE International and attended by international NGOs, UNHCR and ECHO. Activities currently ongoing include cash for work, distribution of non-food items and provision of free food for widows headed households. Plans are being made to construct shelters for IDPs with USAID provided funding. In coordination with the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation and UNHCR, WFP will provide 81 MT of food and cash to 322 IDP families staying in open areas in Kabul city.
(i) WFP attended a monthly UN gender meeting on 14 January organised for briefing the UN agencies' gender focal points on women's participation in Constitutional Loya Jirga (CLJ) and sharing feedback on the orientation session organized for women delegates prior to the CLJ.
B) East and Central Africa: (1) Burundi, (2) Democratic Republic of Congo, (3) Eritrea, (4) Ethiopia, (5) Kenya, (6) Republic of Congo, (7) Rwanda, (8) Sudan, (9) Tanzania, (10) Uganda
(a) Although the overall security situation has improved at the national level, security incidents continue to be reported in the provinces of Bujumbura Rural, Cibitoke, Bubanza and in Bujumbura Marie, including those involving civilian casualties.
(b) Household food economy assessments and monthly monitoring of the food security situation were carried out in Kirundo, Muyinga, Ngozi and Kayanza provinces. WFP teams noted that household food reserves were weak in most areas visited. In addition, some areas of Kirundo province were hit by a hailstorm. (See below Tanzania for information on refugee repatriation).
(c) WFP in collaboration with FAO, UNICEF and the Government worked on the draft report of the Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission that was carried out during the last two weeks of December. The final report of the mission is expected around mid-January.
(d) WFP distributed over total 1,070 tons of food to an estimated 104,000 beneficiaries through different food aid activities. A food pipeline break that is expected in February could be prevented if the 8,000 tons of cereals arriving from the USA is delivered on time. Similar loan opportunities are being sought for pulses to overcome the pipeline breaks anticipated in March.
C) Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
(a) Security incidents are still reported in some areas of eastern DRC such as Walikale in North Kivu and Plaine de la Ruzizi in South Kivum reportedly committed by the Interahamwe or Mayi Mayi militia factions. In South Kivu province, the UN Mission of Observers in DRC (MONUC) has been implementing plans to promote peace in the areas where Interahamwe militiamen are still operating. According to MONUC sources, 300 Interahamwe militiamen have been repatriated, of whom 128 are ex-combatants.
(b) In Ituri district, MONUC has been intensifying its efforts to secure relative peace in Bunia. However, sporadic fighting and security incidents continue to be reported. On 4 January, two demobilized child soldiers were kidnapped by their former military heads from a camp under Save the Children in Bunia. They managed to escape and reintegrated SCF training centre in Bunia.
(c) Gender violence and exaction on civil populations perpetrated by soldiers have become a concern for local authorities in Northern Katanga. It appears that the number of gender-based violence has increased in the neighbourhood Kalemie.
(d) Major food distribution took place in North Kivu province. From Goma, a total of 495 tons of food was distributed to over 55,000 beneficiaries, of which 410 tons were allocated to 47,100 IDPs in Beni through Solidarités. The remaining food quantity (about 80 tons) was devoted to nutritional programmes.
(a) On 9 January 2004, a circular was received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informing all UN Agencies, Embassies and International Organizations based in Eritrea that they would no longer be authorized to travel in the country without a travel permit, except on a very limited number of main routes. Travel permits must be applied for a minimum of ten days in advance. The new regulation has raised serious concern among UN Agencies. Negotiations are currently underway with the Government.
(b) Rainfall was finally received in the Northern Red Sea region this week, with some flooding reported. Continued rain is needed in the coming two months to ensure adequate crop and fodder production in the area. Water shortages continue to escalate in other parts of the country, in particular in Debub and Anseba, where wells and dams are already drying up and villagers are travelling long distances in search of water sources.
(c) The price of food is on the rise in many rural markets across the country. This is especially true for imported commodities, such as sugar. The price of sugar has increased by over 100 percent since December, and the commodity is not easily available in most parts of the country.
(d) Confirmed pledges for the drought EMOP 10261.0 amount to approximately 103,900 tons of mixed commodities (80 percent of the total requirement). A total of 46,690 tons of mixed commodities, representing 47 percent of the total appeal has been resourced for the PRRO 10192. WFP is increasingly concerned about the resource situation for 2004. At present it is the only organization in the country with a food pipeline. Given its current carryover and the lack of additional pledges, a pipeline break for all commodities is expected by March 2004. Food aid pledges for 2004 are urgently needed in order to prevent widespread malnutrition in the country.
(a) Several reports have been received from Pochallo, Southern Sudan, concerning the arrival of Anuak refugees from the Gambella Region in Western Ethiopia. A UNHCR/WFP mission to Pochallo from Lokichokkio in Kenya is attempting to establish the numbers involved. UN agencies and NGOs working in South Sudan are preparing themselves for delivering humanitarian aid as required once the situation has been assessed.
(b) The movement of refugees into Sudan is reportedly a consequence of the violent clashes between "highlanders" (Ethiopians originating from outside Gambella) and Anuak that erupted in Gambella town and surroundings after the killing of eight Ethiopian Government refugee camp officials on December 13, 2003. An unknown number of people were killed during the clashes (government estimate is 59 dead), and many Anuak homes were burned down. Since then, most of the UN and NGO staff were temporarily relocated out of Gambella.
(c) Refugee leaders from the Pugnido camp in Ethiopia have recently confirmed that Anuak families have been leaving Pugnido but it is not clear whether they crossed the border into Sudan or remained in the bush in Ethiopia. The few UN staff remaining in the town are not allowed to visit the refugee camps to confirm numbers and information. Before the clashes, there were approximately 9,400 Anuak refugees (8,100 in Pugnido and 1,300 in Dimma) out of a total of over 85,000 Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia.
(d) WFP has completed the delivery of food to Pugnido and Bonga refugee camps for the month of January and distributions are taking place this week. The total Anuak population of Ethiopia is estimated at around 50,000, with a slightly higher number on the Sudanese side of the border.
(e) The results of the FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission of 5 November- 6 December 2003 have been released in a Special Report on 14 January. Despite a good harvest, 7.2 million people still require assistance to meet minimum food requirements in 2004. Last year, 13.2 million Ethiopians needed food assistance.
(f) Well-distributed seasonal rains that began on time and continued until late September/October in the main production areas resulted in an upsurge of grain production in the 2003 meher season. Seed support programs helped ensure access to seeds in most regions and increased use of improved seed and fertilizer also contributed to the marked improvement in yields over last year.
(g) National cereal and pulse production in the meher season is forecast at 13.05 million tons, about 46 percent above 2002/03 and 11 percent above the last five years average. Overall agricultural performance in 2003 was much better than last year, primarily due to favourable weather conditions.
(h) Incentives to invest were also greater following higher prices since November 2002. Much better rainfall in the central highlands and in the north-eastern pastoral areas and improved livestock condition reduced livestock mortality rates and removed the need for early migration of herds and flocks in the pastoral areas.
(i) Despite these overall improvements, the above report estimates that Ethiopia will still need 980,000 tons of food relief for 2004, compared with 1.8 million tons in 2003. Total grain import requirements in 2004 are estimated at 210,000 tons of which 50,000 tons are expected to be imported commercially.
(j) Following the poor harvest in 2002/03, grain prices rose sharply and have remained high over the past year owing to a reduced supply on the market. However the prospects of a good crop this year are expected to cause prices to decline once the harvest comes in. Such severe price volatility hurts producers as well as consumers and the report emphasizes the need for effective price stabilization and recommends the use of local purchases as the main tool for securing cereals and pulses for food aid programs in the coming year. (The full report is available at http://www.fao.org/giews/english/alertes/sptoc.htm).
(a) The security situation in and around Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps was generally calm during the reporting period.
(b) WFP distributed close to 2,000 tons of food commodities (two weeks' requirements) to over 223,000 refugees in Kakuma and Dadaab camps. This included supplementary and therapeutic feeding programmes in Dadaab, as well as the school feeding programme in Kakuma. A full food-basket was provided to the refugees.
(c) The pipeline to the refugees is healthy up until end of May 2004 for all commodities except maize (availability of maize will last until the end of March). New commitments are urgently required in order to fill the gap between May and December 2004 and avoid the ration cuts that were implemented in February and March 2003, which reduced the average kcal/person/day to 1,600 kcal, well below the minimum requirement of 2,100 kcal. The total tonnage required is 37,000 tons valued at US$18 million over the eight-month period.
5) Republic of Congo (ROC)
(a) The security incidents and gun battles that erupted in southern Brazzaville around the end of December 2003, contributed to the continuous insecurity in the Pool region. The security remains in phase IV and all UN missions are denied access into the area. Nevertheless, a few NGOs, like MSF/France and Holland have decided to resume their activities in the two districts of Kinkala and Minduli (Pool Region) where their mobile clinics are operating in the remote areas of these districts. WFP is supporting the supplementary feeding centers managed by MSF.
(b) In Cuvette Region of the Northern part of the country, the Ebola outbreak has now been brought under control. WFP has air freighted close to one MT of food to feed the patients and care takers who are treated in wards set up by MSF/H.
(a) The Food and Crop Assessment mission conducted from 16 to 27 December 2003 recommends continued WFP assistance in affected areas consisting of food-for-work interventions and assistance to WFP-supported nutrition centres. The Government continues to distribute commodities under an 80 million Rwandan franc month-long assistance package, though maize has been difficult to procure.
(a) The security situation in the Darfur states remains a great concern to humanitarian workers and donors. During the week, incidents of attacks, looting, burning of houses, military activity and displacement of the population were reported in all the three Darfur states. Attacks have extended east of El Fasher, a hitherto relatively safe area. WFP dispatched 157 MT of food commodities to Zalingy and was distributed to 9,000 IDPs.
(b) The Government and the SPLM/A extended the cease-fire agreement which governs the activities of the Joint Monitoring Mission/Joint Military Commission (JMM/JMC) in the Nuba Mountains until 19 July 2004.
(a) Rainfall performance in most parts of the country has been mediocre. In its November Monthly Weather Bulletin, the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) reported the persistence of dry conditions in most parts of the country, which increased moisture stress on crops and pasture; delayed planting and decreased water levels in reservoirs such as wells, dams and rivers. The TMA reported that the unseasonably dry spells experienced in November prevented farmers from planting in nearly all bimodal rainfall areas. However, in parts of Kagera and Kilimanjaro regions, where rainfall started normally and crops planted early, other field operations continued. TMA added that cumulative rainfall for September-November was far below normal in the Northern Highlands (Arusha, Manyara and Kilimanjaro regions) as well as Northern Coast (Coast, Dar-es-Salaam and Tanga regions).
(b) WFP, which was requested by the Government of Tanzania (GoT) to coordinate the donor contributions, shows that donors have contributed some 27,000 tons (60 percent) of the approx. 45,000 tons of maize requested for the emergency drought operation. WFP already began distributions in December 2003. To date, some 12,000 tons have been delivered to priority areas identified by the GoT and WFP jointly. The available resources will cover just over one million beneficiaries that will receive a two-month ration by the end of March 2004.
(c) Three missions from the Government of Burundi (GoB) visited Burundian camps in Ngara, Kibondo and Kasulu respectively. Their objective was to brief the refugees on the peace process and security situation in Burundi following the signing of the cease-fire accord between the GoB and the rebel group Conseil National pour la Defense de la Democratie/Forces pour la Defense de la Democratie (CNDD/FDD) and integration of the group into the ruling government. The delegations held mass meetings to encourage the refugees to return home and get their views and comments on new developments taking place in Burundi.
(d) Following the improved security situation in Burundi, five other provinces have been officially declared open for facilitated voluntary repatriation by UNHCR, including Karuzi, Kayanza, Muranvya, Gitega and Bujumbura Marie. As a result, many refugees have registered for facilitated repatriation. The first convoy from Ngara departed for Karuzi and Kayanza. Two key repatriation routes in Kibondo, Mabamba to Ruyigi and Manyovu to Makamba will be declared open in the near future. It is expected that this will increase the repatriation significantly. During this period, facilitated repatriation included over 5,000 refugees and close to 770 spontaneously returned.
(e) During the month of December, WFP fed over 477,000 refugees with some 8,200 tons of various commodities. Another 144 tons of various commodities were used for supplementary feeding programmes that reached over 18,000 beneficiaries and therapeutic feeding covered 2,460 beneficiaries.
(a) The Government of Uganda have pledged to resettle over 1.3 million people displaced by the conflict in the northern and north eastern regions of Acholi, Lango and Teso as soon as the security situation improves. The government is now finalizing a policy on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
(b) WFP continues to distribute food to over 1.4 million IDPs, 154,000 refugees and other vulnerable persons. During the week of 5 to 13 January, WFP distributed close to 1,400 tons of food to over 116,000 IDPs in five camps in Gulu, two camps in Lira; refugees in three settlements in Arua and vulnerable persons at feeding centres.
(c) Following the tripartite consultations between the Government of Uganda, Government of Rwanda and UNHCR, an initial 600 refugees of the estimated 25,000 Rwandan refugees will be repatriated on 19 January 2003.
(d) WFP is conducting a study on social redistribution among refugees and IDPs in Adjumani, Gulu and Pader in the northwestern and Acholi sub-regions respectively. The study will analyse quantitative and qualitative data concerning social re-distribution of food aid among IDPs and refugees in Northern Uganda and West Nile; establish baseline information on relevant indicators and recommend how WFP can positively influence social re-distribution of food assistance.
D) West Africa: (1) Côte d'Ivoire, (2) Guinea, (3) Liberia
1) Côte d'Ivoire
(a) The Forces Nouvelles (FN) have returned to the government of reconciliation, including FN's leader Guillaume Soro. However, Soro has already expressed his disagreement with Gbagbo's plan to hold a referendum on three key law reforms called for in the Linas-Marcoussis peace agreement.
(b) Ethnic clashes, exacerbated by the cocoa harvest, continue in the west of the country with 18 people dead since 29 December 2003. As a result of the conflict, the number of IDPs in the Guiglo transit camps continues to rise and is now over 7000.
(c) The Ministry of Education has circulated a plan of action to normalise the school-system throughout the country.
(d) During the reporting period WFP distributed some 285 MT of various food-commodities to about 47, 538 people.
(e) Local purchase of 587 MT of rice from a contribution from France is ongoing and will be completed in three weeks. This rice will be used for school feeding programmes in the north of country. The USDA Food for Peace commodities are estimated to arrive between 25 January and 10 February 2004. This shipment consists of 5,220 MT of rice, 1,130 MT of CSB and 380 MT of oil for school feeding activities.
(f) In Bin Houye and Danane the situation of Liberian refugees along the border is precarious and not monitored by authorities. WFP and UNHCR have just received permission from FANCI authorities to begin food distributions to Liberian refugees in this area.
(g) IOM has taken over management of the transit camps in Guiglo for IDPs. The numbers of IDPs in the Guiglo transit camps continues to rise as third country nations, mainly Burkinabe, continue to be chased off their fields. The total number of IDPs in the two transit camps is now over 7000 and WFP is providing general rations to this population. UNHCR is preparing for the transfer of 1000 refugees to Abidjan for their interviews for the American resettlement program.
(h) Under the PRRO, a total oof MT 556 was distributed to some 39,295 beneficiaries. A pipeline break necessitated a 50% reduction in pulses for the January ration. Distribution of the Emergency School Feeding Program are underway in the prefectures served by WFP-N'Zérékoré for the first trimester, starting with the Lola prefecture, where stocks had been entirely depleted.
(a) UNHCR has registered around 700 Sierra Leonean refugees for the next phase of its repatriation campaign. The transit center at Dandu is almost completed. This center, which has a capacity of 500 people, will serve those refugees returning home on the Kailahun route. A team subcontracted by UNHCR is now constructing the boats to be used in this operation. HCR has not yet announced a new date for the new repatriation convoys. WFP will supply food for hot meals in the transit centers the night before each convoy.
(b) The 2003 SPR was cleared by the CD January 13. However, problems have been encountered while reconciling figures in COMPAS.
(a) The DDRR programme will commence on 20 January with a 15-day national information and sensitization campaign for all combatants. The campaign will be conducted in specific locations around the country to be identified by the leadership of the groups, and carried out by a joint team comprising representatives of LURD, MODEL, and ex-GOL, NCFFRR, UNMIL, UN agencies and NGOs, and civil society groups.
(b) As of 12 January WFP with implementation partners started food distribution targeting some 150,168 IDPs - to be carried out throughout the week.
E) Southern Africa: (1) Regional. (2) Angola, (3) Lesotho, (4) Madagascar, (5) Malawi, (6) Mozambique, (7) Swaziland, (8) Zambia, (9) Zimbabwe
(a) Drought has deepened in the past week and now affects many areas in southern Africa. Lack of rain and high temperatures have resulted in the loss of the majority of the crops in Lesotho while Swaziland, Malawi and parts of Mozambique are also seriously affected. In Malawi, the Government has set up a crisis committee in anticipation of a serious shortfall in the country's maize harvest. The continuing cycle of drought and crop failure, coupled with the ravaging effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, further exacerbates the situation of overall vulnerability in the southern Africa region.
(b) In South Africa, while the situation is still fluid, recently released projections from Grain South Africa indicate that the country will produce an estimated 6.8 million tons of maize in 2004, a 28 percent decrease from 2003. The impact of the reduced maize crop is projected to be a decline in maize exports from 1.3 million tons (of which WFP purchased 300,000 tons) to 600,000 tons, and a steep decline in year-end stocks from 2.7 million to 1 million tons. Prices have risen sharply and are likely to remain at a high level. From 1 December 2003 to 14 January 2004 the price of maize increased by 43 percent.
(c) In South Africa, the Director for Disaster Intervention has warned that the government may need to provide emergency feeding for approximately 15 million people by the middle of 2004. The Director reported that the current drought has significantly impacted the grain harvest in rural areas and emergency intervention may be a necessity. Emergency measures are also being introduced to ensure that people have enough water to survive. The levels of some dams have dropped to under 20 percent while the ground water table has dropped by as much as 30m. Water restrictions have been imposed in several districts and farmers have been forced to stop irrigating their crops. The lack of water is also affecting grazing land and an estimated 40,000 head of livestock have died due to drought.
(d) Significant and welcome new contributions have been received for WFP's Regional Emergency Operation, including for Zimbabwe. However, the best-case scenario is that the commodities generated will not be available for distribution before March. January and February resource availability remains constrained. In January over 3 million people will receive less than full rations, and about 500,000 vulnerable people, mainly in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, cannot be provided with WFP food assistance due to resource shortfalls.
(a) In general, there has been good rainfall throughout Angola. Recent heavy rains caused the collapse of two important bridges connecting Huambo to Kuito and Kuando Kubango, blocking WFP's food delivery to Kuito. WFP food stocks in Kuito are only sufficient for approximately 14,200 of the most vulnerable beneficiaries, such as those assisted under nutritional programmes, during January. Rations to the remaining 205,100 planned beneficiaries, such as food insecure and vulnerable re-settlers, will be threatened unless the supply route is opened soon.
(b) In Huambo, heavy rains destroyed about 67,000 hectares of crops, affecting about 66,000 families. Due to the rains, 27 people have reportedly died and 1,700 people have been left homeless in Catata and Calenga Municipalities. Provincial authorities are working closely with WFP and other humanitarian agencies to identify and assess the affected areas.
(a) In December, WFP distributed 3,403 tons of food to 262,681 beneficiaries. From 7 to 13 January, WFP provided 497 tons of food to 35,985 people through supplementary feeding programmes.
(a) In Madagascar, recent rains have provided some relief in the drought-affected southern region. However, rains are normally followed by strong winds that dry out newly emerging crops. While recent rainfall was not enough to relieve drought-affected crops, rainfall did cause damage to secondary roads. As a result, the prices of basic food commodities continue to be high in the rural market place in the drought-affected southern region, as commodities must be supplied from other regions. The price of potable water delivered to villages is also increasing.
(b) From 1 to 13 January, WFP and implementing partners distributed 380 tons of food to 10,320 food for work participants.
(a) The Government of Malawi has appealed for international food relief, saying one-third of the country's 11 million-population face food insecurity. Recent reports from the Department of Meteorological services reported that as of 10 January, the Southern Region and pockets in the Central and Northern Region had not received adequate rains for planting. The normal cut off date for planting is 20 January.
(b) In December, WFP distributed some 5,197 tons of food to 450,887 people in collaboration with implementing partners. From 8 to 14 January, WFP distributed some 1,381 tons of food to vulnerable beneficiaries.
(a) Dry conditions and high temperatures persist in southern and central Mozambique. WFP monitors in Inhambane Province report that extensive maize fields have failed. WFP is providing 20,000 families with food assistance, mainly through food for work activities in the province. In Namaacha District (Maputo Province), the District Agriculture reports that 5,000 families are affected, and stressed the need to continue with drought-related food for work activities. Maputo Province is considered to be one of the worst affected districts in the country by the lack of rainfall over the past few months. According to the latest Africa weather hazards assessment, actual rainfall between October and early January has averaged 30 percent of normal. The next few weeks are crucial for the overall harvest production levels in the south and center of the country.
(b) A cholera outbreak in Maputo has caused eight deaths within two weeks. The outbreak began on 24 December, with an average admission rate of between 70 and 90 victims daily to the cholera treatment centre in Maputo. Additional cases have been reported in Sofala, Gaza and Maputo Provinces as well Maputo City. The Government plans to meet with international aid agencies and donors to discuss the situation. In the meantime, the second round of vaccinations to test a new cholera vaccine is underway in Beira City.
(c) In December, WFP and implementing partners distributed 9,558 tons of food to 587,000 people.
(a) WFP and FAO conducted a two-day rapid assessment mission in parts of the Lowveld, dry Middleveld and Plateau, following an emergency meeting called by the National Disaster Task Force regarding the impact of what is clearly going to be the fourth consecutive year of drought in some areas. While the wet Middleveld appears to be relatively unaffected by drought, the situation in other areas, and particularly the Lowveld, is severe. In most communities visited in the Lowveld, planting has taken place on only 5 percent of the available land. Planted crops, including pulses, have wilted badly or died. Water supply for human consumption is extremely poor. Cattle deaths, due to lack of forage, were also confirmed.
(b) In December, WFP distributed some 1,430 tons of food to 103,190 beneficiaries in collaboration with implementing partners. Currently, WFP and implementing partners are engaged in a re targeting exercise in preparation for an increase in beneficiary numbers between January and March. Beneficiary numbers will increase from 100,000 to 150,000 under the EMOP, and from 57,000 to 67,000 under the bilateral agreement with the Government. Increased beneficiary numbers correspond to the January through March period of heightened household food insecurity.
(a) Rainfall has been generally good throughout the country and the overall food security situation has remained stable in terms of availability and accessibility. However, maize prices have started to increase as most small-scale maize farmers have exhausted their surplus and commercial farmers are the only major maize source for millers.
(b) The influx of refugees from the DRC has risen in the past two months from an average rate of 300 to 400 in previous months, to over 800 in December, with the same rate continuing in January.
(c) In December, WFP and implementing partners distributed some 5,090 tons of food to 396,000 beneficiaries in all programmes.
(a) In December, WFP distributed some 28,000 tons of food to 3.2 million vulnerable people through general distributions and targeted group feeding programmes such as home-based care for HIV/AIDS affected persons, school feeding and supplementary feeding for under-five children. Due to resource shortfalls, WFP was forced to reduce December cereal rations to 5 kg per person. In January, WFP aims to provide food assistance to 3.2 million beneficiaries. However, due to continued resource constraints, WFP will only be able to provide cereals and corn-soya blend. Corn-soya blend will be provided only for the most vulnerable categories of beneficiaries, such as chronically ill, single parent and child-headed households.
(b) The food situation in the country continues to deteriorate. In addition to wild fruits and roots, households in some parts of Zimbabwe are reportedly eating locusts. Field reports indicate that scanty and erratic rains have affected the germination of crops in parts of the country. Worst affected is the eastern Manicaland Province bordering Mozambique, where the prolonged dry spell is threatening small-scale irrigation schemes. Communities in Hwange (Matabeleland North Province) are preparing land for planting now, two months later than normal, due to negligible rains. The government's Agricultural Extension Department reports that crops in most provinces are wilting and that the harvest will be seriously undermined unless sufficient rains are received this month.
(c) The governmental Grain Marketing Board (GMB) recently announced that it has locally procured 240,000 tons of maize this season. The GMB has also reportedly seized several large stocks from farmers who were alleged to be hoarding commodities. Despite these announcements, GMB supplies in rural depots remain low and supply is either erratic or non-existent. On the other hand, WFP is under ever increasing pressure from entire communities that want to be registered for food assistance because cereals cannot be found on the market.
(d) WFP and other humanitarian agencies continue to face significant difficulties in accessing local currency as a result of recent problems in the money market. As reported last week, local currency has only been available at the official Central Bank exchange rate, which is a fraction of the parallel market rate. In order to manage the relationship between the official and parallel market exchange rates, Zimbabwe authorities introduced a new monthly forex auction system, as part of the government's new monetary policy. The first auction was held on 12 January where an exchange rate of about Zim$4,200 to US$1 was struck, i.e. valuing the Zimbabwe dollar at about 20 percent higher than was prevailing before. However, the auction could get buyers for only 10 percent of the USD 5 million on offer. Implementing partners continue to raise concerns that these changes are leading to significant increases in operational costs.
F) Asia: (1) DPRK
(a) About 2.7 million beneficiaries are currently deprived of cereal rations. When the new contributions of some 83,000 MT of cereals arrive, core beneficiary groups will receive three to six months cereal rations. Even with the arrival of those contributions, over 1.2 million beneficiaries will remain without cereal rations. By June, 3.8 million will be cut off again. In addition, LFP factories will stop production in August due to a lack of wheat flour. FFW projects for the spring season will have to be drastically reduced unless new pledges are immediately confirmed. New pledges are required for the coming 6 months (i.e. through June 2004) of about 124,000 MT, including: Cereals (108,400 MT), needed for VGF beneficiaries, LFP, and FFW. Pulses 10,600 MT needed for nurseries, kindergartens and pregnant/nursing women. Oil 4,100 MT needed for nurseries and kindergartens. Sugar 750 MT needed for LFP factories.
(b) The threshing of cereals is completed. Out of the total cereal production, one part is kept for local allocation and the other is to be sold to the government. The local allocation includes farmers' annual ration, PDC distribution, industrial use, restaurants, seeds, fodder and special use. Cereals transferred to other counties are part of the overall amount purchased by the government. Local governments have set aside some cereals for "special use" in order to mobilize workers for construction of public infrastructures under a FFW-type of set-up.
(c) Farmers continue to make winter organic manure and gather materials for the construction of seedbeds. Only 25% of the land has been ploughed in South Hwanghae province. This activity has to be suspended as a result of frozen soil and fuel shortage. It is expected to resume in early March.
G) Latin America and the Caribbean: (1) Bolivia, (2) Colombia, (3) Guatemala, (4) Haiti
(a) The country is in the midst of its rainy season and in the last couple of weeks heavy rainfall occurred in the eastern part of the country causing various degrees of flooding. Traffic on one of the country's most important roads between Cochabamba and Santa Cruz has been interrupted due to the collapse of a 350-meter bridge. It is estimated that at least 50 people died.
(b) On 9 January, a heavy rainfall lasting 12 hours fell over Beni, flooding the entire city of Trinidad, its capital, mainly in the suburbs and slums. The National Civil Defense Authorities estimated that some 7,000 families are affected. Some 10,000 people are currently living in shelters upon having lost their homes, and an undetermined number of brick-makers have lost their main source of income.
(c) The Government has declared a National Emergency and is formulating an Emergency Plan to be submitted to the international agencies.
(d) WFP in coordination with Civil Defense has dispatched a mission to assess the impact of the flooding and identify needs for food aid. The mission also includes representatives of UNICEF, CARITAS, Médicos sin Fronteras, and the local Red Cross Chapter. Civil Defense has confirmed it would cover all eventual transportation costs of required food aid from La Paz to Trinidad.
(a) New displacements have been reported in the department of Bolivar, where at least 60 families were forced to move out of rural areas due to rebel group threats. These families are temporarily settled in the urban area of San Pablo's municipality.
(b) An outbreak of yellow fever has been reported in various departments in the Colombian Caribbean cost. Local authorities are working on a vaccination and immunisation plan to cover 100% of the population in these areas.
(c) More than 290 cases of typhoid fever have been reported in the Municipality of Acandí, department of Choco. Local health authorities are working on developing an emergency plan to control the disease.
(a) Strong explosions were registered at Fuego Volcano, 30 miles from Guatemala City, on 8 January. The eruption caused smoke and ash columns reaching 1 to 1.5 km. high and ejected a large quantity of volcanic material, with lava flows descending the slopes of the volcano. Moderate explosions and ash emissions continued the following day, but the explosive activity eventually decreased.
(b) The National Institute of Seismology, Meteorology and Hydrology (INSIVUMEH) warned that the cycle of increased activity and relative calm may prolong for several days. The eruption prompted the National Coordinating Council for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) to declare yellow alert. CONRED and INSIVUMEH are closely monitoring the situation and are ready for the possible evacuation of various communities in proximity to the volcano. Some 31 people from the community Sangre de Cristo were evacuated as a preventive measure and accommodated in a temporary evacuation center set up by CONRED.
(c) Fuego Volcano remained inactive for various years prior to 1999, when it registered a violent eruption that caused serious damages to nearby plantations. Since then it has maintained constant activity with emission of fumaroles and magma. Geologists consider this normal activity.
(d) Two cold fronts affected the country during the reporting period, bringing temperatures down and prompting local health authorities to declare yellow alert in the province of Quetzaltenango. CONRED and the Guatemalan Red Cross have set up several temporary shelters, especially in the Western region where low temperatures may also cause freezing of harvests.
(e) Increased violence and insecurity continue to cause concerns and call for extra caution when traveling to rural areas, particularly on isolated roads, as well as when using public transport in the capital.
(a) The security situation in Haiti continues to deteriorate on a daily basis. On 7 January some unknown armed persons entered the UNDP complex hosting the WFP office and disarmed the private security personnel protecting the premises, stealing their guns.
(b) On 7 and 11 January thousands of opposition demonstrators took to the streets demanding the resignation of President Aristide, who has been facing continuous protests since late November 2003. These manifestations have resulted in two persons being killed and 30 others wounded by gunshots.
(c) Fuel suppliers went on strike during the same period, refusing to open stations to the public. This is in protest of a wave of arson attacks believed to be perpetrated by Aristide supporters on privately owned petrol stations. Three petrol stations have partially been burnt.
(d) President Aristide remains defiant and vows to remain in power until his electoral mandate expires in 2005.
(e) Flood relief operations in the North are ongoing. 100 MT of food has been distributed to some 4,900 beneficiaries in and around Cap-Haitian through the IRA/EMOP, and 62 MT have been distributed to 2,400 families in Port-de-Paix using PRRO stocks.
(f) On 7 January, armed persons near the Port-au-Prince suburb of Cite Soleil attacked trucks transporting WFP food for the flood operation in the North. Nine MT of food was reported stolen. A second attack on a WFP food transport truck by armed men occurred near Gonaive. Local police are conducting an investigation.
Note: All tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tonnes
END Emergency Report No 3, 2004