Lesotho + 5 more

Southern Africa: Food Aid and Humanitarian Assistance Appeal No. 12/02 Operations Update No. 15

Format
Appeal
Source
Posted
Originally published

Attachments


This Ops Update is intended for reporting on emergency appeals.
Launched on 2 May 2002 for CHF 6,803,000 for 12 months revised 22 July to CHF 89,285,274 (USD 61.6 m/EUR 60.9m) in cash, kind and services to assist a minimum of 1.3 million beneficiaries for 12 months.

Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 50,000

Period covered: 12 December 2002 - 27 January 2003

IN BRIEF

Appeal coverage: 57.6%

Related Appeals: 2003 Southern Africa region Annual Country Appeals

Summary and outstanding needs: Most of the planned activities of the Southern Africa Food Operation are now taking place. Donor response to the appeal has ensured full funding for most of the projects, although further contributions will be needed to ensure full implementation of all activities.

Operational Developments

All activities in this operation are briefly included in this operations update, whereas new developments are covered in detail. The update shows what has been accomplished against each objective in the appeal as well as objectives that have been added to the operations during later stages. For a systematic overview of the Southern Africa Food Security Operations, please refer to the ‘operations fact sheet’ that shows in chart format the activities against the objectives of the operations. The operations fact sheet is available on www.ifrc.org and is updated on a regular basis.

Changes in planned activities

As activities continue, the Southern Africa Food Security Operation is expanding to cover an increasing number of beneficiaries in most areas of operations and the Federation is hopeful that it will be able to deliver the necessary assistance as planned. Following necessary revisions of appeal objectives due to changing situations, new activities have been added to the operations and targets for other objectives revised down.

Buffer stocks

Included in the initial appeal is the establishment of buffer stock in the region of operations. Due to the worsening food situation in most of Southern Africa, the applicability of a buffer stock has now been re-assessed and all activities related to these objectives have been put on hold. There are several factors contributing to this decision. Pipelines are already well established and serious disruption that would make buffer stock necessary are unlikely. A high level of warehouse management and increased funding would be needed to ensure successful storage of buffer stock as they need to be rotated regularly. This involves not only costs related to the risk of damage to the food but also considerable expenses caused by the cost of renting or constructing and operating the warehouse. The sometimes difficult cross-border transportation of food would also have been likely to make it difficult to make quick use of the food. In light of the constantly deepening food crisis and growing need for still larger amounts of food, the originally planned establishment of buffer stock is now on hold.

Capacity building

As national societies devote more of their resources to the Southern Africa Food Security Operation, it becomes more important to consider the impact of the increases in their capacity. The size of the operations has made it necessary for the operating national societies to recruit a large number of staff and volunteers, to open new branches and expand their office spaces, to purchase office equipment such as computers, phones, furniture etc. The operations also make great demands on the mobility of Red Cross workers and volunteers and has made it inevitable to purchase new vehicles, motorcycles and mobile phones etc. New staff and volunteers need Red Cross training and often other types of professional instruction before they can contribute to the over all capacity of the national society.

As the operating national societies involved in this large project do not have a large income base on which they can place the financial burden of expanded activities, the expenses that national societies will have to cover as a result of their involvement in the Southern Africa Food Security Operation are included in the appeal budget. Through the support of donors the Federation thus provides the financial resources necessary to build the capacity required to carry out the operations.

The increased capacity that has been established during the operations can be channeled into a more long term approach, merging the food assistance with existing long term projects. A long-term approach to capacity building is likely to have an encouraging and stabilizing effect on the commitment of national societies to capacity building, and will greatly reduce the structural and financial risks they have to take related to operations of this scale.

The long term affects of drought and HIV/AIDS

There are alarming signs that the disaster will not be finished at the end of the period of operations in the summer 2003. Not only continued drought is contributing to an almost inevitable failure of crops in large parts of the region, but the HIV/AIDS pandemic is reaching levels that threaten to cause near collapse of social structures in many areas. Most of the people who die from the disease belong to the most productive generations, which deprives households of the main supporters of families and the work force of society in general. A very serious reduction in the productive population of southern Africa is now having a deep impact on food security in the region. A part of the long term approach needed to address the food security situation in southern Africa is the commitment to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment as a part of long term operations in the region.

A long term commitment to ensuring that the most vulnerable continue to receive food support is not only necessary in order to prevent a humanitarian disaster in southern Africa, it is also necessary with regard to making it possible for the national societies to develop long term approaches to assisting those who need their support.

Impact of food distributions through the HBC programmes

There is a growing need for food support in southern Africa, and consequently a growing need for food assistance. Due to a combination of worsening climate, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and political turmoil, food shortages are expected to continue to grow in the medium and long term as well. The present operations, which were scheduled to end by the middle of 2003, are providing vital relief to the most vulnerable population in the short term, but the need to look closer at medium and long term planning is gradually becoming more urgent.

The Federation and the operating national societies in the Southern Africa Food Security Operations have emphasized the need to assist the people who are most vulnerable to the present situation, and have the least means to provide food for themselves and their families. Thus the Southern Africa Food Security Operation has been closely linked to existing Red Cross programmes in the region, most notably the home based care programmes and health clinics. Through these existing structures the Federation has been able to reach many of the most vulnerable people in society, especially the large number of people living with AIDS, who were already receiving valuable care and social support before distributions of food started through the Food Operation. The food assistance is now in many instances the only means of nutritional support that many people living with AIDS are able to get, as general food shortages in the community affect them more than those who are healthy and able to work.

There are few indicators that point to an improved food security situation in the region. Even if agricultural outputs were to improve, this would only to a very limited extent benefit the large numbers of people living with AIDS who are unable to work and have no means of purchasing food. This growing group of vulnerable people will remain in need of food support from one source or another, as in the long run they have no hope of complete recovery, and will hardly become self-reliant again.

The impact of the Southern Africa Food Security Operations on beneficiaries will be limited mostly to the period of operations, but the needs are likely to continue in the medium and long term, especially among the most vulnerable who will remain unable to earn an income or plant their fields. The food crisis in Southern Africa is a long term problem, and the short term impact of the present food support will only to a very limited extent have an impact on the ability of beneficiaries to cope with continued shortages.

The already existing Red Cross home based care structures in Southern Africa are among the most effective approaches by humanitarian actors to address the difficulties faced by people living with AIDS in the region, and may serve as foundation for a long term approach, with the food component increasing the effectiveness of the care and support that is being given through the home based care programme.

Impact of distributions of agricultural starter packs

Outside direct support to AIDS patients there has been a strong focus on avoiding the creation of dependency on food support. The importance of helping people to stand on their own feet and remain self-sufficient with food in the long term has been especially acknowledged. In rural areas the Southern Africa Food Security Operation has included widespread distributions of agricultural starter packs to impoverished farmers who were unable to purchase seeds, fertilizers or tools themselves. Whereas direct food support only has a short term effect on the condition of the farming population, the agricultural starter packs provide them with an opportunity to start their production again and to become independent of assistance in the long run.

LESOTHO

GENERAL FOOD DISTRIBUTION

To ensure secure transportation of food from the main warehouse to distribution points, and to ensure timely and fair distribution to the targeted households.

WFP food

The Federation aims at providing WFP food to 103,000 beneficiaries in Thaba Tseka and Mokhotlong districts in Lesotho through general food distributions in the country. Beneficiaries are selected by the Lesotho Red Cross and the Federation according to WFP criteria, and the food is distributed by the Lesotho Red Cross. The rations consist of 50 kg of maize, 5 kg of beans and 2 litres of vegetable oil per month.

There were many obstacles to the operations during the first months due to late arrival of funds and bureaucratic obstacles to importing food items into the country. The first distribution round of WFP food in Lesotho started at the beginning of October, targeting 47,000 beneficiaries in Mokhotlong. Subsequent distribution round in November reached 38,512 beneficiaries belonging to 8,871 households in Mokhotlong district. In December distributions reached 35,145 beneficiaries in 9,266 households. The fourth distribution round commenced on the 13th of January. Final beneficiary numbers have not been confirmed for the distributions in January but is expected to reach the final target of 47,000 beneficiaries.

Food distributions in Berea

Distributions of Federation-procured food to 3,000 HIV/AIDS affected households in Berea have been added to the appeal target. A ration of 50 kg maize meal, 5 kg beans and 2 litres of vegetable oil will be distributed on a monthly basis for 6 months starting in January 2003. As the HIV/AIDS situation is severe in Berea and the district is not part of the area that is targeted with distributions of WFP food it has been included in the distributions of food from the Federation. The German government through the German Red Cross funded the purchase of food rations containing oil and beans for 3000 people for 6 months and maize for 3 months. The British Department for International Development (DFID), through the British Red Cross, contributed funds for the purchase of the remaining 3 months rations of maize needed for the food operation in Berea.

TARGETED FOOD DISTRIBUTION

To provide nutritious food supplement to 5,000 under-fives in vulnerable households of targeted communities.

Nutritious food supplements and nutritional education

Nutritious food supplements will be provided to 5,000 children under five years of age, belonging to vulnerable households. The distribution will be combined with nutritional education aimed at improving the nutritional status of the targeted children. These activities are currently on hold.

WATER AND SANITATION

To improve the availability of safe water and sanitation to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of food distribution.

Included in the appeal targets for Lesotho is the rehabilitation of reticulated systems, construction of 17 springs, latrines for 1,000 families and schools, training of 160 volunteers and vector control. These activities are presently on hold, and the LRCS is currently implementing an EU funded water and sanitation project.

CAPACITY BUILDING

To strengthen the operational capacity of the LRCS to respond to the food insecurity situation.

The appeal aims at providing the Lesotho Red cross with a number of resources necessary to ensure the capacity of the national society in the food security operation. A number of important activities have already been fully implemented. The Berea LRCS branch and the LRCS HQ will receive one Toyota pickup truck each, and the Mokhotlong LRSC branch has already received 2 Nissan pickup trucks that will be used for monitoring and other activities related to the food security operation, and a Red Cross divisional office was officially opened on the 30th of November in Thaba Tseka district. A logistics co-ordinator has been recruited for Berea LRCS branch. On 15 January a re-training course was conducted for volunteers in Berea district. 47 volunteers attended the course.

NON-FOOD DISTRIBUTION

Reacting to the needs of severely impoverished farmers in Lesotho, the distribution of agricultural starter packs to almost 19,000 vulnerable families were included in the operations.

In November almost 8,996 vulnerable farmer households received a ration of 15 kg of maize seeds through the Federation in Mokhotlong and Butha Buthe districts. Out of the 4,996 families in Mokhotlong who received maize seeds, 4,500 also received a hoe and a spade each.

From the end of November until the beginning of January, 10,000 families in Berea and Leribe districts each received a ration of 20 kg of maize seeds and 50 kg of fertilizer. The same 10,000 families will also receive hoes, which will be distributed in February. The distribution of starter packs in Berea and Leribe districts were conducted through bilateral co-operation between the German Red Cross and the Lesotho Red Cross.

MALAWI

GENERAL FOOD DISTRIBUTION

General food distribution of food donated by USAID and WFP started in Malawi in July, targeting the districts of Rumphi, Karonga, Chitipa, Nkhotakota and Nitchisi. There were subsequent distribution rounds in August and September, and detailed statistics for these first three months will be available soon. 80,000 people will be targeted according to the appeal, but in the first distribution rounds the beneficiary numbers are lower. New beneficiaries are gradually added to distribution lists.

Distributions in October covered a total of 23,017 beneficiaries with a basic ration. In total 1,364.55 MT of food, maize (1,143.80 MT), pulses (112.52 MT), and corn soy blend (108.23 MT) were distributed in the districts of Chitipa (2,817 beneficiaries), Karonga (3,840 beneficiaries), Rumphi (5,520 beneficiaries), Nkhotakota (7,200 beneficiaries), Ntchisi (3,640 beneficiaries).

General food distributions by the MRC in November covered a total of 25,031 beneficiaries with a basic WFP ration. In total 1,439 MT of food, that is maize (1251.55 MT), pulses (103.71 MT), and corn soy blend (84 MT) were distributed in the districts of Chitipa (3,191 beneficiaries), Karonga (4,080 beneficiaries), Rumphi (5,640 beneficiaries), Nkhotakota (7,000 beneficiaries), Ntchisi (4,920 beneficiaries).

General food distribution in Malawi is carried out by the Malawi Red Cross through bilateral co-operation with the American Red Cross.

TARGETED FOOD DISTRIBUTION / SUPPLEMENTARY FEEDING

To ensure secure transportation of food from main warehouse to distribution points, and to ensure the timely and fair distribution to targeted households, namely child-headed and female-headed households, as well as the elderly and people living with HIV/AIDS.

Starting in January, 5,000 orphans and people living with HIV/AIDS will receive supplementary food rations to improve their nutritional situation. The monthly ration for each beneficiary will consist of 10 kg of maize flour, 2 kg beans, 3 kg corn soy blend, 500 ml vegetable oil, 1 kg sugar and 500 g salt. The distributions will be conducted through the home based care programme in the districts of Mchinji, Balaka and Lilongwe and are expected to continue for five months

WATER AND SANITATION

To improve the availability of safe water and sanitation to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of food provision

The rehabilitation of 100 water holes has been planned through bilateral co-operation between the Malawi Red Cross and the Spanish Red Cross.

CAPACITY BUILDING

To strengthen operational and response capacity of the MRCS to carry out the operation.

Proposals are being prepared concerning the rehabilitation of 2 MRCS branch offices. 4 motorcycles and 12 bicycles are already being purchased. Construction of one warehouse and 2 branch offices for Lilongwe and Zomba branches is being prepared and drawings were expected to have arrived on the 15th of January. Dates for start of construction of completion have not been finalized. Proposals for the construction of 8 new branch offices and the purchase of office furniture are being prepared

2 Toyota Hi-lux 4x4 pickup vehicles were purchased for the Malawi Red Cross HQ. The vehicles arrived at the end of November, and are being used for activities related to the food security operation in the whole country. One 7 ton truck will also be purchased for the MRCS

A Malawi Red Cross programme assistant has been hired on a 6 months contract, in order to facilitate planning and implementation of activities related to the food security operation. The assistant started operating on the 1st of December.

NON FOOD DISTRIBUTION

Distribution of seeds and agricultural tools to improve the 2002-2003 harvest season to 150,000 beneficiaries in targeted areas of Chikwawa, Mchinji and Nkhotakota for the 2002-2003 harvest season.

Through bilateral co-operation between the Malawi Red Cross and the Spanish Red Cross, agricultural starter packs were distributed to 45,000 families in Chikwawa and Mchinji districts. The starter packs contained each 10 kg of maize seeds, 10 kg of fertiliser, and one hoe or spade. Distributions of these starter packs were finished in November.

Distributions of starter packs to another 41,585 families in Lilongwe 11, Ntcheu, Phalombe and Mwanza took place between the 1st of November and 15th of December. The provision and distribution of agricultural starter packs was carried out through bilateral co-operation between the Malawi Red Cross and the German Red Cross. Distributions exceeded the original target of 40,000 beneficiary households.

Proposals for providing 200 irrigation treadle pumps to poor farmers in Malawi are being finalized. The pumps are funded by the Federation and the selection of beneficiaries is being prepared. Other activities related to irrigation are included in this proposal.

SWAZILAND

GENERAL FOOD DISTRIBUTION

To ensure a continuous support of approximately 45,000 beneficiaries for a period of four months with basic food items.

In August 19,500 people in the districts of Hhohho, Manzini and Shiselveni received a monthly ration of 12 kg of maize, 1.8 kg beans and 0.75 litres of oil per person. The food was donated by the WFP and distributed by the Swaziland Red Cross. In the second distribution round that took place between the 10th of September and the 15th of October, 23,853 beneficiaries in 3,150 households received the same amount of maize and oil, but beans were not available. The second distribution of WFP donated food by the Swaziland Red Cross took place in Manzini, Hhohho, and Shiselweni districts. The third distribution in the same districts took place between the 20th of October and the 18th of November. In total 24,422 beneficiaries in 3,738 households received assistance. 342 MT of food were distributed. The fourth distribution round with basic WFP donated food took place between the 10th of December and the 7th of January in the districts of Hhohho, Manzini and Shiselveni. 55,753 beneficiaries received food assistance, which exceeds the appeal target of 45,000 beneficiaries

A new assessment was conducted in areas not covered by the WFP donated food, and plans were prepared to distribute food to 27,000 new beneficiaries starting in January 2003. The food will by purchased with Federation funds but the ration size will be the same as in distributions of WFP donated food. Distribution of the Federation funded food is planned to start in February and estimated to continue until July.

TARGETED FOOD DISTRIBUTION

To provide nutritious food supplements to the under-fives and to people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

6,000 school children and 10,000 malnourished children have been identified through weight monitoring in Red Cross clinics in the districts of Hhohho, Manzini and Shiselweni. (The number of children has been raised from the original target of 5,000 malnourished children) The children receive supplementary rations of CSB (corn soy blend), amounting to 9 kg per month. Distribution of the rations started in November. This project is implemented through bilateral co-operation between the Swaziland Red Cross and the German Red Cross. Also through bilateral co-operation between the same partners is the distribution of food baskets to 1,500 people living with HIV/AIDS. (The number of beneficiaries has been raised from the original target of 700 home based care clients.) The beneficiaries, who are clients of the HIV/AIDS home based care programme, will each receive a monthly ration of 12,5 kg maize meal, 5 kg beans, 3 kg sugar, 0.5 kg tea, 2 litres oil, 0.5 kg salt as well as basic hygiene items such as soap and toothpaste. The distributions take place in Hhohho, Manzini and Shiselweni through the Red Cross clinics in these areas, starting in December.

NON FOOD DISTRIBUTION

Disaster rehabilitation of subsistence farmers by the provision of seeds and fertilisers and basic drug availability in clinics in Red Cross operation areas.

Through bilateral co-operation between the Swaziland Red Cross and the German Red Cross, distribution of basic drugs to 20,000 HIV/AIDS affected people is being conducted through the home based care programme and Red Cross clinics in the country. The drugs, funded by the German Red Cross, consist of 45 medical kits containing basic drugs according to WHO standards. The kits were delivered to the three Red Cross clinics in the districts of Hhohho, Manzini and Shiselweni.

Through co-operation between the Federation and the Swaziland Red Cross, the distribution of agricultural starter packs for 5,605 drought affected farmer households. Distribution is planned to take place between the 20th of January and the 2nd of February. The starter packs contain 10 kg beans seeds, 5 kg cow pea seeds, and 50 kg of fertiliser, and distributions will be carried out by the Swaziland Red Cross in the districts of Hhohho, Manzini and Shiselweni.

CAPACITY BUILDING

In order to increase the capacity of the national society to deal with the increased work load combined with the Southern Africa Food Security Operation, the Federation has included the purchase of 1 Nissan 9 ton truck into the operations. The truck arrived on the 19th of December. A reporting and monitoring assistant started in November, and there will be training for national society staff who are dealing with the logistics, finance and distribution in connection with the operations.

ZAMBIA

GENERAL FOOD DISTRIBUTION

To ensure secure transportation of food from main warehouse to designated distribution points and ensure the timely and fair distribution to targeted households

Distributions of WFP donated maize are now expected to start in January. The distributions were previously planned to start earlier, but complications related to the GMO issue, as well as logistics and administrative constraints caused an inevitable delay of this part of the operations. A distribution to 9,400 people in Zambezi and Chavuma districts had to be delayed and will be a part of the first distribution round of WFP donated food starting in January. Beneficiary numbers have been greatly expanded to include 121,162 beneficiaries in the districts of Chavuma (19,013), Zambezi (38,962), Kasempa (11,860), Kabompo (16,054), Mufumbwe (18,613), and Mwinilunga (16,660). The planned ration size is unchanged, with each person receiving a basic WFP food ration of 12 kg of maize per month.

The Zambian Red Cross also started distributing food donated by the Zambian government for the districts of Chavuma and Zambezi. Of the 11,800 people who were targeted in the distributions 8,000 beneficiaries in Zambezi had received food in November. The rations were the same as in distributions of WFP donated food in the districts.

TARGETED FOOD DISTRIBUTION

To ensure that HIV/AIDS infected and affected people and malnourished children under five years have access to nutritious food supplements.

The total appeal target for the targeted food distribution in Zambia has been revised to 112,000 beneficiaries. The food assistance targets HIV/AIDS infected and affected people and malnourished children under five years with a monthly ration of 3.6 kg beans and 10.5 kg maize per month (the maize was added to the target from December). This provides the beneficiaries with a daily supplementary food ration of 120 g beans, and 350 g of maize.

A) Federation-procured food

Following the revision of operations targets 60,000 beneficiaries in the districts of Kapiri Mposhi, Maamba (part of Sinazongwe), Livingstone and Choma will receive food supplements purchased directly by the Federation. Distributions are carried out by the Zambian Red Cross with support from the Federation.

8,546 beneficiaries (HIV/AIDS affected people, elderly, orphans, home based care clients and their families) received assistance in the first distribution round in December. 4,850 beneficiaries in Livingstone district received the supplementary food assistance, 2,543 in Maamba (Sinazongwe), and an estimated 6,722 people in Kapiri Mposhi. These first distributions contained only beans, as the maize component was not added until December.

25,881 beneficiaries are estimated to have received supplementary food rations in the second round of targeted food distribution that took place in December in the same districts. 13,238 beneficiaries in Livingstone, 5,873 in Mamba (Sinazongwe) and an estimated 6,722 people in Kapiri Mposhi received assistance.

40,496 beneficiaries receive assistance in the third round of targeted food distribution that is estimated to be completed in January. 17,856 beneficiaries in Livingstone, 8,640 in Maamba (Sinazongwe), 5,000 in Choma and an estimated 9,000 in Kapiri Mposhi receive assistance in January.

In the third distribution round of the Federation food in February 40,328 beneficiaries are planned to receive supplementary food. (Please note that planning figures do not include the district of Kapiri Mposhi, as distribution plans for February in that districts are not yet available). 23,808 beneficiaries in Livingstone district, 11,520 in Maamba (Sinazongwe), and 5,000 in Choma will receive food assistance through the fourth round of targeted food distributions in February.

B) ECHO funded food through bilateral co-operation between the ZRCS and the Netherlands Red Cross, together with Belgian Red Cross (Flanders Section)

The total targeted food distribution through the Southern Africa Food Security Operation covers in all 112,000 beneficiaries in Zambia. Out of these, 20,000 HIV/AIDS affected people and malnourished children under five years will receive ECHO funded food through bilateral co-operation between ZRCS and the Netherlands Red Cross, together with Belgian Red Cross (Flanders Section). First distribution is planned to begin in February to 14,000 beneficiaries, rising to 20,000 recipients in subsequent distributions which are estimated to continue on a monthly basis until June. The ration is the same as in other targeted food distributions in Zambia through this operation, with beneficiaries receiving 3,6 kg of beans and 10.5 kg of maize each month. The food will be distributed in the districts of Choma (4,000 beneficiaries), Mamba (in Sinasongwe)(3,000 beneficiaries), Kalomo (3,000 beneficiaries), Livingstone (3,000 beneficiaries), and Kazungula (1,000 beneficiaries).

C) Food funded by the Belgian government and the province of Vlaams Brabant through bilateral co-operation between ZRCS and the Netherlands Red Cross, together with Belgian Red Cross (Flanders Section)

Also included in the targeted food distributions to a total of 112,000 beneficiaries in Zambia is the distribution of Belgian government funded food through bilateral co-operation between ZRCS and the Netherlands Red Cross, together with Belgian Red Cross (Flanders Section). The assistance funded by the Belgian government is planned to be distributed to 10,000 people, who will receive the same rations as other beneficiaries of the targeted food distributions in Zambia.

D) Food assistance through bilateral co-operation between ZRCS and the German Red Cross

Included in the targeted food assistance in Zambia is the distribution of the same ration to 22,000 beneficiaries through bilateral co-operation between ZRCS and the German Red Cross. The first distribution is planned to take place in January and February in the districts of Kapiri Mposhi (7,000 beneficiaries), and Choma (15,000 beneficiaries).

WATER AND SANITATION

To improve the availability of safe water and sanitation to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of food provision.

The construction of 50 new water points will be carried out through bilateral co-operation between the Netherlands Red Cross and the Zambian Red Cross, utilizing funds from ECHO. The rehabilitation of another 50 water points through the Federation is also included in the project. These plans include an upward revision from the original target of 15 new water points and the rehabilitation of 15. The project has not started yet but work plans are estimated to be finalized in January.

CAPACITY BUILDING

To strengthen the operational response capacity of the ZRCS to carry out the operation.

Improving the transport pool of the Zambian Red Cross

The Federation has provided two 4x4 pickup vehicles to the Zambian Red Cross, as well as 3 motorcycles. One vehicle has already been delivered to the ZRCS headquarters in Lusaka and the other to the ZRCS branch in Livingstone district. Additional motorcycles are planned to be added to the operations through bilateral co-operation between the Netherlands Red Cross and the ZRCS.

Training for volunteers in distribution techniques

Training of volunteers in distribution techniques and procedures in 7 districts has been ongoing since the beginning of the programme and is gradually expanding. Volunteer training has been conducted in the districts of Chavuma, Kapiri Mposhi, Livingstone, Zambezi, Choma and Kalomo. The training programme will gradually include other districts.

Strengthening of human and material resources at the Zambian Red Cross

6 food security co-ordinators were hired and trained by the Zambian Red Cross at the beginning of the programme. The food security co-ordinators co-ordinate activities related to the Southern Africa Food Security Operation on branch level in the districts of Kapiri Mposhi, Livingstone, Maamba (in Sinazongwe), Zambezi, Choma and Kalomo.

Answering to urgent need at branch level, office space will be bought or constructed for the Choma Red Cross Branch. Plans are still under preparations. Due to the increased activities of the Zambian Red Cross and consequent lack of office space, one 40 ft and four 20 ft office containers will be purchased for the Zambian Red Cross head quarters in Lusaka. The containers are planned to arrive at the end of February.

NON FOOD DISTRIBUTION

To ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) have access to hygiene supplies

2,500 home based care clients are planned to receive blankets and towels from the Federation though distribution by the Zambian Red Cross. Distributions of a monthly ration of 500 g laundry soap and 100 g vaseline are estimated to start in February to 2,500 home based care clients in the districts of Choma, Sinazongwe and Livingstone, with subsequent monthly distributions for 6 months. The towels will be distributed between April and June 2003.

60,000 elderly, orphans, HIV/AIDS affected people and their families will receive a monthly ration of 250 g of toilet soap for five months starting in February. (The target for these distributions have been reduced from the initial 197,000 beneficiaries for nine months which was the original appeal target). The soap is provided by the Federation and distributions will be carried out by the Zambian Red Cross in combination with the targeted food distributions to the same beneficiaries in the districts of Kapiri Mposhi, Choma, Sinazongwe and Livingstone.

ZIMBABWE

TARGETED FOOD DISTRIBUTION

To ensure that HIV/AIDS infected and affected people and malnourished children under 5 years have access to nutritious food supplements.

From the third week of November the Zimbabwe Red Cross started distributions of food donated by WFP and ECHO to 3,500 HIV/AIDS affected people in the districts of Masvingo and Beitbridge. Before the end of November the distributions were expanded to the districts of Chitunwiza, Bindura, Marondera, Dete, Victoria Falls and Gwanda. Eventually these food distributions are expected to reach a total of 68,481 beneficiaries in all provinces of Zimbabwe.

Due to increased vulnerability among the urban population of Zimbabwe, 2,060 home based care clients in urban areas and members of affected households received food assistance consisting of maize, corn soy blend, beans and oil. The dsitributions were carried out by the Zimbabwe Red Cross in urban areas in November and December 2002.

The first distributions of cooked food to orphans under 5 years by the Zimbabwe Red Cross started at the end of November. 733 orphans under 5 years of age received 10 kg maize, 1.8 kg beans, 0.6 l oil and 3 kg corn soy blend as a part of the home based care programme. The number of beneficiaries has been revised from the original target of 250 children.

The original appeal includes nutritional and health assistance to 10,000 HIV/AIDS infected people for 9 months. Due to the constantly growing needs in the country, the targeted food distribution is planned to be extended to include a much larger number of beneficiaries. A total of 75,978 beneficiaries had been identified within the home based care programme by the end of December in 23 districts. The beneficiaries will receive 10 kg maize, 1.8 kg beans, 3 kg corn soy blend and 0.6 l oil. Distributions are planned to take place between the 6th and 31st of January.

WATER AND SANITATION

To improve the availability of safe water and sanitation to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of food provision.

With assistance from the Federation, the Zimbabwe Red Cross is planning the rehabilitation of 50 water points and the construction of 50 new bore holes in the country. The construction of 15 new water points and the rehabilitation of 7 existing points for around 27,000 people in Zaka district are expected to start soon. The activities concentrate on cholera prone areas.

CAPACITY BUILDING

To strengthen the ZRCS by increasing its capacity at central and divisional level, particularly in the field of human and logistical resources.

A training course for Zimbabwe Red Cross volunteers on protection of women and children against sexual abuse took place between the 19th and 21st of October. In total the training and re-training of 1,000 volunteers for distribution, home based care and protection is planned.

1 national food security officer and 8 regional food security officers started working for the Zimbabwe Red Cross on the 1st of December. A baseline studies report was submitted to the Zimbabwe Red Cross in November. The studies covered the districts of Chivi and Marondera and provided recommendations for activities related to capacity building.

NON-FOOD DISTRIBUTION

Ensure that the HIV/AIDS affected beneficiaries have access to basic drugs, winter weather protection and means for income generation for a more dignified lifestyle.

During the first week of November distribution of agricultural starter packs took place in Mudzimurema, Zvimba and Shurugwi districts. 1,086 HIV/AIDS affected families in the existing home based care programme received each a ration of 15 kg maize seeds, 1 kg cow pea seeds, 1 package vegetable seeds and 150 kg fertiliser.

2,094 HIV/AIDS affected households in Buhera, Beitbridge, Gwanda, Chivi and Zvishavane also received agricultural starter packs during the first week of November. The composition of the starter packs was different from Mudzimurema, Zvimba and Shurugwi, containing 4 kg maize seeds, 2.5 kg sorghum seeds, 1 kg cow pea seeds, and 1 package of vegetable seeds.

Distribution of blanket to HIV/AIDS clients in 19 districts took place in December. The relief items were delivered to provincial branches for onward distribution. Beneficiaries also received laundry soap, washing soap, and petroleum jelly. The original planned number of beneficiaries was 6,861 people but according to preliminary estimates it is now expected to have exceeded 8,000 beneficiaries in December.

SOUTH AFRICA

The South African Red Cross has appointed a new secretary general who took up his position on the 1st of January.

PREPARATION

The appeal originally aimed at the establishment of a SARCS office in Messina to monitor the situation on the border with Zimbabwe. Preparation also included the recruitment and training of volunteers for the home based care programme, HIV/AIDS awareness, and first aid in the same area. Funds from DFID have been allocated to these activities and a plan of action is currently being drafted.

CONTINGENCY PLANNING

The implementation of a contingency plan for the possible mass movement of people across the border from Zimbabwe and refugee camp preparedness for an initial period of 3 months.

Included in appeal targets is also camp management training for 80 volunteers. These activities are currently under and will include practical training of SARCS staff and volunteers at refugee camps in other African countries.

FEDERATION SUPPORT AND CO-ORDINATION

To support and contribute to the Federation Appeal by supporting the components of the operation based in South Africa.

Plans regarding Federation support and co-ordination are being developed

TRANSPORT SUPPORT PACKAGE (TSP) FOR WFP

The TSP M6 trucks have mostly arrived at their clusters in all the respective countries. The trucks in Malawi and Lesotho are now in full use, and in Zambia 85 to 90 trucks out of 116 have started delivering food for the WFP to final distribution points.

The successful implementation of the transport support package comes after long periods of delays in some of the countries due to constraints in the transportation, import and registration of the trucks.

As food distributions continue in the countries of operations the importance of the M6 trucks has become more evident. The TSP M6 trucks now ensure the successful delivery of food aid to many remote areas that are not accessible by conventional vehicles due to difficult road conditions. The M6 trucks, designed and equipped for transportation in extreme conditions, are the only viable means of delivering food aid to the most inaccessible regions where lack of access to other food sources has made the impact of the food situation particularly severe. The M6 trucks are now delivering food in all three countries where they are stationed, that is Zambia, Malawi and Lesotho. Without the M6 trucks thousands of people who now are receiving food transported with these powerful all-terrain vehicles would remain without food. It has not been possible to hire commercial trucks to carry out transportation on the most difficult roads, as it carries great risks for less equipped vehicles, and limited chances of actually being able to transport the food to the final destinations.

Impact of the Transport Support Package on local trucking companies

Initial criticism that the M6 trucks would be competing with already established local commercial transportation has proved unjustified, as ordinary commercial vehicles are not only unwilling to transport small amounts of goods at a very slow pace on bad and dangerous roads, but in most cases actually unable to go through bad terrain at all. Even where the commercial trucks are actually able to move over badly damaged and muddy country roads, the time needed and the risks of damage to the vehicles makes this type of transportation very unattractive to their owners. Transporting large quantities at high speed on good, paved roads is much less risky and much more profitable for commercial transport companies. In fact, contrary to this early criticism, the large food transportation carried out in co-operation between the WFP and the Federation have created a larger market for local trucking companies, as they are being utilized to transport the food in areas where their different qualities are appropriate, where roads are good and the TSP M6 vehicles are too slow and too expensive to operate. Being able to hire commercial vehicles is also making it possible to use the powerful TSP M6 vehicles exclusively in areas where their qualities come to full use. As the flow of WFP food increases to the region, the demand for all-terrain transportation may even grow beyond the capacities of the large TSP M6 fleet.

This is the first time the Federation has attempted a mostly logistical operation of this kind, and the TSP programme is also a pioneer project with regard to co-operation between the Federation and the WFP, providing an unprecedented transport capacity in hitherto inaccessible regions.

Financial aspects of the Transport Support Package

Transportation with TSP M6 trucks is considerably more expensive than if commercial vehicles were used. This is justified by the fact that no commercial vehicles available in the countries of operation would be able or willing to operate in the regions where the TSP M6 trucks are being used. Transporting large quantities of food on bad roads is an expensive endeavour. The trucks consume more fuel on bad roads than commercial vehicles on good roads and need relatively more maintenance than ordinary trucks. Due to the stress that the M6 trucks need to endure, a certain number of them will always have to be under maintenance and repair, which is carried out at the already fully established cluster workshops. Due to the bad road conditions and the all-terrain design of the vehicles they can only move at a slow pace, which also increases the cost per km.

The greatest financial advantage of the transport support package is that the 6x6 M6 trucks were received as a donation and shipped to Durban free of charge. This made it financially possible to start this pioneer project. Having to purchase new trucks with the same capacity as the present M6 fleet would have required an insurmountable financial commitment. The powerful TSP M6 trucks therefore remain a unique tool in the effort to reach the vulnerable population in remote areas, providing life saving aid to families suffering from food shortages who would otherwise not receive any food aid.

Growing demand for all-terrain transportation

The M6 trucks are now in great demand, and there are daily inquiries from other agencies delivering food in the region about the possibility of being allowed to utilize the vehicles. The vehicles are, however, contracted to transport food for the WFP, which is now making it possible for the agency to effectively distribute food in very remote and inaccessible areas.

Rain has become one of the biggest obstacles to the transportation of food in the region of operation, which has made many roads impossible to drive with conventional commercial vehicle. The M6 trucks are therefore playing a vital role in actually delivering the food to the beneficiaries. Areas that have been waiting for food to arrive for long periods of time are at last receiving the assistance.

Effect of the Transport Support Package on visibility and image of the Red Cross movement

Initial skepticism related to the applicability, cost-effectiveness, and other factors of the transport support package has over the past weeks and months been replaced with strong support and approval for this ambitious pioneer project, which is proving to become the key to successful food delivery during this food crisis.

At a meeting with all the secretaries general that was held at the OMCC in Johannesburg on the 14th of January, they all stressed the importance of the M6 trucks for the visibility of the Red Cross movement. The trucks are now spread all around Malawi, Lesotho and Zambia and creating a valuable boost for the prestige of the national Red Cross societies.

Lesotho

TSP activities are ongoing in Lesotho, and currently 24 TSP M6 trucks located in the country are in full operation distributing food assistance for the WFP. In November the TSP M6 trucks transported a total of 579 MT of WFP food in Lesotho. The trucks are operating in the southern districts of Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek, Quting, Qachas Nek, and Thaba Tseka. The 24 trucks are divided into 2 clusters, centered around Mafeteng and Thaba Tseka, in order to ease administration and maintenance.

Malawi

58 TSP M6 trucks and 1 fuel tanker are operating in Malawi. One truck was badly damaged and had to be written off. The trucks are divided into 3 clusters. 10 trucks will be in the North, 10 in the Central, and 39 in the South cluster. Drivers have been hired and trained, and deliveries of food for the WFP have started.

Zambia

116 TSP M6 trucks, 1 M6 fuel tanker, and 1 M6 recovery truck are stationed in five clusters that have been established in Zambia. All the vehicles have bee registered and only 38 trucks are still in Lusaka. Drivers for all trucks have been hired, and 85 to 90 trucks are already operating and transporting food for the WFP to inaccessible regions of the country.

Zimbabwe (long haul trucks)

The ten long haul trucks that are based in Zimbabwe are now operating in Malawi and Zambia The trucks delivered spare parts, rubb halls, oil, lubricants and forklifts to destinations in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia in November, before meeting in Lilongwe in Malawi for final programming and preparation of communication equipment. During the month of December they took part in transport of food commodities from Mbeya in Tanzania to Malawi.

Presently 6 out of 10 TSP long haul trucks are operational. Repairs on three of the trucks is expected to be finished in the first or second weeks of February.

PROGRAMME CO-ORDINATION AND MANAGEMENT

The Operational Management & Coordination Centre (OMCC) in Johannesburg, South Africa

A Water and sanitation delegate and two logistics delegates for Malawi and Zambia arrived in January and a new position for has been opened for a Finance delegate in Lesotho.

Due to difficulties in recruiting specialised delegates through national societies three South-Africans have been hired as mobile workshop managers. The positions were advertised in South African newspapers and the new recruits received appropriate Red Cross training before taking their positions.

Outstanding needs and the response to date

Most of the planned activities of the Southern Africa Food Operation are now taking place. Donor response to the appeal has ensured full funding for most of the projects, although further contributions will be needed to ensure full implementation of all activities.

Contributions

See attached . [pdf* format, 20KB]

For further details please contact:

  • Martin Zak, Federation Head of Operations, Phone: 41 22 730 45 51; Fax: 41 22 733 0395; email:Zak@ifrc.org
  • Richard Hunlede, Desk Officer/Nat’l Society Liaison, Phone: 41 22 730 43 14; Fax: 41 22 733 03 95; email:hunlede@ifrc.org
  • Bernard Chomilier, Head of Logistics, Phone: 41 22 730 42 63;Fax:41 22 733 03 95;email: chomilie@ifrc.org
  • Denis McClean, Head of Media, Phone: 41 22 730 44 28;Fax:41 22 733 03 95; email: mclean@ifrc.org
  • Ahmed Ifabua, Human Resources, Phone: 41 22 730 44 84; Fax: 41 22 733 0395; email: ifabua@ifrc.org

Donors providing in-kind relief in response to large-scale emergencies are urged to contact the Federation’s Logistics and Resource Mobilization Department to avoid any unnecessary delays in the clearance and delivery of emergency relief assistance.

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

This operation seeks to administer to the immediate requirements of the victims of this disaster. Subsequent operations to promote sustainable development or longer-term capacity building will require additional support, and these programmes are outlined on the Federation’s website.

For further information concerning Federation operations in Southern-Africa, please access the Federation’s website at http://www.ifrc.org and the regional website at http://www.southern-africa.ifrc.org.

John Horekens
Director
External Relations Division

Martin Zak
Head of Operations
Disaster Management and Coordination Division