WFP Emergency Report No. 09 of 2000

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 03 Mar 2000
This report includes: A) Mozambique - floods B) Ethiopia - crop failure C) India - Orissa floods relief and recovery operation D) Venezuela - flood relief operation E) Other natural disaster relief operations.
From Jean-Jacques Graisse, Assistant Executive Director. Available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page at http://www.wfp.org/ or by electronic mail from Deborah.Hicks@wfp.org (fax 39 06 6513 2854). For information on resources, donors are requested to contact Aleesa.Blum@wfp.org or Marius.deGaayFortman@wfp.org at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2004 or 06 6513 2250. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

PART I - HIGHLIGHTS
(Details below in Part II)

A. MOZAMBIQUE - FURTHER MAJOR FLOODING OF 26-27 FEBRUARY

1. Mozambique update - information for 27 February to 5 March

a) Major wave of flooding on 26 and 27 February creates massive needs; rescue and assistance required for greatly increased number of flood victims.

b) Chronological details of expansion of rescue operations by helicopters from the South African National Defense Forces (SANDF) on the Save and Limpopo Rivers, and by two helicopters sent by the Malawi Government in Save region given below.

c) Camps for the flood displaced set up at Pande for the Save River operation and at Macia for the Limpopo River operation. Large camp grows at Chiaquelane, which currently holds about 35,000 people; another 10,000-15,000 are at the two camps in Macia. Camps also set up in Chibuto. SANDF helicopters rescue more than 14,000 people to date. Most urgent needs for the flood-displaced population include clean water, medicines, shelter and food.

d) Assessment by the UN and other agencies of the numbers and locations of those in need is on-going; hundreds of thousands of people will need assistance for at least six months under the next stage of the WFP operation.

e) SANDF helicopters transported more than 820 tons of food commodities since 27 February. Current in-country stocks of WFP food are just above 8,000 tons, with 18,500 tons in the pipeline.

f) Emergency rehabilitation of roads, railways and bridges is ongoing; deliveries of food and non-food on some stretches of the roads and railway network will soon be possible if the situation does not deteriorate once more with further rain.

g) In-kind donations from donor governments of increasing numbers of helicopters and aircraft arrive; Beira now used for additional air assets due to congestion at Maputo airport. Large numbers of NGO personnel also arrive.

h) UN Disaster Assistance Coordination team (UNDAC) is responsible for overall coordination of the flood operation; as part of this team, WFP is the logistics coordinator for the delivery of food and non-food items.

2. Southern Africa - regional impact of heavy rain and floods

a) Madagascar seriously affected by cyclones Eline and Gloria; government appeal expected soon. WFP preparing emergency response based on joint assessment made by UN agencies, donors, Government and NGOs.

b) Zimbabwe issues appeal for international assistance, for a total of USD 21.2 million; WFP is working with other UN agencies in Zimbabwe to assess needs and determine UN response.

c) Botswana also affected by heavy rains brought by cyclone Eline; immediate food aid needs of flood-affected population are being covered by the Government.

B. ETHIOPIA - WFP OPERATION FOR VICTIMS OF CROP FAILURE

1. Update - information as of 3 March

a) WFP continues to monitor the current food situation; prospects for Belg rains appear poor.

b) Generous donor pledging towards Government appeal for over 898,000 tons; most the needs expected to be met within the year 2000; total includes 250,000 tons under WFP EMOP 6218 signed on February 25. Confirmation by donors of pledges is required to avoid breaks in the food pipeline in June-August.

c) Coordination among partners in the Ethiopian relief operations is on-going both at the centre and at the zonal level.

C. INDIA - ORISSA FLOODS RELIEF AND RECOVERY OPERATION

1. Update

a) New WFP PRRO 6211 approved on 11 February for relief and rehabilitation assistance to people affected by the Orissa cyclones of November 1999, for 425,000 beneficiaries for four months; total of 8,340 tons of food required. Further PRRO to be submitted to WFP Executive Board in May.

D. VENEZUELA - FLOOD RELIEF OPERATION

1. Update - information as of 25 February

a) Donor support sought for seriously under-resourced WFP assistance to populations affected by floods and mudslides in Venezuela in mid-December under EMOP 6210. WFP food distributed in conjunction with the Program of Strategic Foods of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. WFP assistance is used for pre-school and primary-school feeding in the three most affected states, and for free distributions to people in temporary shelters.

E. OTHER NATURAL DISASTER RELIEF OPERATIONS

1. Summary - information as of 6 March

a) A brief summary of other current WFP food assistance operations for victims of natural disaster is given below.

PART II - DETAILS

A. MOZAMBIQUE - FURTHER MAJOR FLOODING OF 26-27 FEBRUARY

1. WFP RESPONSE - information for the period 27 February to 5 March

1.1 Massive new rescue and assistance needs for flood victims followed a further wave of flooding which hit the lower reaches of rivers in Mozambique on the weekend of 26 and 27 February. At that time, WFP was already in action using a fleet of seven helicopters and five aircraft from the South African National Defense Forces (SANDF).

1.2 On Saturday 26 February excess water flowing down river from Zimbabwe caused flooding along the length of the Save River. The surrounding low-lying areas were inundated and the towns of Nova Mambone and Machanga were particularly badly affected. The extent of the flooding was charted aerially by the US/OFDA assessment mission overflying the area on Saturday and by that afternoon the South African National Defence Forces were requested to focus their efforts on search and rescue operations in that area. Preliminary estimates had several thousand people in need of immediate evacuation.

1.3 During the night of 26 February, the Limpopo River also burst its banks. The Limpopo and the Elephants rivers converge just before Chokwe and the flow was measured at some 11,000 m3/s on Sunday morning. A two-metre wave of water passed through the town of Chokwe, completely inundating it and flooding the surrounding areas all the way down to Xai-Xai. The water has since spread to cover a distance of more than 30 km around Chokwe. The SANDF aircraft turned their attention to this situation starting a search and rescue operation with all available aircraft at first light on Sunday 27 February.

1.4 At this point the SANDF air support was extended for a further five days (to 28 February) from their original mandate by means of a donation of USD 460,000 from the governments of Sweden (USD 160,000), Norway (USD 150,000), and the Netherlands (USD 150,000).

1.5 WFP announced a Special Operation logistics appeal for USD 2.8 million to purchase more flying hours with which to continue the search and rescue operations. The Resident Coordinator a.i. Carlos Tiny (Resident Representative/WHO) called a meeting with UN Agencies, donor partners at 10.00 am on Sunday at which the UK government announced a USD 1 million donation to the Special Operation through DFID and two logisticians. This meeting was terminated at 11.00 am for all to attend a special briefing called by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in place of the usual 11.00 am Technical Committee meeting at the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC). The minister gave an update and requested assistance. He added that more water was still expected and that Kariba Dam had also discharged which could cause problems on the Zambezi River as well. Meetings of the UN, NGOs and donors continued that afternoon to coordinate available resources and information.

1.6 The Malawi Government sent two helicopters to aid the rescue operations in the region of Save on Sunday afternoon, 27 February. On Monday evening, 28 February, WFP drafted an agreement to fund the SANDF directly from the Special Operation for helicopter operations to continue. The SANDF were able to provide two extra helicopters and three fixed-wing aircraft bringing their total to seven helicopters and five fixed-wing aircraft.

1.7 It was decided that camps for the flood displaced would be set up at Pande for the Save River operation and at Macia for the Limpopo River operation. SANDF helicopters delivered rescued people to Nkojane, for them to move on land towards Chiaquelane (10 km away). Lorries and other available transport plied the route from Macia to Chiaquelane and Nkojane picking up people. When water began encroaching on Nkojane, the SANDF started delivering people to Chiaquelane. People were however reluctant to move to Macia from Chiaquelane and as the numbers grew, the District Administrator of Bilene district felt he could not accommodate such a number in his district, thus Chiaquelane became the largest of the camps. At present there are about 35,000 people at the Chiaquelane camp and another 10,000-15,000 at two camps in Macia. Camps were also set up in Chibuto to serve those rescued from that area. SANDF helicopters have so far rescued more than 14,000 people. The most urgent needs for the flood-displaced population include clean water, medicines, shelter and food. NGOs and local communities are active in the camps and in distributing food to the flood affected at other locations.

1.8 The total number of people affected by the floods is difficult to ascertain at this time. Assessment by the UN and other agencies of the numbers and locations of those in need are on-going. The initial WFP emergency operation, for 110,000 people, is being expanded; hundreds of thousands of people will need assistance for at least six months under the next stage of the WFP operation, now under preparation.

1.9 SANDF helicopters have also transported more than 820 tons of food commodities since 27 February. There were no helicopters transporting food from 27 February until 1 March as they focused on the rescue operation. More than 1,100 tonnes of WFP food aid have been delivered so far to 65 transit centres and delivery points throughout the country. Current in-country stocks of WFP food aid are just above 8,000 tons (with more than 18,500 tons at various stages of arrival in the pipeline).

1.10 The Government of Mozambique is carrying out emergency rehabilitation of roads, railways and bridges. Within a few days WFP expects to be able to reuse some portions of the main road and railway network, thus saving money on expensive air transport costs, if the situation does not deteriorate once more with further rains in the region, which would again cause rivers to rise.

1.11 The air cell has grown considerably with in-kind donations from donor governments of helicopters and aircraft. New air resources to Maputo are being put on hold as there are problems with congestion at Maputo airport, and Beira is now being used for additional air assets (information as of 7 March). Seventy-seven boats have arrived from the UK with 40 trained operators. UK also provided two mobile units with staff, which will operate as the mobile HQs for the coordination of the boat operation. Large numbers of non-government organization personnel have also been arriving.

1.12 Overall coordination of the flood operation is under the UN Disaster Assistance Coordination team (UNDAC). As part of this team, WFP is the logistics coordinator for the delivery of emergency food rations and non-food items.

2. SOUTHERN AFRICA - REGIONAL IMPACT OF HEAVY RAINS AND RESULTING FLOODS

2.1 Madagascar has been seriously affected by cyclones Eline and Gloria. A government appeal is expected in the near future. WFP is preparing an emergency response based on a joint assessment made by UN agencies, donors, Government and NGOs.

2.2 Zimbabwe has issued an appeal for international assistance, for a total of USD 21.2 million, to meet humanitarian needs arising from the serious flooding of recent weeks. WFP is working with other UN agencies in Zimbabwe to assess needs and determine UN response. The areas most affected are Manicaland, Masvingo, Matebeland South and Midlands provinces.

2.3 Botswana has also been affected by the heavy rains brought by cyclone Eline as it moved inland. The WFP regional office sent an officer to join a UN assessment on 2 March, who reports that immediate food aid needs of the flood-affected population of some 74,000 people are being covered under the existing government emergency budget, which usually deals with drought.

2.4 Further information on UN flood operations and appeals for the region can be found on ReliefWeb at <http://www.reliefweb.int>.

B. ETHIOPIA - WFP OPERATION FOR VICTIMS OF CROP FAILURE

1. UPDATE - information as of 3 March

1.1 WFP has continued to carefully monitor the current situation regarding food availability in the short and medium term and prospects for the forthcoming Belg season. Prospects for the Belg rains appear poor at this time.

1.2 Pledging Situation: While firm donor pledges against the Government appeal for over 898,000 tons are still awaited, indications of pledges totalling almost 700,000 tons suggest that most, if not all, of this need will be met within the year 2000. This figure includes the 250,000 tons appealed for under the WFP emergency operation (EMOP 6218), which was signed on February 25. Confirmation by donors of pledges is required in order to avoid breaks in the food pipeline in June-August. WFP is addressing immediate food needs through regional purchases and accelerated shipments.

1.3 The Government Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Committee is arranging the local purchase of 100,000 tons will be completed within coming months.

1.4 Response to the WFP Special Operation at Djibouti Port: Some USD 1.2 million was borrowed from WFP Immediate Response Account funds against an appeal for USD 2.6 million for the upgrading of Djibouti Port. Commitments for this special operation have been received from Canada and the USA (OFDA) for USD 150,000 and USD 600,000 respectively, with positive indications of support from other donors.

1.5 Coordination among partners in the Ethiopian relief operations is on-going, to ensure regular and timely sharing of information. WFP continues to hold its bi-weekly Shipping Meeting, which is the main forum for exchange of information on commodity flows and includes government, donor and NGO representatives. WFP has been instrumental in the establishment of Zonal Disasters Committees in two zones of Amhara Region, chaired by the local DPPC, with representatives from the NGO sector and relevant line ministries, to act as a conduit for providing accurate information to offices based in Addis Ababa. Other WFP sub-offices are encouraging the establishment of similar committees in other regions.

C. INDIA - ORISSA FLOODS RELIEF AND RECOVERY OPERATION

1. UPDATE

1.1 A new WFP protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO 6211) was approved on 11 February for the populations affected by the Orissa cyclone. Under this operation, a total of 425,000 beneficiaries will receive a total of approximately 8,340 tons of food commodities (rice, pulses, blended food and oil) over a four-month period. A further expanded PRRO is being prepared for submission to the WFP Executive Board in May.

1.2 Two violent cyclones hit India's eastern coast of Orissa on 18 October and 29 October 1999 and affected 14 of the 30 districts of the state. Within these districts more than 15 million people have been affected, over one third of the entire population of the state. WFP immediately mobilized food aid for the cyclone victims under the initial immediate response operation (EMOP 6192) by providing high energy biscuits for vulnerable women and children in the worst affected districts of Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Jajpur. In addition, WFP accelerated its existing development programmes (2206.07 and 5569.01) to the most affected districts.

1.3 The Government has begun the rehabilitation process for victims of the cyclone. The new WFP PRRO together with the work of other UN agencies and NGOs will sustain this effort by providing food for those who survived the cyclone but lost homes and earning capacities. The WFP assistance will be comprised of three major components: a) vulnerable group feeding through expanded Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) combined with nutrition and health messages to food aid recipients (210,000 beneficiaries, 100 percent women and children); b) primary school feeding (125,000 children, 48 percent girls); and c) food-for-work: household and community recovery and rehabilitation (90,000 beneficiaries, 44 percent women and girls).

1.4 WFP already has strong partnerships with the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD) in Orissa. The Integrated Child Development Services programme is community-based and has developed, under the relief intervention phase, contact and dialogue at the village level. Also, WFP will rely and work in partnership with NGOs. In the districts, under this PRRO, WFP is formulating partnerships with OXFAM, Action Aid, Council of Professional Social Workers (CPSW), the Red Cross (IFRC), Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and other NGOs conducting food-for-work programmes.

D. VENEZUELA - FLOOD RELIEF OPERATION

1. UPDATE - information as of 25 February

1.1 WFP continues to provide food assistance for the populations affected by floods and mudslides in Venezuela in mid-December under its on-going emergency operation (EMOP 6210). WFP food commodities are distributed in conjunction with a larger food aid operation for the flood survivors which is being conducted by PROAL, the Program of Strategic Foods of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Actual distributions are being conducted by the Venezuelan Armed Forces, who have the staff, warehouse space and vehicles which can arrive to the final delivery sites where beneficiaries are located. WFP Staff in Venezuela are monitoring the operation.

1.2 The WFP assistance offered under the current emergency operation is used for pre-school and primary-school feeding in the three most affected states, and for free distributions to people in temporary shelters. To the extent donors can provide WFP with more commodities, WFP will provide food in such food-for-work schemes as community home-building and rehabilitation of small farms.

1.3 The initial WFP USD 200,000 emergency food operation (EMOP 6208) for the flood victims in Venezuela was used for local purchase of basic commodities for people displaced by the floods living in temporary shelters. On 31 December 1999 a larger emergency operations (EMOP 6210) was approved which foresees providing basic food commodities (a total of 9,322 tons) for a period of five months to 110,000 persons living in the three most affect states of Venezuela, Vargas, Miranda and Falcon. The total cost to WFP is USD 5.1 million.

1.4 Donors are urged to respond to this operation, which is seriously under-resourced. In addition to the USD 200,000 which was provided to the EMOP from the WFP Immediate Response Account, the only funds which have been received for this operation have been a Swiss donation of some USD 312,000 and an allocation by WFP of USD 100,000 of the funds generated by the Hunger Site on the Web at <http://www.thehungersite.com>. These funds have enabled the Venezuelan authorities to provide the beneficiaries with 1,425 tons of food aid to date. The remaining requirements for the operation are rice, 7,000 tons; beans, 900 tons, and vegetable oil, 760 tons.

1.5 The 16 December 1999 floods and mudslides which caused the death of some 20,000 to 30,000 persons, also resulted in another 68,500 persons losing their homes and taking refuge in temporary shelters. Close to 419,300 people were affected, suffering loss of homes or possessions or sources of income.

E. OTHER NATURAL DISASTER RELIEF OPERATIONS

1. SUMMARY - information as of 6 March

1.1 WFP food assistance operations for victims of natural disaster have increased in recent times. In addition to the operations described above, the current list of natural disaster operations includes the following emergency operations (EMOPs) and protracted relief and recovery operations (PRROs): Somalia PRRO 6073 - drought victims included along with war-affected populations; Eritrea EMOP - under preparation, for victims of drought and crop failure; Djibouti EMOP 6196 - drought victims; Kenya PRRO - under preparation, for drought victims; Uganda PRRO 6176 - drought victims included along with people internally displaced by conflict; Sahel EMOP 6041 - flood and drought victims in Senegal and Mauritania; Jordan EMOP 6158 and Syria EMOP 6170 - drought victims. Recovery phases of several other natural disaster operations are currently in progress: Central America PRRO 6089 for populations affected by Hurricane Mitch and Dominican Republic PRRO (being finalized) for the worst-affected victims of Hurricane Georges (being finalized). In addition, a number of victims of natural disasters are covered under other WFP operations, such as flood victims in Angola and Sudan covered by the respective PRROs for war-displaced populations.

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

(End WFP Emergency Report No. 09 of 2000 - March 3, 2000)