Russia

North Caucasus: WFP bi-weekly report 01 - 15 Feb 2003

Source
Posted
Originally published
EMOP 10128.0 Emergency Food Assistance to Conflict Affected

Internally Displaced Persons and Vulnerable Households in the North Caucasus
No. of planned beneficiaries
290,500
Commodities
Net Requirement
Duration
Twelve months
(1 January - 31 December 2003)
Wheat flour
27,558
Sugar
1,751
Total Cost to WFP
US$ 15.7 million
Oil
2,461
Iodised salt
382
Total Food Requirements
34,011
Corn-soya blend
517
Rice
1,342

HIGHLIGHTS

During the fortnight, the population of displaced persons decreased from 94,960 to 94,170 in Ingushetia. According to the Chechen IDP Committee, about 1,900 IDPs have returned home from Ingushetia since the beginning of this year. WFP distributed a total of 2,505 tons of food commodities to 257,600 beneficiaries as of 15 February in both the republics of Ingushetia and Chechnya.

As per the agreement signed between WFP and UNESCO last month, the latter procured and delivered 188 cooking stoves to 131 schools in Grozny city, Grozny rural and Gudermes districts of Chechnya for school feeding programme. Earlier WFP had delivered 49 stoves for 33 schools in Achkhoy-Martan and Sunzha districts to be used for preparing hot meals for school children.

On 6 February the Food Aid Steering Committee met in Nazran and discussed the issue of targeting food assistance both in Ingushetia and Chechnya. The Committee agreed to harmonize targeting as well as food basket for complementary assistance in Ingushetia applying social criteria while maintaining the provision of basic food to registered IDPs. All food aid agencies, such as, WFP, ICRC, Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Islamic Relief (IR), People in need Foundation (PINF) and Acton Contre la Faim (ACF) participated at the meeting.

On 7 February a donor mission comprised of the representatives of Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands visited temporary accommodation centers (TACs), food distribution center and a children hospital in Grozny. The mission was accompanied by WFP, WHO and OCHA. Donors also met with officials of the Chechen Migration Service and Deputy Mayor of Grozny city and asked them to ensure security and access to humanitarian workers for continuing the humanitarian programme in Chechnya. The authorities informed that six additional TACs are ready to receive about 4,200 IDPs from Ingushetia.

The UN agencies and NGOs suspended their activities for one day on 13 February in the North Caucasus to express solidarity with an MSF relief worker abducted in Dagestan in August 2002.

On 14 February an ECHO/WFP mission visited Grozny city to meet with local authorities and to monitor the implementation of WFP assistance programme in Chechnya. The mission visited school No.57 to observe the school-feeding programme supported by WFP, sites of food-for-work activities implemented by PINF and a food distribution point managed by DRC. The mission met with Mr. Dadaev, Assistant Education Minister, who requested WFP to expand the school feeding programme onto other areas of the republic. Similarly, a representative of Oktyabrskiy district administration asked WFP to expand food-for-work activities in Grozny.

TARGET POPULATIONS/BENEFICIARIES

Ingushetia - The IDP population in Ingushetia has decreased to 94,170 from 94,960 as of 15 February 2003. Of them, 15,470 persons (16%) live in tent camps, 26,600 (28%) in spontaneous settlements and 52,100 (55%) live in private accommodation. During the fortnight there was a decrease of 790 persons who were found either absent during the verification carried out by DRC or return to Chechnya.

Chechnya - According to DRC database, a total of 188,000 persons reside in eight districts of central region of Chechnya, where WFP has been operating. Of them, WFP provides assistance to some 134,100 belonging to 'very poor' and 'poor' categories. From this year, while full ration was provided to 'very poor' people only a half ration was given to the people from 'poor' category. In addition, WFP supports 43,750 school children in 164 schools and 30 kindergartens through school feeding programme and 1,200 participants through food-for-work.

Food Supply Situation and Pipeline Management

During the fortnight over 1,222 tons of wheat flour, which were procured locally, were delivered in Nazran. The consignments of 478 tons of edible oil and 360 tons of corn-soya blend (CSB), funded by ECHO, reached the port of St. Petersburg and are being customs cleared by EMERCOM. CSB is expected to arrive in Nazran in early March. Since last month 700 tons of Cuban sugar are undergoing a series of laboratory tests for quality control.

ECHO confirmed a new contribution of US$ 3.2 million for the 2003 operation. This contribution will allow WFP to procure 8,700 tons of wheat flour, 550 tons of edible oil and 180 tons of iodised salt. The accumulated stocks of wheat flour and edible oil will last till April while Sugar, salt, rice and corn-soya blend will be enough till June 2003.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION AND USE

The on-going distribution of relief food comprises of 10 kg of wheat flour, 1 L of edible oil and 0.15 kg of iodised salt. Sugar is not available for distribution since its stocks have already exhausted. In order to cover the needs of school feeding, WFP borrowed 30 tons of sugar from ICRC.

In February WFP included pre-school children from 30 kindergartens in Grozny city, Grozny Rural, Achkhoy-Martan, Sunzha and Gudermes districts of Chechnya into its school feeding programme. As children in kindergarten are fed daily three meals WFP agreed to provide additional 150 gm of wheat flour for baking bread and making pasta. WFP provides daily hot meals and sweet buns to some 41,600 primary schoolchildren in 164 schools and 2,150 children in 30 kindergartens.

As of 15 February, WFP has distributed a total of 2,505 tons of mixed food commodities to 257,600 beneficiaries in both republics.

MONITORING

Ingushetia - During the reporting period WFP monitors visited 17 food distribution points and 72 IDP households for end-use monitoring as well as to verify their presence in Ingushetia. Monitors found out that 6% of them were not present during their visits. This information was passed on to DRC for follow-up verification and appropriate action. Some 12% of households, majority of them came from Grozny city, stated that they plan to return to Chechnya during 2003. The IDPs expressed their concern about absence of sugar in current distribution cycle.

Chechnya - During the reporting period 'Vesta' monitors observed food distribution at 14 distribution points and interviewed 120 beneficiaries for end-use monitoring. They expressed dismay over exclusion of sugar in the on-going food distribution. In some instances beneficiaries belonging to 'poor' category asked for the reason why they were provided with only half ration. Monitors told them that the assessment was done by DRC based on their sources of income.

Monitoring of WFP school feeding indicated that preparation of hot meals in schools was done as per the safety standards. In January WFP and UNESCO signed an agreement in Moscow according to which the latter agreed to provide non-food items to support school feeding programme in Chechnya. Accordingly, UNESCO procured and delivered 188 cooking stoves to 131 schools located in Grozny city, Grozny Rural and Gudermes districts of the republic. UNICEF would ensure that schools have access to potable water for cooking purpose.

The 'Vesta' monitors also reported on implementation of food-for-work activity in Grozny city and in Grozny Rural district. They visited as many as 18 food-for-work sites and reported that the works had been carried out by PINF as per the agreed schedule.

ACTIONS OF OTHERS: FOOD AID COORDINATION

On 6 February WFP held a regular food sector coordination meeting in Nazran at which WFP stated that from January Islamic Relief will take over the management of food distribution in Bart and Bella camps, which were previously handled by DRC. Similarly, the responsibility of school feeding in Oktyabrskiy district of Grozny city was handed over to PINF from DRC. Further, WFP raised the issue of targeting food assistance for IDPs in Ingushetia. The participants expressed that targeting should not be applied to the IDPs staying in camps and spontaneous settlements as they are considered to be the poorest groups of the displaced persons. At the same time, some NGO representatives were inclined to believe that IDPs living in private sector are in worse economic situation since they have to pay rents for accommodation.

The Ingush Migration Service (MS) has started distributing bread to IDPs staying with host families as well. In the past, MS distributed bread only to IDPs living in camps and spontaneous settlements in the republic.