Russia

North Caucasus: WFP bi-weekly report 16 - 31Jan 2003

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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

According to Vesta/UNHCR monitoring at the border between the two republics, 1,400 IDPs returned to Chechnya in January, most of them using the transportation provided by the Government. At the same time 255 new arrivals to Ingushetia, looking for safe haven, were recorded by the monitors.

On 27 January a joint ECHO/WFP mission visited Achkhoy-Martan district of Chechnya for monitoring there. The delegation visited schools, where the school-feeding programme is carried out by WFP implementing partners, observed the relief food distribution and also had a meeting with the local authorities. The representatives of the local administration stressed the critical importance of the assistance, provided by WFP for the vulnerable population.

The IDP population in Ingushetia has reduced over the last month for about 8,000 persons, as a result of de-registration of those, who were either double-registered in both Chechnya and Ingushetia or do not reside in Ingushetia. The decrease of the beneficiaries concerned mainly the IDPs living in the tent camps (over 3,000 persons) and with the host families (about 3,500).

As per the agreement between WFP and UNESCO in Moscow, UNESCO has provided funds for the purchase of kitchen stoves for the WFP school-feeding programme in Chechnya. The delivery of stoves has already begun.

In January WFP held two trainings for its own and for implementing partners' staff, as well as the colleagues from the UN agencies. Both Security Awareness training and Warehouse training were conducted by the WFP staff, invited from other country offices.

TARGET POPULATIONS/BENEFICIARIES

Ingushetia - According to Danish Refugee Council (DRC), the number of registered IDPs from Chechnya as of 31 January stands at 94,961. The number has reduced for 7,879 during January as a result of verification carried out by DRC in Ingushetia and cross-checking the IDP database with the results of the ECHO-funded household survey in Chechnya. According to the type of accommodation the IDPs can be divided into three groups as follows: 16,257 (17%) are accommodated in tent camps, 26,676 (28%) in spontaneous settlements and 52,028 (55%) with host families. The decrease of the IDP numbers mainly refers to the population of the tent camps and those living with host families.

Chechnya - The vulnerable population in the central part of Chechnya, targeted for the provision of WFP relief food assistance, makes 134,077 (62% of the population of targeted central areas) as of 31 January. Within the framework of the school-feeding programme, in February 43,754 school children will receive WFP food on a daily basis. Food-for-work activities will benefit about 5,000 members of the project participants' families.

Food Supply Situation and Pipeline Management

In January over 2,300 MT of wheat flour arrived in Nazran, with the same quantity being expected to arrive there in early February (ECHO-bilateral contribution). 4,821 MT of wheat flour, contracted by WFP from the local suppliers (3,824 MT from IRA fund and 997 MT from the UK donation), will arrive in Nazran before the end of March. 200 MT of iodised salt will be received in Nazran by the end of the current month. Pending the arrival of 700 MT of sugar from St. Petersburg, together with 360 MT of CSB in early March, WFP borrowed 30 MT of sugar from the ICRC. 478 MT of vegetable oil (ECHO and IRA) is scheduled to reach to the port of St. Petersburg on 16 February. Among the schedules arrivals of commodities there are also 365 MT of rice for school feeding and 540 MT of sugar (IRA funds and ECHO).

FOOD DISTRIBUTION AND USE

For the ongoing cycle WFP distributed so far total of 2,434 MT of food commodities for 257,600 individuals in Chechnya and Ingushetia, excluding the figures for Grozny Rural district, where distribution is continuing. The food allocation for January envisages provision of 2,340 MT of food for 286,700 beneficiaries. In January the full WFP food basket for relief distribution both in Ingushetia and Chechnya consists of 10 kg of wheat flour, 1 L of vegetable oil and 0,15 kg of iodised salt. Sugar is not included in January food basket since delivery has not started from St. Petersburg. In Chechnya, the category of the "very poor" beneficiaries will receive the full ration, while the "poor" will receive half starting from January 2003.

Chechnya - Over 985 MT of food is planned for relief distribution for about 135,000 vulnerable population. Within school feeding programme WFP allocated about 157 MT of food to DRC, Islamic Relief (IR), Center for Peacemaking and Community Development (CPCD), Chechen Refugees and Displaced Persons' Council (CRDPC) and People in Need Foundation (PINF) for 42,774 schoolchildren in Grozny city, Grozny Rural, Achkhoi-Martan, Sunzha and Gudermes regions. Schools in Achkhoi-Martan and Sunzha regions received kitchen stoves from WFP for serving hot meals. Food-for-work activities, benefiting some 5,000 persons, will be implemented in Grozny city and Grozny Rural district.

Ingushetia - For the last distribution cycle, WFP supplied 872 MT of food for 93,300 beneficiaries. In January WFP allocated 1,130 MT of food for 102,011 IDPs. The food is being distributed by DRC, IR and Saudi Arabian Red Crescent Society (SARCS).

MONITORING

Chechnya - "Vesta" monitors reported that the situation in Chechnya remained complicated in the reporting period with the continuous cleansing operations, cordoning of the settlements and stricter checking of documents and vehicles in view of the coming March Referendum on the Constitution of Chechnya. Despite the tense situation, reconstruction works are continued in the republic. The monitors visited 36 distribution points of PINF, DRC and IR in 7 districts in January. According to their observations, the distribution was run in an orderly manner. "Vesta" monitors also interviewed 325 beneficiaries. The beneficiaries expressed their concern about the reduced rations for the "poor" category. Monitoring the school-feeding programme covered 143 schools in seven districts. Also, "Vesta" carried out 42 visits to observe food-for-work activities in Grozny city and Grozny Rural district.

Ingushetia - In January WFP monitors visited 32 distribution points of DRC and IR and interviewed 132 beneficiaries. Of them 122 home-visits were conducted by the monitors, using the beneficiary lists with the addresses (DRC database) in order to simultaneously verify presence of the registered beneficiaries in the republic. 89 (73%) of the visited families were found to be residing in Ingushetia, while the remaining 27% were absent. The monitors marked that the situation with the food stocks availability in the households in the tent camps improved since the renewal of the aid distribution there from the Government. The beneficiaries still requested to include sugar ration in the WFP food aid basket. The vast majority of those interviewed stated they did not plan to return to Chechnya in the near future, while about 8% of them intend to return home during spring.

ACTIONS OF OTHERS: FOOD AID COORDINATION

On 23 January WFP held the regular bi-weekly food aid coordination meeting, in which the main food sector agencies, such as ICRC, DRC, PINF, IR, CPCD and CRDPC took part. WFP outlined the plans for the year 2003, briefed the meeting on the resourcing situation and pipeline status. ICRC informed that after finalization of its first in 2003 quarterly distribution cycle in Ingushetia in March, it planned to shift to a targeted approach among the IDP population in Ingushetia, giving priority to the social cases, such as large families, invalids, single mothers and orphans (about 45,000 beneficiaries). All WFP implementing partners confirmed their readiness to continue cooperation with WFP. CPCD reported that all arrangements have been prepared to start the joint with WFP bread distribution project in two villages in Sunzha district for 704 beneficiaries (disabled, orphans and semi-orphans and pensioners). IR informed the meeting that it will distribute meat (of 5,000 sheep) in Chechnya and two camps in Ingushetia for Eid festival in February.