WFP Emergency Report No. 51 of 2000

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 22 Dec 2000
This report includes: (A) Sierra Leone (B) Sudan (C) Angola (D)Ethiopia (E) Burundi (F) Vietnam (G)Laos (H)New contributions
From Francesco Strippoli, Senior Humanitarian Adviser. Available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (www.wfp.org), or by e-mail from Zlatan.Milisic@wfp.org. 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 Trevor.Rowe@wfp.org, telephone 39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

(A) Sierra Leone

a) In view of deteriorating security conditions for Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea, WFP and UNHCR have been recording increased numbers of refugees returning back to their home country. The two agencies continue preparation for the possibility of a large returnee influx if the situation deteriorates further. During the week, WFP participated in an emergency sub-regional coordination meeting chaired by UNHCR, which assessed the latest situation of the refugees in Guinea and updated contingency plan. There are approximately 330,000 Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea.

b) The refugees have been returning from Guinea either by foot, or by ferry provided by the Sierra Leone Government, from Conakry to Freetown. Last week, WFP and UNHCR registered 4,500 new returnees in Lungi and confirmed their eligibility for food aid. The total number of returnees who are currently being assisted by WFP is over 19,000.

c) WFP distributed 561 tons of food aid to 43,900 beneficiaries in Freetown, Bo and Mandu, during the week.

d) Bumbuna: WFP delivered 30 tons of food via helicopter that will be stored in Bumbuna and distributed through the implementing partner. Some 300 mothers and their malnourished children were assisted, through a supplementary feeding programme run by MSF-Holland. A WFP team observed that food security situation in the province has improved and that a large number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) seem to have returned to their homes to cultivate.

e) Bo: WFP distributed a total of 245 tons of food to 20,756 beneficiaries. Some 198 tons were used to assist 14,586 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Mandu camp, while 29 tons were distributed to 4,500 patients in supplementary and therapeutic feeding programmes (SFP/TFP) in Mile 91 and Yonibana.

f) Kenema: WFP team completed a monitoring assessment of food aid projects implemented in support of agricultural activities of Women Farmers Association in Small Bo and Kono districts. A well-stocked variety of rice and seeds is expected from the next harvest, on the basis of WFP's inputs. WFP Kenema is actively supporting over 400 female farmers in the District.

(B) Sudan

a) More than 3.2 million people in Sudan are facing serious food and water shortages because of the combined effects of civil war and widening drought that is developing in much broader terms than before. The situation can be described as a looming crisis. Some 700,000 more people may be at risk than what has been anticipated by WFP just a month ago, during the preparation of the consolidated UN appeal for the year 2001. An additional appeal may be made on the basis of the assessment recently implemented by WFP and FAO. WFP is currently feeding 1.7 million people in Sudan.

b) As in other drought-prone regions of the developing world, the lack of basic equipment, such as pumps to draw water from wells, gives people little choice but to become nomadic when surface water supplies dry up. To raise money against an uncertain future, some have already started selling their cattle, the only capital asset they have, and the livestock prices are dropping. Grain prices have gone up, which means that not much locally produced grain is being harvested.

c) A worsening drought is affecting both northern and southern Sudan. Decades of war between the Government and rebels has weakened the south, where in addition to food, seeds are also in short supply. In the government-controlled areas of the north and west, grain reserves are depleted and local cattle herders are facing a ban on imports of Sudanese livestock to the Middle East because of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. In the west and centre of the country, the most affected districts are likely to be Darfur and Kordofan.

(C) Angola

a) The overall contributions towards the WFP's protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO) in Angola remains at USD 120.3 million (58 percent of the total operational requirement). WFP issued a public warning on 15 December that unless the Programme receives immediate new funding there will be a dramatic cutback in food distributions for the next year.

b) As a result of funding difficulties, distributions of WFP commodities have been reduced from planned 17,500 tons per month to 12,300 tons. The number of beneficiaries has accordingly been cut by 30 percent, from the targeted 1. 5 million to 1 million. Moreover, although the beneficiaries in this emergency operation should be receiving food aid rations of a basic minimum energy equivalent of 2,100 kcal per person each day, WFP is currently able to provide only 1,800 kcal.

c) In November, humanitarian aid organisations working in Angola presented a coordinated appeal to the international donor community. As part of the appeal, WFP requested food commodities and related operational and support costs at a total value of USD 155 million, to meet the food aid needs in the country during 2001.

d) Bie: New IDPs continue to arrive to Kuito town from Andulo, Chipeta, Cambandua, Chicala, Cuemba, and Chinguar, where military activities are ongoing. The broken bridge on River Cutato, between Kuito and Huambo, has limited transportation of commercial goods into Kuito, raising commodity prices. This week, WFP is planing to start including dry fish into general food aid rations for IDPs in Kuito, in order to cover the needed energy requirements.

e) Huila: Following an assessment at the proposed resettlement site, WFP decided not to support a resettlement project in Quewa, 25km from Lubango, as the area lacks access to water and arable land.

f) Malanje: Insecurity in the province continued, with the increase in military activities in the north-east resulting in the arrival of 651 new IDPs from Cambaxe and the municipalities of Kiwaba Nzoji. WFP continues to provide food rations to newly arrived IDPs.

g) Kuando Kubango: New IDPs arrived to various locations around Menongue, a total of 506 during December, due to continuing military activities in the province. The new IDPs were registered by WFP and implementing partners and received ration cards and food.

h) Kuanza norte: The Ministry of Social Assistance and Reintegration (MINARS) reported 656 new arrivals in N'dalatando town during the reporting week, due to intense military activities in the province, especially in Samba-Caju municipality. Due to security concerns regarding the road between N'dalatando and Lucala, food distribution in Lucala has not been possible.

i) Huambo: In a meeting between MINARS and local administration of Chipipa, it was agreed that approximately 3,000 registered families would receive seeds for immediate planting. WFP agreed to provide food aid rations for an initial period of four months to support cultivation activities.

(D) Ethiopia

a) A Crop and food supply assessment was conducted jointly by FAO, WFP and Ministry of Agriculture, between 14 November and 8 December. The meher crop was evaluated. The report of the mission is expected before the end of the month, and its conclusions will be used for the preparation of the regional consolidated appeal expected to be launched in late January. Preliminary findings of the assessment suggest that food production this year has been relatively good, though some production deficits are apparent. It is important to de-link crop production from relief needs. Even with satisfactory cereal production in the country, household destitution due to drought has dramatically decreased purchasing power of many families.

b) All teams participating in the DPPC-led multi-agency Emergency Needs Assessment have returned from the field. The assessment involved 22 teams, with participants from DPPC, WFP and other UN Agencies, NGOs and donors, who visited 61 of the total 67 zones in the country.

c) Food aid requirements in the country are expected to remain high in 2001, as the food security situation will remain precarious for vulnerable populations for a foreseeable future. Three categories of beneficiaries are expected: (i) belg-dependent population experiencing their fourth consecutive crop failure, whose next potential harvest begins next June; (ii) meher-dependent population in mostly chronically food insecure areas, and (iii) pastoral population in the north-east, south and south-east of the country, who will require time to restock or diversify their livelihoods in order to be able to meet their basic food requirements. The ban on the import of animals from the Horn of Africa, imposed by the Gulf States in September, is likely to slow down the recovery process.

d) Somali Region: MSF-Belgium reported that the number of newly arrived IDPs to camps in Denan is decreasing. There are still around 17,000-18,000 IDPs in the area. The number of children in the SFP is now approximately 3,400, the same as in July. The water situation is very poor.

e) Tigray/Afar IDPs: A recent WFP mission to Tigray estimated that more than 70 percent of the people who have been displaced by the border conflict in Western and Eastern zones and 30 percent of these IDPs in the Central zone have resettled so far. Low resettlement in the Central zone is attributed to the proximity of the IDPs' places of origin to front-line trenches, or their location in mined areas, or the fact that the houses belonging to these people have been destroyed.

f) Around 160,000 tons of food are expected to arrive to Djibouti port in January. Some 1,466 trucks are committed for transportation of this cargo, under the WFP Food Aid Transport System. The transportation is expected to start around 10 January, when the first vessels are expected to arrive.

g) Newly approved World Bank loan of US$ 400 million to the Government of Ethiopia (on 5 December) represents approximately 47 percent of the post conflict rehabilitation assistance requested by the Government.

h) A Peace treaty was signed by Ethiopia and Eritrea, in Algeria on 12 December, bringing a formal end to the fighting that was suspended by a cease-fire in June.

(E) Burundi

a) Household Food Economy Assessment (HFEA) teams conducted assessments at 14 sites in Cankuzo, Gitega and Rutana provinces. Food security situation of more than 52,000 people was reviewed, with a conclusion that most of the people did not have enough food reserves due to insecurity and poor harvest in these provinces, due to the drought. The assessment teams suggested that approximately 300 widows and orphans could be assisted through quick action projects.

b) A total of 44,100 beneficiaries in Bujumbura Rural province, who are former regrouped persons and the food insecure vulnerable groups in Kayanza, Karusi and Ngozi were assisted by WFP during the past two weeks. A total of 232 tons of food were distributed. Some 4,600 refugees from DR Congo, located in Bujumbura town and Cibitoke province, also received food aid rations during the period.

c) Dispatch of 191 tons of food has been authorised to ensure feeding of 17,300 orphans, street children, chronically ill and handicapped persons, though 47 projects. WFP staff monitored nine of these projects and suspended activities in one institution, due to alleged misappropriation of food by the local implementing partner. The situation in this institution will be carefully reviewed.

d) The UN Security Management Team (SMT) conducted an inter-agency security assessment in Rutana, Bururi and Makamba provinces and found the security situation there still volatile. The Team also observed that around 20,000 displaced persons are living in 20 sites in Rutana province and 93,000 others are sheltered in 45 "protection" sites in Makamba province. All these displaced persons are reported to be living in poor conditions. SMT also visited two sites in Bururi and Makamba, that the authorities planned to offer to the UN for construction of airstrips.

e) A mission representing the UN Senior Inter-agency Network for Internal Displacement, led by the UN Coordinator for Internal Displacement, Mr. Dennis Mc Namara, arrived to the country on 18 December to conduct an assessment of the situation of the displaced populations in Burundi. WFP is represented in the mission team.

f) More than 37 countries and international organisations, including all UN Agencies operating in Burundi, participated in a Donor Conference for Burundi held in Paris, during the week. International assistance of USD 440 million has been pledged by the donors during the conference.

(F) Vietnam

a) WFP is ending its food aid operations in Vietnam on 31 December, after 25 years. The closure follows a careful food needs assessment in the country.

b) Vietnam has progressed from being a significant importer of rice in the early 1980s to the world's second-largest rice exporter this year. Poverty has been reduced from affecting more than 70 percent of the population in the mid-1980s, to a current rate of about 37 percent. Average per capita income has more than doubled over the same period. Infant mortality has declined from 50 to 37 per 1,000 live births.

c) WFP played a noticeable role in the protracted post-war rehabilitation of Vietnam, feeding tens of millions of people. It has been the largest grant donor in the UN system, investing approximately USD 500 million of food and non-food aid in the country between 1974 and 2000. Most recently, WFP provided 945 tons of food to over 91,300 people in 58 communes and towns of Long An, An Giang and Dong Thap provinces, who had been affected by floods in Mekong delta.

d) WFP will continue to monitor food security, disaster preparedness and emergency situation in Vietnam.

(G) Laos

a) Mekong Delta floods directly affected 450,000 people in Laos, mainly farming households that have lost rainy season paddy crop. The estimated losses amount to 42,530 hectares of land, or about 10 percent of the main monsoon crop. WFP is hoping to resource 8,160 tons of glutinous rice that, combined with food aid contributions by the Government, international donors and NGOs, should be sufficient to cover food shortages of the most-affected families.

b) In the two most affected provinces of Champassak and Khammouane, field preparations are being finalised for distribution of food aid provided by WFP, in support of asset rehabilitation projects. During the week, 288 tons of rice have been distributed in two districts of the Champassak province to 2,186 farming households (12,023 estimated beneficiaries). In the Khammouane province, some 40 tons of rice have been delivered to 268 families (1.474 estimated beneficiaries). A further 1,200 tons of glutinous rice are currently being purchased by WFP in Thailand, for the next distribution.

(H) New contributions

a) During the week, WFP recorded new donor contributions for the following relief projects and operations: Algeria (PRRO 6234), Armenia (EMOP 6310), Balkan Regional Crisis (EMOP 6136.01, EMOP 6136.02, SO 6133), Bangladesh (EMOP 6317), DR Congo (EMOP 6110, PRRO 6274), Republic of Congo (EMOP 6287), East Timor Territory (EMOP 6177, SO 6178), Eritrea (EMOP 6044.01), Ethiopia (EMOP 6218), Great Lakes Regional (PRRO 6077), Iraq (PRRO 6085), Kenya (EMOP 6203.01, SO 6277), DPR Korea (EMOP 5959.01, EMOP 5959.02), Zambia (PRRO 6134.01).

Notes:

  • WFP Emergency Report will not be issued on 29 December, due to holidays and staffing constraints. Information on WFP activities during that period will be included in the next report, which will be issued on 5 January 2000.
  • All tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tons
(End WFP Emergency Report No 51)