Sudan

Sudan Bulletin No. 112: 07 - 13 Nov 1999

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1. HIGHLIGHTS
During the first half of November, WFP staff stepped up efforts to draw up contingency plans to prepare for possible, future "worst case" scenarios in the Southern Sector of OLS. WFP field staff also participated in a Nairobi-based workshop on "Gender Perspectives in WFP Food Aid Programmes and Operations" from 3-5 November. At the workshop, WFP staff from the Horn of Africa, Great Lakes regions and Sudan drew up provisional plans for promoting and suggesting regional strategies for mainstreaming of gender issues.

2. DISTRIBUTION

Northern Sector

Bahr el Ghazal

Wau town: WFP provided food for 3,515 beneficiaries attending supplementary feeding programmes in Wau town and adjacent IDP camps. In addition, 11 MT of food were provided to 1,634 pupils (1,200 males and 434 females) in two in the Eastern Bank displaced persons camp and Wau Town. Food was also provided to 47 persons recently displaced by food shortages caused by flooding in Aweil county.

Equatoria

In Juba town, WFP provided 2 MT of food for 350 beneficiaries in supplementary feeding centres.

North Kordofan

WFP provided 6 MT of food for 440 in-patients at the El Obeid hospital. The beneficiaries, mainly expectant and nursing mothers and children, are receiving treatment for malaria. An outbreak of the disease has resulted in over 500 deaths in the last three months.

Southern Sector

Bahr el Ghazal

In Aweil East County, 55 MT of food was distributed to 10,890 beneficiaries in Mangar Angui. In Aweil West County, 104 MT of food was distributed to 13,800 beneficiaries in Mayom Akol and 72 MT of food was distributed to 10,000 beneficiaries in Wargeng. In Gogrial County, 88 MT of food was distributed to 13,830 beneficiaries in Ayuang. In Twic County, 83 MT of food was distributed to 21,864 beneficiaries in Ajakuac and 104 MT of food was distributed to 18,894 beneficiaries in Akoc.

WFP increased the ration size for Tieraliet (Aweil East Conty) to 50% ration during the last distribution, given recent crop loss due to flooding.

Heavy rains in northern Bahr el Ghazal continued to hamper staff movements and WFP operations.

Unity/Upper Nile/Jonglei

In Bieh State, Jonglei, 16 MT of food aid was distributed to 5,200 beneficiaries in Pajut and 16 MT of relief food was distributed to 5,000 beneficiaries in Kolmerek (Bor County), Jonglei.

During the second week of November, WFP continued to carry out rapid food aid distributions in parts of Leech State (Upper Nile) where access is not denied due to insecurity. During a recent distribution in Tharangana (Leech State), WFP field staff noted a current influx of people fleeing due to insecurity.

3. SECURITY

Unity State

A follow-up security and programme assessment was conducted in Bentiu between 11 - 13 November by WFP, CARE and UN security staff. The mission found that the situation is still tenuous in Bentiu and that conflict had intensified in the areas of Wangkai and Mayoum. The mission advised that humanitarian agencies restrict their presence to the towns of Bentiu and Rubkona and, if absolutely necessary, retain a minimum number of staff.

Food prices remain high and out of reach of poor households in Bentiu. CARE has re-opened supplementary feeding centres in Bentiu and Rubkona, with an initial 36 children being registered at the Bentiu centre. WFP provided enough food commodities to the feeding centres to feed 100 children for about two months. WFP plans to distribute food to the most vulnerable groups, such as IDPs, in Bentiu and conduct an in-depth assessment at the end of November, should security conditions permit.

The road between Natinga and New Cush (Kapoeta County), Eastern Equatoria was declared "red no-go" as of 8 November due to an attack on NPA and SRRA staff. Two persons were killed and three wounded, one of which died later from the injuries. Another SRRA staff member was also killed the same day in a separate attack. WFP has suspended planned activities to Kapoeta County until the area is cleared by OLS security.

OLS security received reports that two Government trains were present one in Wau town and one in Aweil town, Bahr el Ghazal.

Akuem (Aweil East County) moved to security level "tense" on 12 November following insecurity in the areas, resulting in the temporary suspension of airdrops to the area. At the end of the reporting period on 13 November, the location remained at this security level.

The WFP field team in Tharagana were relocated to Lokichoggio on 11 November following the threat of bombings in the area. Before the team was relocated, a total of 15,000 residents and 3,010 internally displaced person from nearby Mankien, Mayom, Abiemnom, Ruath and Cuomni received WFP food aid.

4. LOGISTICS

Air Operations

WFP delivered 776 MT by air from Khartoum and El Obeid. Food was delivered to Mayen Abun (36 MT), Tieraliet (18 MT), Liil (18 MT) Panliet (90 MT), Mayom Akol (54 MT), Panthou (144 MT), Wunrok (54 MT) and Biem (108 MT) and Wau (254 MT). The food was airdropped by one IL-76 base in Khartoum, one C-130 based in El Obeid and airlifted from El Obeid to Wau.

During the reporting period, five C-130 Hercules and two Buffalo aircraft delivered food aid out of Lokichoggio.

The WFP Representative held meetings with senior Government officials urging the total lift on flight bans, particularly in Unity/Western Upper Nile and Eastern Equatoria regions. It was pointed out that about 140,000 targeted beneficiaries have not been able to receive urgently needed food assistance, while 300,000 could not receive basic health, water, sanitation and education services due to flight restrictions during October and November. Concern has also been expressed on the inability to launch barge convoys on the Juba corridor due to prevailing insecurity, thus affecting over 300,000 vulnerable beneficiaries living in the Nile river basin. These efforts are aimed at GoS easing flight restrictions and securing barge movement in the river corridors.

WFP staff met with representatives of the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) on 11 November to discuss a draft Memorandum of Understanding submitted by WFP in late August outlining the respective areas of interest and responsibility with regard to the Lokichoggio airport. The KAA have now clearly rejected the MOU as a suitable form of co-operation, and instead have suggested a commercial agreement.

In early November, WFP approved Captex as the organisation responsible for planning, transporting, receiving and storing of Jet A-1 fuel, and fuelling WFP planes in Lokichoggio. Under this recent arrangement applicable from 1 December 1999 to end 2000, WFP will be effectively "buying" a service rather than providing it itself. This should reduce WFP's direct liability for fuel provision and lead to cost-savings in administration and staff time.

Road Operations

WFP and UNICEF/OLS finalised a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 11 November 1999 for the transportation of UNICEF/OLS commodities on WFP-contracted trucks from Koboko (Uganda) and Lokichoggio (Kenya) into South Sudan. This last variant of the MOU would apply until the end of the year 2000, and follows two earlier versions in 1999.

The WFP contractor HOWITT (Kenya) carrying out road rehabilitation in Eastern Equatoria was stopped at the Sudanese border north of Lokichoggio, at Nadapal on 29 October. The local authorities demanded that the HOWITT vehicles, trucks and road equipment be registered and licensed or face being impounded. The authorities also claimed that the fuel being brought into South Sudan for the construction work would be taxed. The issue was immediately raised with the Humanitarian Principles Office in Nairobi and WFP logistics staff and the Lokichoggio-based Humanitarian Principles Officer were dispatched to the border. The team secured the release and a promise from the south Sudan authorities of free movement for the HOWITT vehicles, until the issue of taxation of WFP-contracted private companies carrying out rehabilitation work is resolved at the Nairobi level. The WFP-contractor ASSIST (Uganda) faced similar problems with local authorities at the Ugandan-Sudanese border when rehabilitating sections of the western road corridor running through Koboko, though the authorities on the ground eventually recognised that no taxes could be levied on rehabilitation work facilitating humanitarian assistance.

5. ASSESSMENTS

Planning for the second phase of the FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment mission were finalised during the week. The assessment is scheduled to take place from 23 November to 12 December. The mission will cover the remaining northern sector locations in White Nile, North Kordofan, South Kordofan, West and South Darfur and River Nile states.

White Nile

A joint assessment mission by WFP, UNHCU, HAC, SRC, SCC and local authorities found that populations in 12 villages in Joda rural council had been affected by floods that occurred in September. The assessment mission was unable to access these villages in Jebelain province due to flooded roads. The mission observed that many underground grains stores (matmour) were damaged. Some agricultural land had been submerged and crops that survived the flooding were subsequently damaged by birds. The mission observed that about half of the resident population had left to mechanized agriculture schemes in the surrounding areas to seek employment. Those left in the villages were accessing food through fishing, milk, employment on nearby cotton farms and income remittance from those employed on the mechanized farms. WFP will monitor the situation closely. The mission observed that incidence of malaria and water-borne disease had increased since the flooding occurred.

Post-Distribution Monitoring

White Nile

Kosti: Post-distribution monitoring among 350 beneficiaries in Gos es Salam and Laya IDP camps revealed that 94 % of relief food was consumed within the household, 1% was used for kinship support 5% was sold to buy medicine, water, firewood and other essentials. At the distribution sites, family rations were received by women in 66% of households, by children in 27% of households and by men in 7% of households. Children represented heads of households who were absent on seasonal on-farm employment.

The beneficiaries were provided with bulgur wheat, an unfamiliar grain in the area. In addition, local mill owners were reluctant to grind this wheat variety, because the grain size was not suitable for their machinery. However, the beneficiary households had learned new ways to cook the wheat, including mixing it with the local staple, sorghum.

Equatoria

Rejaf: Post-distribution monitoring of 132 IDPs in Rejaf showed that 75% of WFP food was consumed within the household and 25% bartered for other essentials such as salt and vegetables. Monitoring revealed that 87% of those who received the family rations were women. The 1,071 IDPs in Rejaf, most of whom are women and children, were displaced by insecurity from eastern Equatoria in 1998. Since their arrival, the IDPs have endeavoured to resettle and secure their own food sources in Rejaf, about 5 km from Juba town. The IDPs suffered a poor first harvest this year, and are covering the food gaps through several coping mechanisms: sale of firewood, charcoal and thatch, as well as relief food aid.

Unity/Upper Nile/Jonglei

A rapid OLS security assessment of various locations in Leech State (Upper Nile) revealed an increase in population numbers in Koch, and reported strong visual signs of physical and mental exhaustion amongst the Nhialdiu population and high numbers of IDPs from Bentiu in the area. Few people were seen in Wicok and Nimnim. Following this assessment and security permitting, WFP will send in food aid to both Koch and Boaw, to complement the planned delivery of non-food items in Boaw, Koch, Nimnim, Wicok and Tharagana.

A recent MSF-B nutritional survey of under fives in Wanding (Latjor State), Upper Nile revealed a global malnutrition rate of 12% of which 2% was severe.

6. OTHER ISSUES

Memorial Service

A memorial service in honour of the victims of the WFP chartered plane which crashed in Kosovo was held on 13 November at the WFP premises in Khartoum. About 300 persons attended the service, including senior Government officials, heads of diplomatic missions as well as colleagues from the NGO community, ICRC/IFRC and UN Agencies.

Missions

The WFP Representative and Country Director for Ethiopia and the Ethiopia cluster Regional Logistics Officer visited Khartoum and Port Sudan during the week. The objective was to look into the possibility of using Port Sudan and cross-border transportation for food deliveries to Ethiopia. Also in Khartoum on a familiarisation trip was the Ethiopia-based Regional Food Procurement Officer.

Gender

Kassala: WFP and SRC presented merit certificates staff to 400 volunteers who have trained 2,800 IDP women on health, nutrition and sanitation. The volunteer trainers are from the host community and received instruction from the Sudanese Red Crescent. WFP has provided food-for-skills training support to both trainers and trainees since the project started in March 1999.

Khartoum: Two members of staff briefed Khartoum staff on the proceedings and recommendations of a recent regional seminar on gender programming. The seminar, which was held in Nairobi, is attended by WFP gender focal points from several African countries.

Meetings/Training

WFP staff held discussions during the week with local authorities and partner humanitarian agencies in Kassala. The discussions focused on implementation and coordination of relief assistance during the year 2000.

An OLS contingency planning workshop was held from 28-29 October in Nairobi to draw up responses to a possible, future "worst case" scenario in the three regions of Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile/Jonglei and Equatoria regions. Following this meeting, WFP has drawn up preliminary contingency plans in co-ordination with other food aid agencies operating in the Southern Sector of OLS. Under the WFP contingency plans, a total of 37,000 MT of food aid would be made available to cover the food needs of 400,000 food insecure persons for a period of 6 months. Final, consolidated OLS contingency plans for each of the three regions will be out by the end of November, and will be updated bi-annually.

On 9 November, WFP participated in a monthly OLS/Donor Co-ordination meeting in Nairobi. Topics covered include flight clearance and access issues, the Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Sudan 2000, the 1999 OLS Annual Needs Assessment, counterparts relations and the draft Memorandum of Understanding between counterparts and NGOs. Furthermore, WFP outlined its food-for-work strategy at a monthly OLS programme meeting on 10 November in Nairobi.

On 9 and 10 November, four Nairobi-based staff from the Sudan programme covering the south were trained as peer support givers to deal with both 'critical incidents" or one-off events that cause significant stress as well as stress in the workplace. This brings the total number of peer support givers to twelve: eight based in Lokichoggio and five in Nairobi.

A total of five WFP field staff participated in a security awareness workshop held in Lokichoggio from 8-11 November.

Pipeline

During the reporting period, stocks of cereals in Lokichoggio ran low due to the late arrival of a new consignment of cereals. However, by 11 November 1,020 MT out of the new consignment was dispatched by road to Lokichoggio from Mombasa port, and a further 2,000 MT was sent by rail then road via Eldoret. The food aid delivered by road should arrive in Lokichoggio around 15 November.

The WFP Sudan Bulletin is available on the WFP Website at http://www.wfp.org. For further information on WFP operations in Sudan, please contact the WFP Africa Bureau - Mr Ismat Fahmi, Programme Coordinator for Sudan: email Ismat.Fahmi@WFP.org. telephone 39 06 6513 2338; or Ms. Leslie Elliott, Reports Officer, e-mail: Jouko.Ala-Outinen@WFP.org. telephone 39 06 6513 2871. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

Revised: 03 December 1999

©: 1999, World Food Programme. All rights reserved.