Sudan

Sudan Bulletin No. 119: 26 Dec - 08 Jan 2000

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1. HIGHLIGHTS
Two CARE staff have been shot dead in Sudan. One other CARE employee and a fourth person, a private contractor who was with the CARE team, are reported missing.

WFP Security Awareness training workshops concluded during the reporting period. This week, training involved field staff from various locations in Sudan.

Backup of data and installment of Y2K resistant programs on office PC's were finalized on 29 December 1999. No Y2K related problems were reported after the millennium commenced.

WFP completed a food economy assessment in South Bor County, Jonglei that confirmed earlier WFP findings that 1999 was a better year in terms of food security than the previous two years.

WFP experienced delays in its planned interventions in Kapoeta and Torit counties, Eastern Equatoria due to insecurity along the Natinga to Chukudum road.

2. FOOD DISTRIBUTION

Northern Sector

Jonglei

Pibor: Food delivered to Pibor by airdrop from Loki amounting to 128 MT was distributed to 9,000 war affected beneficiaries.

Bahr el Ghazal

Wau : WFP in conjunction with NCA, UNICEF, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare delivered 16 MT of Food to 1,549 beneficiaries in Wau town and Eastern Bank Camps. The beneficiaries were vulnerable groups comprising TB patients, blind and malnourished persons and children receiving emergency school feeding.

Southern Sector

Bahr el Ghazal

During the last week of December, in Gogrial County, a total of 23,196 beneficiaries received 133 MT of food in Ajiep, 17,370 beneficiaries received 66 MT of food in Malualwut, and in Liethnom a total of 13,860 beneficiaries received 51 MT of food. In Twic County, a total of 9,294 beneficiaries received 55 MT of food in Banya. In Aweil East County, 15,072 beneficiaries received 77 MT of food Baau and 15,591 beneficiaries received 52 MT of food support in Ajak. In Aweil West County, 18,300 beneficiaries received 56 MT of food. In Yirol County, 5,400 beneficiaries received 44 MT of cereals in Aganyi and 10,350 beneficiaries received 78 MT of food in Mapordit.

During the first week of January, at a distribution in Banya, the WFP team raised the number of food beneficiaries from the planned 8,057 to 9,294 after they identified additional 1,237 vulnerable persons within the community that required WFP food assistance. In Gogrial County, a total of 11,700 beneficiaries received 50 MT of food in Wuncum. In Aweil East County, a total of 7,020 beneficiaries received 26 MT of food in Banya.

Tearfund closed its feeding centre in Billing, Rumbek County, Bahr El Ghazal, in late October 1999. However, a weekly health education programme is on-going. There are five centres in Akot payam, Rumbek County,that are conducting the programme, targeting women and children. Tearfund currently has six SFCs and 1 TFC in Malualkon, Aweil East County. As from early December, 21 children are being treated in the TFC in Malualkon down from 32 recorded in November 1999.

Unity/Upper Nile/Jonglei

In Bor County, Jonglei a total of 6,000 beneficiaries received 16 MT in Padak, whilst in Leech State, Upper Nile a total of 3,000 beneficiaries received 35 MT of food.

The food distribution in Paboung (Leech State) targeted 3,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) that fled their home areas in Western Upper Nile in September 1999because of fighting.

Negotiations over staff access to RASS areas are ongoing, following sharp increases in the cost of permit fees requested by RASS. The issue is constraining planned WFP activities in areas where RASS operates to the extent that air deliveries to Mading and Nyal, Upper Nile, are currently suspended, pending the resolution of this matter.

Equatoria

In Kapoeta County, 13,500 beneficiaries received 196 MT of food in Kalokupe.

All locations served in late November and December 1999 received a two-month ration, reducing the number of food distributions planned for the month of January.

WFP experienced delays in its planned interventions in Kapoeta and Torit counties, Eastern Equatoria due to insecurity along the Natinga to Chukudum road.

3. MONITORING AND ASSESSMENTS

Bahr el Ghazal

Aweil: Post distribution monitoring revealed that 22% of families in Aweil consumed WFP food rations in one week, while 78% of families finished their rations in two weeks. Inquiry into consumption rate revealed that beneficiaries were inexperienced with economizing their monthly rations. This was also affected by the tradition the beneficiaries have of sharing what little they have with friends and family.

The PDM also illustrated the effect of insecurity around Aweil town on the coping mechanisms of the people. Restrictions of movement result in confinement to smaller areas when gathering wild foods and firewood. There were also no new influxes of people into the town. IDPs and local residents bridge their food gap by laboring in government-owned agricultural schemes, gathering and selling firewood and selling small quantities of home-grown foods.

The local relief committee mentioned that airdrops by the Illushyn were a great improvement from the C-130s as they resulted in less food loss. They also said however, that beneficiaries complained about lack of salt in the WFP food basket.

The WFP team visited four emergency school-feeding centres. The availability of WFP food was found to have encouraged pupils to attend classes more regularly. Concerns included the need for detergent for washing utensils. The necessity of salt was again highlighted.

Recommendations included the inclusion of salt amongst food items for January distributions and providing TB patients with salt and sugar in Jan 2000. Airlifts as the only method of transport was also recommended due to the hazard of airdropping in such a heavily inhabited area and the losses incurred.

Unity State

Registration:

WFP in conjunction with Care and the Global Health Foundation carried out a registration exercise in Bentiu and Rubkona over the reporting period. The target group in Rubkona consisted of displaced people living in town and persons trickling in during registration. HAC reported that a large number of people had fled Bentiu due to insecurity during October 1999 and were now trying to return. WFP registered those who had managed to enter the town. The numbers registered were 6,798 beneficiaries in Bentiu and 2,984 in Rubkona.

WFP recommended that in view of the high malnutrition rate and prevalent food insecurity in the area, full food ration needs to be issued to the beneficiaries for at least three months. Another nutritional assessment needs to be carried out once this period is concluded to determine the ration scale for the rest of the year.

Nutrition:

WFP jointly with CARE and UNICEF undertook a nutrition survey in Bentiu during December 1999. The objective of the survey was to determine the nutrition status of the beneficiaries, explain the causes of and determine the groups at highest risk of malnutrition, thereby estimating the number of people needing assistance. The review is to act as baseline information during insecurity and be used in making recommendations for program implementation

The survey found a high rate of malnutrition amongst children in Bentiu (26.3%), the major cause of which was inadequate dietary intake arising from inappropriate food sources. Food distribution has been erratic over the past 5 months due to insecurity. The rate of malnutrition was found to be higher amongst IDPs (51%) than residents (12%) and one in every two IDP children was malnourished. Relief food was found to constitute 76% of IDP intake. Among IDPs in residential areas, malnutrition affected all age groups with no distinction between boys and girls.

Overall, 41% of all children were in supplementary feeding programs. A greater number of local resident are in SFP than IDPs, which in part explained the observed difference in nutrition status. Water and sanitation facilities were found adequate. Care and WFP have four feeding centres with a capacity for 500 people. Only one centre was operational at the time of the review.

The review recommended that full ration as well as supplementary feeding be provided for six months to prevent further deterioration of nutritional status. Since IDPs are hihgly mobile in the search for food, adequate food will help concentrate their presence in Bentiu, where other health services are also available.

As implementing NGO, Care was required to determine the supplementary and therapeutic feeding requirements. WFP and UNICEF have been recommended to meet all necessary food and health requirements for implementing a selective feeding program. Regular reporting and monitoring are required. The feeding programs are to close after six months and activities return to normal following improvements in the security situation

Transitional Zone

South Darfur: Agencies involved in the second phase of the IDP relocation project in Ed Daein are awaiting details of funding approval by donors prior to the resettlement of 1,000 IDP households from camps at Ed Daein at Sanaam El Naaga. WFP will be providing food assistance during the resettlement process.

Unity/Upper Nile/Jonglei

During the reporting period, WFP completed a food economy assessment in South Bor County, Jonglei that confirmed earlier WFP findings that 1999 was a better year in terms of food security than the previous two years. Although there was a dry spell from mid-May up to mid-July 1999 and floods from August to September 1999 that reduced crop production, the host population will probably be able to compensate for the loss of crops through other livelihood strategies. One of the main factors leading to the improved food security situation is the current peace agreement between the Nuer and Dinka, which has enabled people to concentrate on their cultivation and has increased trade between the two tribes.

4. SECURITY

Unity State Two CARE staff were killed in Unity State during the reporting period while one other CARE employee and a fourth person were reported missing. The four-man team was driving in a truck from Bentiu to Mayoum on January 2 to open a new health clinic. They were last seen alive by CARE sources 30 miles from Bentiu. A search and rescue team comprised of personnel from CARE, the UN and the government of Sudan were dispatched to the area. The truck and the body of Mekki El Ekheir Mekki were found on January 5 along the road to Mayoum. The body of Ibrahim Ishag Abaker was found a few miles away.

Ibrahim Ishag Abaker was a team leader for CARE in Unity State and Mekki El Ekheir Mekki was a driver. Mr. Abaker leaves a wife and five children while Mr. Mekki leaves a wife and six children. Both men had worked for CARE for nearly 10 years.

This week also saw the conclusion of Security Awareness training workshops. Staff from El Obeid, Wau, Ed Daein, Malakal and Juba, as well as several country office personnel were trained in field security issues.

Waat, Walgak, Kaikuny, Tangyang, Pieri, and Motot in Bieh State, Jonglei were closed to WFP operations due to insecurity on 29 December 1999. Towards the end of the reporting period, Lankien (Bieh State), Jonglei was closed to OLS agencies until the security situation on the ground is clarified.

In Western Upper Nile, Koch and Duar returned to security level "normal" during the reporting period and are now cleared for operations. Tajiel, Padit, Nimnim, and Tharagana , also in Western Upper Nile, were on security level "tense" during the reporting period, but were open for one-day, rapid food interventions.

Kajo Keji in Eastern Equatoria was bombed on 29 December 1999. A WFP staff member on the ground reported the incident, and remained in the location. There are no reports of any casualties.

Waat, Walgak, Kaikuny, Tangyang, Pieri and Motot in Bieh State, Jonglei were declared "no-go" areas on 29 December and remained as such during the reporting period ending 8 January. However, Lankien, in the same state, returned to security level "normal" on 8 January. Visual observations from the ground point to many internally displaced persons moving out of the Waat area.

In Western Upper Nile, Tajiel, Padit and Nimnim remained at security level "tense" and Duar in Leech State remained a "no-go" area during the reporting period ending 8 January.

The Natinga to Chukudum road in Kapoeta County remained insecure throughout the reporting period

5. LOGISTICS

Air Operations: During the week 25 December to 1 January, WFP delivered 431 MT of food from north sector to various locations in Sudan a decrease of 28% over the previous week.

WFP flights were limited as the C-130 aircraft was undergoing maintenance for two days and grounded for four days in Lokichoggio in anticipation of Y2K problems. There was therefore only one airdrop in Ajak (18 MT). WFP airlifts to Wau continued during the week, delivering 112 MT of food. Food amounting to 301 MT was delivered to Juba by airfreight.

During the week 2 - 8 January, WFP delivered 339 MT of food by air from north sector to locations in the country, a decrease of 21%. The decrease was due to mechanical problems involving the C-130 aircraft and the suspension of air operations for Eid. Food was delivered by airdrop to Atukuel (36 MT), Bararud ( 18 MT), Madhol (54 MT) and Thiekthou (54 MT). Airlifts to Wau continued delivering 69 MT of food. Wau town also received 108 MT by airfreight during the week.

The OLS Air Operations Safety Committee met in Lokichoggio on 6 December 1999 and confirmed approval from the Kenyan Directorate of Civil Aviation to go ahead with night landing practice upon request to the Lokichoggio Air Traffic Controllers.

WFP's Southern Sudan programme is currently pursuing a loan of 1,500 MT of cereals from another WFP programme in the region. This will ensure that food needs are met in January and February and also to guarantee that no aircraft in Lokichoggio is de-commissioned for a short period of time and later re-commissioned (which includes a fee for returning the aircraft in question back to Lokichoggio).

Barge Operations: Initial security assessments of the barge corridor have been carried out. The findings show that some of the areas investigated have questionable security due to factional realignment. The launch of the Juba 14 barge convoy has therefore been delayed until further security investigations have been carried out.

Road Operations: During the reporting period 25 December 1999 to 1 January 2000, 6 MT of food were delivered to Rubkona, Unity State for distribution. SCF-US at Um Ruwaba in North Kordofan also received 110 MT of WFP food.

On 6 January, WFP issued a Request for Offers (RFOs) to a number of WFP short-listed transporters for road transportation from Koboko into South Sudan. On 8 January, WFP issued a RFOs to a number of WFP short-listed transporters for the movement of 600 MT of seed by road within Sudan for UNICEF/OLS. This last tender is in line with the existing Memorandum of Understanding between WFP and UNICEF/OLS which identifies WFP as the agency responsible for facilitating the movement of UNICEF goods within Sudan from Koboko. The RFOs issued on 8 January is an example of WFP's role in facilitating local purchases of seed, to promote local production of indigenous seed varieties which in turn encourages longer-term food security. Both tenders close on 18 January.

6. Other

Visitors

James Walker-Powell, the brother of the late WFP Food Monitor Richard Walker-Powell, who died in Kosovo on 12 November 1999, visited Lokichoggio and Southern Sudan during the reporting period. On 8 January, a traditional Dinka burial was held for Richard in Alek, Bahr El Ghazal. The primary school in this location has been named after Richard.

Peter Mass, from Outdoor Magazine, arrived in Lokichoggio on 6 January and will be spending two weeks in South Sudan, which will include visits to WFP locations and activities. Mr Mass also received a briefing from WFP field staff in Lokichoggio on WFP activities in the Southern Sector of OLS.

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.

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