Tajikistan

Tajikistan: Food deficit Appeal No. 26/01 - Final Report

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This Final Report is intended for reporting on emergency appeals
Launched on 21 August 2001 for nine months for CHF 6,795,218

Programme was first extended for four months until 30 September 2002, than extended for another six months until 31 March 2003.

Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) Allocated: CHF 150,000 Beneficiaries: 130,000

Operational Developments:

In the summer of 2000, a fter three consecutive years of reduced harvests, a devastating drought hit Tajikistan. Two assessments in 2001 - by the International Federation and World Food Programme/Food and Agriculture Organisation (WFP/FAO) respectively, recommended continued direct food assistance to approximately one million people . This had started in response to the drought in 2000 and food deficit in 2001. As a result, on 21 August 2001 the Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan (RCST) and nternational I Federation launched an emergency appeal. It sought CHF 6,795,218 to assist 130,000 beneficiaries in the north and south of the country . It was based on the provision of supplementary food and food for work, community-based health programme and water and sanitation services.

The appeal was initially extended by four months to allow the National Society and International Federation to complete outstanding tasks. Food relief under the appeal was finalized in September 2002. However, some ongoing projects forced an extension of the implementation period until the end of March 2003. This was based on the need to finalize water sanitation activities and other minor issues, in line with appeal objectives.

This appeal was the second in response to the emergency, the first being Tajikistan Drought Emergency Appeal (26/2000). I n June 2002 an internal Federation evaluation, in cooperation with partner national societies, recorded m i provements in the second appeal in terms of a better donor response and more effective programmes. Water and sanitation and health activities , in particular,ha d had a positive impact on people's health and welfare.

Over 100,000 households benefited from the food relief programme during 2000-2001. However, interventions were affected by: low donor response; not meeting distributing targets: and imprecise mapping of which people were the most vulnerable. The relief was also not sustainable for beneficiaries or the National Society. The RCST and International Federation came to the conclusion not to launch an emergency appeal for 2003. Instead it was decided to give priority to more sustainable programmes, such as disaster preparedness and development-oriented initiatives. However, the level of vulnerability in Tajikistan remains high. According to agricultural authorities, the country is still vulnerable to famine. But as the coping mechanism to deal with chronic poverty in rural areas is better than in the city the operation in rural area was terminated. In order to not to stop the operation immediately and to avoid a sudden m i pact on the beneficiaries the Federation and the Red Crescent society decided to extend the food support at lower scale in the Northand the South of the country until June 2003, while informing the population that the programme is coming to the end. The relief operation will continue in Dushanbe within the Annual Appeal programmedue to other socioeconomic circumstances such as the majority of beneficiaries are elderly people or women headed families , but it will also downsize gradually starting at the coming year.

All specific reports under the appeal have been sent to the respective donors, however there remains a positive balance of some CHF 52,840, mainly from the exchange rate variations. The Federation proposes that this be transferred to the current appeal programme.

Appeal coverage:

Thefi gures reflect a coverage of 131.6 % coverage which is due to the value of the in kind donations. In fact, the Federation has received the same amount of food in-kind which was included in the appeal. However the actual value indicated by the donor is much higher than the initial value of food items budgeted by the Federation. This is because the Federation while preparing the appeal and the respective budget has quoted the prices in the local market, however the goods were received internationally at higher price. The Federation has also taken into consideration the exchange rate factor between the appeal and the actual conversion rate between CHF and currency of purchase goods. Considering these factors the appeal has an actual coverage of 97%.

Red Cross Red Crescent actions

Relief distributions

Objective 1. To provide 130,000 vulnerable people with essential food for six months.

The food relief operationin Sughd and Khatlon has been im plemented from 2000. The Vulnerability Group Feeding programme and food-for-work activities were undertaken jointly with the World Food Programme (WFP), which provided the foodstuff and propositioned it to the distribution points . The National Society and Federation provided the services related to distribution and monitoring. Other donors have also contributed food aid for distribution in Sughd. The table below details donors ' contribution in Sughd and Khatlon from October 2001 to June 2002.

Region Benef.
% of benef. to population
WFP
w/flour, mt
WFP
v/oil, mt
WFP Salt, mt
WFP Split
peas, mt
German RC
DFID
w/flour mt
Total food provided
Sughd 74'760
24.24 %
3'406.3
90'399
40.68
--
398.04
398.04
3'991.48
Khatlon 52758 - 1 round
56 366 - 2 round
20.45 %
3'165.4
291.2
52.76
189.91
--
--
3'699.27

Five districts of Sughd and three of Khatlon province were covered. As a result,the most vulnerable population received supplementary food to cover basic needs for 4-5 months in Sughd and 6 months in Khatlon.

The post-distribution monitoring was conducted by Red Crescent and the Federation teams in July and August 2002. Problems related to beneficiary targeting were encountered:

  • prevalence of individual targeting instead of family targeting . As a result the provided food was insufficient to meet the family food requirements for the planned period;

  • the previous targeting was left too much to discretion/preference of local authorities;

  • some false beneficiaries were included in the lists;

  • sometimes the categories of population (pensioners, invalids, etc.) that are not within the vulnerable criteria for beneficiary selection; and

  • cooperation with local authorities was problematic in some districts.
In view of the above, the food basket was reviewed and a shift was made towards community based targeting. The food relief in the north and south of the country continued in 2003 within the framework of the annual relief operations.

The food security component of the Drought Emergency Appeal initiated in 2000 finished in October 2002. The programme targeted the drought-affected households in rural areas . Beneficiaries received wheat seeds and fertilizers in autumn 2001. According to the project,the beneficiaries had to return the credit amount of wheat to the Federation after they crop the harvest. See table below for details.

Region
Beneficiaries
Land under crop, ha
Total yield, tonnes
Wheat returned to IFRC, tonnes
Sughd
622
311
181.91
29.19
Khatlon
1'225
6'125
932.76
134.35

The collection of seeds from the beneficiary farmers was completed in October 2002. Redistribution of seeds was carried out through Red Crescent local branches on a one-time basis to farmers in need of assistance, as identified in districts where the Red Crescent does not have a strong presence.

Food for work and Food for Assets Rehabilitation projects were carried out jointly with WFP, namely cleaning of canals and roads and rehabilitation of water supply system . This was successfully completed and a total of 4,357 beneficiaries received food for work in September 2002.

Objective 2. To assist 65,000 schoolchildren between seven and fifteen years of age with winter clothes and shoes.

The appeal for clothing received a favorable donor response, especially in Sughd region. See table below for details about distribution in Sughd.

Period
S/h clothes distributed, bales
No of Beneficiaries
Donor
April - October 2001
1'269
25 376
Finnish RC
March - August 2002
537
8'971
Danish RC
April 2002 - April 2003
331
6'611
Hellenic RC
January 2002 - April 2002
4 548
123'948
Swedish RC

Some 63 tonnes of second-hand clothes were donated for Khatlon. A total of 48,218 beneficiaries were targeted. The distribution of clothes in Khatlon was completed in September 2002, in S ughd the distribution is still continuing.

Since the received second-handclothin g was of various sizes and mainly for adults it was difficult to target specifically schoolchildren as originally planned. Instead the Red Crescent Society and the Federation targeted social institutions , such as boarding schools, orphanages andm ental institutions.

The shoes component of the objective received a poorer donor response. By May 2002 two donations of 1,500 and 900 pairs of shoes were distributed in Sughd province. Another in-kind donation of 22,000 pairs of good quality winter shoes was distributed during December 2002-January 2003. According to the plan, 7,000 pairs(35% ) of shoes were distributed in the south and the remainder in the north. The identification of the beneficiaries was carried out by the Red Crescent volunteers and monitors. All the donated shoes were given to schoolchildren from the most-vulnerable families, as well as to poor institutions such as orphanages, mental houses, homes forelderl y people and invalids' communities.

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