Tajikistan

Tajikistan: Food Deficit Appeal No. 26/01 Interim Final Report

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This Final Report is intended for reporting on emergency appeals

Launched on: 21 August 2001 for 9 months for CHF 6,795,218; programme was originally intended to finish in May 2002, but was extended for 4 months until 30 September 2002, and has been extended again for six months until March 2003 (see explanatory text).

DREF Allocated: CHF 150,000

Beneficiaries: 130,000

Interim Final Report. Period covered: 21 August 2001 - 31 December 2002

"At a glance"

Appeal coverage: 131.6%

Related Appeals 01.53/2002 Tajikistan: Annual Appeal

Summary: In line with the Federation's reporting standards, this is an interim final report intended to explain that this appeal was initially extended to allow the International Federation and the RCST to achieve the planned objectives. Almost all the operations under the Food Deficit Emergency Appeal were officially finalised by the end of September 2002; however, there were some ongoing projects which required an extension of the implementation period (health activities such as the distribution of scales and water-filters to primary medical institutions, water and sanitation projects which had been hampered by the delay in procurement of the necessary materials, and the distribution of winter shoes which was completed in January 2003. The extension until March 2003 is based on the need to finalize the ongoing water and sanitation programme, as well as some other minor activities, in line with the appeal objectives.

Overview/Background

Following three consecutive years of reduced harvests, in the summer of 2000 Tajikistan was affected by a devastating drought caused by drastically reduced rainfall and snowfall. Two assessments, carried out in 2001 by WFP/FAO and the International Federation, respectively, recommended a continuation of direct food assistance to approximately one million most affected people, which was initiated in response to the drought in 2000 and food deficit in 2001.

As a result, on 21 August 2001 the International Federation and the Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan (RCST) launched Emergency Appeal no. 26/01 seeking CHF 6,795,218 to assist 130,000 beneficiaries in the north and south of the country - with supplementary food and food for work, community-based health programme and water and sanitation activities.

According to the reports from various agencies, the harvesting results in 2002 have slightly improved mostly thanks to favorable weather conditions and ample precipitation last spring. However, food situation in Tajikistan remains tough. The need for relief still remains as the continued drought and food deficit have exhausted the resources and coping capacity of the rural population of the drought-affected areas. The WFP/FAO crop assessment in 2002 has identified Sughd (North) and Khatlon (South) as particularly food insecure regions.

The International Federation conducted evaluations of the two emergency operations in response to the drought (emergency appeal 26/00 - Tajikistan drought and 26/01 - Tajikistan food deficit) in June 2002. The evaluation was carried out by an internal evaluation team in cooperation with a number of partner national societies. According to their findings, the 2001 Emergency Appeal saw improvements in regards to better donor response and raised effectiveness of some programmes. Public health education, small-scale rural water and sanitation projects, and small food-for-work activities were relatively successful. It is evident that the water and sanitation and health activities have had a positive impact on health and welfare of people. While over 100,000 households benefited from the provided supplementary rations over two years, the food assistance interventions were less efficient due to under-achievement of beneficiary targets in 2000 and imprecise targeting of the most vulnerable. The relief operations were also not considered sustainable for both, the beneficiaries and the RCST.

The International Federation and the RCST decided not to launch an emergency appeal for 2003 but rather to give priority to more sustainable programmes, such as disaster preparedness and development-oriented programmes. However, the level of vulnerability remains high and according to the agriculture authorities, the country still faces possible famine despite an improved grain harvest. Thus, the Federation and the RCST will continue some of the relief projects in the north and south of the country until June 2003, with a financial support of the WFP and partner national societies.

This appeal was initially extended to allow the International Federation and the RCST to achieve the objectives. Almost all the operations under the Food Deficit Emergency Appeal were officially finalised by the end of September 2002; however, there were some ongoing projects which required an extension of the implementation period. Health DFID-funded activities, such as the distribution of scales and water-filters to primary medical institutions were completed by the end of 2002. The water and sanitation projects also funded by DFID via the British Red Cross were seriously hampered by the delay in procurement of the necessary materials and therefore the implementation phase was postponed. The Finnish Red Cross donation of winter shoes for the Food Deficit Appeal was pledged in August 2002 and the distribution of shoes was completed in January 2003 (please see below for details). The extension until March 2003 is based on the need to finalise the ongoing water and sanitation programme, as well as some other minor activities, in line with the appeal objectives.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

Relief distributions w

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

The food relief operation in Sughd and Khatlon was implemented in close cooperation with WFP. In the framework of the joint WFP/International Federation/RCST Vulnerability Group Feeding programme (VGF), the supplementary food was provided to some 56,000 beneficiaries in Khatlon during the period from October 2001 to May 2002. According to the agreement the food items were provided and pre-positioned by WFP, while the distribution was carried out by the International Federation and the RCST. During the first cycle of distribution, some 1,850 tonnes of food commodities were distributed to 52,758 beneficiaries. The number of beneficiaries was reduced after pre-monitoring in order that they meet strictly criteria of vulnerability and selection. Each beneficiary received a three-month ration comprised of 30 kg of wheat flour, three litres of vegetable oil, 1.8 kg of peas and 0.5 kg of iodised salt. The second agreement covering the same beneficiaries was signed with WFP in January 2002. According to the plan during the second round one ration consisted of 50 kg of wheat flour, 1 liter of sugar and 0.5 kg of salt. During the final cycle, the ration was as follows: 25 kg of wheat flour, one liter of oil and one kg of sugar.

In Sughd region the two rounds of distribution took place from January to May 2002 and five districts were covered. The commodities distributed included WFP-provided 3,406.3 tonnes of wheat flour, 90,339 tonnes of oil and 40.68 tonnes of iodized salt. Some 398.04 tonnes of wheat flour purchased from DFID contribution as well as 59.121 tonnes of vegetable oil (129,400 liters) donated by the German Red Cross were used to complete the food needs in the north. In total 74,776 beneficiaries (24.2% of population) were covered during the first round of distribution. During the second round in Sughd, some 74,760 beneficiaries in five districts (24.28% of population) were provided with wheat flour and vegetable oil. WFP provided 1,707.221 tonnes of wheat flour and 4,425 tonnes of oil while 70.335 tonnes of oil were from donation of the German Red Cross.

The German Government via the German Red Cross donated some CHF 395,836 for the Food Deficit Appeal, part of which was used to procure 120 tonnes of vegetable oil. This amount has covered 60% of oil need in Sughd. The remaining part of the DFID donation for the International Federation's 2000 Drought Emergency operation was used to procure 600 tonnes of wheat flour which cost 130,000 USD. Some 2,940 kg of wheat flour purchased from DFID remained in stock after VGF distribution and were allocated between social institutions in Sughd such as TB hospital and orphanages.

The distribution of wheat seeds collected from 2001-2002 food security programme funded by DFID started in November 2002. In Sughd, some 622 beneficiaries had planted wheat seeds provided by the Federation on the overall area of 311 hectare. A total quantity of seeds returned to the International Federation is 29,190 tonnes out of 181,91 tonnes of total yield cropped in 4 jamoats. In Khatlon, region 932.765 tonnes of wheat were harvested from 6,125 hectares of land owned by the beneficiaries of the seeds and fertilizers project. Some 1,225 beneficiaries returned to the International Federation a credit amount of 134.354 tonnes of wheat seeds. The collection of seeds from beneficiary farmers was completed in October 2002. Redistribution of seeds was carried out through the RCST local branches on a one-time basis to the farmers in need of assistance, as identified in districts where the RCST does not have a strong presence.

Food for Work and Food for Assets Rehabilitation projects, namely cleaning of canals and roads and rehabilitation of water supply system were successfully completed and the beneficiaries received WFP-provided food in September 2002. In total 4,357 beneficiaries were covered under EMOP agreement between the International Federation and WFP.

The following conclusion can be made after the summary of the VGF programme conducted in Sughd and Khatlon. In total, the food has been provided to 56,366 beneficiaries in Khatlon region, the total tonnage of commodities provided by WFP was 2,721.716 tonnes and 4.0356 tonnes of food commodities were provided by donors through the Federation.

In Sughd region 74,760 beneficiaries were provided with food, the WFP provided 1,707.221 tonnes of food commodities and 263,728 tonnes provided by PNSs: the Finnish and the German Red Cross Societies.

The post-distribution monitoring was conducted by the Federation/RCST teams in July and August 2002. In view of the results of the joint monitoring and the experience gained during the food distribution some problems related to beneficiary targeting were encountered, such as:

  • 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 were selected as beneficiaries of the programme;

  • cooperation with local authorities was problematic in some of the districts.
In view of the above WFP as the main partner decided to review the food basket and shift towards community based targeting. The new partnership agreement was concluded between the Federation/RCST and WFP. According to it, WFP is providing 7,670.5 tonnes of wheat flour, 344.276 tonnes of oil, 736.368 tonnes of pulses, about 187 tonnes of sugar, 95.008 tonnes of iodized salt and 292.296 tonnes of CSB. The partnership with WFP will continue until June 2003 in the framework of the annual relief operations.

Generous donations of the Canadian, Japanese, Norwegian and Swedish Red Cross Societies and other PNS were used to complement the implementation of the programmes under the emergency appeal. Monitoring and distribution costs, transportation, visibility and training components, as well as RCST capacity building activities were funded through these donations.

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