Uganda + 5 more

WFP Emergency Report No. 50 of 1999

This report includes: A) East Africa: Uganda and Burundi B) Sudan - WFP air operations C) Angola D) Sierra Leone E) Afghanistan F) Hunger Site - donating food through the Internet.
From Jean-Jacques Graisse, Assistant Executive Director. Available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page at or by electronic mail from or (fax 39 06 6513 2854). For information on resources, donors are requested to contact or at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2004 or 06 6513 2250. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

This issue of the Emergency Report was prepared by Natasha Nadazdin. Next report will be released on 30 December and will cover a two-week period.

(Details below in Part II)


1. Uganda - information as of 16 December

a) WFP staff relocated from Bundibugyo, western Uganda, to Fort Portal; rebel attacks on town intensified last week; WFP trucks with military escort deliver food to Bundibugyo; WFP currently provides half rations for some 105,000 IDPs in Bundibugyo.

2. Burundi

a) WFP food assistance to regroupement sites in Bujumbura Rural continues; since 22 November, over 182,000 persons received WFP food rations. b) In Kirundo and Ngozi over 113,000 drought-affected persons received 750 tons of WFP food commodities.

c) Movement of UN staff outside Bujumbura remains restricted; situation in Burundi improved but tense.


1. WFP air operations update - information as of 17 December

a) WFP resumes airlift operations in Sudan on 14 December and passenger flights on 15 December; WFP flights from Loki and food airlift from El-Obeid had been interrupted for one day on 13 December based on UN Security Management Team decision, after President declared state of emergency on 12 December; incoming UN missions and field missions to remain restricted.


1. Update - information as of 16 December

a) WFP operation for war-affected (PRRO 6159) has received 38 percent of its requirement; further contributions encouraged.

b) Benguela: WFP airlifted from Catumbela 1,500 kg of food aid and 300 kg medicines to Balombo over past week.

c) Moxico: WFP postpones reduction of rations for old IDP caseload until after lean period; issue to be reviewed after next planting season; currently full rations provided.

d) Recent fighting makes scores of Angolans flee across borders to Namibia and Zambia; WFP in Windhoek, Namibia, discusses food assistance for 7,500 Angolans in Osire camp; some 2,500 Angolans arrived in Zambia last week.


1. Update - most information as of 14 December

a) On 3 December, an inter-agency team including WFP assessed some 6,560 IDPs live in Maforki displaced camp, Port Loko, and need food aid, water and sanitation.

b) WFP distributed 464 tons of food commodities to 31,400 beneficiaries in Kenema and Bo over a week; six tons of seed rice delivered to Daru. c) Indian and Kenya UN peacekeeping troops begin arriving in Kailahun and Kenema.


1. Update - information as of 16 December

a) Panjshir Valley: WFP delivered December target quantity of 750 tons of wheat for distribution to IDPs; UN convoys with WFP food and some non-food items, which started on 6 December, make daily round trips from Kabul to Gulbahar; second round of WFP food distribution to IDPs completed; total of 6,500 families each received 150 kg of wheat - enough to cover two-three months needs.

b) Food for work: WFP provided some 230 tons of wheat for food-for-work shelter programme; at least 1,000 shelters, new or rehabilitated, are ready in Panjshir valley.

c) House-to-house WFP survey in Jalalabad scheduled early next week to select bakery beneficiaries; survey previously postponed as local authorities banned participation of female surveyors, indispensable in order to interview women; permission now obtained for female workers.


1. Donating food aid through the Internet

a) Web site created by American computer programmer allows visitors to donate a serving of food a day (rice, wheat or corn); sponsors make donations to WFP in return for advertising links at site. The site allows Web users to make one donation per day.

b) To date, WFP received some USD 200,000, used for school feeding programmes in Ethiopia and Haiti.

c) Readers invited to make free daily donations at <>.



1. UGANDA - information as of 16 December

1.1 WFP staff in Bundibugyo, western Uganda, have been temporarily relocated to Fort Portal, 76 km away, following the worsening of the security situation in the district. Rebel attacks targeting the town and other areas in the district have intensified during the past week, with a number of civilians and military casualties reported. Convoys running between Fort Portal and Bundibugyo have also been attacked.

1.2 Relief food is delivered into Bundibugyo by WFP using its own fleet of four-wheel drive trucks, accompanied by a military escort for the last part of the route. Escorts are also used for deliveries to some distribution points within the district. The temporarily relocation of staff occurred after the majority of the food distributions planned for the month of December had been completed.

1.3 WFP provides half food rations to 105,000 displaced Ugandans, accommodated in 41 different camps throughout Bundibugyo district. The assistance programme for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bundibugyo started in May and to date over 3,700 tons of food commodities have been distributed.


2.1 WFP continues to supply emergency food assistance to regroupement sites in Bujumbura Rural. Since 22 November, when food distributions resumed, over 182,000 persons received WFP food rations distributed by implementing partners. Family rations are also being distributed through supplementary and therapeutic feeding centres.

2.2 Food distributions to drought-affected persons are also under way. Over 113,000 people in the provinces of Kirundo and Ngozi in northern Burundi have now been provided with some 750 tons of WFP food. Initial indications are that as many as 250,000 people could be affected by drought conditions in Kirundo.

2.3 Based on the preliminary findings of a drought assessment carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture, WFP has identified the provinces of Kirundo, Muyinga, Cankuzo, Ruyigi and Makamba as priority areas for a new seed protection rations programme. These distributions will begin during January.

2.4 The movement of UN staff outside of Bujumbura remains restricted and UN security assessments are currently taking place to review the situation in the more stable provinces of the country. The situation in the country is still tense, although improvements have been reported for the capital and surrounding areas.


1. WFP AIR OPERATIONS UPDATE - information as of 17 December

1.1 WFP resumed its air operations in Sudan on 14 December after a one-day suspension on 13 December following President Bashir's declaration of the three-month state of emergency starting on 12 December. WFP flights from Loki and food airlift from El-Obeid were interrupted for security considerations on 13 December. The suspension was based upon the decision of the UN Security Management Team (SMT). WFP passenger aircraft services resumed on 15 December after clearance had been given by SMT in order to allow normal staff movements in Sudan. However, UNSECOORD advised all UN agencies on 13 December that incoming missions to Sudan and missions to the field should remain restricted. Humanitarian activities including food aid air-drops, distributions and monitoring, could restart fully on 15 December.

1.2 In recent months, reports have intermittently emerged that political differences within Sudan's leadership exist. These reports now confirm that the declared state of emergency is intended to extend full control of the State following the dissolution of the Parliament.


1. UPDATE - information as of 16 December

1.1 In the week ending 12 December WFP distributed approximately 460 tons of food to some 31,000 beneficiaries. In December, WFP targeted 1.1 million beneficiaries, providing 15,800 tons of food aid.

1.2 The one-year WFP protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO 6159) for war-affected populations in Angola to start in January 2000 has received to date approximately 38 percent or USD 61.4 million of its total required funding of USD 158.4 million.

1.3 On 11 December, Kuito airport closed for 10 days for repairs on the runway which was seriously damaged by frequent landing of heavy aircraft and torrential rains.

1.4 Provincial highlights:

a) Benguela: WFP continues airlifting food to Balombo. WFP delivered from Catumbela 1,500 kg of food aid and 300 kg of medicines to Balombo over the past week and is expecting clearance to have a Beechcraft aircraft based in Lobito.

b) Moxico: WFP deemed that the recent decision to reduce rations for IDPs who arrived prior to 1998 was inappropriate during the lean period. WFP, NGO partners and the Government had jointly decided to reduce the food ration to old IDP caseload, as it is believed they developed coping mechanisms. The matter will be reviewed after the next planting season. Until then, full rations will continue to be provided to all IDPs in Luena.

c) Huila: In Matala, 2,500 new IDPs coming from Chicumba, Chipindo, Kuvango and Dungo were registered over the two weeks ending 8 December. WFP will provide food assistance them over three months. A collective kitchen will shortly be opened by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) to assist the new IDPs upon arrival.

d) Bie: More than 50 new cases of pellagra are registered per week in Kuito. MSF/B, ICRC, WFP and MINSA (Ministry of Health) are planning to conduct a nutritional survey during the last week of December to better target IDPs and residents at risk.

e) Malange: Last week, a total of 520 newly displaced persons arrived in the city of Malange, mostly from Calandula Municipality. WFP provided the IDPs with one-month emergency food rations. It was reported that the displacement was mainly caused by heightened military activities combined to food scarcity in the Calandula area.

1.5 Angolan refugees in Namibia and Zambia:

a) Intensified fighting in Angola has provoked a rush of refugees across borders into Zambia and Namibia in recent days. In Kuando Kubango, near the border with Namibia, fighting continues near Cuangar, making more Angolans seek refuge across the border in Namibia. A WFP representative travelled to Windhoek, Namibia, from 5 - 7 December to discuss with the Government, UNHCR and donors provision of food assistance to 7,500 refugees currently in Osire camp. Many Angolan refugees who were originally camped along the border have been moved over the past ten days to the camp of Osire, 750 km south of the border.

b) According to UNHCR, some 2,500 Angolans have arrived in Zambia in the past few days, due to intensified military activities in Angola.


1. UPDATE - most information as of 14 December

1.1 An inter-agency team comprising WFP, CAD, HACU, UNICEF, OXFAM, International Medical Corps, Concern World Wide, LEONNET, Save the Children Fund (SCF) and Caritas went on 3 December to assess the condition of the IDPs in Port Loko. An assessed number of 6,560 IDPs live in Maforki displaced camp, Port Loko, and are in need of food, water and sanitation. The mission team recommended relocation of the IDP population away from the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) site, provision of a one-off food ration and shelter, water and sanitation for the displaced upon relocation.

1.2 Over the week ending 5 December, WFP distributed a total of 464 tons of assorted food commodities to 31,400 beneficiaries in Kenema and Bo. In addition, WFP delivered six tons of seed rice to Daru. The seeds will be distributed to farmers between Daru and Segwema for planting in perennial swamps.

1.3 WFP has been forced to postpone distribution of some 70 tons of assorted food aid commodities to 9,400 school children under the school feeding programme in Lungi on 6 December due to security concerns.

1.4 Security:

a) As of 10 December, only 3,170 ex-combatants have disarmed out of the 45,000 estimated total armed combatants in the country. The official deadline for disarmament is 15 December.

b) UN peacekeeping troops consisting of 550 Indians and 500 Kenyans are currently being deployed in small groups to Kailahun and Kenema respectively. All of these forces are expected to be in place by the end of December.

c) Security in Kailahun remains precarious despite recent appeals by RUF's Sankoh to RUF forces in the area to disarm. On 16 December, two MSF staff members were released by RUF after having been kidnapped for ten days in the eastern town of Buedu, near Liberia.


1. UPDATE - information as of 16 December

1.1 Panjshir Valley

a) WFP has delivered its December target quantity of 750 tons of wheat to be delivered to the displaced people currently in the Panjshir Valley. UN humanitarian convoys to the valley started on 6 December, carrying WFP food and essential non-food items such as warm clothing. The convoys were making daily round trips from Kabul to Gulbahar, in the southern end of the valley. WFP is planning to deliver another 750 tons of wheat in January, after the Eid holiday, pending further discussion with Taliban authorities.

b) The second round of WFP emergency food distribution to the displaced people in the valley has been completed. A total of 6,500 families each received 150 kg of wheat which is expected to last the family for between two to three months. During this distribution cycle, 975 tons of wheat were distributed. To date, WFP has delivered an estimated 2,890 tons of wheat in the valley and distributed close to 2,500 tons.

c) WFP has provided a total of 230 tons of wheat to the emergency food-for-work shelter programme in the Panjshir Valley. To date it is reported that at least 200 new shelters and 800 rehabilitated shelters are ready. Construction began in September of 1,200 new shelters for those families living in the open while 1,200 existing shelters are slated for repair.

1.2 The house-to-house survey planned for the eastern city of Jalalabad by the WFP sub-office is scheduled to begin by early next week. The survey will serve as the basis for a targeting exercise to select bakery beneficiaries. The survey was originally planned for September/October but was postponed when local authorities would not agree to the participation of female surveyors. The survey cannot be conducted without these women as men in

Afghanistan are not permitted to visit households and speak with women who are not their close relatives. Local authorities have now agreed to the participation of women in the exercise. A seasonal bakery has been planned for Jalalabad.


1. Donating food aid through the Internet

1.1 A Web site created by American computer programmer John Breen allows its visitors to donate a single serving of food (rice, wheat or corn) to a person in need of food aid by opening <> and clicking on "donate free food" button. Sponsors are making donations to WFP in return for advertising links at the site. The site allows Web users to make one donation per day.

1.2 Proceeds from donations raised through the Hunger Site go directly to WFP. The founder of the Site chose WFP as the recipient of the contributions based on WFP's broad reach, efficiency and its low annual administrative overhead costs in 1999 of 8.1 percent, one of the lowest of any UN agency or private charity.

1.3 To date, WFP has received over USD 200,000, which has gone towards the purchase and distribution of food to needy school children living in countries such as Ethiopia and Haiti.

1.4 The Hunger Site includes a world map. Every 3.6 seconds, a country somewhere on the map flashes black, signifying that a person has died of hunger. Approximately 24,000 people die every day from hunger or hunger-related causes, and 75 percent of these deaths are children. The site also contains extensive educational material on hunger, related aid organizations and WFP.

1.5 Visitors to the Hunger Site are invited to make the Site their home page or to add it to their bookmarks so they can make a free daily donation. For more information go to <>.

Note: all tonnage figures in report above refer to metric tons

(End WFP Emergency Report No. 50 of 1999 - December 17, 1999)