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WFP Emergency Report No. 10 of 2002

Countries
Afghanistan
+ 19 more
Sources
WFP
Publication date

This report includes:
(A) Asia Region: (1) DPR Korea

(B) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Pakistan

(C) Central Africa Region: (1) Democratic Republic of Congo, (2) Angola

(D) East and Southern Africa Region: (1) Uganda, (2) Tanzania, (3) Djibouti, (4) Eritrea

(E) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Colombia, (2) Peru

(F) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Northern Caucasus, (2) Balkans

From Francesco Strippoli, Director of the Office of Humanitarian Affairs; available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (www.wfp.org), or by e-mail from Zlatan.Milisic@wfp.org.

For information on resources, donors are requested to contact Valerie.Sequeira@wfp.org at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2009. Media queries should be directed to Trevor.Rowe@wfp.org, telephone 39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

A) Asia Region: (1) DPR Korea

1) DPR Korea

(a) The earlier forecasted cereals pipeline break continues to affect WFP operations under EMOP 10141.0. WFP has not been able to provide cereal to its regular beneficiary caseload on both the west and east coasts. The first maize shipment is still discharging cargo at Nampo, with deliveries expected in a week. In the interim, WFP will be distributing wheat from the Local Food Production (LFP) factories, to the east coast beneficiary child institutions and paediatric hospitals to cover the gap for the next few weeks. Cereal contributions are urgently requested to cover needs from July.

(b) Sugar stocks are exhausted. This is critical as it is a basic ingredient in the locally processed, fortified food blends given to young children. The 500 tons bilateral donation of sugar by Caritas through FALU (not against EMOP), scheduled to arrive in DPRK on 7 April, will cover only one month of the LFP requirements. Further and immediate pledges of sugar to WFP EMOP are urgently required. Otherwise, WFP will be compelled to scale back rations and reduce beneficiaries during the most difficult period of the year, i.e. the pre-harvest months before July.

(c) The first shipment of 20,000 tons of pulses, expected in March, may be delayed for three months. This could result in a four-month break in the food pipeline for this commodity, starting in April.

B) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Pakistan

1) Afghanistan

(a) Security remains an issue for WFP and the rest of the humanitarian community. The situation in Mazar city has remained calm last week. However, there have been reports of sporadic fighting between Jamiat and Jumbish around Sholgara.

(b) Last week, WFP dispatched 18,460 tons of food in the northern region. Over 80 tons have been distributed in Keshendeh district of Balkh province to 6,760 families. Distributions to IDPs and other vulnerable groups in Saripul continue in collaboration with Peace Winds Japan, SC/US and ZOA. Distributions in Baghlan continue in collaboration with ACTED and FOCUS and in Kunduz province in collaboration with IOM and MCI.

(c) Two Afghanistan Food Security Unit (AFSU) staff members arrived in Mazar to strengthen WFP ties with other agencies and NGOs in nutritional activities and to provide support to the Rapid Emergency Food Needs Assessment (REFNA) team. Helicopter assisted REFNAs were conducted, last week, in ten villages in Keshendeh District (Balkh Province) as well as Belcherag, Almar and Kohistan Faryab Districts (Faryab Province).

(d) Preliminary findings indicate that labour opportunities are scarce and people have limited similar coping strategies, including the sale of land, migration of men to neighbouring countries or to the urban areas in Afghanistan, in order to send remittances back to their families. There also appears to be an increase in food purchases and reliance on charity as the drought has resulted in minimal food stocks. In some villages, some animosity is reported towards the Pashtun community, exacerbating their vulnerability.

(e) The AFSU/VAM team is being strengthened with the training and recruitment of national staff. Last week two AFSU/VAM staff members were in Kabul and selected four food security monitors to join the REFNA exercise. Next week they will move to Jalalabad to recruit additional food security monitors.

(f) 28 Swedish Rescue Services Agency (SRSA) personnel are now seconded to WFP, including a new road assessment team for the North West of Afghanistan. The SRSA base camp in Mazar is temporarily supporting 6 helicopter crews. The SRSA snow-clearance team reports that the road to Chaghcharan requires clearance both of snow and mud. The two sub-teams are currently located in Tarbulaq and Ghok.

(g) Swiss Federation for Mine Action (SFMA) reports that while statistics need to be confirmed, over 100 mines have been destroyed this week as well as over 200 items of UXO. SFMA Kabul ensured that the new Bagram road is somewhat more secure due to the destruction of munitions along the side. Kandahar is now up and running and setting out on its first operational task with WFP and UNHCR.

(h) The Canadian Avalanche Control Unit (ACU) submitted their final assessment report of the Salang Tunnel on 27 February 2002, in which they give a number of short and long term suggestions for preventative maintenance of the area. The team will carry out some of the measures suggested in the report.

2) Pakistan

(a) Last week, 400 individuals were relocated from Peshawar to Bar Kali camp in Bajaur Agency. Jalozai camp has been closed and the refugees relocated to new camps. The nine new camps still have the capacity of accommodating 20-25,000 more refugees.

(b) The fifteen days food distribution cycle for the relocated refugees has been replaced by a monthly distribution in many camps, and will soon be implemented in all. Supplementary feeding is in place at Kotkai, Bagzai and Salman camps. A screening process for the identification of malnourished children and other vulnerable groups is ongoing in other new camps.

C) Central Africa Region: (1) Democratic Republic of Congo, (2) Angola

1) Democratic Republic of Congo

(a) The WFP emergency operation for assistance to the volcano victims, EMOP 10166.0, remains seriously under funded. As of 7 March, only 20 percent of the total resources required have been made available to WFP. Urgent contributions of USD 9.5 million are needed to continue providing food assistance to the most vulnerable people affected by this emergency. If cash resources are made available, WFP can procure some of the required commodities in neighbouring countries. The Special Operation SO 10169.0 in support of the humanitarian relief effort requires another USD 561,653.

(b) WFP Humanitarian Air Passenger Service (CIMAH) will be suspended as of 10 March due to lack of funding. This free service was meant to reinforce the capacity of the humanitarian community to field missions across and within frontlines in a country with a weak logistics infrastructure. The project was extended till December 2002 for some USD 2,000,000 and incorporated in the CAP document.

(c) As of 5 March, WFP had distributed over of 3,600 tons of food to approximately 446,000 vulnerable people since the beginning of the emergency operations in Goma. WFP has been providing food aid mainly through general distributions to displaced populations but also under food for work (FFW) activities, nutritional programmes and institutional feeding projects.

(d) The current beneficiary caseload includes over 7,400 displaced Congolese in Mudende and Nkamira camps (Gisenyi region), 25,800 people in Bukavu as well as 153,000 persons in Goma region. WFP will provide food to support various activities pertaining to the rehabilitation of schools and water system, improving access to hospitals and the neighbourhood of Goma.

(e) Walungu, Fizi, Barak and Hauts Plateaux regions are still inaccessible for UN agencies due to increased insecurity. WFP's planned resettlement programme for the IDPs coming from these areas has therefore been postponed. On 2 March, tremors reaching a magnitude of 3.5/4 on the Richter scale were registered. The volcanologists said that the epicentre was located in the Lake Kivu.

(f) In Kinshasa region, WFP plans to assist approximately 112,400 vulnerable people in March, including IDPs, malnourished people and persons involved in Food For Training (FFT) and FFW activities. However, the implementation of the planned distribution will largely depend on the availability of food commodities. The low level of WFP food stocks in Kinshasa was caused by delays encountered in the transportation of available food stocks from the port of Matadi to Kinshasa.

(g) 435,000 IDPs and 123,185 returnees are currently located in South Kivu province. However, with the resurgence of insecurity, these numbers are likely to increase significantly. An estimated 13,000 malnourished persons will be at high risk if the current security situation persists for a long period of time.

(h) A cholera epidemic has hit the province of Katanga. WFP is targeting 4,000 IDPs located in villages around Lubumbashi, where the cholera epidemic has spread out. In addition, WFP intends to provide continuous assistance to 8,800 Angolan refugees in Kisenge (Katanga province).

(i) WFP was planning to assist 3,700 Central African refugees in Zongo (Equateur province). The majority are settled in the Mole camp against a fewer number in Bokilio. However, only the most vulnerable groups (pregnant and nursing women, unaccompanied children and the disabled) received WFP assistance due to lack of food.

2) Angola

(a) The security situation was considered calm last week in most of the country's provinces, with the exception of Malange and Bié provinces, where military activity continued to cause the displacement of populations from the interior to the provincial capitals and municipal headquarters. Despite insecurity, WFP transported by road 600 tons of maize from Lobito to Huambo, and 2,020 tons of maize from Lobito to Kuito.

(b) Following a contribution of 40,000 tons of food, WFP's requirements under the ongoing PRRO, ending next June are covered at 71 percent. Despite this donation, and because other contributions are not scheduled to arrive in Angola before June or July, there is a need for cash contributions in order to purchase locally and regionally CSB, sugar and pulses. Contributions are needed immediately to respond to the expected increase in the number of IDPs. The IDP caseload is likely to reach 550,000 persons by August, should the ongoing displacement witnessed during the recent weeks continues. CSB and sugar are crucial for the assistance to vulnerable groups.

(c) Furthermore, WFP's humanitarian passenger air service faces a major shortfall of over 98 percent and funding is urgently needed. The transport of non-food items Special Operations in Angola is currently 100 percent under-funded. Both Special Operations are vital to the humanitarian actors in Angola, since access to most of the country's provinces continues to be by air only.

(d) The results of a nutritional survey conducted among resident and IDP populations in Ganda (Benguela province) show an improvement of the nutritional situation among IDPs, in comparison to the last survey done made in May 2001. In Bocoio, German Agro Action confirmed the arrival of 224 persons from surrounding areas of the city. In addition, 500 persons arrived in Balombo, where they were settled in camps.

(e) Last week, approximately 1,300 new IDPs were registered in Kamacupa and Kuito (Bié province). Since January, the number of admissions increased in Therapeutic Feeding Centres (TFC) in Kamacupa, as a consequence of the influx of IDPs.

(f) On 28 February, WFP provided food to over 520 newly displaced families in Betânia resettlement camp (Huambo province). In the municipality of Caala, 6,350 families with children admitted in the nutritional centres of SCF-UK, were assisted with WFP food. Last week, WFP distributed 100 tons to 1,600 beneficiaries.

(g) In Cuito Cuanavale (Kuando Kubango province), MOLISV reported the arrival of 234 persons in February, from Mavinga, Nankova municipalities and Cuito Cuanavale outlying villages. Last week, the Provincial Sub-group of Verification and Registration carried out the verification of 225 IDPs in Zonde, Cuito Cuanavale, and Savipanda camps. Last week, WFP assisted over 10,600 vulnerable people in Luanda province.

(h) The Ministry of Agriculture reported that over 8,100 ha of land allocated to IDPs were planted this year with different cultures in Malange province. 150 tons of seeds were distributed to IDPs for the agricultural season. Last week, 315 newly displaced persons, mainly from Kwanza sul province, were registered in Malanje and received WFP emergency rations. Last week, 2,250 new IDPs were registered in Luena (Moxico province), where they were assisted with WFP food through SCF-USA.

D) East and Southern Africa Region: (1) Uganda, (2) Tanzania, (3) Djibouti, (4) Eritrea

1) Uganda

(a) The short spell of peaceful coexistence in northern Uganda was broken on 23 February when 500 troops of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) attacked the Agoro trading centre. The Agoro trading centre is host to 2,400 IDPs comprising both Ugandans and Sudanese of Acholi origin. The LRA rebels looted residents in the camp, surrounding parishes and abducted over 200 people. An estimated 1,000 households were looted of their food stocks and animals. The WFP Field Office in Kitgum assessed, together with partners and the local district authorities the need for relief assistance and WFP provided one-off emergency food ration to households affected by the recent looting.

(b) WFP has started implementing an expanded school feeding project in nine conflict affected districts of Uganda targeting 258,000 pre-primary and primary school children with the objective of sustaining enrolment in schools. School feeding assistance is built on partnership with parents and the school management committees in target areas. Children in IDP camps and refugee settlements will be provided hot meals while in school.

(c) After six years of encampment of over 500,000 IDPs in protected villages in the north and west of the country, the Government of Uganda has reiterated its willingness to facilitate the return of IDPs to their homes in peaceful areas. With the cessation of hostilities in the west of the country, 80,000 IDPs in camps in Bundibugyo District are expected to return to their home villages this year. Similarly, a gradual phased return of half of the IDPs in northern Ugandan to their homes is anticipated.

(d) WFP and other UN agencies are now working on plans to facilitate this gradual phased voluntary return of IDPs. A stakeholder needs assessment for a phased voluntary return in northern Ugandan was completed in Gulu in February, co-funded by WFP and OCHA. The findings will be released in March. A three-month repatriation ration is programmed in the recently approved PRRO 10121.0. Families in protected camps voluntarily returning to their homes will be provided with three-month food rations. This will be supplemented with food-for-asset projects in areas of return and social support for vulnerable groups.

(e) Donors are requested to pledge required resources to PRRO 10121.0 to avoid a break in the pipeline in mid-2002.

2) Tanzania

(a) UNHCR has decided to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of Burundians to safe areas of Burundi, which are Muyinga, Ngozi and Kirundo provinces. UNHCR has noted that despite the prevailing insecurity in some parts of Burundi, the refugees continued to repatriate spontaneously without informing UNHCR offices. 800 individuals have been registered for the repatriation from Mtabila camp.

(b) From 11 to 24 February, WFP distributed 3,740 tons of food (corresponding to a two-week ration) to over 510,000 refugees in Kigoma, Kibondo, Kasulu and Ngara districts. WFP supplied 100 percent of the standard food ration to all beneficiaries. In addition, WFP supported various Supplementary Feeding Centres (SFC), providing over 80 tons of food to approximately 19,000 malnourished persons. During the same period, over 140 refugees were assisted in returning to their communities in Rwanda, bringing to approximately 680 the total number of Rwandese assisted in returning home since early 2002. Over 760 refugees arrived in Tanzania from Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda during the last two weeks.

3) Djibouti

(a) Following the leaking of chemicals from containers, the Djibouti authorities have taken a quick and efficient action to contain any risk of contamination in the region. WFP has temporarily stopped activities in the Port between 10 and 28 February 2002. Operations have resumed upon confirmation that food stored in the Port warehouse had not been contaminated.

(b) Security remains an issue in the northern districts, limiting WFP's access and severely hampering the implementation of EMOP 10099. WFP is also closely monitoring the situation, particularly any movement of population from Somaliland following a sudden deterioration of the security situation in the area.

(c) Under the PRRO 6266.00, ending on 28 February 2002, WFP has assisted 24,000 refugees, living in the camps of Holl Holl and Ali Addeh, in Ali Sabieh district. A new PRRO 10134.0 with a duration of 18 months is starting in March. Through this phase, WFP will assist 25,600 refugees although some 23,600 refugees are expected to be repatriated during the current expansion phase.

(d) Since November 2001 there has been an improvement of political and commercial relationships between the Government of Djibouti and the Somaliland Authorities, with both governments expressing willingness to resume repatriation. UNHCR Somalia representatives and Somaliland authorities visited Djibouti in February 2002 in order to finalise the screening of Somali refugees volunteering for repatriation and finalise the plan of action of the exercise. A tentative starting date for repatriation has been set in April 2002.

(e) Under EMOP 10099.0, WFP is providing food assistance in rural areas to populations affected by drought, and selective programmes in urban areas ensure the targeting of the most vulnerable of the affected population. Some 95,900 persons have been identified as most vulnerable and in urgent need of WFP assistance under this EMOP.

(f) Planned for the period from August 2001 to February 2002, the first food distribution under this EMOP has been delayed following late response of Donor's contribution and late deliveries. As of 28 February, the EMOP 10099 still required approximately 4,000 tons of food.

(g) Total food distributions under EMOP 10099 for January and February amount to over 1,000 tons, benefiting some 8,400 malnourished children in nutritional centres, 10,900 school children in rural and peri-urban schools of Djibouti and 22,600 refugees in the camps.

4) Eritrea

(a) During the month of February, the Eritrean Relief and Refugees Commission (ERREC) reported the distribution of over 8,200 tons of WFP food to 541,500 drought and war-affected persons in Anseba, Northern Red Sea, Debub and Gash Barka regions. WFP and ERREC staff conducted post distribution monitoring surveys in Anseba, Northern Red Sea and Gash Barka regions and observed that beneficiaries received their full food rations. People in Gheleb sub region indicated that they have no other sources of food except for the relief food rations supplied by WFP.

(b) As part of the shift from general to more targeted food distributions, ERREC has identified 290,600 persons as most vulnerable representing over one third of the total war-affected population receiving assistance under EMOP10052. This group will continue to receive WFP assistance in March. Following an assessment, WFP will assist over 51,850 drought-affected persons in Ghindae and Shieb sub zones, Northern Red Sea zone, providing them with 1,250 tons of food for two months.

(c) WFP is currently carrying out an evaluation of the first pilot phase of the emergency school-feeding programme, which ended on 28 February 2002. WFP is expecting a request letter for extension of the current phase to continue to support 42,000 children till June 2002. WFP and the Eritrean Ministry will undertake a detailed analysis and evaluation of the ESF at the end of March 2002. Generally the programme received support from the communities, the government in Asmara and the school authorities.

(d) A joint Rapid nutritional assessment was conducted in Hagaz and Asmat (Anseba Region) on 28 January by ERREC, MoH, CONCERN and WFP. The objective of the mission was to identify possible causes of malnutrition that was reported by NGOs in Anseba region. The results of the survey indicated that half of the children between 6 and 59 months screened were severely malnourished. The survey concluded that food aid is necessary but is not the only solution to the problem of malnutrition. Other activities such as nutrition education, targeted supplementary feeding through health facilities, income generation activities for vulnerable families will have to be promoted in order to improve the nutrition situation in the area.

(e) WFP briefed the donors that the Government of Eritrea has indicated an interest in further co-operation with WFP beyond 2002. This co-operation will include the extension of both 10049 and 10052 EMOP projects up to the end of 2002 and also exploring the preparation of a Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) for 2003. WFP will need an additional 50,000 to 70,000 tons of food for the remainder of 2002.

E) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Colombia, (2) Peru

1) Colombia

(a) On 1 March, the Colombian Government placed six areas in the south of the country under military rule. The Government's agency "Red de Solidaridad Social" (RSS) is ready to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to the affected area in order to prevent possible displacements.

(b) Two persons belonging to the communities assisted by WFP were killed near San Onofre in Sucre Department. Insecurity is increasingly hampering WFP operations and is likely to result in new displacements of WFP beneficiaries who had returned to their home villages.

2) Peru

(a) As of 1 March, WFP, in collaboration with the Government and PRONAA, had distributed 330 tons of food to over 21,500 persons. This distribution represents the two thirds of the programmed schedule. WFP urgently requires more resources to cover the needs of food insecure people following the last month's protracted drought. Local authorities have been contributing to the transport of commodities to the affected areas.

F) Eastern Europe Region: (1) Northern Caucasus, (2) Balkans

1) Northern Caucasus

(a) At the end of February, WFP added a hot-meal component to its school feeding project in Grozny City, Achkhoy-Martan and Sunzha areas of Chechnya. Baking and delivery of sweet buns, the other component of WFP school feeding activities, began in mid-December 2001.

(b) On 28 February, the United Nations Resident Coordinator/Designated Official, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator and several members of international NGO community visited Grozny City, where they met with the republican Secretary-General of the Security Council, Military Commandant, and the mayor of Grozny City. Among other issues, the mission raised those of access for humanitarian agencies into Chechnya. Acknowledging the problem, the Chechen authorities proposed organizing a working meeting with the participation of UN agencies, ICRC and NGOs on 6 March.

(c) According to DRC, the registered number of IDPs in Ingushetia stood at 140,609 as of 28 February, increased by 196 persons with respect to the population on 15 February. Of this total, 23,394 live in camps, 28,766 in spontaneous settlements and 88,449 with host families.

(d) In late February, the local authorities of Chechnya announced their plans to move all IDPs staying in tented camps, located in the territory of the republic, to Grozny, where the required accommodation facilities were under construction. As part of the Chechen administration's intention to relocate the IDPs by the end of spring 2002, as many as 300 IDPs from tented camps located in Znamenskoye, north-western Chechnya, have been provided with temporary accommodation in Grozny.

2) Balkans: Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania

(a) Kosovo

1. WFP has started delivering a three-month food supply to its local distribution partners (LDPs) to cover food Safety Net beneficiaries with a transitional buffer stock until June 2002, after WFP phases out its assistance at the end of March.

2. As part of the phasing-in of LDPs, the framework agreement for the "Consortium for Inter-ethnic Development (CID)" is ready for signature. In addition, donor proposals under the auspices of WFP and CARE International are being finalized. The Mother Theresa Society, an ethnic Albanian local NGO, hosted a CID working group meeting for proposal preparation, with representatives of all ethnic groups. This is first such initiative since 1999 and an important step towards community stabilization in post-conflict Kosovo.

3. WFP started a food security assessment in ethnic majority areas on 4 March, which will complement the one conducted in ethnic minority areas in November 2001. The primary objectives are to document improvements in the food security situation in Kosovo since 1999 and provide baseline information for future non-food interventions in view of the imminent phase-out of WFP food assistance.

(b) Serbia

1. A joint WFP/UNHCR press conference was held to announce WFP's Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation for vulnerable refugees in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for the period July 2002 ? December 2003.

2. In the context of the ongoing phase-down, WFP convened a meeting of the Task Force on Food Aid, at which the EDP management plan of action was discussed with all participants (UNHCR, ICRC, IFRC, USAID, ECHO, Serbian Red Cross and Yugoslav Red Cross).

(c) Montenegro

1. January/February distribution to 25,000 social cases and 350 paraplegics is complete. Distribution to participants in the FFW cleaning activities in the Konik Camp was successful, as shown by improved hygienic conditions in the camp.

2. At the Food Aid Coordination Meeting held on 1 March, it was decided that the planning figures for March/April distribution would be 5,500 refugees and 9,800 IDPs. WFP held several meetings with Montenegrin Commissioner for Displaced Persons (MCDP) to ensure timely and accurate updating of distribution lists. In addition, WFP and UNHCR created a back-up allocation strategy in case MCDP does not provide the lists on time.

(d) Albania

1. WFP distributed food to 4,150 unassisted-unemployed households (20,700 beneficiaries), to 420 households (2,100 beneficiaries) engaged in Communal Forestry and Pasture Development activities, and to 800 vulnerable women (4,000 beneficiaries) participating in psycho-social counselling programmes.

2. WFP gave its contribution for the preparation of "The Albanian Response to the UN Global Conferences and Summits", as requested by UNDP to all UN Agencies and development partners.

Note: All tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tons

(End WFP Emergency Report No 10)