International Food Emergencies

And DROUGHTS! ©2000

Updated: 2003

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World Bank Disaster Management Facility.

The mission of the World Bank is to reduce poverty and improve living standards through sustainable growth and investment in people, and the agency believes that to do this, disaster prevention and mitigation must become integral parts of development planning. Thus, on July 13, 1998, the World Bank created a Disaster Management Facility (DMF) to provide operation support, promote capacity building, and establish partnerships with both the international and scientific communities to work on disaster issues. Contact: Alcira Kreimer, Disaster Management Facility, World Bank, Room F4K-282, 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433; (202) 473-3205; Fax (202) 522-3224; Email: or Margaret Arnold; (202) 473-1378  Email:


The World Food Program Drought Status: Ongoing: Drought (general) - World Drought - over 100 million people in over 20 countries are suffering from drought; 16 million assisted by WFP; most seriously affected Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea; Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan; Armenia and Georgia; Columbia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Cuba and Haiti; Iran, Jordan and Syria; several other countries including DPR Korea, China, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Tanzania and Burundi also reporting drought; WFP drought related projects doubled in 2000 and are 20 percent of all emergency requirements; In Ethiopia, Kenya and Afghanistan WFP assisting 12 million people at USD 352 million; USD 700 million needed globally for drought mitigating projects, half available; more contributions urgently needed.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Office to Combat Desertification and Drought (UNSO) offers a news service that distributes links to articles related to drought. To subscribe send an e-mail message to  with "Subscribe to news updates" in the subject line.
The New NOAA/NESDIS Satellite International Drought Product is online at: 


 17 May 2003

(WFP) The UN Security Management Team designated lower Ghazni province in the Central region, Uruzgan, Zabul, Kandahar, Hilmund and Nimroz provinces in the South, and upper Farah and lower Ghor provinces in the West as "no-go" areas due to the volatile situation there. In the North, UN missions to Gosfandi district of Sari Pul province remain suspended due to the tense security situation. Tensions also remain high in Maymana city of Faryab province. In the East, Kunar province remains volatile with the
activities of the Coalition forces. Security clearances and armed escorts are required for all the UN missions to the province. In the Central region, three demonstrations took place, one against the government, one
relating to school conditions of Kabul University and one relating to salary increase and privatisation of the fuel industry. In the West, the security situation was relatively quiet, but increased crime rate and
poppy cultivation raised some concerns. In the South, the road between Ghazni and Kandahar provinces remains closed.  See Complex Emergencies

7 July 2002

(WFP) No Report

26 December 2002

(OCHA) A prolonged drought due to unusually dry weather during the rainy season, and starting as early as January 2002 in some places, has affected 8 provinces, in particular those of Kampong Speu, Takeo, Prey Veng in the south, and Odar Meanchey in the northwest of the country. In early August, NCDM officials described the drought as the worst in two decades. The drought prevailed until the onset of rains in mid-August. Statistics from the NCDM indicate that the drought has affected over 2 million people.

10 January  2003

(WFP) On 27 December two car explosions occurred near the Chechen government buildings in Grozny, killing 83 people, injuring over 150 people and completely destroying the compound. According to data from the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), over 700 out of a total of around 1,500 inhabitants of the former IDP camp Imam (Aki Yurt) found refuge in spontaneous settlements and with host families in Ingushetia. Around 600 returned to Chechnya. The whereabouts of the remaining 200 IDPs from the closed camp are being traced by UNHCR, DRC and other humanitarian organizations operating in the North Caucasus.

7 July 2002

No Report

10 January 2003

(WFP)  A total of 2,181 tons of food was distributed during December. WFP, in collaboration with CARE, delivered 205 tons of food to Mestia district, completing the distribution of 50 days' rations (a total of 248 tons) to 11,000 beneficiaries. 1,928 tons of food were distributed to 27,640 participants of food-for-work projects. Some 964 participants in food-for-training activities received 2 tons of wheat flour. The early start of harsh weather conditions brought the implementation of many projects to a halt in both regions of East Georgia.

10 November 2002

(WFP) In a unique humanitarian partnership that will transform India into a donor nation, WFP and the Government of India announced an unprecedented donation of 1 million tons of wheat for WFP's under-funded emergency operation in Afghanistan. Officials of the Government of India, making the largest single pledge in WFP's history, said the first tranche of the donation, 40,000 tons, will be converted into 9,526 tons of high-energy biscuits destined for the WFP school feeding programme in Afghanistan. )  In India, WFP currently has an assistance programme that includes nutritional support for 2.7 million young children, expectant women and nursing mothers, and extra food rations for 815,000 people in low-income
tribal areas to bolster their food security. 

17 April 2003

(WFP) The security situation in Aceh continued to deteriorate, especially after the cancellation of a Joint Council meeting between the Government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) planned for 25 April. WFP is closely monitoring the situation, which may warrant a temporary suspension of food distribution. A bomb blast at the Jakarta International Airport on 27 April injured 11 people. Tropical storms and incessant rains caused floods and landslides in the Flores island of NTT and Jayapura, Papua. The Government has been providing adequate humanitarian assistance to the needy people in both areas. 

      17 May 2003        

(WFP) As of 14 May, no cases had been reported of Iraqi refugees crossing the borders with Iran. A vessel carrying 15,000 tons of bagged wheat flour arrived to the port of Imam Khomeini on 11 May. This is the first
consignment shipped through the Iran corridor. More shipments may follow, if the corridor would keep up the pace. See Complex Emergencies

         17 May 2003                      

(WFP)  WFP Executive Director James T. Morris was the first Head of a UN Agency to visit Baghdad on 11 May. Mr. Morris met with representatives of the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Affairs (ORHA) in Baghdad to discuss arrangements between WFP and ORHA. Addressing the press after the meeting Mr Morris informed that by June the Public Distribution System (PDS) would be operating again. Mr Morris used the occasion to remind donors that WFP still requires about one third of the USD1.8 billion cost of the six-month Emergency Operation.  See Complex Emergencies

            Palestinian Territories   21 April 2003
(WFP) 114 third country nationals (TCN's) arrived in Jordan on 15 April. They are being held in 'no-man's land' with another 108 people already there. UNHCR is discussing their situation with the Jordanian government. In an arrangement with a local bakery, WFP provides bread to people in Jordanian TCN camps.

                            26 September 2002 

(OCHA)  At least 60,000 Mauritanians face serious imminent food shortages. The problem is particularly acute in the southern enclave of Aftout, which has suffered six successive poor harvests.  Mauritania is facing a cereal deficit of 205,000 MT, equivalent to five months' cereal consumption needs, primarily because of extremely poor rains. On 1st September 2002, the Mauritanian Government declared a state of emergency and issued an appeal for 37,000MT of cereals and 14,000MT of other foods for emergency distribution to meet the needs of people in the most affected areas for 3 months. The Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS) reported in July that rainfall had been insufficient throughout the country.  This has had an adverse impact on both crop and livestock farming.

                            7 July 2002  
No Report

               28 April 2003                           

(WFP) About two-thirds of the food distribution to 157,000 persons in Sindh under WFP's Drought Emergency Operation has been completed. The programme in Sindh is likely to be finalized by the first week of June. Distribution of food to 54,000 persons in Chagai district in Balochistan, likewise under WFP's Drought Emergency Operation, has started from this week and will be completed in four cycles. WFP has finalized arrangements for procurement of 2,150 tons of wheat, which together with edible oil will be distributed to 50,000 beneficiaries in Kharan district in Balochistan in three cycles. The Government of Balochistan has reiterated its request to expand the drought emergency food programme to two other severely affected
districts, Lasbella and Awaran, which have not received rainfall for several years. The expansion would involve 96,000 beneficiaries identified by the FAO/WFP food crop assessment mission in 2002, and would require 960 tons of pulses and 890 tons of oil.  (ACT) Background: India Pakistan conflict: The Mirpurkhas Division has an area of about 46,000 km2 and lies in the south-eastern arid zone of Sindh Province. It is bound on the eastern side by the border with India and in the north and west by Hyderabad Division. Mirpurkhas Division comprises three districts Mirpurkhas, Umerkot and Tharparkar. These districts are divided into 12 units (known as Talukas) which are further divided into union councils and dehs (village clusters). The population of Mirpurkhas Division is estimated at about two million. Of these about 70% are Muslims and 30% are Hindus. The main language of the division is Sindhi which is an official language spoken and written by the majority of the Hindu and Muslim population. Mirpurkhas Division has three districts Mirpurkhas district, Umerkot district and Thar District. District Umerkot and Thar are a continuation of the Rajisthan Desert in the adjoining part of India and consist mostly of undulating sand dunes while Mirpurkhas district is mostly plain and irrigated area. There are wide fluctuations in the amount of rainfall from year to year and the yearly average in some areas is as low as 100 mm. Most of the rain in the area falls between July and September, during the south-west monsoon, and is often concentrated in a period of two to three days.  See Complex Emergencies

14 Apr 2003  

(WFP) In Syria, the Government gave permission for WFP to establish offices at the border crossing points of Yaroubyya, Abu Kamal, Al Tanf and Faysh Khabour, in order to coordinate humanitarian transit cargo. Hassakeh Sub Office was reported fully operational on 07 April. The setting up of sub offices in Tartous and Lattakiah was being finalized. Preparations continued on refugee camps at Abu Kamal and Al Tanf border crossing points. El Hol refugee camp remained operational.

               19 March 2002                     

(WFP) No food airlifts from Tajikistan were necessary last week.  About 150 tons of food and 13,000 litres of diesel were dispatched by road from Ishkashim to Faizabad.

 19 November 2001        

(WFP) The first barge carrying humanitarian assistance departed from Termez on 13 November, carrying 50 tons of WFP food and non-food-items from UNICEF and UNHCR. WFP national staff from Mazar prepared a warehouse and collected the supplies at Hairaton, on the Afghan side of the river. Due to ongoing security constraints the food is being stockpiled in Hairaton until security allows distribution.


On 3 December, WFP's Executive Director James T. Morris warned the UN Security Council of an unprecedented hunger crisis in Africa, where at least 38 million people are at risk. "This is an unprecedented crisis, which calls for an unprecedented response," said Morris. "The magnitude of
the disaster unfolding in Africa has not yet been fully grasped by the international community.

                         17 May  2003                                

(WFP) Approximately 185,500 demobilised soldiers and their families remain in 20 gathering areas and a further 27,450 are in 45 transit centres. All are waiting for transportation to their areas of origin. WFP has initiated short-term emergency feeding in the transit centres on a case-by-case basis. Upon arrival at an area of final settlement, people are entitled to receive a WFP family-ration, provided they are able to present a ration card to one of WFP's implementing partners in the area. Beneficiaries will continue to receive rations until the end of the April/May 2004 harvest. At that time further distributions will be determined by a vulnerability assessment. A Swedish-funded emergency bridge construction team is in Huambo and
Bie Provinces undertaking bridge site evaluations.  See Complex Emergencies

                       17 May 2003                               

(WFP)  The new Head of State visited Uganda and Tanzania to meet his counterparts and held discussions on the continuation of the implementation of the Arusha peace process notably the implementation of the cease-fire agreement signed last December between the Government and the fighting wing of Forces pour la Defence de la Democratie (FDD).  During the week, security did not improve and clashes between the
army and FDD fighters continued in Bubanza and Bujumbura Rural provinces. Battles were fought near and inside the Kibira forest. Access to some communes of Ruyigi province remained impossible due to reported incursions. The impact on WFP operations was that 32,845 people in 3 provinces did not benefit from planned distributions.  See Complex Emergencies  

 7 July 2002

(ACT) No Report

14 Apr 2003

(WFP) The security situation in the country has changed dramatically with the change of Government and the taking of power by General Bozize in mid March, which eliminated the occurrence of "occupied zones" in the country. Nevertheless, armed elements of the former regime are still in hiding, blocking assessment missions to the most seriously affected areas. The insecurity, which marred the capital during the coup d'etat on 15 and 16 March, has diminished significantly, and the city is beginning to return to normal.

 17 May 2003

(WFP) The humanitarian situation is getting worse for the population in the North. WFP encounters difficulties targeting only the most vulnerable, as the demand for food aid has amplified. The strict targeting criteria used are women in single parent families, sick, disabled persons, nursing mothers, and the elderly. As a response to the precarious humanitarian situation in Korogho, WFP has started registration of critical vulnerable cases in Koni and Bodonon. Letters of Understanding (LoU's) are being drafted with the Koni/Bodonon health centres to set up a therapeutic feeding programme for children on admission to the health centres. WFP plans to visit Dassoungboho village next week to identify the most
vulnerable. During the week, Houssabougou Church received food items to cover full rations for 1,794 registered beneficiaries. See Complex Emergencies 

                            10 January  2003                            

(WFP) General food distribution to nomadic drought victims in remote areas and in the suburbs of Djibouti resumed in December, after the arrival of new donated commodities to the EMOP. WFP distributed over 975 tons of food to some 14,900 families, representing 74,625 beneficiaries. Also in December, under the PRRO 10134, WFP distributed full rations to refugees living in Holl Holl and Ali Addeh camps. 344 tons of food were distributed under the general distribution programme to 20,500 beneficiaries. Additionally, rations were distributed through the selective feeding programmes to 1,000 vulnerable people and 120 undernourished children in the camps. Vegetable oil was distributed to schoolgirls in the refugee camps as take-home rations to encourage school attendance. See Complex Emergencies

                15 May 2003                         

(WFP ) Belg or short season rains, which normally fall from mid-February to May, were generally poor in March, but improved in April, which is normally the month when the short rains peak. Rain in April extended over most parts of the country, including the southern lowlands and the northern belg growing areas. Although the first ten days of April saw below normal precipitation in most parts of the country, the rest of the month was characterized by extensive rains across all but the northwestern corner of the country. Much of the rain in the south and east was heavier than normal, leading to flooding along the Shebelle River in Somali Region.  Assessment of the full extent of the floods in Kelafo, Mustahil and West and East Imi of Gode and Afder zones of Somali Region is still on going. Access remains a serious problem and very little assistance has been reaching the victims to date. See Complex Emergencies 

17 May 2003                 

(WFP) WFP Field Monitors reported that land preparation is underway in many parts of the country, despite the relative lack of rainfall to date. The Ministry of Agriculture is preparing to distribute seeds in the Anseba region at the end of May, in anticipation of the June planting season. Many farmers were forced earlier to consume their seed stocks due to the ongoing drought situation. Livestock prices continue to be far lower than average, while grain prices in markets across the country tend to be higher than normal for this time of the year. Water continues to be a serious problem, with shortages reported in all regions of the country. WFP accompanied a New York Times reporter on visits to various WFP supported projects in the Maekel and Debub regions on 14 and 15 May. The mission visited Therapeutic Feeding, HIV/AIDS and School Feeding sites, as well as drought-affected areas, in order to gain an understanding of the
current humanitarian situation in the country. See Complex Emergencies

17 May 2003                        

(WFP) The security situation remained volatile in the eastern parts of the country, where military activities were rampant, despite the ongoing process of establishing a transitional government of national reconciliation. The areas of greatest concern were Bunia in Ituri district and Uvira and Shabunda in South Kivu province. An estimated 40,000 to 140,000 members of the rural population of Bunia were said to have crossed the borders to Uganda to escape the wave of violence currently being unleashed on Bunia. Many of the displaced people were reported in the Ugandan districts of Nebbi and Bundibugyo. Some other 15,000 to 20,000 people were reportedly displaced towards Eringeti and Beni in the North Kivu province. The increased climate of insecurity in Bunia resulted in the withdrawal of international humanitarian NGO's from Bunia and the cessation of relief activities, except the United Nations Mission of Observers in DRC (MONUC). Looting of WFP food stored in warehouses of implementing partners was reported, including 8 tons stolen from COOPI and 300 kg of oil stolen from German Agro Action. Some 100 tons of WFP food en
route from Uganda to Mahagi was taken away by a Hema gang leader on the run. See Complex Emergencies

28 April 2003

(WFP) Guinea received its first rains earlier than expected. The Dandou dyke connecting Sierra Leone is collapsing and consequently, a repatriation convoy of Sierra Leonean refugees headed for Kailahun in
Sierra Leone, near the Guinean border, was cancelled. It is estimated that the repairs will take a week to complete. The number of Guineans, Ivorians and third country nationals coming from Côte d'Ivoire through N'zérékoré has increased as a result of recent attacks in Danane. The security situation in N'zérékoré is still unstable near the borders due to fighting in both Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire. In the first half of April, 2,256 people, including 1,543 Guineans, 501 Ivorians, 182 Liberians, 24 Malians, 5 Mauritanians and 1 Ghanian,
entered Guinea through Lola prefecture. It is estimated that 2,035 entered through N'Zoo, escaping recent attacks on Danane. During the past two weeks, 2,845 Liberians and 744 Ivorians were transferred from Baala to Lainé and Nonah camps respectively. According to UNHCR, 3,488 refugees who fled Ganta were transferred from Baala transit centre to Lainé camps in the first half of April. To expedite repatriation, UNHCR has decided to repatriate 500 Sierra Leoneans per day from the Albadariah camps, rather than 500 every other day. Since early April 9 convoys have repatriated a total of 4,141 Sierra Leoneans via Kailahun on Sierra Leone's border with Guinea, bringing the total number of people repatriated from Kissidougou in 2003 to 10,115. To prepare the relocation of Liberian refugees from Kouankan camp, reception centres are now being constructed in the Albadariah camps.

                                17 May 2003

(WFP) As heavy rains continue in most parts of Kenya the number of people affected by floods in the low-lying areas around Lake Victoria in Nyanza and Western Provinces of Kenya is increasing. Latest assessments estimate that the floods in western Kenya affect some 60,000 people. It should be noted that at the same time last year, the floods in the same areas affected some 150,000 people. The main concern is to provide essential non-food items to the flood victims. The Government has compiled a list of the most urgent needs and remaining gaps. Priority items still needed are cooking kits, mosquito nets, shelter material, chlorine tablets, water containers and latrines. The Kenya Red Cross is the lead agency in coordinating relief operations on the ground. They are working with several NGOs who are present in western Kenya, such as MSF, World Vision, ADRA and AMREF. The Kenyan army is heavily involved in the relief
operation and is transporting the relief items to the affected areas. See Complex Emergencies

17 May  2003

(WFP) From 07 to 13 May, WFP distributed 537 tons of food to 42,627 people through general distributions. In addition, a total of 1,923 HIV/AIDS, mother-child health and tuberculosis patients received 54 tons of food in 15 health centres. In Mafeteng District, 22 primary schools received 77 tons of food and provided mid-day meals for 7,622 students. In Maseru Rural and Mohale's Hoek, 43 tons of food was distributed through six
primary schools to 751 students as a take home ration. Food for Work projects began in Mokhotlong and Quthing Districts and 1,650 project participants received 17 tons of food.

21 April 2003

(WFP) Security conditions further deteriorated throughout the country, following Liberians United for the Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and MoDeL rebel attacks on Ganta and Zwedru. The escalation of the fighting forced the humanitarian organisations to evacuate these areas and increased tension in Harper further restricted the movements of humanitarian organisations, including WFP staff, which no longer could be evacuated by road. However negotiations allowed for a chartered vessel to evacuate WFP staff to Monrovia on 31 March. The humanitarian situation in Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Maryland and River Gee Counties in the northern and eastern parts of the country remains a great concern, especially concerning refugees and third country nationals. On 26 March, WFP assisted 1,111 refugees and third country nationals in Zwedru with assorted food rations for the month of April. On 28 March 1,098 refugees in Saclepea were assisted and received food rations for the Month of April. 141 new arrivals were served food rations while awaiting
their monthly rations.  See Complex Emergencies

17 May 2003

(WFP) At least 20 people have died and thousands have been left homeless by tropical storm "Manou", which battered Madagascar's east coast on 09 May. WFP along with CARE International and the EU conducted an aerial survey on 10 May and found the village of Vatomandry in Taomasina District severely
hit with houses damaged and the community's agricultural fields flooded. Although the weather bureau warned residents to prepare for a moderate tropical storm, average winds reached 150 kilometres per hour with gusts as strong as 210 kilometres per hour when the cyclone struck. Local authorities have appealed for medicines to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases. WFP will release pre-positioned food stocks for use
by CARE for Food for Work repair activities along the national road.  A WFP rolling assessment is underway in the drought-affected areas of the south. Initial findings have confirmed that the majority of families have sold their household belongings and livestock in order to purchase food. Residents expressed concern over the outcome of the next harvest in June/July and farmers are already harvesting sweet potatoes and cassava before they are mature. Despite the rains in the south, access to drinking water continues to be problematic. Due to the delayed arrival of WFP commodities and a lack of any in-country stocks, distributions did not take place during the week, however the Ministry of Education has confirmed that 390 tons of government donated food will be distributed through schools in the drought-affected areas. WFP is working with the government to improve beneficiary targeting and distributions as well as assisting local NGOs and church organizations with storage and distribution of food donated by the government.

17 May 2003

(WFP) From 08 to 14 May, WFP and implementing partners distributed 5,673 tons of food to beneficiaries. Transportation challenges continue in some districts due to poor road conditions and higher competitive transport offers from tobacco industries.   Strategic planning meetings continue with implementing partners and NGOs to discuss WFP's future programmes in 2003/04 and ensuing NGO collaboration. Over 290,000 households have been entered into a beneficiary database, which is now approximately 50 percent complete.

17 May  2003

(WFP)From 06 to 12 May, WFP distributed 1,170 tons of food in collaboration with implementing partners. During the month of April, 331,000 people were assisted with 5,993 tons of food. WFP signed or extended Letters of Understanding with 14 implementing partners during the reporting period.  FAO plans to provide Food for Work beneficiaries that are working on the rehabilitation of an irrigation network system project in Panda District with General Network Management Training to enhance monitoring of the project. The irrigation network system will allow larger and more diverse crops to be harvested in the future.

17 May 2003

(WFP) In Namibia, floods in the northeastern Caprivi Strip region are reported to be the worst in 21 years. According to the government's Emergency Management Unit (EMU), the floods, caused by the Zambezi River bursting its banks, cover approximately 400 square kilometres. Preliminary assessments undertaken by the EMU and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies revealed that thousands of people have been affected, agricultural fields and grazing areas are flooded and livestock is at risk. The EMU reported that they are currently unable to transport government-provided food to the area as the floods have rendered the roads impassable. According to their report, 8,600 people inhabiting the 22 flooded villages require urgent humanitarian assistance. Health officials are concerned that water stagnation may result in a malaria epidemic and become a host to other waterborne diseases. So far, two villagers have died and 13 schools have been closed as a result of the floods. Government authorities have reported that at least USD 680,000 will be made available for the rescue operation, medical aid and food rations. The information ministry also released a statement saying, "In addition to pledges for assistance from the international community, which should henceforth be accepted, be they in cash or kind, a declaration of natural catastrophe should be issued."

16 March 2003

No Report

21 Apr 2003

(WFP) The Ebola pandemic continued to claim victims. IDP's continued to reach Brazzaville IDP sites, with 768 new households registered during March. On 17 March, a reaffirmation of the 1999 peace agreement was signed between the Minister in Charge of the Coordination of Government Actions and a senior member of the rebel forces. Assistance to IDP's from the Pool region continued. From 13 to 19 April, WFP distributed 163.18 tons of food to 4,688 IDP households in Brazzaville.  WFP is awaiting the delivery of 1,562 tons of cereals, 252 tons of pulses, 60 tons of sugar and 127 tons of salt.

17 May  03

(WFP) Rainfall has been fairly well distributed in April with the exception of the Bugesera region, parts of Kibungo and Umutara provinces. Close monitoring of these areas reveal that there is hope for a fair harvest for
some farmers. However, indications are for a failed bean crop and significantly reduced yields for sorghum for many others. Beans and sorghum are the two main staples for season "2003B". WFP is in the process
of initiating Food For Work projects in the worst affected areas, the main coping mechanism that the affected population has relied upon since the poor "2003A" season. The harvest in January has afforded opportunities for the sale of labour in neighbouring, more food-secure areas. However, it must be noted that the possibility of these agricultural activities will greatly reduce after the harvest in June. Households that have had total crop failures will find it increasingly difficult to find opportunities for engaging in manual labour and may well face acute food shock during the months of July, August and September. See Complex Emergencies

4 May 2003

(WFP) The security situation across the country, including border areas, remained calm and stable during the week. The new Bellu/Dandu bridge used for crossing Sierra Leonean returnees into the country via eastern Kailahun district was washed away on 20 April by heavy rain. UNHCR has resolved to re-channel the remaining convoys through the western Port Loko district until they can repair the bridge. Despite that situation, nearly 5,000 Sierra Leoneans were resettled to their home areas during the reporting period and they each received a food package of 2 months VGF ration. Repatriation continued along the Kambia/Port Loko axis for those Sierra Leoneans returning to Kono and other locations other than Kailahun. WFP provided wet feeding at the Port Loko way station for approximately 500 people. The distribution of Mebendazole and Iron Folate in 94 school commenced in the Kenema district.  See Complex Emergencies

17 May 2003

(WFP) UNHCR reported that thousands of Somali refugees at Dadaab in northeastern Kenya have been left homeless after heavy rains destroyed hundreds of shelters. FSAU has issued a flood warning for the Juba and
Shabelle rivers following heavy rains in the Eastern Highlands of Ethiopia. Floods so far affected up to six regions of Southern Somalia along the rivers of Juba and Shabelle. Main threat is to Lower and Middle
Shabelle regions.  The first batch of 2,880 Somali refugees began returning to Somalia, more than a decade after they fled their war-torn country. UNHCR started the return operation on 13 May, with the airlift of 50 refugees to Galkayo, northeast Somalia (Puntland). UNHCR is also expected to assist the return of a further 300 refugees to Bossaso and Galkayo over the next five days. See Complex Emergencies

18 November 2002 

(OFDA) Latest Shipment of U.S. Food Aid to the Region.  The USAID-chartered ship the Liberty Sun is expected to arrive in the region on November 15, with 58,250 MT of corn. Another ship, the Golden Bay, is scheduled to arrive at the end of November. The commodities aboard these two ships will bring the total metric tonnage delivered to the region to approximately 352,000. The balance of approximately 147,000 MT will arrive in the region between December, January, and February.

17 May 2003

(WFP) El Fasher town, Darfur State, remains under curfew with heavy military presence following the attack on the airport and army garrison on 25 April, which resulted in 72 casualties and the destruction of 5
aircrafts. Security Phase III was declared in South Darfur. Over 40,000 persons returned from the Northern Sector to Nuba Mountains and 20,000 refugees return from Ethiopia back to locations in Southern Blue Nile
State. A tripartite agreement between the GoS/SPLM/UN was signed to approve the cross-border barge food delivery operation between Malakal and Juba. WFP distributed 12,467 tons to 916,111 beneficiaries in both Northern and Southern sectors of Sudan. 4,532 tons of food aid was distributed to 351,139 beneficiaries in the Northern Sector while 7,935 tons was distributed to 564,972 beneficiaries in the Southern Sector. See Complex Emergencies

17 May 2003

(WFP) From 06 to 12 May, WFP distributed 184 tons of food to 11,446 people. The Ministry of Agriculture has started promoting the growing of drought-tolerant crops such as cassava and sweet potatoes in the dry Middleveld as maize crops have failed for the third consecutive season. Farmers are in the process of securing funds to purchase fencing for the newly planted crops.

4 May 2003

(WFP) The general bi-weekly food distribution was modified during the reporting period. The cereals ration increased from 200 to 250 grams a day for maize grain and maize meal. Rations of pulses and cooking oil were decreased from 80 grams and 20 grams a day to 60 and 10 grams a day respectively. Corn soya blend and salt rations remain at 30 grams and 10 grams a day. Overall, the energy content increased from 1,279 to 1,454 kilocalories per person per day when maize grain is provided and from 1,259 to 1,304 kilocalories per person per day when maize meal is provided. Extremely vulnerable individuals and selective feeding programmes will be maintained at 100 percent rations for all items. The revised rations will continue until the pipeline situation for pulses and cooking oil improves.

17 May 2003 

(WFP) Following the complete collapse of the Government of Uganda/Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) efforts to begin a dialogue, the humanitarian situation in northern Uganda continues to deteriorate rapidly as a result of heightened insecurity, increased levels of abductions and the total disruption of economic activities. A recent announcement by the LRA banning all civilian movements outside the IDP camps, and increasing food needs due to poor harvest prospects, will exacerbate the already serious food insecurity problems in protected camps. Approximately 11,000 refugees fleeing ethnic strife in Bunia, Ituri region, Democratic Republic of Congo, have temporarily settled in four locations in Bundibugyo District, western Uganda. The refugees have not yet been registered by UNHCR and are yet to receive humanitarian assistance. WFP is monitoring the situation closely. The Government of Uganda and UNHCR are in the final stages of relocating 16,000 former Achol-Pii refugees temporarily settled in Kiryandongo Settlement (southwestern Uganda) to Madi Okolo and Ikafe Refugee Camps in West Nile Region. WFP has prepared for the relocation by increasing the buffer stocks in the region. See Complex Emergencies

17 May 2003

(WFP)   Severe flooding on the Barotse Plain in the Western Province is reported to be the worst in 25 years and has swept away homes and crops. A more detailed report will follow subsequent to a WFP assessment in the area. From 07 to 14 May, WFP and implementing partners distributed 778 tons of food. During the month of April, WFP distributed 17,000 tons of food to 1.3 million people in collaboration with the Government of Zambia and implementing partners. WFP's Urban Intervention programme is underway in 64 community schools and youth drop-in centres. Currently 25,714 orphans and vulnerable children receive a wet ration at school in the morning while their host families receive a take-home ration. A pilot rural project is being implemented by Lutheran World Federation and is targeting 2,560 households in the Eastern Province with WFP Food for Training. Under this programme, 65 fishponds have been constructed, 37 woodlots and 32 orchards have been established, 35 wells have been dug and two dams have been rehabilitated.


17 May 2003

(WFP) The food security situation has improved in the central areas of the Mashonaland region; however, pockets of food insecurity remain in marginal areas of the Zambezi Valley running across the districts of Guruve, Centenary, Mt Darwin and Rushinga. In Masvingo Province, food assistance will be provided to 61 out of 160 wards for the combined May/June distribution. The harvest of small grains has been poor due to a shortage of seeds, and crops were further affected by infestations of quelea birds and armyworm. WFP met with stakeholders in the districts of Gokwe North and Kwekwe to discuss the reduced food aid distributions in May and June. Food aid will be provided to those areas that have either no harvest at all, or only a one- month's harvest. In Bulawayo town, food availability has improved as evidenced by people openly carrying maize meal, however, maize meal is still not available in retail stores. Another indicator of improving access is the growing queues at grinding mills. Contrary to what was mistakenly reported in last week's emergency
report for Zimbabwe, government price controls remain in place for maize grain, maize meal, bread, wheat and flour. See Complex Emergencies

Central and South America

  17 May 2002

(WFP) A UNDMT interagency mission composed of WHO/PAHO, UNICEF and WFP accompanied by local and regional health authorities travelled to the municipality of Gutiérrez and confirmed World Vision's report of malnutrition among children under 5 years of age. As an immediate action, WFP will intervene to improve children's nutrition with a training plan using food aid as an incentive to teach families in water management skills, nutrition and improvement of water reservoirs. 83 percent of child deaths carried signs of malnutrition. 

                                   17 May 2003

(WFP) According to latest CODHES (Consultoría para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento) data, 412,553 people were internally displaced in 2002, which was 20 percent more than the previous year. People were displaced from 85 percent of the country's municipalities. The report cited the department of Sucre as having received the greatest number of IDP's on the Atlantic Coast, namely some 17,404 families. Sincelejo, the capital, hosts 11,199 displaced families. In Antioquía, an illegal roadblock by armed groups affected the
delivery of WFP food rations to community kitchens in two municipalities. In Soacha, WFP beneficiaries, NGOs and community leaders have been threatened and blackmailed by guerrilla groups. Problems with the
appointment of teachers continue to affect school children in some municipalities where WFP provides assistance. After two weeks of delays due to roadblocks and other constraints, WFP has recommenced deliveries. A total of 236 tons of food was delivered to food-for-work projects and 53 tons to community kitchens. See Complex Emergencies

28 April 2003

(WFP) Heavy rains since 14 April in the province of Guantánamo have caused sea flooding in coastal areas. Baracoa, the second most important municipality in Guantánamo Province, was the most affected area, with more than 600 people forced to evacuate their homes, damage caused to some 60 houses, and traffic interrupted on key roads due to mud and rockslides. Although the full agricultural loss is yet to be measured, significant damage has been caused to coconut and cocoa production in the municipality of Baracoa, which provides two thirds of the Cuba's cocoa production. Evacuated people received food from the Government and WFP intervention has not been necessary.

17 May 2003

(WFP) Strong rains since 06 May have caused the overflowing of the Cayapas, Onzole and Santiago Rivers near the Eloy Alfaro and San Lorenzo Cantons, affecting 12 communities or approximately 7,905 people. Initial reports indicate 11 houses destroyed and 1,027 flooded, 2 health centres and 3 potable water systems damaged, 502 hectares of crops affected, and 881 animals lost. WFP and other UN agencies, the Civil Defence and the Provincial Committee for Emergencies are assisting families in shelters and evacuation zones with food, water and medicine. 180 Colombians crossed the Ecuadorian border last week due to the latest armed confrontations in southern Putumayo and sought refuge in households in Puerto Nuevo. WFP and UNHCR are assessing the needs of these people.  See Emergencies.

15 May 2003

(OCHA)  Following increasing reports of malnutrition, particularly among children, related to the employment crisis and the recurrent shocks, WFP will carry out a rapid assessment of the nutritional situation in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The purpose is to provide a solid understanding of the malnutrition situation in the four countries, in particular that of young children and mothers. Results will support decisions for follow-up assessments and the type of appropriate response for WFP in the four countries. 

(WFP) Costa Rica: Three weeks ago, the Government of Costa Rica declared a national state of emergency. Between four and five thousand people were evacuated due to major flooding in the provinces of El Limon, Heredia and Cartago. According to OCHA, the National Emergency Commission has set up temporary shelters and has activated the Local Committees on Disaster Prevention and Response. The Costa Rican Red Cross distributed food and mattresses to flood victims. The Office of the UN Resident Coordinator reports that authorities will carry out needs assessments to quantify the sectoral needs once the waters have receded.

El Salvador:
 Violent demonstrations in the capital have followed the Presidential veto of the decree that was in favour of the Instituto Salvadoreño del Seguro Social (ISSS) workers and medical unions. Activities under PRRO 10212.0 will commence this month in the departments affected by the coffee crisis and the 2002 drought. Emergency food assistance in the departments of Sansonate and Ahuachapán is coming to an end. Two operational agreements are in the process of finalization with partners. WFP and the Ministry of Health are discussing an agreement to support malnourished children between ages 0-5, especially those suffering moderate and severe malnutrition. An agreement based on a Catholic Relief Services project proposal entitled "Integral Rehabilitation for the Families Affected by the Coffee Crisis in the Occidental Area of El Salvador" is also pending signature. CRS has requested WFP collaboration in developing productive projects with the
parents of beneficiary children under the modality of food-for-training.

Guatemala: A landslide on 23 April claimed the lives of 22 persons in Aldea Chim in the Municipality of San Pedro Sacatepeque in the Department of San Marcos. Over 200 people, or 65 families, were evacuated due to unsafe conditions of their dwellings. Given the isolated nature and scale of the landslide, WFP assistance was not deemed necessary

Honduras: WFP completed the first phase of the base line study of the Nutritional Feeding Surveillance System in conjunction with the Health Ministry, Pan American Health Organization/WHO, UNICEF, and INCAP. The objective is to create a Nutritional Surveillance System in areas affected by natural disasters, in particular drought. Heavy rains over the last two weeks damaged 220 blocks of coffee and plantain plantations in the department of El Paraiso, forcing some 65 families in the most affected areas to evacuate their homes.

Nicaragua: The organization process under PRRO 10212.0 for 6 Community Health Houses in the municipalities of Matagalpa, El Tuma?La Dalia and San Ramón, Department of Matagalpa, has commenced. Each house will attend to an average of 25 malnourished boys and girls under the age of 3, as well as 25 pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers at nutritional risk. The mothers will participate in educational discussions on nutrition, preventive health, gender, and community organization. Participating women will receive food rations, and boys and girls will receive early and active stimulation. UNICEF and the Ministry of Health will also participate in this initiative.

Panama: Food insecurity is hitting Panama's indigenous Guaymi population affected by the collapse of international coffee prices. According to press reports, Panama's government has responded to the crisis through food distribution to children at local schools.                                                                                                                  

20 October 2002

(WFP) According to press releases, violent rainstorms killed 3 persons in Chile during the weekend of 12 October. Reports relate these storms to El Niño. Severe floods damaged approximately 3,000 houses.

28 April 2003

(WFP) Three thousand families living on the banks of Lake Titicaca, in the department of Puno, have been left homeless, following the increase in the lake's water level, which has risen more than two meters over the past two months. Such increases have not been registered for the last 15 years. A total of 450 hectares of harvest have been completely lost, and another 500 hectares damaged. The Peruvian Civil Defence is providing assistance to the affected population.