Hunger's Global Hotspots: 15th January 2008
Afghanistan – On 2nd January, five commercial trucks carrying 75 tonnes of WFP food to Khas Uruzgan district of Uruzgan province was diverted by AGEs in Qarabagh district of Ghazni
Three trucks were burnt by AGEs on the spot and the other two were diverted to an unknown location along with the drivers and the food.
Three drivers were later released but two remain missing. Heavy snow fall has limited access to the area, making the search for the missing drivers and vehicles more difficult.
The convoy of 43 trucks of the WFP fleet loaded with 505 mt of mixed commodities for districts in Daikundi and Bamyan provinces returned to the WFP Kabul warehouse.
The convoy could not reach the intended districts due to heavy snow fall. Roads throughout much of Afghanistan were blocked during the past week due to heavy snow.
Out of the planned 22,900 mt of food programmed for positioning in high elevation areas where roads are cut off during winter, 22,000 mt have been dispatched. The remaining 900 mt will not
likely reach destinations until after winter.
Due to clashes between security forces and insurgents in the Kurma agency of northwest Pakistan, an estimated 600 refugee families have fled into Khost province of Afghanistan.
Based on the recommendation of UN/Govt Joint mission conducted at the beginning of January, 70 mt of WFP food was distributed to 570 refugee families. WFP also plans to assist refugees arriving
in Paktika and Paktya provinces.
The fourth round distribution under the EMOP was completed on 14 January 2008 covering a period of one month. Air drop distribution of 213 mt of HEBs to beneficiaries in remote and inaccessible
areas is completed. As of 15 January 2008, cumulative commodity distribution stands at 20,411 mt covering 3,573,790 beneficiaries.
A total of 17 additional staff including Field Monitors, Finance and Administration Assistants has been recruited for the two field-offices in Barisal and Bagerhat districts. Data on household,
community and market is being processed.
Final EFSA report is expected to be available by end January 2008. The report will help refine the phase II emergency/relief response and plan early recovery operations.
Food distributions to IDPs in Dar Sila (Salamat and Haouich), which were planned for mid-December, have been postponed to mid-January 2008 for security reasons.
The overall security situation remains volatile. Petty crimes, armed robberies and car-jackings are increasing all over the country. The deployment of the EU peacekeeping force in eastern Chad
is expected to commence in early February 2008.
Based on findings from the self-reliance survey conducted last November by WFP, UNHCR and NGO partners and the assessment carried out by ICRC in eastern Chad, it was recommended that general
food distributions be continued for IDPs in Dar Sila and temporarily suspended in January for beneficiaries in Assongha area.
However, targeted distributions for vulnerable groups in Assongha will be implemented in February.
Over 800 mt of pulses are due to arrive in Chad from Douala this month. Therefore, requirements in pulses will be covered for February distributions. In January, cereal quantities have been
increased to compensate for gaps in pulses in the refugees food basket rations.
The peace, security and development conference began in Goma last week. Against the 300 originally planned there are over 800 participants, and an additional 500 observers. Hopes of valuable
outcomes have significantly decreased due to the hectic course of the conference.
With several days of postponement, the conference is now due to end on 17 January. However, in addition to President Kabila and Laurent Nkunda not attending, a major key component is absent;
the Rwandan rebels still operating from DRC under the denomination Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR). They are also involved in the suffering of the rural
population in North and South Kivu.
A major consequence of the conference has been the heavy militarisation of Goma. UNDSS expressed its concerns on hotels being full of heavily armed soldiers «securing» their
Meanwhile, in Maniema province, climate changes bring about concerns among farmers. Since December, unusual heavy rains have been flooding the maize crop, which is in full bloom. FAO, together
with WFP, is closely following up as any disturbances in the crop season would result in increased food needs.
The Government’s Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency (DPPA), has dispatched 17,042 mt of WFP food aid to the five priority zones in the Somali region that are under military operations.
A total of 53,000 mt has been allocated for three months to eight zones in the region. DPPA is now dispatching food to the 186 final distribution points (FDPs) agreed with WFP and the region.
DPPA and transporters continue to discuss arrangements for secondary transportation of food previously dispatched to the woreda capitals. WFP logistics is assisting DPPA in these discussions.
The shortage of available military escorts continues to hamper food deliveries. Military commanders have indicated food deliveries may be permitted without military escorts in selected safe
areas. WFP is following-up with DPPA. Meanwhile, access for food aid monitoring has improved.
Screening for Targeted Supplementary Food (TSF) was completed in 13 woredas (districts), and food distributions are planned in these woredas by the end of next week. Screening is also planned
in the remaining 17 project woredas by the end of January.
WFP has received US$598,000 from OCHA under the CERF for its Special Operation «Logistics Augmentation for Somali Region Operations». WFP will open a logistics information
coordination office in Dire Dawa and implement a patrol system for real-time information on food transport to FDPs.
WFP mobile response teams are supporting the Kenya Red Cross (KRC) in quick assessments and managing the response in Eldoret, Nakuru, Kisumu, and Nairobi.
WFP has distributed food through KRC to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and affected people in Rift Valley, Nyanza, Western and Nairobi Provinces.
The government of Kenya provided the maize. WFP is also providing trucks to move food. In Nairobi slums, two local organizations i.e. National Alliance of Churches and the Jamii Bora Trust
assisted in the distributions.
A budget revision for the EMOP, to cater for the additional caseload of 250,000 people has been prepared. Total food requirements are 11,520 mt valued at US$10.2 million for three months.
US$3.3 million were received from CERF for local procurement of food.
In response to the crisis, WFP is drawing on stocks from its other operations in Kenya. However, the borrowed food needs to be repaid urgently since much of it was from the HIV/AIDS and school
feeding programmes. Schools open on 14 January.
A two-month Special Operation was approved on 11 January for a total value of US$2 million and has two components. Component 1 covers road transport and warehousing for non-food items for
humanitarian agencies. Component 2 covers aerial assessments and heavy duty helicopters to reach people.
The SO will be implemented in two phases. Phase 1 is valued at US$617,000 and includes component 1 and part of component 2 i.e. aerial assessments. Phase 2 will be activated if needed.
Occupied Palestinian territory
As a follow-up to the Rapid Food Security Needs Assessment in Gaza Strip, issued in December, WFP has increased the number of its beneficiaries in Gaza from 252,000 to 300,000 — from 55
percent to 65 percent of the non-refugee population.
The Sufa crossing to Gaza was reopened last week, allowing a more steady influx of emergency items to Gaza. So far WFP has about 9,000 mt of commodities in Gaza, equivalent to over two months’
supply. However, the supply line is still precarious due to internal fighting coupled with regular shelling of entry points.
WFP has resumed its orders of locally supplied food. So far, 20 percent of commodities, at an overall value of US$5 million, has been purchased locally (both in the West Bank and Gaza) since
the beginning of the PRRO in September 2007.
As of 7 January, the WFP Somalia operations in Nairobi returned to normal having operated with only essential staff since 26 December due to holidays and post-election violence. The situation
is still being watched closely as contentious issues that provoked the violence are yet to be resolved.
In Mogadishu, at least five civilians were killed on 8 January during a TFG search operation in Daynile district that resulted in heavy fighting with anti-government elements. Media reports
indicate that residents of Daynile district are moving to safer areas because of the recent intense fighting.
The WFP supported wet feeding programme in Mogadishu has not been affected by the fighting. SAACID, the NGO implementing the programme, reported that as of 6 January, an average of 52,000
beneficiaries were receiving a cooked meal daily through ten kitchens, exceeding the planned 50,000.
Local authorities warned that 3,215 displaced families living in Warsheikh district of Middle Shabelle region are facing shortages of food and water.
WFP provided food assistance to vulnerable groups in the district last November although the distribution was not completed due to security concerns. WFP will conduct an assessment in the area.
In December 2007, WFP assisted 2.6 million people in Sudan against a backdrop of insecurity in Darfur and localized tribal conflict in the South. Of these 2.1 million were in Darfur.
Heightened insecurity this month, particularly in West Darfur, resulted in the relocation of 59 UN and NGO staff from West Darfur by UNHAS and meant 106,600 people could not be reached with
The security phase in West Darfur was revised back to Phase 3 Level 3, from Phase 3 Level 4, and the staff ceiling was increased due to the presence of additional air assets to respond to
emergencies. However, insecurity continues to be the main factor affecting operations in Darfur.
On 13 January, a WFP driver was wounded by a gunshot during an attempted carjacking in Geneina town, West Darfur. Elsewhere in South Darfur, five drivers, two assistants and six trucks of a
WFP-contracted transporter are missing following the ambushing of two separate convoys by armed bandits on 8 and 9 January, highlighting a growing trend of banditry across the region.
An interagency mission to parts of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan, recommended assistance to thousands displaced during on-and-off clashes between the SPLM and Miseriya nomads since late
WFP and World Vision will conduct further assessments to determine actual number of people in need of food assistance.
EMOP 10693.0, approved on late December at a cost of US$ 697 million, has received US$ 290 million or 40 percent of the required funding.
However, WFP is seeking critical donor funding to enable pre-positioning of 150,000 mt of food throughout the country ahead of the rainy season in April/May 2008 and replenish buffer stocks in
the volatile Darfur region, as well as meet ongoing beneficiary needs.
Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) distributions are proceeding as planned. No major operational problems are being experienced. Challenges include slower than desired deliveries from countries in
the region, fuel accessibility difficulties, and other problems related to a highly inflationary environment.
Slow food movements are registered on regional purchase contracts from Zambia and on international cargo from Beira and Durban due to logistical constraints experienced by contracted
WFP and other agencies carried out an assessment of the flood damage and concluded that no additional food assistance is needed since the majority of those affected are already VGF
beneficiaries scheduled for distribution in the coming days. WFP has donated 60 mt of food to UNHCR to replace the food stocks lost by refugees in the floods.
The shortage of staple foods continues across the country. When and where they are available, the prices are often beyond the means of the majority of the population.