Hunger's global hotspots: 29th January 2008
In regions wracked by violence or submerged by floods, the first emergency is how to deliver enough food as quickly and efficiently as possible, here are some of the crises counted among WFP’s
? During the past week heavy snow fall and snow avalanches affected thousands of households, which led to deaths and losses of livestock in northern and western regions of Afghanistan. In Hirat
province (western Afghanistan) 6,000 affected families were provided with 70 tonnes of WFP food assistance.
? On 23rd January 2008, a UN/Govt joint mission with representatives from Afghan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), WFP, UNAMA, UNICEF and PRT was fielded. The purpose was the
rapid assessment of the situation of winter-affected families in northern region. WFP has already pre-positioned 200 tonnes of food in the area to be used for immediate response for the
affected families, based on the findings of the joint mission.
? Clashes between sectarian groups in Khurram agency of northwest Pakistan has resulted in 1,300 Pakistani families to flee into Khost and Paktya provinces of Afghanistan. Amongst these, 500
are Afghan families living in Khurram agency of Pakistan has returned back to these provinces.
The delivery of 200 tonnes of WFP food assistance to these affected families is ongoing; whereas 570 refugee families have already received WFP food assistance in Khost province. The food
assistance is based on the findings of the joint UN/Govt mission fielded at the beginning of January.
? The security situation is relatively calm throughout the country, although banditry incidents and robbery attacks continue to be reported.
? Total requirements for 2008 have slightly decreased due to changes in the IDP strategy. Under the revised strategy WFP will carry out targeted distributions in the departments of Assongha but
maintain general food distributions (GFD) in the department of Dar Sila. A further assessment is planned in October 2008 in order to re-evaluate the needs of all beneficiaries and adjust the
strategy as necessary.
? The Libyan corridor situation is of concern. Between now and June/July over 47,000 mt of commodities are expected in Chad from Benghazi. Given constraints at the border, the arrival of these
commodities to Chad will be delayed. Should the situation not be resolved in the coming months this would significantly hamper prepositioning. Furthermore, shortfalls in cereals (over 1,000 mt)
are expected in February and March – GFD rations for refugees will be reduced to include only 70 percent of cereal requirements, while IDP distributions and food-for-work activities will most
likely be postponed.
Democratic Republic of Congo
? WFP continues to work on expanding transport capacities, particularly by rail. Rehabilitation of 50 rail wagons in the Katanga province is ongoing. Two rail engines are expected from South
Africa, which have been lent free of charge to the DRC humanitarian community. The loan was managed by the WFP Logistics Cluster.
? Under the lead of the UN integrated office, a stabilization programme has been designed. It aims at delivering high-impact infrastructure initiatives while MONUC will ensure stability in
anticipated «buffer zones» and support local ownership in long-term reconstruction initiatives such as reconciliation on land issues, inter-community tensions and reintegration of
WFP will be involved in the stabilization programme but the first concern is to ensure sufficient food should the security situation in the Kivus improve quickly. A possible scenario would be
massive repatriation of population and wider access for WFP to malnourished populations. On the other hand, should the security situation deteriorate, WFP will have to provide a growing
caseload of IDPs with food for a longer period (from six months to one year).
? The Government’s Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency (DPPA), has dispatched 20,320 mt of WFP food aid to the five priority zones in the Somali region under military operations, of
which 12,433 mt has arrived at destination.
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 (district) capitals. WFP logistics is assisting DPPA in these discussions.
? Approximately 75 percent, (9,356 mt) of the delivered food has been distributed to beneficiaries. As monitoring teams have greater access to the region, a more comprehensive understanding of
the amount of food distributed will become available. In addition, some quantities of food are being stored in the woreda capitals for forthcoming distributions.
? Three transport corridors in the Somali Region have been exempted from military escort following advice by the military. However, this exemption is subject to review by the military at any
given time. WFP will be closely monitoring the situation. WFP is now permitted to access all areas in the Somali Region and may overnight in previously restricted areas.
? The latest Kenya Food Security Update released by Kenya Food Security Network (WFP, GoK, USAID and FEWSNET) indicates that the on-going crisis has led to a serious decline in food security
among normally food secure farmers as well as among the urban poor. The network warns that crop losses in Kenya’s grain-basket due to the crisis, coupled with poor short rains production in the
southern and coastal lowlands, could wipe out the expected national surplus unless the situation quickly stabilizes.
? The third round of general food distribution for 12,000 households (73,500 beneficiaries) in the Nairobi slums displaced/affected by post-election violence was conducted on 24 and 26 January.
The Government of Kenya, WFP and local partners were involved.
WFP is opening a new operational hub in Nakuru to cater for an increased number of displaced people in the town and environs. This will supplement the other offices in Eldoret, Kisumu and
? WFP continues to maintain and replenish the stock of non-cereals in its four operational hubs to facilitate prompt response to the crisis. The Government is providing a large share of
? Delivery of food to schools in areas worst affected by violence, particularly in the Nairobi slums and Narok, has been hampered. The HIV/AIDS project in Nairobi and Eldoret has also been
affected as a significant proportion of beneficiaries are either displaced, unable to access vital drugs or cannot meet their basic nutritional requirements as food prices in the local market
Occupied Palestinian territories
? WFP is monitoring the border situation in close contact with the Egyptian Red Crescent Society (ERCS) and local government authorities. According to these contacts, there are no major
humanitarian needs in the area that cannot be met by local government authorities. The majority of those crossing the border are doing so to buy essential supplies.
WFP and UNHCR have requested permission from the Government of Egypt to conduct a technical mission to the border area to obtain first-hand information on the situation. The mission will take
place as soon as necessary clearances are obtained.
? Despite a political commitment reached yesterday to open the border areas Israel – Gaza, there has been no humanitarian corridor established. As a result WFP supplies are not getting into
Gaza from Israel and WFP is forced to distribute partial rations to 84,000 beneficiaries.
? The two main challenges to WFP are currently: closure of the crossings linked to political events as well as security issues (rockets fired by militants onto the border) and; the new lengthy
security procedures at the crossings, which is limiting the cargo able to cross each day to around ten trucks, and is resulting in very high losses of cargo (1.8 percent). WFP is working to
resolve these issues as soon as possible.
? In light of the expected continued deterioration of the food security situation in Somalia the country office submitted a budget revision for an additional 40,000 mt. Between January and July
2008 WFP Somalia will require a total of 107,000 mt to feed about 1.4 million beneficiaries.
? A WFP Somalia team led by the Deputy Country Director are on a two-day mission to Baidoa and Merka. The team left Nairobi on 23 January and will meet with the newly appointed Minister of
Transport, Civil Aviation & Ports and the Minister of National Security & Home Affairs.
? On 23 January, the Government declared rice as an essential commodity under the consumer protection act, to discourage hoarding and stabilize the price of rice.
? The security situation in the LTTE-controlled Vanni and Jaffna is volatile with daily armed clashes, aerial bombardment, mortars/artillery shelling at the northern and southern Forward
Defence Line (FDL) areas. WFP is constantly reviewing safety and security of staff with UNDSS.
WFP has agreed with the Government to gear up building contingency stocks in Jaffna and Vanni region. 1,500 tons of food commodities arrived in Jaffna, more commodities are under dispatch
? The CO is finalising a contingency plan for the anticipated crises in the north.
? With incidents of vehicle hijacking on the rise, this week WFP saw two light vehicles and two contracted commercial trucks hijacked in two separate incidents in North Darfur. While the two
trucks were released on the same day following negotiations by the drivers, the two light vehicles remain missing. To date, six WFP light vehicles, 22 contracted trucks and 17 drivers remain
? A deterioration of the security situation in North Darfur has led to a one-week temporary suspension of all field missions conducting assessments or project monitoring in the region.
? Tension in parts of West and South Darfur resulted in the arrival of over 5,000 people to Al Salam camp in South Darfur, where WFP provided emergency rations. WFP and its partners are
currently registering and verifying the new arrivals prior to providing further assistance.
? Leaders of South Kordofan, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Unity States have called for a series of peace conferences in February 2008, following clashes between the SPLM and the Misserya nomads
which started in late December 2007.
The conflict is reported to have displaced thousands of residents, with WFP currently assisting over 2,500 of those currently accessible. Final numbers of people requiring assistance are still
? Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) verifications are still ongoing in 10 districts (out of 32). Overall challenges include fuel accessibility difficulties, secondary transport availability and
problems related to a highly inflationary environment.
? With improved uplift from corridors, it is expected that the higher requirements for February distributions will be met; pre-positioning of food has already reached 30%. One of the main
current logistical challenges is finding alternative routes since the floods washed away some roads and bridges.
? Localised flooding persists across some areas of the country. OCHA Zimbabwe is preparing an appeal for the flood affected. At this time, WFP is not part of this appeal as it can cater the
affected through the ongoing VGF programme.
? Availability and access to food continues to be a concern, as supplies, especially to rural areas, are limited and erratic. Prices continue to increase in both rural and urban areas.