Hunger's Global Hotspots: 31 December 2007

From Afghanistan to Sudan, WFP is on the frontline of crises across the globe, find out the latest from these hotspots with WFP’s weekly operational priorities update.

AFGHANISTAN – Several families are now returning to their homes after a joint NATO/Afghan military operation was held against anti-government elements in Musa Qala and Sangin districts
of Helmand province. WFP is ready to provide food assistance upon the request from the provincial disaster management committee, should this be necessary.

The joint needs assessment carried out in September indicates that 14,000 metric tons (mt) is urgently needed in Ghor province before April. Thus far, 11,700 mt have been dispatched, with up to
2,000 mt more yet to send, depending on access to this winter-affected region.

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 now been dispatched. WFP offices in Mazar,
Jalalabad and Faizabad have completed their planned dispatches, with Kabul, and Hirat yet to finalize.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – The upsurge in fighting in North Kivu continues to prompt displacement and disrupt the delivery of humanitarian supplies.

At WFP’s request, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has undertaken a beneficiary counting exercise for the encamped displaced persons in Goma territory. Beneficiary
counting was completed in Bulengo and Mugunga camps. WFP took part in the exercise.

The total caseload reduced from 46,400 to 33,800 internally displaced persons (IDPs) which may be attributable to the feeling of insecurity among the displaced persons following the looting of
Mugunga I camp by Nkunda’s troops in November.

ETHIOPIA – WFP continues to operate from the two sub offices of Jijiga and Gode as well as the new joint UN field offices in Kebridehar and Degehabur.

WFP’s governmental implementing partner, the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency (DPPA), has dispatched some 14,810 metric tons (mt) of 53,000 mt planned food aid to the five priority
areas under military operations.

DPPA is dispatching food to the 186 Final Distribution Points (FDPs) in the Somali region, as agreed. WFP continues to work with DPPA to arrange for secondary transportation of food previously
dispatched to the district capitals.

The shortage of available military escort continues to hamper food deliveries. WFP is working with local and federal level authorities to expedite food dispatches.

WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have been requested to undertake an assessment of grain and livestock market conditions in the Somali region of Ethiopia, which will take
place in early January.

SOMALIA – WFP and owners of K-50 airport signed a Letter of Understanding that will allow WFP to establish warehousing on-site to facilitate WFP’s response to the Afgoye internally
displaced persons (IDPs) crisis. WFP expects the installation to be completed by the end of the year.

WFP’s last distribution in Afgoye, which ended on 18 December, reached 37,513 vulnerable residents with 608 metric tons (mt) of relief food. In addition, WFP assists a total of 180,000 IDPs in
the area who have fled conflict in Mogadishu.

The French Embassy in Nairobi has advised that the French Government will extend its naval escort of WFP shipments into Somalia up to the end of January 2008. Though not yet confirmed, the
Danish Government may provide a similar escort to WFP from February 2008.

The WFP wet feeding project in Mogadishu is now operational in all the ten sites planned. The non-governmental women’s organisation SAACID, registered in Australia and Somalia, is implementing
the project for WFP. Community leaders in Mogadishu have requested the expansion of the project to 16 sites. Discussions are underway with the Mayor of Mogadishu regarding additional activities
that can be supported by WFP in Mogadishu.

WFP’s last distribution in Afgoye, which ended on 18 December, reached 37,513 vulnerable residents with 608 mt of relief food. In addition, WFP assists a total of 180,000 IDPs in the area who
have fled conflict in Mogadishu.

SUDAN – Armed conflict between Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) forces and armed groups, allegedly Miseriya nomads, from 21 Dec in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, southern Sudan, has
resulted in the displacement of some 5,000 people from Majok Yiethiou and Mariem localities.

Due to ongoing local authority transport facilitation constraints further made difficult by the conflict, WFP’s food distribution to a planned 4,850 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and
residents in the nearby Lieth locality has been postponed.

ZIMBABWE – Due to continuous commodity supply problems from Zambia and Durban, South Africa, WFP is planning to reduce rations for the January 2008 distributions.

The shortage of staple food items continue across the country. When and where these are available, prices are beyond what the majority of the population can afford.

Continuous heavy rains in Manicaland Province in the east of the country have damaged roads and might affect food shipments to final delivery points. Some communities in affected areas are
voluntarily gathering stones and logs to repair the roads so that the food can get through.

The hyper-inflation in Zimbabwe (estimated at over 14,000%) together with the continuing cash shortages have lead to daily renegotiation of wages and labourers finding alternative sources of
income. In order to address this problem, and for the second time in 18 months, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe released new bank notes last week. In the new issue, three zeros will be removed
from the face value of the current notes.

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