Rome, 5 November 2008 - Facts, figures and the latest updates from WFP's high profile emergencies.
· As part of July GoA/UN joint appeal intervention, WFP is implementing projects on high food price mitigation targeting 6,500 vulnerable people through food for work activities in the eastern region; plans are underway to begin similar activities in most parts of the country.
· WFP continues to provide monthly food rations of 2,147 Kcal per person per day to some 4,500 people infected and/or affected by HIV/AIDS in Moundou, southern Chad. The HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in Chad is as high as 3.3 percent with the southern part being the most affected area.
· In an attempt to address environmental degradation, the Government of Chad decided in late August 2008 to limit the use of charcoal as a domestic fuel. The decision has resulted in a shortfall of charcoal products in the local market. From August to date, charcoal prices have increased from FCFA 4,000 to FCFA 10,000. Charcoal and firewood constitute the main sources of domestic fuel in use by most of households. WFP is monitoring the situation.
· Although movement within and outside Goma is still limited due to the fragile security situation, WFP (in a joint effort with UNICEF and UNHCR) is moving high-energy biscuits to a medical centre in Kibati, 15 km north of Goma to assist young children immediately threatened by malnutrition.
· Under IR-EMOP 10776.0, a total amount of HEB (42.45 mt) and 40.2 mt of canned fish were distributed to the population of Isla de la Juventud. It is expected that the remaining 3.5 mt of canned fish will be distributed in early November.
· The LoU of EMOP Cuba 10786.0 was signed on 31 October by Martha Lomas, Minister of Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation (MINVEC) and Sonsoles Ruedas, Country Director, respectively.
· The WFP Panama Regional Office is procuring 23 liquid gas stoves to be used by food preparation centres in Pinar del Río province and the most affected provinces in the eastern region. Their arrival is expected in mid November.
· Recent reports from Afar region indicate that the food security of more than one million people has seriously deteriorated due to a severe drought in the region and significant delays in the provision of Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) food assistance. The PSNP assists only 400,000 people in Afar. Therefore, WFP has alerted the Early Warning and Response Directorate, urging for the consideration of the additional caseload in the November and December relief food allocations, if resources permit.
· Following the discovery of a pocket of severe malnutrition in Baie d’Orange and the medical evacuation of malnourished children to the capital, WFP deployed its 6x6 trucks to deliver some ten mt of food commodities and 780 kg of high energy biscuits on 2 November. Some 0.5 mt of food has already been delivered on 31 October by helicopter on the evacuation mission to the area.
· The isolated island, Ile de la Tortue, in the department of Nord-ouest, received food aid on 23 October. Some 28 mt of food commodities were delivered by WFP helicopter. These deliveries are part of the WFP/UNHAVE emergency air operations to inaccessible areas of the country.
· The current refugee population in Dadaab stands at 220,000. The refugee operation has reported a total of 52,900 new arrivals at the camp since January 2008 and the influx is continuing.
· An assessment on food for assets activities for the host community in Dadaab was conducted between 29-31 October. Communities have already started implementation of projects.
· Distribution and uplift of food to schools has been slowed down due to the government’s directive on reduced tonnages per truck load. WFP plans to preposition stocks in December to ensure non-disruption of feeding activities in schools come January 2009.
· The fourth WFP food convoy to the Vanni, including30 WFP trucks carrying approximately 450 tons of mixed commodities (rice, wheat flour, lentils, CSB, sugar and vegetable oil) will be dispatched to locations with high concentration of IDPs.
· Due to heavy rains more than 50,000 people were affected as flood water rose to four feet in some areas. More than 10,000 people weresheltered in community centers and camps. The Trincomalee Area Office deployed two teams to the area to conduct a rapid assessment and started the distribution of food to the worst affected areas. Flood waters started to recede during the week.
· WFP’s cooperating partner, CORDAID, plans to take over supplementary feeding activities in Adilla, South Darfur, following the withdrawal of MSF from the area after completion of their activities. WFP and CORDAID plan to further discuss the programme pending the results of a nutrition assessment conducted by UNICEF in the area.
· Massive flooding continued to severely affect populations in different parts of South Sudan. Findings of inter-agency assessments indicated that 44,000 people were affected in Maban, Upper Nile; 3,400 in Bor, Jonglei; 2,000 in Akuakngap, Northern Bahr El Ghazal; 1,500 in the Lakes and; 400 returnees in Aweil North. WFP continues to provide food assistance to populations in accessible locations, as most roads are cut off by heavy rains. WFP distributed one-month rations totalling 73 mt of food to 4,500 of the worst-affected in Maban, Upper Nile. Plans are underway to provide food assistance to affected populations in accessible locations in Lakes state in November. Furthermore, WFP is taking part in a joint response to assist those affected in Jonglei state.
· As of 24 October 2008, nearly 4 million people were registered (all categories, eligible for food assistance or not) under the Vulnerable Group Feeding Programme (VGF). Registrations and verifications are still ongoing; however, it is evident that the number of people eligible for assistance and confirmed to be in the worst categories (1 and 2) is higher than initially anticipated.
· As of 24 October 2008, over 800,000 people had received food aid under VGF. The target is to scale up distributions each week in October 2008 to reach a total of 1.8 million beneficiaries by the end of the month.
· Based on the May CFSAM result, a total of 1.2 million mt of commodities needs to be imported this year to cover the needs of the population. Presently, approximately 435,000 mt have been imported; 175,000 mt by GoZ and 260,000 mt have been resourced by the international community. The estimated cereal deficit in the country is 800,000 mt.