Hunger's global hotspots

Hungry people across the globe in desperate situations are reliant on WFP food. Here are this week's global hotspots.

Introduction

Hungry people across the globe in desperate situations are reliant on WFP food. Here are this week's global hotspots.

Chad

The security situation is tense in eastern Chad and relatively calm in the rest of the country.

Military activities resumed over the past week with violent clashes between Chadian army and rebels coming from Sudan on 9 April.

Food distributions for 25,000 IDPs have been completed in the Goz Amir area (Ade, Kerfi, Marena and Tiero). In April, WFP plans to provide some 226,000 Sudanese refugees and 85,000 IDPs with some 6,000 metric tonnes of food as well as 28,800 CAR refugees with some 277 mt.

Attacks

WFP initially planned to feed 50,000 IDPs. New Janjaweed attacks and continued insecurity continue to increase the numbers of those who need assistance, now close to 140,000.

Eventually, the Emergency Operation (EMOP) 10559.0 will have to undergo a budget revision to accommodate food assistance to the additional IDPs.

Congo DR

Following the outbreak of violence in Kinshasa from 22-24 March, the situation in the capital continues to remain calm.

The various localised conflicts, particularly in the northern part of eastern DRC, fuel massive displacement of rural populations.

Accused of cohabiting or collaborating with militias or governmental troops, peasant farmers continue to be targeted by various opposing armed groups.

Cycle of violence

The cycle of violence significantly restrains WFP food aid operation in the area.

Administrative harassment continues as the majority of state officials and government soldiers are not adequately paid. Infrastructure is extremely poor.

Support for essential infrastructure rebuilding is needed to make a substantial impact on cost reduction of food delivery. At present, logistic constraints result in very high transportation costs.

High malnutrition rates

Airlift operations are still required in the eastern part of the country to ensure that minimum food stocks are available in isolated areas such as Maniema where global acute malnutrition rates remain high.

WFP is finalising an extensive market survey that will provide a better knowledge of local purchase opportunities.

WFP is soon to begin an extensive vulnerability assessment study in 216 villages for a better understanding of vulnerabilities.

Ethiopia

WFP’s stakeholder consultation as part of its PRRO extension design process is well underway and a workshop was held with regional and federal counterparts and some donors on 3 April to discuss the direction and strategies for the years 2008-2011.

Protracted Relief and Recovery Operaction (PRRO) 10362.0, WFP’s largest operation in Ethiopia and main response to humanitarian need, ends in December 2007.

Relief food allocations for March amounted to 1,500 mt for only 81,000 beneficiaries in Oromiya (Illubabor, Bale, East Harerge zones) and in Southern Nations and Nationalities People’s Region (SNNPR).

Asylum seekers

The Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency (DPPA) is currently undertaking an assessment in Somali region to determine urgent relief needs with further plans for rapid assessments in Oromiya and SNNPR regions later in April 2007.

There are no reliable figures on new asylum seekers from Somalia. Nonetheless, there is a concern that the recent escalation of conflict in Mogadishu may trigger another wave of refugee influx into Ethiopia. Screening and registration of new arrivals in Kebribeyah and Hartisheik camps of Somali region has started and will continue in April.

Haiti

Haiti CO will face a pipeline break of CSB starting April 2007 and needs urgently to secure contribution for this commodity.

WFP in close coordination with the Government carried out a distribution of Vitamin A reaching more than 140.000 children in the Northern provinces. WFP is also preparing the first de-worming campaign of 2007 scheduled for April expected to cover 500.000 school children.

The Hurricane season will start early June 2007 and will last until the end of November.

Partnerships

WFP Haiti country office, implementing the “Cluster Approach”, has already initiated partnerships in order to improve preparedness, stock pre-positioning, evaluations and standardisation.

Travel restriction measures and military escorts continue to be mandatory in many areas of Port-au-Prince, namely the port and SHODECOSA where WFP’s main warehouses are located. Monitoring missions remain on stand-by for these areas until further notice.

Kenya

The Kenya Food Security Meeting formally released the findings and recommendations of the 2006/07 short rains assessment on 5 April 2007.

The recommendations included continuation of the emergency operation targeting 1.2 million beneficiaries in 14 districts as follows: general food distribution and/or food/cash-for-assets (919,000 beneficiaries in 14 districts), expanded school feeding (271,000 school children in nine districts), and supplementary feeding (120,000 children below five years, and pregnant/lactating women).

Gross food requirements over the next 6 months are 85,000 mt of food, of which 60,000 mt are already resourced. The net needs of 25,000 mt of food are valued at US$14 million.

Random attacks

Preparations are underway in the districts where the EMOP is under implementation to start re-targeting and re-registration in order to reflect the reduced beneficiary numbers.

Over the last few months, violence and random counter-attacks in Somalia, particularly in the capital Mogadishu, has led to increased displacement, with more than 50,000 fleeing their homes in March alone.

In Kenya, limited spontaneous arrivals continue in Dadaab. Some 350 new arrivals were reported in March, bringing the total of spontaneous arrivals up to 1,750 persons, since the border was closed on 2 January 2007.

Ten suspected cases of cholera have been reported in Dadaab refugee camp; all cases have been isolated while awaiting confirmation.

Madagascar

With support from HQ and the regional bureau, the country office drafted a Special Operation to face the logistical challenges, with an estimated cost of US$648,677. It is currently being approved at RB level.

The SO 10664.0 provides additional capacity for airlift support to reach the most remote and isolated villages in the affected areas and strengthening of logistics information management on a coordinated manner.

Life saving assistance

It will also support WFP in its food assistance programmes under PRRO 10442.0.

Air transport will contribute to provide life saving assistance to at least 20,000 vulnerable people in isolated areas through the provision of 100 mt of food and other essential relief items.

In addition, it will allow movement of key humanitarian personnel for monitoring and assessments.

The availability of CERF funding is still uncertain.

Occupied Palestinian territories

The security situation in Gaza remains extremely tense with an increase in family feuds and criminality and very high threat of kidnapping.

UN DSS continues to suspend external missions and keep Gaza based International staff to a critical minimum.

WFP Gaza staff is operating under extremely difficult conditions and are exposed to very high levels of stress.

Tense

While WFP has installed video conference facilities between Jerusalem and Gaza to aid remote management and facilitate technical support, this medium is inadequate to provide the comprehensive support services needed to run an operation of this size (almost half of the WFP caseload in oPt - 265,000 people).

In the West Bank the situation also remains tense as people struggle to manage amidst the rising poverty.

WFP continues to work closely with UNRWA to harmonize the food aid response in oPt.

Somalia

In Mogadishu, a truce reached by representatives of local elders and the Ethiopian military officials on 1st April 2007 is under heavy pressure.

Reportedly, in the recent cycle of fighting, about 1,100 people were killed, while more than 4,000 were wounded and close to 140,000 fled their homes. For fear of more and imminent fighting, Mogadishu residents continue fleeing from the city.

Access to reach and assist displaced people remains very difficult and instructions coming from Transitional Federal Government (TFG) officials are complicating matters.

Inspections

Over the week end, a planned WFP relief food distribution in Afgoi district was stopped by the TFG claiming that the food was to be inspected before distribution.

Furthermore, the TFG turned down a request submitted by the UN to get access into an airstrip called K50, in Lower Shabelle region.

Over the years, this airstrip has been instrumental in humanitarian access in southern Somalia but TFG banned humanitarian flights and it has remained inaccessible since early January 2007.

Assessment

WFP is currently undertaking needs assessment in Puntland, Somalia. Data collection for the assessment will be completed in May and the final report is expected in June 2007.

The findings will assist WFP to decide on a proposal to shift from relief to recovery/rehabilitation intervention in response to food insecurity in the region.

The need for relief assistance for targeted socio-economic groups will be critically assessed. The exercise will compliment the Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU) seasonal assessment.

After 41 days in captivity, MV. Rozen was released on 5 April 2007. The vessel was contracted by WFP to carry 1,800 mt of food aid from the Kenyan port of Mombasa to Berbera and Bossaso in northwest and northeast Somalia respectively.

It completed its contract with WFP when it discharged food commodities in Berbera on 22 February. The vessel was hijacked off Puntland on 25 February.