UN World Food Programme

Hunger's global hotspots:

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.

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

In addition to the southern, eastern and western regions where military operations have already been seriously affecting food deliveries since the end of winter, the relatively calm northern provinces of Kunduz and Baglan suffered insurgency attacks during the past week.

A suicide bomb killed three German soldiers and seven civilians on 19 May in Kunduz.

This occurred less than one month after a similar attack which killed ten Afghan policemen and wounded 40 others in Kunduz.

Gunmen

Meanwhile the ongoing military operations in the southern province of Helmand have reportedly displaced a further 500 families.

A commercial truck transporting WFP food to Ghor province was attacked by gunmen in Yakhan Olya village of Taywara district.

This is the fifth truck to be attacked in the past week, after four trucks were looted in Farah Province on 14 and 15t May.

Roads blocked

Food assistance to populations affected by flash foods that hit several districts of Badakhshan and Takhar provinces last week continues.

WFP has delivered 240 mt to nearly 13,000 flood-affected in these areas during the week.

The opening of roads that were blocked by heavy winter snows has allowed WFP to dispatch 3,000 mt of food to populations cut off for several months of the year.

Arrangements are also underway to move 800 mt to assist drought-affected and school children in Paktika, a province that has also been largely inaccessible owing to insecurity.

A UN/Government mission visited Farah centre on May 17 to assess the needs of more than 80,000 Afghans recently deported from Iran.

The mission recommended assistance, including food aid, to 1,400 families. WFP already started last week to assist 260 families in Farah centre.

Chad

On 24 May, armed civilians entered WFP premises in Iriba and attacked two WFP staff members. One staff member was seriously injured and evacuated to Ndjamena for treatment.

A total of 26,194 mt remain to be pre-positioned by end June to cover refugee and IDP requirements over the rainy season (July-November).

In total with the food in transit in both corridors and in stock in Douala, Ngaoundere and Khufra 92 percent of the requirements are covered.

The remaining balance will be covered with a loan from Sudan.

Authorisation

WFP finally received authorisation from the Sudanese Government to export the 6,300 mt of food borrowed from WFP Sudan.

To date some 1,297 mt have been dispatched. A total of 800 mt out of the 6,000 mt of food purchased in Cameroon for Chad operations are currently en route to Chad.

WFP Chad is preparing a BR for the EMOP to accommodate additional requirements for the increased caseload of 140,000 IDPs.

Congo DR

An internally displaced persons (IDPs) crisis is looming in the eastern part of the country.

The various localised conflicts, particularly in the eastern part of DRC, continue fuelling significant displacements of rural populations.

Currently, there is a likelihood of an additional 360,000 IDPs in North and South Kivu.

Cycle of violence

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

The cycle of violence increasingly constrains WFP food aid operations in the area.

Incidents of administrative and judicial harassments continue to be reported.

Harassment

Administrative harassment is due to underpayment of the majority of state officials and government soldiers, judicial harassment results from the unawareness by judicial authorities of the various international laws and agreements governing WFP’s relationship with the DRC Government.

A pipeline break is anticipated in the middle of the year. Though the food pipeline is currently healthy, it is more likely to exhaust faster due to the increasing needs.

Costs and constraints

The CO anticipates that as early as July, some commodities such as cereals, pulses and oil may be required.

LTSH costs account for 33 percent of the total project cost. Support for rebuilding of essential infrastructure is needed to make a substantial impact on cost reduction of food delivery.

At present, logistics constraints result in very high transportation costs, of which airlift operations make up a big proportion.

DPRK

According to a 25 May South Korean press report the Republic of Korea (ROK) Government has decided to delay the delivery of the bilateral aid (400,000 tons of rice) until the DPRK fulfills its promise to close the nuclear reactor at Yongbon.

Reportedly half of the 300,000 mt of fertiliser from ROK have arrived in DPRK. A further US$80 million of ROK industrial aid appears underway; pledge is linked to the recent train crossing between the two Koreas – the first time in 56 years.

Pipeline break

A total break in the cereal pipeline will be experienced in June, which impacts 400,000 of 700,000 beneficiaries: 150,000 school children will not receive biscuits and the 250,000 (mostly pregnant and nursing women and young children) will not receive fortified blended foods - their main source of energy and micronutrients.

Two local food factories are already non-operational until new shipments of wheat and wheat flour arrive in mid to end June.

The pipeline break is due to a lack of contributions received in the first quarter of 2007.

WFP's pipeline and resource base remain very precarious and future suspension, notably of school feeding, may have to be considered for the new school year beginning in September, unless significant donations are received by early June.

Ethiopia

An Immediate Response Account (IRA) request for US$6.6 million has been approved for the Targeted Supplementary Feeding (TSF) component of PRRO 10362 in order to prevent a pipeline break from July 2007.

WFP currently is borrowing from CSB stocks held by the Government Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency (DPPA) in order to meet needs in May and June 2007.

Upon receipt of IRA funds, local food processors should be able to deliver FAMIX, a fortified blended food, in time to meet July needs.

Insecurity

In Somali region, insecurity has increased in Warder Zone, especially Danot district.

UN Department for Safety and Security has advised only essential humanitarian operations continue in Degehabur, Fik and Warder zones of Somali region for the time being.

Results of nutritional surveys carried out in Afder zone of Somali region by Save the Children USA indicate that the nutritional situation is serious in the agro-pastoral communities of Dolo Ado and Dolo Bay districts with 22.5 percent Global Acute Malnutrition, while in Elkare and Chereti districts of the same zone have GAM of 15.7 percent.

Distress migration

No relief allocations have been made for Somali region since January 2007, in spite of re-assessments that have taken place and results of nutritional surveys pointing at acute needs.

Unusual distress migration has been observed in some areas of zones 1 and 5 of Afar Region. Food security conditions are deteriorating in areas of East and West Hararge in Oromiya region. This is attributed to poor rains.

The CO is closely following up with the DPPA and the Food Security Coordination Bureau (FSCB) regarding urgent food allocations to these areas.

Kenya

The long rains season is intensifying in many areas, creating some road accessibility problems.

The Garsen-Hola corridor, a crucial route for WFP operations in the north-eastern districts, remains impassable and some access roads in Ijara are passable with difficulties.

The performance of the long rains season has been poor thus far especially in arid and semi arid districts, in terms of the accumulated amounts and distribution.

Concern

This raises concern on the performance of crops which contribute some 30 percent of the annual grains output in these areas.

Surface water sources (earth dams and pans) have not recharged and residents in some districts have already requested water tankering.

In other parts of the country (western and coast) heavy rainfall has resulted in localised flooding.

End of rainy season

The rainy season will tail off at the end of May in most parts of the country, and a comprehensive analysis of the performance of the season will be available then.

WFP’s school feeding programme in Dadaab camps remained temporarily suspended due to the outbreak of cholera in the camps and the recommendation by the Kenyan Director of Medical Services that all public eating places and slaughter houses be closed.

To date, more than 203 cholera cases have been confirmed in the three camps.

Displacement

Over the last few months, violence in Somalia, particularly in the capital Mogadishu, has led to increased displacement.

In Kenya, spontaneous arrivals continue in Dadaab camps; about 4,510 Somalis, up from 4,020 last week, have so far sought asylum since the border was officially closed in early January 2007.

Somalia

Several security incidents occurred during the past week. On Saturday, the two deputy mayors of Mogadishu escaped a roadside bomb explosion, which killed a young boy and wounded at least four TFG troops.

Increased piracy attacks in recent weeks continue to constrain WFP’s ability to contract vessels to deliver food into Somalia. At least six vessels have been hijacked off Somali coast this year.

Last week, UNCAS flights to Buale airstrip were suspended due to a threat posed by a dispute over payments between an UNCAS contractor and the local guards he hired.

Trench on runway

Flights remain suspended until authorities assist to resolve the dispute. UNCAS had experienced a situation in which a trench was dug in the middle of a runway due to a dispute.

The suspension is a precautionary measure to avoid the aircraft getting stuck or damaged in Buale.

UNCAS also suspended flights to Galkayo due to unrealistic demand by local authorities.

Demands

Galkayo Airport Authority presented an official demand of US$7,000.00 as landing fees without any prior agreement with UNCAS for payment of landing fees.

The authority also did not provide any services that warrant the fee payment.

A request to the Director General of the airport authority to intervene is being prepared by WFP.

Kenya Revenue Authority has not permitted loading of locally purchased CSB onto open body trucks from export processing zone in Athi River-Kenya.

There are insufficient closed body trucks available in Kenya, prompting WFP Kenya to request from KRA a waiver to use open body trucks for cargo destined to Somalia.

Sri Lanka

The situation in Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu districts remains difficult for WFP with the latest restrictions on fuel movement by the security forces making it difficult to continue humanitarian work.

Only 50 percent of food planned for dispatch to these areas last week was actually sent.

Any withdrawal of international staff is likely impact our ability to assure security for national staff and deliver assistance to the conflict-affected population.

In the East, the number of IDPs in Batticaloa has reduced to 121,622 with the return movement.

Rapid assessment

This figure is expected to decline further as returns continue. A WFP rapid assessment of those who returned to Vaharai some two months ago show that they do now need food aid, a need which should be met through Red Cross cash programming.

WFP is preparing to respond to the needs of returnees to West Batticaloa. Security concerns in neighbouring Ampara district have stopped / suspended the FFE programme in some divisions as staff are scared to go to schools in these areas even with armed guards at the school premises.

All programmes in Jaffna district are disrupted as no food is reaching this isolated area. IDPs only received food for one week in April.

The Government has promised to arrange ships to transport WFP food but so far this has not happened. Currently WFP only has 200 tons of food in Jaffna district, compared to a potential monthly requirement of almost 3,000 tons.

Sudan

In April, WFP assisted 2.6 million beneficiaries in Sudan, including 2.1 million beneficiaries in Darfur alone, with more than 32,000 mt of food.

Prevailing violence and the subsequent lack of access hindered assistance to about 62,600 people in the Darfur.

On 28 May, one WFP vehicle and two UN vehicles, part of a five vehicle convoy, were carjacked during a joint field mission in North Darfur. UN staff involved were released unharmed.

Loan

In May 2007, the Government of Chad requested a loan of 6,300 mt of food from the Government of Sudan, through WFP. To date, WFP Sudan has dispatched 631 mt of food into Chad to assist with ongoing preposition efforts. The balance is expected to be completed early June.

Access to West of Maper area in Lakes State (South Sudan) has been restricted following inter-tribal clashes resulting in casualties (numbers to be confirmed). WFP has temporarily suspended food distributions in the area.

Zimbabwe

The joint FAO and WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment (CFSAM) team completed its mission in-country 18 May 2007.

The assessment’s findings are currently being finalised and the report should be available in early June.

The CFSAM was conducted after a request from the Zimbabwean Government, which officially declared 2007 a ‘drought’ year back in March.

In an earlier assessment of the maize crop, the Ministry of Agriculture anticipated a serious cereal shortfall.

Vulnerability

Preliminary reports from WFP’s internal monitoring, FEWSNET and partner organisations have indicated high levels of vulnerability in the south and south western parts of the country.

Particular areas of concern are Matabeleland, Masvingo and parts of Manicaland.

In preparation for the possibility of large scale food distributions, WFP has been meeting with key donors and agencies to review potential requirements and resource availability.

Coordination meetings are to be instituted on a regular basis to facilitate preparedness.

The Community Household Surveillance (CHS) carried out in April reported a worsening food security situation, with many groups struggling to meet their food requirements.

An Interagency Nutrition and Food Security Assessment is planned for mid-June, which will help to further pinpoint district level food insecurity.