UN World Food Programme

Hunger's global hotspots: 20 July 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.

Introduction

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

Recent military operations against insurgents in Chora district of the southern province of Uruzgan have caused the displacement of 800 families.

WFP provided 90 metric tonnes of food to the families during the week. Reports from Uruzgan Provincial authorities indicate that a further 900 families from Shahid Hassas district have also been displaced. WFP is prepared to assist these families once an assessment report from Cooperating Partners in the province is received.

Security incidences

Elsewhere, various insecurity incidents, including rocket and suicide attacks, continue to impede food deliveries and project monitoring in many parts of the country.

In the western province of Farah, a commercial truck transporting 30 mt of WFP food was looted in Bakwa district on 15 July. Food deliveries along the insecure ring road have again been suspended and an alternative way to deliver to the western provinces is being explored, including the possible procurement of wheat from neighbouring Iran.

Chad

The security situation continues to be tense in the east of Chad. Significant military movements from N'Djamena towards the East were noted over the past week.

Prepositioning for the rainy season has been completed. Current stocks will cover needs for the IDPs and refugees till end November 2007.

Congo D.R.

On 14 July, WFP took part in the joint government/UN assessment mission in the Katanga area bordering Angola. The mission identified 3,400 expelled Congolese from Angola in need of food, medicine and non-food items (NFIs). They are currently being hosted in transit centres.

Government authorities in Katanga informed the UN that they can make use of a one-month food ration and medicine for up to 5,000 people.

WFP has provided trucks for the rapid delivery of government food, medicine and NFIs from UN agencies and NGOs to the expelled Congolese.

The mission recommended that these people stay a maximum of seven days in the transit centre. Mechanisms for the reinstallation of the expelled Congolese into their areas of origin are not yet set, but will be handled by government.

Ethiopia

Counter-insurgency operations in Somali region continue. The situation remains tense with restricted UN movement in Fik, Deghabur, Warder, Gode and Korahe. Dispatch to ‘secure’ areas, including Afder and Liben, is ongoing.

Screening and registration of new arrivals still ongoing in Kebribeyah refugee camp in the Ethiopian Somali region. The 4,025 registered refugees in Kebribeyah will be moved to Teferiber camp. Relocation to Teferiber camp started on 13 July. So far, some 1,500 refugees have been relocated.

The Belg/pastoral area assessment is completed in five regions. A debriefing on the findings took place on 17 July. In the Somali region the assessment was completed in six zones out of a total of nine.

The team to Warder zone started field work on 14 July, while the teams for Gode and Korahe are planned to start next week.

Assessment

Some of the major preliminary findings of the assessment include:

(i) Belg production prospect is mixed across the country with Southern Nations and Nationalities People’s Region (SNNPR) doing generally well.

(ii) Overall, the lowlands anticipate poor to very poor belg harvest. Some of the belg crops were not fully matured at the time of the assessment, implying that they face a high risk of damages by the heavy kirmet rains as they reach maturity towards harvest.

Kenya

Some districts covered under the EMOP have started their food distributions for July. Dispatches to the remaining districts continue and distributions will start in the coming days.

Preparations for the upcoming long rains assessment are underway. The three-week assessments will commence on 21 July in 20 districts, and will determine the effects of the rainy season to households’ food security.

The Kenya-Somalia border remains closed for refugees; however, new spontaneous arrivals continued in Dadaab, bringing the number since the border’s closure in early January to 8,066 people. The border remains open for relief supplies.

Malnutrition

Preliminary results of recent nutrition surveys (June 2007) in Dadaab indicate a significant improvement in nutrition indicators for children under five. Global acute malnutrition (GAM) is 11.9 percent, down from 22.2 percent reported in the 2006 survey. Final results are expected over the coming weeks.

Since 18 July, about 37 refugees have been admitted in hospital in Ifo Camp in Dadaab, with sudden onset of diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain and fever. Specimens have been taken to Nairobi for lab analysis; results on the cause are expected soon.

Somalia

The security situation in Mogadishu remains tense due to an increase of grenade attacks. On 19 July, mortar shells from insurgents, targeting the venue of the reconciliation conference, killed six people.

Tension remains high in Kismayo as the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) continues to mobilize troops for an attack to retake the city.

In view of the possible imminent fight for Kismayo and to avoid any losses, WFP began evacuating 2,282 mt of food to Buale. As of 19 July, 1,831 mt had been loaded. The process has been slow due to rains and unavailability of trucks in Kismayo.

Roadblocks

Due to the increased number of roadblocks in recent weeks, travel time between Kismayo and Buale that normally takes one and half day, now takes up to six days.

The estimated passage fee per truck to be paid through checkpoints and roadblocks for the entire trip is now close to US$400.

WFP Somalia issued a news release on 17 July appealing for urgent contributions to avoid breaks in its supply line of food assistance to Somalia.

The increased need for food is a result of a warning in June by FAO Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU) Somalia of a crop failure or below average production from July to August in much of southern and central Somalia due to poor rainfall. WFP requires US$19.5 million or 26,500 mt of food by the end of 2007 to feed one million people in Somalia.

Sri Lanka

The Government has presented an Action Plan for emergency assistance to 140,000 resettled displaced people in Batticaloa in which they are asking WFP support in providing food assistance for the returnees.

An arrangement on how this assistance should be provided is still being determined.

WFP has resumed school feeding in Jaffna following the arrival of 813 mt rice, dhal, sugar and oil to the peninsula.

The Government has granted WFP space for 1,500 mt of food/month to be transported on government-chartered ships to Jaffna which should allow for more regular distributions to take place.

Sudan

During the week, there was an increased level of attacks against the humanitarian community in Darfur. WFP alone reported about eight ambushes by armed men on WFP food convoys in the region.

In some cases, food was looted and money was extorted from the drivers who were harassed and beaten. The recurring attacks are hampering food deliveries along insecure routes, and have led to the suspension of food deliveries to East Jebbel Marra area in South Darfur.

Flash flooding after heavy rains in July have inundated parts of Sudan, with eastern Sudan the most affected. Government reports indicate that over 90,000 people have been displaced/affected, while needs assessments estimate that some 50,000 people require emergency food assistance.

WFP has started food distributions to 27,000 people in Kassala and White Nile states in eastern Sudan, and to 11,000 people in Unity and Upper Nile states in southern Sudan.

Flooding threat

Weather forecasts predict that many parts of Sudan still face further threats of flooding due to more intensive rains expected.

For the first time this year, WFP dispatched 23 mt of food by air to Jonglei state, South Sudan, following heavy rains which have made roads in the area impassable.

The mobile clinic for MSF in Jebbel Marra, South Darfur, reported increased cases of malnutrition among new IDP arrivals. WFP is assessing the situation with MSF to determine the cause.

Furthermore, management of malnourished children training for doctors in Ed Daein (South Darfur) hospital is currently ongoing, subsequent to child death cases reported last month.