Hunger's global hotspots: 6th July 2007

Published on 06 July 2007

Ten countries where violence persists and populations live in fear. People in Hunger's Global Hotspots don't know what tomorrow will bring and they often have to rely on WFP for their next meal.

Introduction

Ten countries where violence persists and populations live in fear. People in Hunger's Global Hotspots don't know what tomorrow will bring and they often have to rely on WFP for their next meal.

Afghanistan

On 28 June, torrential rain led to severe flooding in Kandahar province.

The Kandahar office dispatched 60 metric tonnes of food for 500 flood affected families in Kandahar city. WFP has also planned to deliver food for 2,000 flood affected families in Helmand, Urozgan, Zabul and Nimroz provinces in the coming weeks.

About 150,000 Afghan refugees currently living in three camps in Pakistan are expected to soon return to Afghanistan. According to UNHCR, 25-50 percent may require assistance, including food.

Assistance plans have been prepared to deal with this possibility.

Chad

Prepositioning for the rainy season (June – October 2007) is complete except for a small quantity of oil.

The oil has already arrived in Chad and is on its way to Abéché. Requirements for November are also almost fully covered. Only a few deliveries of pulses and oil remain to be completed.

The airlift of 100 mt of food commodities from N’Djamena to Abéché undertaken by the French military commenced Friday 22 June.

To date 88 mt have been airlifted from Ndjamena to Abéché.

Congo DR

Despite the recent democratic elections in DRC, the eastern part of the country is still plagued with violence. More than 160,000 people have been displaced by fighting in North Kivu since February, and depend on WFP food aid for their daily survival.

Under its new PRRO in DRC that began 1 July, WFP will focus particularly on IDPs and returnees, responding to nutritional requirements, school feeding, integrated support to victims of gender-based violence and support to HIV/AIDS programmes.

WFP and its logistics cluster partners are currently working on improving access to remote populations in need of assistance. Current operations include: road rehabilitation (480 kms); the enhancement of railway transport capacity, through the leasing of one locomotive and the repair of 50 wagons; urgent river beaconing, installation of barges in key locations and support for local airport rehabilitation.

Ethiopia

With the Ethiopian Defense Forces (EDF) undertaking counter-insurgency operations in Somali region, the situation remains tense with restricted UN movement in the zones of Fik, Deghabur, Warder, Gode and Korahe.

Limited movement of commercial trucks has been reported in Gode city. Relief food dispatches to Afder and Shinile have started, with dispatches to Liben expected to follow shortly.

Multi-agency food security assessment teams have completed their missions and returned from Shinile and Jijiga. In Liben and Afder zones, it is expected that assessments will be completed early next week.

Food dispatches to other areas of Somali region under military operation remain on hold.

Flood alert

Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency (DPPA) issued a flood alert which outlines the likelihood of flooding in the country based on expected rainfall data. Based on forecast, the flood risk is high and over 800,000 people may be affected in the worst-case scenario.

A joint UN-government contingency plan is being prepared, as well as WFP preparedness measures undertaken by WFP.

The Targeted Supplementary Feeding (TSF) programme continues to face serious limitations in responding to the caseload resulting from conducted screenings in seven regions.

Priorities

In order to respond to the 'most critical situations', the regional Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureaux (DPPBs) are prioritising the districts with the highest malnutrition rates and which are most food insecure.

Procurement and delivery of famix (blended food) is ongoing. WFP Ethiopia Urban HIV/AIDS project has imposed a temporary freeze on new beneficiaries entering the system until a large contribution to the project is confirmed.

It is hoped that the freeze can be lifted in the final quarter of 2007.

Kenya

The Emergency Operation (EMOP) food distributions in most of the ten arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) districts in June were timely.

Delays were experienced in Turkana as the Kainuk bridge was not operational for most of June.

In the remaining four EMOP districts, startup rations were distributed to some 100,000 beneficiaries of food for assets (FFA); the implementation of FFA projects started at the end of June.

Border closed

The Kenya-Somalia border remains closed; a total of 563 spontaneous arrivals were received in Dadaab during the week beginning 2 July, bringing the number of new arrivals since the border closure in early January to 6,290 people.

WFP, UNHCR and UNICEF launched a joint donor appeal for Emergency Nutrition Assistance for Refugees in Kenya on 28 June in Nairobi in light of the high malnutrition rates in Dadaab and Kakuma camps.

The appeal takes into account the remaining gaps in relief assistance for the three agencies, including firewood, complementary foods and technical health/nutrition assistance, in an effort to provide the full package of assistance to the refugees to break the cycle of malnutrition and disease in the camps.

Between now and June 2008, WFP requires US$24.3 million to ensure timely and adequate general food rations and meet the nutritional needs of the most vulnerable.

Lesotho

Internal consultations are continuing in country to ensure a well coordinated response to the drought affected population in the coming months.

WFP is planning interventions in response to the food crisis. Resource requirements are being consolidated using different scenarios. A regional inter-agency mission is expected to arrive in the country in mid-July.

Options for carrying out joint assessment with Regional Hunger and Vulnerability Program and other interested stakeholders are being explored with the aim to reach a common understanding on the appropriateness of different response modalities for the current food crisis.

Pipeline break

The food pipeline will break in September, if additional contributions are not confirmed now.

The most vulnerable, including OVCs and HIV and AIDS affected people will be seriously affected by the interruption in food distribution.

Occupied Palestinian territories

The security situation in Gaza has stabilised over the past week as Hamas security forces have succeeded in releasing BBC journalist Alan Johnston and in bringing order back to the streets.

Essential humanitarian and commercial supplies are entering Gaza through Sufa and Karem Shalom crossings thanks to the commitment of all three parties (Israel, Palestinian National Authority and Hamas ) to facilitate the movement of supplies. As a result, most of the basic needs are being met for the time being.

However WFP is extremely concerned by the repeated attacks on Gaza's lifeline crossings by militant groups which hamper the regular flow of essential commodities which has so far have only met 70 percent of the estimated requirements.

WFP stock in Gaza is 221 mt only at the main warehouse and 2,100 mt wheatflour contracted at the local mill as our policy has been to speed up food distribution directly to beneficiaries.

Deliveries

In terms of deliveries, WFP has completed 67 percent of July and 27 percent of August distributions.

All food that arrived in Gaza during the reporting period was delivered directly to partners for distribution (arrivals almost equal distribution). Total needs to complete all allocations until end of the operation is 4376 mt.

WFP food supplies to Gaza do not suffer any interruption as our quota of ten trucks a day is maintained.

The security situation in the West Bank remains volatile however all programmes are continuing as usual.

Somalia

The security situation in Mogadishu and most parts of south and central Somalia remains volatile. On 4 July, the Mayor of Mogadishu survived another bomb blast as his convoy passed the Shibis neighbourhood of Mogadishu.

On the same day, unidentified gunmen hurled hand grenades at the residence of Somalia Minister of Justice.

A total of 1,800 mt of WFP food commodities that had been stuck on the Kenya-Somalia border due to the border closure, finally crossed into Somalia on 5 July.

The food convoy is now on its way to Burhdubo and Garbaharey in south Gedo region for distribution to some 100,000 beneficiaries.

The distribution earlier scheduled to take place in June has now been rescheduled to start on 7 July.

Successful movements

On 3 July, two trucks loaded with non-food items crossed into Somalia. With these two successful movements, WFP now believes that the issue of humanitarian assistance being unable to cross from Kenya into Somalia by road is resolved.

Due to a possible battle for Kismayo, WFP will move most of its stock currently in Kismayo to Buale to avoid any loss.

The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) deputy defence minister reportedly went to Puntland to get military reinforcements for an operation to retake Kismayo from the Marehan clan.

Ceasefire

The Marehan and Galjecel clans have been fighting in the past months. A brokered ceasefire during the week beginning 2 July between the two clans failed.

An FAO locust expert, Keith Cressman, indicated that most of the locust problems in parts of Ethiopia and northern Somalia may be over.

He said that the swarms probably have moved out into the Indian Ocean and are crossing towards the coastal areas of Pakistan and north-western India.

Sudan

UN and NGO vehicle movement restrictions have been placed in Zallingie (in West Darfur bordering South Darfur) following a hike in carjackings and high probability of abductions.

In addition, security in IDP camps surrounding Nyala in South Darfur has dramatically deteriorated in the past two weeks, raising concerns among the humanitarian actors on their ability to perform day to day activities amidst increased tension and limited movement.

Heavy rains in eastern Sudan have caused flash flooding affecting an estimated 21,000 people.

The worst affected areas are Kassala Town, following the over-flowing of the River Gash, Damazine Town in Blue Nile State where two villages were completely destroyed, and flooding in Rabak Town in White Nile State. No casualties or injuries were reported.

Immediate needs

However, preliminary reports from ongoing assessments indicate that immediate needs are non food items, such as tents, mosquito nets and water treatment materials, while food assistance will be required during the second phase of assistance.

WFP has completed dispatching a loan of 317 mt of food to the Central African Republic. Food was dispatched from the western Sudan border to support 12,000 IDPs, in the CAR border town of Birao, who are inaccessible due to insecurity.

Zimbabwe

As predicted the food security situation continues to deteriorate in the country.

In addition in response to massive inflation, the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) introduced price capping measures, designed to control prices.

However the result has been shortages of basic commodities in most outlets.

Scarce quantities of some commodities can however be found in parallel markets at higher prices than previously, further limiting people’s access to food.

The inability to buy and sell at official prices has reportedly caused some businesses and factories to lay off staff and even close down. There have been reports of looting in response to these events.

An operational planning meeting is scheduled this week with key donors and partners to review the food security situation, food requirements, programme plans and resource mobilisation. Both WFP and CSAFE operational plans prioritize areas hardest hit by the drought for an August/September start, resources permitting.