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Cablegate: Wfp Resumes Food Assistance to Insiza

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 002862

SIPDIS

USAID/W FOR DCHA/OFDA FOR HAJJAR, KHANDAGLE AND MARX,
DCHA/FFP FOR LANDIS, BRAUSE, SKORIC AND PETERSEN, AFR/SA
FOR FORT, POE AND COPSON, AFR/SD FOR ISALROW AND WHELAN
STATE FOR AF/S DELISI AND RAYNOR
NAIROBI FOR DCHA/OFDA/ARO FOR RILEY, MYER AND SMITH,
REDSO/ESA/FFP FOR SENYKOFF
GENEVA PLEASE PASS TO UNOCHA, IFRC
PRETORIA FOR USAID/DCHA/FFP FOR DISKIN, DCHA/OFDA FOR BRY
AND FAS FOR HELM
ROME PLEASE PASS TO FODAG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL US ZI
SUBJECT: WFP RESUMES FOOD ASSISTANCE TO INSIZA

REF: HARARE 02845

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. The World Food Programme (WFP) resumed general food
distributions to Insiza District on Monday, December 16,
2002. The USAID Emergency Food for Peace Officer (FFPO)
visited two villages in Insiza district on December 18,
2002. The FFPO monitored the distribution and verified
that the food assistance was being distributed to its
intended beneficiaries. Villagers in Insiza report that
they have not yet planted due to insufficient rainfall a
that they expect to remain dependent on WFP food
assistance. END SUMMARY.
----------------------------------
WFP RESUMES DISTRIBUTION IN INSIZA
----------------------------------

2. The WFP implementing partner (IP), the Organization o
Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP), resumed
distribution of food assistance to the district of Insiza
on December 16, 2002. WFP had suspended general
distribution of food assistance following the seizure and
improper distribution of 3.6 metric tons (MT) of food
(consisting of maize) by pro-ZANU-PF supporters in the ru
up to the October parliamentary bi-election in Insiza.
After receiving assurances from the Government of Zimbabw
(GOZ) that there would be no further manipulation of food
assistance, WFP made the determination to resume
distribution (see reftel). This round of renewed general
food distributions to Insiza are expected to be completed
by December 21, 2002, with a total of 9,088 households
receiving assistance. A total of 640 MT food assistance
including 530 MT of maize meal, is to be distributed.

3. The FFPO visited Insiza district on December 18, 2002
to monitor the resumption of food distribution and to
ensure that no manipulation of food assistance was taking
place. In the village of Lubuze, the FFPO observed the
distribution of some 135 MT of maize meal, beans, and cor
soy blend (CSB) to 1,115 beneficiary households. Due to
pipeline shortages, no vegetable oil was provided for
distribution. Because the October food distribution to
Insiza was suspended before all wards received assistanc
three final delivery points (FDPs), including Lubuze, hav
not received WFP food assistance distribution since
September. WFP made the determination to give these thr
FDPs a double distribution during December. Therefore,
Lubuze, the beneficiaries were each receiving 20 kilogra
(KG) maize meal, 2 kg beans, and 1 kg CSB. According to
WFP ration standards, each beneficiary household can
receive food assistance for a maximum of five individual
Thus, a household with eight members receives the same
allocation as a household with five members.

4. The actual distribution to the 1,115 households in t
Lubuze catchment area was conducted by ORAP efficiently
quickly. Unfortunately, because 75 percent of the maize
meal was delivered to the FDP several hours late, most o
.

the beneficiaries were forced to wait much of the day or
the distribution to begin. ORP conducted group
distributions, whereby households with five or more
beneficiaries were separated into groups of ten. Each
group was then allocated twenty 50 KG
sacks of maize mea
two 50 KG sacks of beans, and two 25 KG bags of CSB. The
actual allocation to each individual household was
conducted by each group. Use of the group distribution
method greatly reduced the time needed for individual
distributions. Beneficiaries with fewer than five family
members received individual distributions.

---------------------------------------
GMB FOOD DISTRIBUTIONS ARE INSUFFICIENT
---------------------------------------

5. The FFPO conducted two informal focus group interview
with the waiting beneficiaries in Lubuze and a household
survey in the neighboring ward of Sidzibe. These groups
reported that there had been no government maize
distributions through the Zimbabwe Grain Marketing Board
(GMB) since the October bi-election. In order to receiv
GMB maize distributions, both groups and the individual
household reported that they registered for the GMB
distributions with their village heads, and then
distribution was made on a first-come, first-served basi
to those who had the money to buy. They also reported t
the maize distributed by GMB only covered about 20 perce
of the households. Upon being asked directly whether th
had been any political manipulation of the GMB maize, al
responded that there had not been. They reported that t
GMB controlled price during the October distribution was
500 Zimbabwean dollars per 50 KG sack of maize. The
current local (black) market price of maize meal was
reported as 1,600 Zimbabwean dollars for 20 kg, which is
much lower than in other districts, where 20 kg can run
high as 4,000 Zimbabwean dollars.

-----------------------------------------
CONTINUED DROUGHT UNDERMINES FOOD SECURITY
------------------------------------------

6. The villagers reported that there had not been any
rains in almost two months. While driving through Insiz
district, the FFPO noted that there was very little grou
vegetation and that most fields had not yet been planted
The few cattle seen walking through the villages were
noticeably thin, with their ribs very pronounced. No on
in either focus group reported that they had planted yet
this year due to the lack of rain. Everyone reported th
they had received seed maize from the GMB during October
and had just received sorghum and cow pea distributions
from World Vision. The villagers reported that if rains
begin, they would still be able to plant through the end
January. All villagers expected that they would remain
dependent on food assistance from WFP.

7. The villagers reported that cattle were dying at an
alarming rate due to lack of food. All villagers that t
FFPO spoke with reported that they had each lost cattle,
and that as many as 20 per day were dying throughout the
neighboring wards. They also reported that the sales pri
of the cattle had dropped dramatically, to about 10,000
Zimbabwean dollars, down from about 80,000, because the
cattle were so thin and wasted. WHITEHEAD

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