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Cablegate: Wfp Expands Zimbabwe Distribution During

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000293

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL US ZI
SUBJECT: WFP EXPANDS ZIMBABWE DISTRIBUTION DURING
JANUARY

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

1. During January 2003, the World Food Programme
(WFP) distributed 42,428 metric tons (MT) of food
commodities, more than doubling the total distribution
for December 2002. The distribution reached 3.216
million beneficiaries in 47 of 49 targeted districts.
In February, WFP plans to target 4.251 million
beneficiaries with 53,562 MT of food commodities. WFP
reports that it will have sufficient food commodities
to meet distribution requirements through the end of
March 2003 when the beneficiary population is
projected to be 5.0 million. WFP reports improved
cooperation with the Government of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe
is expected to open a second border crossing with
South Africa in mid-February exclusively for
humanitarian assistance. Due to logistical
constraints, it is increasingly unlikely that WFP will
mill US-donated maize in Harare. The United States
remains the largest single donor to the WFP emergency
operation in Zimbabwe. END SUMMARY.

-------------------------------------------
WFP DOUBLES DISTRIBUTION QUANITY IN JANUARY
-------------------------------------------

2. During January 2003, WFP and its implementing
partners (IPs) distributed a total of 42,428 MT of
food commodities for 3.216 million beneficiaries in 47
of 49 targeted districts in Zimbabwe. The January
distribution was WFP's largest to date, and more than
double December's 21,067 MT. The current distribution
was able to reach almost 1 million more beneficiaries
than the December distribution. The total tonnage
distributed during January consisted of 32,932 MT
maize, 1,436 MT vegetable oil, 3,437 MT beans, and
3,843 MT corn-soy blend (CSB).

3. NOTE: According to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability
Assessment Committee's December Report, there are 5.9
million rural Zimbabweans in need of food assistance.
WFP has assumed responsibility for covering food aid
needs in 49 of Zimbabwe's 57 rural districts. The
total population in need in these 49 districts is
about 5.1 million people. Of the remaining eight
districts, seven are covered by the USAID-funded
Consortium for the Southern Africa Food Security
Emergency (C-SAFE), and one is covered by Save the
Children, United Kingdom. The total population in
need in these eight districts is about 0.8 million.
END NOTE.

-----------------------------------
BENEFICIARY TARGETS AND PROJECTIONS
-----------------------------------

4. In late December, WFP projected that the January
distribution would reach 4.1 million beneficiaries
with 54,334 MT of food commodities. Therefore, for
January, the WFP distribution was 12,000 MT and
900,000 beneficiaries below its target. WFP missed
its target primarily because of a logistical
bottleneck at the South Africa - Zimbabwe border
crossing at Beitbridge. Commodities arriving from
South Africa were delayed due to insufficient customs
clearance capacity during the 2002 holiday season. In
addition, during January, some of WFP's IPs continued
to register beneficiaries for assistance. In two
districts, Gokwe North and Goromonzi, no distribution
was possible because the IPs responsible for these two
districts had not yet finished the registration
process.

5. For February, WFP plans to target 83 percent of
the total rural population in need, that is, 4.251
million beneficiaries of the estimated 5.1 million. A
total of 53,562 MT of food commodities is projected to
be distributed in all 49 of WFP's targeted districts.
In March, WFP plans to target 5.0 million
beneficiaries.

-----------------------------------------
FOOD PIPELINE STRONG THROUGH END OF MARCH
-----------------------------------------

6. WFP projects that it will have sufficient food
commodities to provide a complete ration to all of its
targeted beneficiaries through the end of March 2003.
While WFP will retain the current ration of 10
kilograms (kg) of cereals and 0.6 kg vegetable oil per
person per month (pppm), they hope to raise the beans
ration from 1.0 to 1.8 kg pppm in March. By March,
WFP intends to stop general distribution of CSB in
favor of a program of targeted supplementary feeding
in all districts for selected vulnerable groups
implemented. WFP is currently identifying additional
partner organizations to implement the supplementary
feeding program.
7. WFP's current emergency operation (EMOP) 10200.0
ends at the end of March 2003. The EMOP is expected
to be extended by three months, until the end of June
2003. In May, in expectation of the maize harvest,
WFP projects that it will cut its beneficiary
population to 3.0 million from March's high of 5.0
million. Resources pledged to date indicate that
WFP's cereal pipeline remains strong through the end
of April, and the vegetable oil pipeline remains
strong through the end of June. WFP will require
additional pledges of cereals, pulses, and CSB to meet
beneficiary requirements through the end of June. WFP
projects a shortfall of some 50,000 MT of cereals,
15,000 MT of pulses, and 20,000 MT CSB through the end
of June 2003.

-----------------------------------------
HUMANITARIAN BRIDGE TO OPEN AT BEITBRIDGE
-----------------------------------------

8. WFP has reached agreement with the Government of
South Africa and the Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ) to
reopen the old bridge over the Limpopo River at the
Beitbridge border crossing. The bridge will be used
for humanitarian purposes only and is expected to
greatly reduce the time required for humanitarian
assistance to cross the border. The bridge is expected
to be opened late-February 2003 following completion
of an access road being constructed by the GOZ.

9. WFP has deployed a full-time expatriate logistics
officer to work at the Beitbridge border crossing.
The logistics officer reports good cooperation with
GOZ authorities and that average commercial crossing
time has been reduced to ten hours from three days
during December.

----------------------------
HARARE MILL UNLIKELY TO OPEN
----------------------------

10. Due to concerns about US-donated biotech maize,
the GOZ continues to require WFP to mill the maize
prior to distribution. WFP is currently milling
11,000 MT of US maize per month in Bulawayo and 8,000
MT per month in South Africa. Because of the higher
cost of milling in South Africa, WFP has been
negotiating with the GOZ to open additional milling
capacity in Harare. The Harare mill has the capacity
to mill 23,000 MT of maize per month. WFP reports
that it has received preliminary authorization from
GOZ to begin milling in Harare, but due to logistical
capacity limitations, is unlikely to be able to
utilize the Harare mill. From mid-February, WFP will
compete with the South African sugar industry for
access to the closed rail wagons which the GOZ
requires for the import of US-donated maize. WFP
expects that it will be not be able to source enough
rail wagons to supply the Harare mill with a
sufficient quantity of maize to enable it to reopen.
With an existing milling capacity of 19,000 MT per
month without the Harare mill, WFP expects to mill all
remaining US-donated maize by the end of March.

-----------------
CURRENT RESOURCES
-----------------

11. The Zimbabwe portion of WFP's EMOP 10200.0 for
Southern Africa has been 69 percent resourced. As of
February 3, 2003, WFP had received commitments of
311,759 MT of food commodities, valued at over $150
million. The total appeal under EMOP 10200.0 was for
452,955 MT. If WFP receives new commitments equal to
the 141,196 MT shortfall, WFP reports that it will
have sufficient commodities to meet beneficiary
requirements through the end of June 2003. The United
States remains the largest single donor, pledging
136,873 MT, valued at about $67 million, towards EMOP
10200.0. Since February 2002, the United States has
committed a total of 165,493 MT of food commodities to
WFP's two EMOPs 10200.0 and 10140.0, valued at more
than $82 million.

12. WFP has accepted a pledge of 100,000 MT maize
from South Africa for current food security crisis in
Southern Africa. WFP expects that approximately
65,000 MT of this maize will be designated for
Zimbabwe. South Africa, however, is not able to
provide the necessary funding to transport the
commodities to Zimbabwe or deliver them to the final
delivery points. WFP is currently seeking donors to
fund the estimated $10 million required to import the
bulk maize. If the South African contribution is
realized, this will increase EMOP coverage to 83
percent and largely satisfy any outstanding maize
requirements through June 2003. SULLIVAN

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