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Cablegate: Tfiz01: Dart Report On Wfp/Unicef & Ngo Food And

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 KUWAIT 001826

SIPDIS

STATE ALSO PASS USAID/W
STATE PLEASE REPEAT TO IO COLLECTIVE
STATE FOR PRM/ANE, EUR/SE, NEA/NGA, IO AND SA/PAB
NSC FOR EABRAMS, SMCCORMICK, STAHIR-KHELI, JDWORKEN
USAID FOR USAID/A, DCHA/AA, DCHA/RMT, DCHA/FFP
USAID FOR DCHA/OTI, DCHA/DG, ANE/AA
USAID FOR DCHA/OFDA:WGARVELINK, BMCCONNELL, KFARNSWORTH
USAID FOR ANE/AA:WCHAMBERLIN
ROME FOR FODAG
GENEVA FOR RMA AND NKYLOH
DOHA FOR MSHIRLEY
ANKARA FOR AMB WRPEARSON, ECON AJSIROTIC AND DART
AMMAN FOR USAID AND DART

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF IZ WFP
SUBJECT: TFIZ01: DART REPORT ON WFP/UNICEF & NGO FOOD AND
NUTRITION SECTOR MEETING 28 April


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

1. The DART met with WFP, UNICEF, and several NGOs on 28
April to discuss developments in the food and nutrition
sectors. Of primary interest were WFP's assessment of
Ministry of Trade (MOT) capacity in Basrah and IMC's
assessment in the Amarah-Al Kut corridor. End Summary.

---------------------------
WORLD FOOD PROGRAM - BASRAH
---------------------------

2. Representatives of the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) met
with Ministry of Trade (MOT) staff in Basrah on 26 and 27
April. Most MOT staff in Basrah are present and willing to
work; however, the main MOT warehouse and office complex is
currently occupied by Coalition forces. WFP has secured
daily access to the facility for the MOT and approximately
300 laborers. WFP reports that the MOT computers in this
facility have had their hard-drives removed, and several
were otherwise damaged. WFP and MOT are discussing ways to
recreate the logistics and demographic databases feared
lost. DART will follow up with Coalition forces to
establish a timetable for the return of the complex to the
MOT, and to determine if the computer hard-drives are in
Coalition custody.

3. There was a public distribution system (PDS)
registration center with 54 sub-units in Basrah, all
reported to be located in the same compound, which was
burned. MOT staff report that backup disks of registration
data have been found. Staff from the registration centers
had taken the disks home for safekeeping. It is not yet
clear if the data from all 54 centers has been preserved.
MOT and WFP will follow up.

4. WFP reported that Basrah was the hub for all MOT
trucking in the 15 southern and central governorates. In
the past, movements of approximately 1,000 MOT trucks were
coordinated from the central MOT complex in Basrah. There
was a standing fleet of 21 trucks for the Basrah governorate
itself. Of these, 12 were burned, six were looted, and
three remain. WFP has requested assistance from Coalition
forces to determine how many trucks may be recovered from
other governorates. MOT staff reports that two of three
large reserve tanks of diesel fuel remain intact in the
warehouse and will provide for up to two months of country-
wide trucking.

5. WFP and MOT staff are conducting a physical inventory of
stocks in the Basrah warehouse complex. They estimate that
there are 50,000 metric tons (MT) of mixed commodities
(pulses, oil, sugar, tea, etc.); 30,000 MTs bulk wheat; and
an additional 15,000 MTs of bulk wheat in the Basrah silos.

--------------------------------
WORLD FOOD PROGRAM - AN NASIRYAH
--------------------------------

6. WFP reports that all Oil for Food (OFF) program
warehouses in An Nasiriyah are intact, without signs of
looting, and that they are being guarded by civilian
security officers. Mills are functioning in An Nasiriyah,
and there are currently 13,000 MTs of mixed commodities
(including 8,000 MTs of sugar) in MOT storage facilities.
An additional 5,000 MTs of warehouse space has been located
by WFP, and will be used to store the first rice shipments
(500 MTs) expected within the week from Um Qasr. (Note: The
rice will be the first arrival of food purchased regionally
by WFP from the USD 200 million USAID contribution. End
note.)

---------------------------
WORLD FOOD PROGRAM - NINAWA
---------------------------

7. WFP reports that "August" distributions were completed
in the Ninawa governorate. However, the absence of both
pulses and rice resulted in an overall 20 percent reduction
of the food basket. WFP staff in Mosul report that a
significant sulphur factory spill has contaminated a large
swath of fields not far from the city. The DART has
requested more information on this issue.

----------------------------
WORLD FOOD PROGRAM - GENERAL
----------------------------

8. WFP reports increases in the prices of meat, fresh
fruit, and vegetables in the markets it has been able to
monitor in Basrah, An Nasiriyah, and Baghdad. Meat prices,
as well as the cost of bottled water, have more than doubled
since the last available pre-war monitoring data.

9. WFP reports that several issues had common themes in its
discussions with MOT staff and PDS agents. These included a
concern over the number and characteristics of political
parties beginning to form throughout the country, and the
use of the word "democracy" to justify undesirable and even
destructive actions under the rubric that democracy allows
for such freedoms. Another concern voiced was that "tribal"
leaders were beginning to take power in the current vacuum
of civilian authority, and that tribe-centric focus would
divide, rather than unite communities. WFP local staff, MOT
staff and food agents all expressed the hope that a civilian
administration would be put into place quickly. These
concerns will be explored by the DART.


---------------------------
INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS
---------------------------

10. The International Medical Corps (IMC) reported that
along the Amarah-Al Kut route villages are beginning to
receive a trickle of returnees from Iran. These populations
were returning from their home areas of Maysan, Dhi Kar, and
Basrah. In discussions with village leaders, it became
clear that some towns are expecting to double in size over
the next few weeks. Registration of these long-term
refugees into the PDS will be a priority of WFP and its
implementing partners.

11. IMC reports that Community Child Care Units (CCCUs)
along the Amarah-Al Kut corridor were not functioning and
that some of them had not functioned for the last six months
or more. UNICEF High Protein Biscuits (HPBs) (1,200 MTs of
which were distributed to CCCUs and health centers just
prior to the war) were found on the market in Amarah, and in
storage in Al Kut. Doctors in the hospitals and clinics
visited by IMC reported that malnutrition, particularly
linked to protein deficiency, is on the rise throughout the
region. Severe malnutrition as a consequence of poor water
quality and diarrheal disease has increased. The IMC
representative expressed concern over the lack of
therapeutic milk, or other nutritional rehabilitation
commodities, saying that he had seen instances where
children were being turned away from treatment simply
because there was nothing to treat them with. He also
indicated that some vulnerable families were not seeking
care because they did not have the money to cover hospital
fees. (Note: UNICEF reports that the last F100 Therapeutic
Milk was imported in September, 2000, with a gap in HPB
distribution from April 2002 to February/March 2003. End
Note.)

12. IMC also reported that hospitals along this eastern
corridor have gone through medical stocks at an accelerated
pace, due to significant numbers of people moving towards
the east from Baghdad prior to the war. Although IMC did
not verify food stocks during this trip, IMC did indicate
that host families may have had a similar impact on
household food consumption during this period. However, in
interviews with villagers, food was not mentioned as a
priority need in the villages and towns assessed.

------
UNICEF
------

13. UNICEF reports that its Targeted Nutrition Program
offices in Basrah were completely looted. Staff has
relocated to the Director General for Health office.
Basrah staff is optimistic that they can get the Targeted
Feeding Program up and running in a matter of weeks. UNICEF
plans to work through Save the Children, US, in the
governorate of Basrah.

14. An Nasiriyah's Preventive Health Department building,
where the Targeted Feeding Program was located, was shelled,
and its stocks looted. Staff feel that given sufficient
resources, the Targeted Feeding Program could be reactivated
quickly. UNICEF plans to work through GOAL in the Dhi Qar
governorate.

15. UNICEF developed a draft policy paper, at a special
meeting in Cairo two months ago, on the procurement,
distribution, and use of infant formula in Iraq. This draft
policy is currently in circulation and will be available to
the DART within the week. UNICEF has not focused on the
issue of non-fat dried milk distribution, but DART and WFP
will follow up on the issue of monitoring its use and
assessing its value in the PDS food basket. UNICEF reports
that it has positioned 2500 MTs of HPBs in the region to be
used to re-start the Targeted Nutrition Program.

16. DART inquired whether UNICEF had the capacity and
intention of performing rapid nutritional assessments, for
example in response to IMC findings along the Amarah- Al Kut
corridor. UNICEF responded that they were focused on re-
establishing their targeted nutritional program under the
Ministry of Health and would consider rapid assessments a
diversion.

JONES

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