Cablegate: Dart Corridor Update: Moving Wfp Food Commodities
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 002413
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
ANKARA FOR AMB WRPEARSON, ECON AJSIROTIC AND DART
AMMAN FOR USAID AND DART
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF IZ WFP
SUBJECT: DART CORRIDOR UPDATE: MOVING WFP FOOD COMMODITIES
1. To reach the monthly tonnage of 487,000 MT of food
commodities needed for the first nationwide public
distribution since the war, WFP had hoped to transport
30,000 MT of food every day into Iraq. Due to a combination
of factors, including insecurity on the roads, insecure and
damaged warehouses and silos, limited reception and storage
capacity, and irregular arrival of ships at certain ports,
WFP has not yet reached its daily target, but maintains the
30,000 MT per day as its goal. As of 26 May, WFP has moved
approximately 360,370 MT inside Iraq. End Summary.
2. The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) had planned
to move approximately 30,000 metric tons (MT) of food
commodities per day over five corridors: Jordan - 9,000 MT;
Syria/Lebanon - 5,000 MT; Turkey - 6,000 MT; Iran - 1,000
MT; and Kuwait/Umm Qasr, Iraq - 9,000 MT. In the past week,
WFP has averaged a total of about 13,800 MT food per day,
but on 26 May achieved 21,700 MT, its highest day yet.
However, WFP maintains 30,000 MT per day as the target.
3. As of May 26, WFP has moved approximately 360,370 MT
inside Iraq against the 487,000 MT monthly food requirement
of the public distribution system (PDS). Ration shortfalls
in most areas, however, can be compensated by pre-existing
stocks in the country.
4. Due to a combination of factors, including insecurity on
the roads, insecure and damaged warehouses and silos,
limited storage and reception capacity identified thus far,
and irregular arrival of ships at certain ports, WFP has not
yet reached its target. The primary impediment is a lack of
adequate storage space. For instance, in Baghdad, WFP has
only 40,000 MT warehouse space, and needs at least 100,000
MT. Lack of silo space, because of either insecurity or
mechanical troubles, for bulk grain is also quite
problematic. The Syria and Turkey corridors have been
particularly hard hit by this problem.
5. Another obstacle has been changing the documentation on
Oil for Food (OFF) shipments, primarily for shipments that
arrived before the war and have remained in ports awaiting
the paperwork to change the consignee of the food to WFP, as
well as awaiting U.S. Department of Defense COTECHNA
inspection. (Note: Under the OFF Program, all OFF
shipments had to be certified by COTECHNA before the vendor
could be paid. End Note.)
6. And finally, lack of security is the root cause of
several problems. WFP does not want to store commodities in
warehouses or silos that are not secure. The discharging of
cargo from trucks has been impacted by security concerns, as
stevedores and other workers are not willing to work during
the night. Without 24-hour post and warehouse operations
trucks take longer to unload, and the turn-around time for
the trucks increases, which slows down the entire operation.
7. As each of the components of the supply chain are
linked, any weak link causes delays throughout the system.
Consequently, WFP does not expect to reach its 487,000 MT
goal until early June.
8. From Turkey, WFP had planned to transport 6,000 MT per
day, but thus far WFP has reached a maximum of 4,300 MT per
day in bulk commodities. Its average, however, has only
been about 3,000 MT per day. Due to recent security
incidents and fighting in Kirkuk, WFP had to redirect trucks
to Mosul. The Turkey and Syria corridors have suffered from
inadequate reception capacity and inability to offload bulk
cargo (grain) quickly, as the offloading has to be done
manually. WFP is trying to airlift vacuvators from Brussels
to assist with offloading the bulk grain in the north. And
as previously reported, current silo offload capacity in
Mosul is limited to 4,000 MT per day.
9. Lack of ship arrivals in Syria has been a limiting
factor across the corridor. A ship carrying 14,000 MT of
rice, procured with the USAID contribution of USD 200
million to WFP, arrived this week in Tartous and is
currently discharging. From Syria, WFP has also been
dispatching to Mosul, but because of the limited reception
capacity in Mosul, WFP has redirected these trucks to
Ba'qubah in Diyala Governorate.
10. In addition, there are 135,000 MT of OFF bulk wheat
currently stored in a silo in Syria. WFP is trying to
expedite shipment of this wheat into Iraq, but the U.N.
Office of Iraqi Programs (OIP) says it issued Syria's
General Establishment (grain board) the appropriate letter
of credit, while the General Establishment says it never
received it. As soon as this issue is resolved, the wheat
can be transported, but there is no indication as to when
this might be.
11. The Syria corridor is averaging about 3,000 MT per day,
but did achieve WFP's target of 5,000 MT on 25 May.
12. Jordanian truckers recently asked for additional money
per ton. With WFP pressure, the Government of Jordan (GOJ)
increased the maximum limitation per truckload by four MT,
which allows truckers to earn more money per trip. The GOJ
has also begun to facilitate customs at the ports and
borders, and has given WFP priority on expediting re-entry
procedures for trucks returning to Jordan after discharging
the cargo in Iraq.
13. Recent concern about the repair of the bridge in Ar
Rutbah has been allayed. Bechtel is tasked with the repair
work and is building a bypass around the bridge before
repair on the bridge begins. The bypass construction may
begin this week and should take approximately ten days.
Contrary to earlier reports, the bypass will not go through
the town of Ar Rutbah (where traffic congestion would cause
significant delays) so WFP truck traffic should be able to
proceed without problems.
14. On 27 May, a group of trucks came under fire between
the towns of Fallujah and Ar Ramadi. WFP has consistently
raised security concerns to Coalition forces about this area
since it began using the Jordanian corridor. One Syrian
truck driver was reportedly shot in the leg. Further
information about the incident will be forthcoming, but the
negative impact on use of the corridor has already been
15. The daily average from Jordan during the past two weeks
has been 4,800 MT.
16. The Kuwaiti ports are relatively full, and container
congestion has caused delays in sending food forward from
Kuwait. Included in the congestion are the 18,000 MT of
USAID Title II contributions of beans, oil, and corn and
wheat soy blend. In order to ease the congestion, the
commodities are being trucked in the containers and opened
in Umm Qasr. Additionally, there have been delays from
COTECHNA in inspecting OFF commodities entering Iraq.
17. Another limiting factor of dispatches from Kuwait and
Iraq is the inability of the Basrah silo to take bulk grain.
The grain currently inside the silos is mixed with
quantities of dust, which causes operational problems and
affects the quality of the grain. Cleaning of the silo has
begun under the Bechtel contract, but the date when it will
become operational is unclear.
18. Approximately 2,500 MT per day are moving across the
Kuwaiti border. Now that there are two ships (Irazu and
Thor Mariner) at the Port of Umm Qasr, the daily discharge
rates have risen to over 4,000 MT per day. Those ships will
depart at the end of the week, and another two ships arrive
on 30 and 31 May. In addition, WFP is bringing in a third
ship carrying bulk grain that will use the port's mobile
vacuvators. The need for the silos in Umm Qasr and Basrah
will be magnified with the arrival of the bulk wheat in Umm
Qasr. The destination of the bulk grain is yet
19. Limited cargo arriving in Iranian ports, coupled with
recent problems with trucking capacity (as transporters
promised more than they could deliver), have been the
limiting factors in Iran. Reaching a high of 1,500 MT in
one day in early May, the recent average has been only 310
MT per day. Most of the food sent from Iran thus far came
from a 10,000 MT loan of wheat flour and some non-cereals.
Two ships have arrived in Iranian ports, but the majority of
the cargo is sugar from OFF contracts, a commodity already
in good supply for the Iraqi public distribution system