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Cablegate: Nicaragua: Post Review of Wfp Draft Country Program

VZCZCXYZ0014
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #2335 2891746
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161746Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1515
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHSUN/USUN ROME IT 0001

UNCLAS MANAGUA 002335

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CEN, IO/EDA - SKOTOK
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR DCHA/FFP - A/JDWORKEN
USUN ROME FOR WFP AFFARIS DIRECTOR RNEWBERG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF EAGR EFIN NU
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA: POST REVIEW OF WFP DRAFT COUNTRY PROGRAM

REF: A) STATE 141212, B) STATE 139032, C) MANAGUA 1783 (NOTAL)

1. (SBU) This cable responds to reftel A and B request for input
from the field regarding the World Food Program's (WFP) Draft
Country Program being considered by the WFP Board in Rome. WFP's
Nicaragua Draft Country Program for 2008-2012 is good, targeting
areas of greatest food insecurity in the country and high-risk
populations, especially women and girls. Post notes, however, that
there may be a few areas that warrant greater attention.

-- The proposed geographic coverage appropriately targets the five
most vulnerable regions in Nicaragua as identified in the 2004
national government study on height of schoolchildren. It is not
clear, however, which municipalities would be included among the 29
(p. 11) that WFP proposes. Related to this, WFP proposes to
complement the Nicaraguan Government's poverty reduction program
"Hambre Cero" (Reftel C). Would WFP take on the poorest
beneficiaries, i.e., those that do not meet the Hambre Cero
requirement of land ownership (1.5 manzana minimum -approx. 1.7
acres)? Post has political and technical concerns about Hambre
Cero, which is poorly designed and unlikely to be successful.

-- There is a discrepancy between the dollar amount of the proposed
five-year program and the amount that is specified elsewhere in the
document for this program. The text requests $18.58 million, while
the draft decision proposes 21,045 metric tons (MT) for a cost of
$16.4 million.

-- The third component is unclear. As written, the proposed
activities do not support the objective. Performance indicators
listed in Annex II are too general. It is not clear that the
component strives for sustainability. What exactly are the
"alternative livelihoods" that WFP will provide to counter
environmental degradation?

-- Although the proposal mentions monitoring food vulnerability and
implementing a food emergency alert system, there is no discussion
of creating a reserve or undertaking a contingency plan for quick
reallocation in the event of a natural disaster. As hurricanes,
earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions are always a possibility here,
it might be prudent to be prepared. With Hurricane Felix, USAID's
development assistance partners were able to immediately reallocate
10% of in-country stocks, a response that will not be possible when
the current PL-480 program ends in 2008.

2. (SBU) In 2007, USDA/FAS officers conducted a monitoring visit of
WFP administered programs funded by FY 05 and FY 06 Food For Peace
(FFP) resources. Issues identified should be revisited before
approval of the Draft Country Program.

-- WFP needs a stronger inventory control system to track food
supplies and distribution.

-- WFP borrowed 600 MT of rice from the FFP program for use in other
WFP programs not listed in the donation agreement without consulting
USDA. Half went to a school feeding and lactating mother program,
and half to victims of Hurricane Felix. Of the 600 MT total, 400 MT
have been paid back with local purchases. WFP also lent FFP
vegetable oil to another program, but has been unable to specify the
amount which must be repaid.

-- During an evaluation of a WFP program with a women's cashew
cooperative, USDA monitors concluded that WFP did not conduct proper
outreach with beneficiaries and did not inform beneficiaries that
WFP's program was made possible by USG food donations.

TRIVELLI

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