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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ISLAMABAD18810
2005-12-16 13:57:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Islamabad
Cable title:  

PAKISTAN - EARTHQUAKE: CONFUSION OVER WFP AND GOP

Tags:   EAID  AEMR  ASEC  MASS  ECON  KMDR  KPAO  OIIP  OPRC  PGOV  PREL  PK 
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 ISLAMABAD 018810 

SIPDIS

STATE ALSO PASS TO USAID
USAID/W FOR A/AID ANDREW NATSIOS, JBRAUSE
DCHA/OFDA GGOTTLIEB, MMARX, RTHAYER, BDEEMER
AID/W FOR DCHA/OFDA
SOUTH ASIA RESPONSE MANAGEMENT TEAM
SOUTH ASIA EARTHQUAKE TASK FORCE
DCHA/FFP FOR JONATHAN DWORKEN
ANE DEPUTY ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR MARK WARD
BANGKOK FOR OFDA SENIOR REGIONAL ADVISOR TOM DOLAN
KATHMANDU FOR OFDA REGIONAL ADVISOR WILLIAM BERGER
ROME PASS FODAG
GENEVA FOR RMA AND NKYLOH
NSC FOR JMELINE
EUCOM FOR POLA/J3/J4/J5
BRUSSELS FOR USAID PLERNER
NEW YORK FOR TMALY
SECDEF FOR SOLIC/PKHA, USDP/J3
JOINT STAFF WASH DC FOR J3/J4/J5
HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE FOR J3/J5

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID AEMR ASEC MASS ECON KMDR KPAO OIIP OPRC PGOV PREL PK
SUBJECT: PAKISTAN - EARTHQUAKE: CONFUSION OVER WFP AND GOP
DIVISION OF FOOD DISTRIBUTION RESPONSIBILITIES

REF: Islamabad 17557

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



1. On December 1, 2005 the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) and
the Government of Pakistan (GOP) implemented a new division
of geographic responsibilities to distribute food to
approximately 2.3 million people in the earthquake-affected
areas of Northern Pakistan. The GOP requested that WFP move
its urban-based operations from main population centers to
Allai, Kaghan, Neelum, Lipa and other high altitude valleys
to take advantage of WFP's logistical capacity delivering
food in difficult to access areas. The GOP is covering
urban areas and rural areas easily accessible by road and
has taken over WFP operations in Mansehra. However, in the
geographic areas covered by the GOP, WFP is maintaining
food distributions within UN High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) tented camps, UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) tented
schools, hospitals, and supplementary feeding programs for
children under five and pregnant and lactating women. USAID
nongovernmental partners (NGOs) have expressed frustration
that the local government has not effectively communicated
the terms of the new agreement to beneficiaries, creating
unmet expectations. Despite these concerns with the details
of food distribution responsibilities, there is currently an
adequate supply of food in Pakistan for earthquake victims.
End Summary.



--------------------------


Splitting the Caseload


--------------------------




2. At the outset of the emergency, the international
humanitarian community took a collegial approach to
determining areas of operation for food distribution. For
the most part, NGOs on the ground identified their areas of
operation and coordinated with WFP to target beneficiaries
and establish emergency food distributions. In addition to
WFP and NGO efforts, the GOP was also providing food,
leading to some duplication of efforts.



3. On December 1, a new agreement went into effect that
clarified areas of responsibilities and caseloads, making
the entire movement and provision of food more efficient and
maximizing individual organizational strengths. WFP is
using a combination of land transport and helicopters to
provide food to UNHCR tented camps and the difficult to
access rural areas. The GOP and the provincial governments
are covering urban and less affected areas, as well as
insuring that markets and commercial food distribution
networks are uninterrupted. WFP and the GOP are each
responsible for providing food to 1.1 million people.
Additionally, the International Committee for the Red Cross
and Red Crescent (ICRC) is continuing its feeding and
support program in the lower Neelum Valley for 150,000
beneficiaries.




--------------------------


Food Operations under the New Arrangement


--------------------------



-GOP Operations-



4. The GOP is responsible for ensuring food security to
approximately 1.1 million people living below 5,000 feet
elevation by reactivating markets in the earthquake zone and
launching cash compensation programs for earthquake victims
who lost family members and/or had homes damaged or
destroyed. When necessary, the GOP will provide direct food
distributions; however, to the extent possible, the GOP will
rely solely on market mechanisms to provide food and other
commodities at reduced prices as well as government
subsidized stores called "Utility Stores." The GOP is
DCHA/FFP FOR JONATHAN DORKEN
allocating more than 300,000 metric tons (MT) of wheat flour
to Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and Azad Jammu and
Kashmir (AJK) governments to be channeled through the
utility stores and other market outlets. On December 9, the
FRC reported that there are 30 operational utility stores in
the earthquake-affected areas and a further 12 will be
established.

-WFP Operations-



5. WFP is assisting its caseload of 1.1 million people
through direct food distributions and supplementary feeding
though March 2006. As of November 30, WFP had distributed
23,101 MT of emergency food commodities, of which 1,924 MT
were distributed via air transport. This figure represents
approximately 25 percent of the overall 101,000 MT required
to feed the WFP caseload.



6. Through cooperating partners, WFP is providing blanket
one-month food rations of 96 kilograms per six-person family
to 751,221 people living above 5,000 feet elevation and
other difficult to access areas in AJK and NWFP. Of this
total, there are an estimated 441,221 beneficiaries in AJK
and 310,000 in NWFP. WFP has sub-offices in Muzaffarabad,
Bagh, Ghari Habibullah, and Batagram.



7. In addition to the general food distribution, WFP is
providing or will provide food in UNHCR tented camps for up
to 250,000 persons who have lost their homes, means of
livelihoods, and income and are now living in tents in
rural, urban, and semi-urban areas. In facilities supported
by UNICEF and the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO), WFP
is providing hospital feeding for up to 5,000 patients.



8. To support the nutritional needs of children, WFP is
providing fortified blended cereal along with the general
food distribution for children aged 6 months to 5 years. In
affected villages and tented camps, these children are
receiving wheat soya blend (WSB) as a supplementary ration,
and WFP has the capacity to reach up to 150,000
beneficiaries. WFP is also conducting emergency school
feeding for 150,000 primary school children in UNICEF-
supported tent schools. In tented and open air schools,
UNICEF/WFP-supported schools that were destroyed, and
selected government schools that were destroyed, children
are receiving high energy biscuits and dates.



--------------------------


WFP's Winter Logistics and Pipeline


--------------------------





9. WFP will continue to provide rations through March 2006
by helicopter in snow-covered inaccessible areas and by
truck to accessible UNHCR camps, school feeding sites, and
supplementary feeding programs. WFP has deployed 46 mobile
warehouse tents with a total capacity of approximately
23,000 MT, utilized for food storage as well as for non-food
item pre-positioning. All NGOs and agencies assisting in
the earthquake relief effort have free access to mobile
warehouse storage. An additional 22 mobile warehouse tents
are in the pipeline and will be used to strengthen the
logistics capacity of WFP and its cooperating partners.
This is particularly valuable as it supports the ongoing
effort to establish storage points as close as possible to
beneficiary populations.



10. According to the USAID/DART Food for Peace Officer
(FFPO), the WFP food commodity pipeline is quite healthy.
WFP is currently distributing 2,400 Metric Tons (MT) of
vegetable oil provided by USAID/FFP. An additional
USAID/FFP donation of 2,490 MT of vegetable oil is currently
being finalized. Presently, sufficient wheat exists in
country to allow WFP to draw down its needs. Per reftel,
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offer of a USD 12
million contribution to replace wheat used by WFP provides
reassurance that WFP operations will continue beyond the
winter. (Note: Although the WFP food commodity pipeline is
healthy, WFP does not yet have the necessary funds to cover
associated costs, such as road transportation and
distribution, to continue its obligation through April 2006.
The USAID/DART, in collaboration with the US Mission in
Pakistan, continues to work with the GOP, donors, UN
agencies, ICRC, and NGOs to address this important need.
End note.)



--------------------------


Confusion over Division of Responsibilities


--------------------------





11. The new division of food assistance responsibilities
makes good use of the respective operational capabilities of
WFP and the GOP since WFP is delivering food to the most
difficult to reach areas and the GOP is supporting areas
that are easier to access. However, preliminary field
reports suggest some difficulties with the handover process.
NGOs have expressed frustration over the fact that the GOP
has not effectively communicated the division of
responsibilities to beneficiaries, leading to confusion
among the population and unmet expectations.



12. In Mansehra, where WFP has handed over food assistance
responsibility to the GOP, NGOs are particularly frustrated
with the closure of WFP's office, which has left the
logistics, food and nutrition, and information technology
clusters without leadership. WFP is now handling NWFP
operations from Ghari Habibullah but cluster meetings are
still held in Mansehra. Field staff from some of WFP's
cooperating partners are also concerned that the GOP has not
yet taken over food distribution in several areas in
Mansehra since WFP's departure.



13. In one example of NGO frustration, in Bagh District,
AJK, USAID implementing partner GOAL was providing food and
shelter assistance in eight union councils prior to the
shift in operational areas. As parts of Bagh District now
fall under the GOP's operational area, GOAL ceded food
responsibilities in five of the union councils to the GOP.
However, GOAL is still implementing USAID shelter projects
in these five union councils. As GOAL is still present, but
no longer providing food, GOAL's community mobilizers are
receiving complaints. GOAL reported that even the local
Bagh Administrator and military representatives were not
aware of the shift.



14. According to the USAID/DART FFPO, the disconnect between
the decision to divide food aid areas and the local
governments' knowledge of this decision is fairly universal
in both NWFP and AJK. At a December 9 food cluster meeting
in Islamabad, humanitarian agencies recommended to the FRC
that the GOP raise community awareness via radio campaigns.
At the meeting, the FRC representative seemed surprised by
NGO statements that local government and GOP military
representatives on the ground were not aware of the new
agreement. He stated that although the local government
should spread the message at the district level, the FRC
Commissioner could also make a radio address.



15. The USAID/DART FFPO is currently in Mansehra, and is
meeting with a range of humanitarian actors to assess the
food situation and address questions raised regarding food
distribution responsibilities.

CROCKER