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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06KINSHASA584 2006-04-14 12:38:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Kinshasa
Cable title:  

WFP ACTS TO ALLEVIATE HUNGER IN NORTH AND CENTRAL

Tags:   PHUM PREF PGOV EAID CG 
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VZCZCXRO3583
RR RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR
DE RUEHKI #0584 1041238
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141238Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3663
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0409
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
					  UNCLAS KINSHASA 000584 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREF PGOV EAID CG
SUBJECT: WFP ACTS TO ALLEVIATE HUNGER IN NORTH AND CENTRAL
KATANGA

REF: A. KINSHASA 509


B. KINSHASA 572



1. Summary: Although severely underfunded and facing
huge logistical challenges, the World Food Program (WFP)
is racing to feed internally displaced persons (IDPs) in
northern Katanga province. The first WFP airdrops of food
outside of Sudan in eight years began April 5, with more
Katanga-focused drops scheduled for the near term. But
WFP faces both long-term operational uncertainty and
funding shortages. End summary.

The Mission


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





2. Following a UNHCR field assessment mission to Katanga
March 14-16 and the WFP's month-long attempt to deliver
food to Mitwaba by truck convoy from mid-February to mid-
March (reftel B), the WFP began air-dropping food for the
first time in the DRC and the first time in eight years
outside of Sudan. The first drop delivered 70 metric tons
to 17,600 IDPs in Nyonga and 85 metric tons to 13,000 IDPs
in Dubie. WFP plans to drop additional supplies to IDPs
in Mitwaba, Sampwe and Kasungeji -- all villages in
Northern Katanga.

The Challenges


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





3. As noted in reftel A, estimates of the number of
Katanga IDPs vary wildly. WFP estimates there could be up
to 220,000 IDPs needing assistance in the region, though
other agencies are reporting about 100,000. A recent
nutritional survey by Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF)
described the malnutrition rates in three Katanga IDP
camps as "staggering," with a mortality rate of 4.3 deaths
per 10,000 people per day, more than four times the
emergency threshold. Since a WFP convoy came under attack
last year, ground transport costs have more than doubled
due to insecurity. The dreadful road conditions following
the rains and a lack of vehicles also hamper ground
transport. A long-term plan for the IDPs has still not
been developed, although Mai Mai attacks -- the main cause
of displacement -- seem on the wane.

And, Of Course, the Money


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





4. In addition to facing severe security and logistical
obstacles, WFP's operations in DRC are under-funded. With
three months left in its two-and-a-half year Protracted
Relief and Recovery Operation in the DRC, WFP faces a
critical shortfall of 36 percent of the total $191 million
required for current operations -- an estimated shortfall
of $69 million. New sources of funding have not yet been
identified.

Comment


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





5. The situation in northern and central Katanga
continues to reflect a melange of worst-possible-case
elements: lack of security, numerous people in need,
difficult terrain, logistical/transport limitations, and
budgetary gaps. The imminent deployment of two brigades
of MONUC peacekeepers (reftel B) should begin to bring
some order into the chaos. While the airdrops offer a
temporary response to the immediate crisis, the GDRC and
humanitarian relief workers must now focus on long-term
solutions. End comment.
MEECE