Viewing cable 03KUWAIT2137
Title: DART FOOD UPDATE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
03KUWAIT21372003-05-20 09:28:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Kuwait
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KUWAIT 002137 
 
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:  DART FOOD UPDATE 
 
 
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SUMMARY 
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¶1.  Members of the DART Food Team attended the weekly food 
and nutrition sectoral meeting on 5 May with members of WFP, 
UNICEF, Save the Children, and IMC.  Topics addressed during 
the meeting included a briefing on the progress made by WFP 
in re-starting the PDS, a briefing on vulnerable group 
feeding by Save the Children and IMC, and an update from the 
DART.  End Summary. 
 
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BRIEFING ON PROGRESS BY WFP 
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¶2.  The U.N. World Food Program (WFP) is working closely 
with its national staff and the Ministry of Trade (MOT) to 
assemble what remains of public distribution system (PDS) 
records and data.  Although WFP has had success in this 
endeavor throughout the country, Baghdad is proving to be 
difficult due to the level of looting and damage to MOT 
offices.  In addition, WFP staff have been assessing the 
capacity and condition of the mills, silos, and trucking 
fleets throughout Iraq. 
 
¶3.      WFP is working closely with MOT and local 
authorities to verify what food stocks remain in storage, 
including commodities and tonnages.  There is a countrywide 
lack of pulses, rice, and milk in remaining stocks as 
previous distributions were missing these commodities. 
Rapid importation of these commodities will be crucial in 
allowing WFP and MOT to round out the food basket until 
regular distributions resume.  WFP is planning to first 
finish the August distribution, which was interrupted by the 
war.  (Note: The MOT had been providing double rations in 
the months leading up to the war, which were intended to 
sustain the population through July.  The March distribution 
was interrupted by the war, leaving each governorate in 
various states of completion.  End Note.) 
 
¶4.  WFP reports that local leaders in An Nasiriyah, who are 
focusing on upcoming elections, pressured them to begin a 
distribution, despite not having a complete food basket. WFP 
advised these local leaders that the next distribution 
should wait until they can provide the full food basket. 
However, according to WFP, the local leaders went forward 
with a distribution.  WFP is increasingly concerned that 
distributions may be taking place for political reasons, 
rather than from need. 
 
¶5.  In addition to the Basrah MOT, WFP has had meetings with 
Coalition forces in Basrah, who have a good knowledge of the 
situation on the ground and emphasized that security remains 
an issue to be addressed.  Despite Coalition protection, WFP 
is worried about bringing in new equipment to the site of 
the MOT offices, which are still subject to looting.  It has 
been suggested that MOT assets be guarded by armed MOT 
staff.  But when questioned about this, a Basrah MOT 
representative said he did not think it was a good idea to 
give guns to guards at this particular time. 
 
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PUBLIC INFORMATION CAMPAIGN 
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¶6.  WFP acknowledged that a public information campaign 
regarding the PDS is an issue that needs to be initiated. 
WFP/Jordan informed the WFP/Iraq Program Manager that fliers 
were being made to explain that the PDS will continue to be 
the mechanism for food distribution and that a distribution 
will happen as soon as WFP and MOT can provide a complete 
food basket.  DART has been pressing WFP to undertake this. 
 
¶7.  In Basrah, the MOT representatives were less 
enthusiastic about a public information campaign.  Their 
explanation to WFP was that many people visit the 
registration office everyday and are informed of what the 
process will be, thus there is no need for a public 
information campaign.  One MOT representative added that any 
public information campaign would be considered odd by the 
local population and would create suspicion among them. 
WFP/Baghdad and Central MOT are discussing the best way to 
proceed. 
 
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NGO UPDATE 
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¶8.  Save the Children, working in Basrah governorate, 
recently identified 19 internally displaced families (119 
people) from Basrah living in a youth center near the 
hospital in Az Zubayr.  These people left Basrah because 
they lived too close to a military area that was bombed 
during the war.  To get by, the children have been working 
as laborers, and the families are in need of food.  Save the 
Children will monitor that population and look into shelter, 
food, and medical interventions. 
 
¶9.  Before the war, WFP stockpiled 1,200 metric tons of food 
for the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to provide 
institutional feeding.  As a WFP implementing partner for 
internally displaced persons and other vulnerable groups in 
the governorate, Save the Children consulted with the 14- 
member Advisory Council of Az Zubayr, which reported that, 
other than the hospital, there were no institutions in Az 
Zubayr in need of food.  WFP suggested that Save the 
Children link with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, 
which has a list of orphanages in the Basrah governorate. 
 
¶10.  International Medical Corps (IMC) reported that the 
Tuberculosis (TB) Program Director at a hospital in Al Kut 
has enquired if WFP can provide food to the people from the 
outlying areas who have to come into town to receive 
treatment for TB.  WFP encouraged the hospital to submit a 
proposal to support feeding this vulnerable group. 
 
JONES