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New pockets of need emerge

[Zambia] Kala Refugee Camp in Zambia, WFP food distribution.
Some 26,000 children affected by school feeding halt (IRIN)

As the World Food Programme (WFP) gears itself to meet new needs in Zambia, the organisation warned that no further contributions to its food aid pipeline had been confirmed.

WFP said in its latest situation report that food stocks were set to run out next month, while at the same time "significant hunger pockets are emerging in areas such as Kaputa, in the Northern province".

Lena Savelli, WFP Zambia public information officer, told IRIN on Tuesday "this is the time of year when many households become food insecure".

The Zambian Vulnerability Assessment Committee, made up of government, UN agencies and NGOs, was examining the situation in the Northern province, the report noted.

"The Northern province is normally not badly affected by food insecurity, as compared to the Eastern and Southern provinces," Savelli said. WFP was "currently analysing the situation" in the affected areas of the Northern province to determine the causes and extent of food shortages there.

Meanwhile, between 25 November and 1 December WFP and its implementing partners had distributed 1,297 mt of food aid to beneficiaries in Zambia.

Its pilot school-feeding programme was "progressing well and is currently reaching 19,045 beneficiaries". The urban intervention programme was targeting children in 156 community schools and drop-in residential centres for street children.

"In November, 54,562 children benefited [from WFP distributions] and 29,826 families received assistance," the report added.

Preparations were underway for a new pilot project beginning on 1 January 2004, in which WFP will manage food distributions in six refugee camps and settlements.

However, as WFP prepares to meet these new challenges, there was "concern ... over the current stocks of maize that are due to run out next month".

WFP warned that "no new contributions have been confirmed" for its aid programmes in Zambia.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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