FAO GLOBAL INFORMATION AND EARLY WARNING SYSTEM ON FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME

SPECIAL REPORT

FAO/WFP CROP AND FOOD SUPPLY ASSESSMENT MISSION TO CAMBODIA

29 December 2000

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1. OVERVIEW

In September 2000 Cambodia was affected by one of the worst floods in recent history. This one in forty-year flood, resulted in several hundred deaths and large scale destruction of crops, principally rice, infrastructure, property and lines of communication. An estimated 3 million people were affected, half a million displaced from homes and almost four hundred died. The September floods exacerbated existing problems following earlier floods in July. In addition to human loss, current estimates indicate the economic cost of the floods to be around US$100-200 million.

In view of the extensive and cumulative damage of the floods on rice this year and the possible impact of this on food availability and household food security over the next year, an FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment mission was requested by the Government and fielded to the country between 6 and 15 December, to assess the overall food supply situation and the need for possible food aid intervention for the 2001 marketing year (January/December). The findings of the mission are based on discussions with Government agencies, UN and NGO organisations, traders and farmers, and on field visits to key rice producing areas including; Battambang, Kapong Cham, Prey Veng and Takeo.

The mission found that the cumulative effects of the floods this year reduced overall wet season rice production on some 400 000 hectares, though recovery was possible on around 60 000 hectares of the area lost. Notwithstanding the loss due to floods, rainfall this year was generally above average, as a result of which the overall season was favourable and yields were above 1999, which was a bumper year. Although harvesting is still underway, the mission estimates that the likely area harvested in the 2000 wet season will be around 1.64 million hectares in total, some 5 percent below average for the past four years and the lowest since 1996/97, which was also affected by serious floods. Based on average yields of around 1.85 tonnes/ha, wet season paddy production is estimated at some 3.03 million tonnes. In addition some 20 percent of aggregate annual rice production comes from the recession and dry season crops. Overall prospects for the dry season are generally favourable, given the abundance of residual surface and soil moisture and silt deposits. Though tentative at this stage, as the crop will not be harvested till March/April, dry season production is forecast at 735 000 tonnes, similar to 2000. Overall 2000/01 paddy production, therefore, is estimated at 3.76 million tonnes or 2.33 million tonnes in rice equivalent. In addition to current year production, the mission assessed that there were reasonably large in-country stocks of rice due to a generally sluggish domestic and cross-border market. This is reflected in prices which remain lower than last year. Taking into account these stocks, overall rice availability for the 2001 marketing year is estimated at 2.433 million tonnes. Against this total utilisation, food, seed, feed, other uses and stock draw-down, to cover the shortfall in wet season production, is estimated at 2.478 million tonnes leaving an uncovered deficit of around 45 000 tonnes. This deficit, however, will be covered entirely by pipeline food assistance, leaving an overall balance in rice supply and demand for 2001 with no import requirement.

Despite a relatively satisfactory rice supply/demand situation from a national perspective, this year's floods made a large number of people, who are normally on the borderline of subsistence and food insecurity, more vulnerable to food shortages. In general, there are three broad categories of "food insecure" people in the country. The largest group currently are the chronically food insecure, comprising approximately 2 million people. The second group are the "vulnerable groups" (handicapped, disease victims, orphans, etc.), which accounts for a further 500-600 000 people. The third group are the "transitory food insecure", due to factors such as fires, floods, and droughts, and would normally account for some 50 000 people. This year, however, due to the exceptional flooding, the number classified as transient food insecure is estimated at 3 million people. Of these, vulnerability analysis indicates that some 500 000 people would be classified as the most food insecure. Given the magnitude of the problem, this group could become chronically food insecure, if they have to resort to extreme coping strategies such as sale of land, incurring high interest debt, etc, to meet the household food deficit resulting from flood damage. However, if targeted food assistance is provided, almost all this group can be expected to recover by the next harvest. To cover the food needs of the half a million people who are most at risk, the mission advocates additional food assistance for four months. Part of the requirement (one and half months) will be met through a current Emergency Operation (EMOP 6296.00), whilst an additional 16 000 tonnes will be required to meet the remainder of food needs.

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2. THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR AND THE ECONOMY

Cambodia is well endowed with natural resources, including forests, inland and coastal fisheries, a wide diversity of agricultural zones, suited to a range of crops and livestock. Its topography is largely low lying centring on Tonle Sap lake, which in most rainy seasons doubles in size. There are large water resources emerging from the Mekong river system and the lake, which provides an important source for dry season flow and hence cultivation. The lake is also an invaluable source of inland fish.

Thirty six percent of the population of 13 million people1 are classified as being below the poverty line, with an estimated 43 percent being below the age of 14 and hence not fully economically active. In 1999, annual income per head was estimated at around U.S. $280, making the country one of the poorest in the world. An estimated 85 percent of the population live in rural areas and depend on farming as their main source of household food and income security. UN estimates indicate that some 50 percent of children under five are stunted, whilst up to 20 percent suffer severe malnutrition.

Through the 1990s Cambodia has been through a fairly difficult process of transition from a centrally planned economy to one which is market driven. Market reforms and policies aimed at encouraging private sector development were adopted in 1989/90, with increased liberalisation of the economy, further dismantling of price controls and incentives to enhance private sector development and foreign investment.

Agriculture is the most important sector in the economy, presently accounting for some 43 percent of GDP. The sector is dominated by rice and livestock production which together account for roughly one third of agricultural output2 and around 27 percent of GDP. Although there is potential for expansion, currently the contribution of fisheries and forestry to the economy is relatively small at around 5 percent of GDP. In 1999, to increase agricultural production and value added in the sector, the Government announced a three year plan to enhance investment. The priority areas for development were identified as transport and roads to increase market access, and food processing to increase value added. In recent years the trend has been for Cambodia to produce surplus rice for cross border export to Thailand and Vietnam.

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3. 2000 RAINFALL PATTERN AND FLOODS

Notwithstanding the adverse effects of the combination of a dry start to the season and extensive floods, rainfall and the overall season have by and large been generally favorable for rice production, with the standing crop in many areas looking highly promising. In view of this, yields are projected to be higher this year than last, which will partly off-set the reduction in output due to the areas damaged by the floods.

The pattern of rainfall during the 2000 wet season was generally satisfactory for crop production and was not the main contributing factor to this year's floods, which were due to specific cyclone/typhoon activity. In most of the important production areas rainfall was above normal, and similar to 1999, which was highly favourable. See Figure 1.

Undisplayed Graphic

Floods first occurred in July followed by a more extensive and widespread occurrence in September, when water levels in strategic parts of the Mekong River rose to levels much higher than normal and above the maximum level of alert. Figure 2 provides an indication of water levels upstream compared to mean and the maximum level of alert.

Undisplayed Graphic

Although the floods this year caused extensive damage to property and infrastructure and damaged rice in a number of areas, there was also a residual beneficial effect in terms of river silt, which enhanced soil fertility in remaining rice areas.

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4. FOOD PRODUCTION IN 2000/01

The majority of farm households are engaged in rice production. The most important rice growing areas include the provinces of Battambang, Banteay Meanchay, and Siem Reap in the North West and Kampong Cham, Takeo and Prey Veng in the South East. In normal years, these provinces together account for some 63 percent of aggregate production. Most rice cultivation in the country revolves around the wet season which extends from July to October. This crop is entirely dependent on rainfall and accounts for around 85 percent of annual food crop production, over ninety percent of cropped area and almost 70 percent of energy needs in the diet. There are principally five different rice systems practised; three in the wet season and two in the dry season. These include:

Within the wet season systems, early, medium and late varieties of rice are cultivated, the growing period of which extends from 90 to 210 days. The crop sequence for the various types and seasons of rice is indicated in Figure 3.

Undisplayed Graphic

4.1 2000/01 Rice Area

From an estimated area of some 2.5 million hectares reported under rice in the late 1960s, area declined appreciably to around 1.8 million hectares by 1992/93. Recovery and expansion in rice production in the first half of the 1990s was partially constrained by the widespread presence of landmines, which are estimated to have covered as much as 30 percent of agricultural land. Since the 1995, however, there has been a steady increase in area and production of rice, with a bumper crop attained last year and similar production forecast initially made for 2000, prior to the floods. The increase in output during the last five years was has been through around a 4.5 percent increase in area per annum and a 2 percent increase in yields. See tables 1 and 2.

The floods in 2000, however, resulted in considerable damage to rice, with a reduction of some 400 000 hectares in the area harvested to that planned. Although in the aftermath of the September floods, it was possible to rehabilitate and replant some 60 000 hectares of the area damaged, the potential harvest area for wet season rice, harvesting of which is still underway, is likely to be around 1.64 million hectares, some 5 percent below average for the previous four years and the lowest since 1996/97, which was also affected by floods.

In addition to the main floods which occurred in mid/late September and which damaged standing rice, production earlier in the season was initially affected by drought in several provinces, which prevented early planting of rice and by the first wave of floods in late July. The combination of floods at the beginning and mid season and drought, therefore, contributed to the reduction in overall wet season area planted and harvested this year.

4.2 2000/01 Wet Season Rice Production

Wet season rain-fed rice production accounts for around 80 percent of the total rice crop, the balance being from the recession and dry seasons. During the wet season farmers plant early maturing, medium late maturing rice depending on location and soils and general climatic conditions. Whilst the dry season only accounts for some 10 percent of planted area in most years, output is proportionally higher and in the region of 18-20 percent, reflecting higher yields. In any given year, the area and production of dry season rice depends on rainfall during the previous wet season and floods around the Mekong River system, which determine the level of water availability in reservoirs and residual soil moisture content. For the next 2001 dry season, based on present water and soil conditions, a favorable crop is forecast, as most reservoirs are near capacity and the speed of water recession has been much slower due to the abundance of water and unseasonable and continuing rainfall into early December. In spite of a generally favourable dry season outlook, production will be influenced by the rate of rehabilitation of irrigation structures damaged during the floods. Needless to say that if irrigation structures cannot be rehabilitated in time, there will be problems in delivering water to crops, which in turn will influence productivity.

Based on available data and field observations, the mission estimates wet season paddy production at 3 027 million tonnes from an area of 1.636 million hectares. Average yields, therefore, from harvested areas will be around 1.85 tonnes/ha and some 2 percent higher than average yields in 1999. Overall output in 2000, despite the severity of floods, therefore, would only be some 9 percent lower than 1999.

Table 1: Cambodia - Paddy Production from 1996/1997 and 2000/01


Crop

2000/01
2000/01 as
percent of
1999/2000

1999/2000
1999/2000 as
percent of
1998/99

1998/99
1998/99 as percent
of 1997/98

1997/98
1997/98 as percent
of 1996/97
1996/97
Wet Season
                 
Harvested Area ('000 ha)
1 636
89
1 846
106
1 744
104
1 685
103
1 640
Production ('000 tonnes)
3 027
91
3 333
116
2 880
108
2 673
98
2 733
Yield (tonnes/ha)
1.85
102
1.81
110
1.65
104
1.59
95
1.67
Dry Season
                 
Harvested Area ('000 ha)
237
102
233
107
217
89
244
111
219
Production ('000 tonnes)
735
104
708
111
635
86
742
113
657
Yield (tonnes/ha)
3.10
102
3.04
104
2.93
96
3.04
101
3.00
All
                 
Harvested Area ('000 ha)
1 873
90
2 079
106
1 961
102
1 929
104
1 859
Production ('000 tonnes)
3 762
93
4 041
115
3 515
103
3 415
101
3 390
Yield (tonnes/ha)
2.01
104
1.94
108
1.79
101
1.77
97
1.82

Sources: 1999/2000 and 2000/01 MAFF figures
1996/1997, 1997/1998 and 1998/1999 mission assessment

Table 2: Cambodia - Comparison for 5 years of production harvested area and yield 1996/97 to 2000/01

 
1996/19997
1997/1998
1998/1999
1999/2000
2000/01
 
Area
harvested
('000 ha)
Yield
(t/ha)
Production
('000 ha)
Area
harvested
('000 ha)
Yield
(t/ha)
Production
('000 ha)
Area
harvested
('000 ha)
Yield
(t/ha)
Production
('000 ha)
Area
harvested
('000 ha)
Yield
(t/ha)
Production
('000 ha)
Area
harvested
('000 ha)
Yield
(t/ha)
Production
('000 ha)
Wet Season
1 640
1.67
2 733
1 685
1.59
2 673
1 744
1.65
2 880
1 846
1.81
3 333
1 636
1.85
3 027
Dry Season
219
3.00
657
244
3.04
742
217
2.93
635
233
3.04
708
237
3.10
735
Total
1 859
1.82
3 390
1 929
1.77
3 415
1 961
1.79
3 515
2 079
1.94
4 041
1 873
2.01
3 762

Sources: 1996/1997, 1997/1998, 1998/1999 mission assessment
1999/2000, 2000/01 MAFF figures

4.3 2001 Forecast Dry Season Rice Production

Prospects for the 2001 dry season rice crop are generally favourable due to the higher level of water available both in the soil and in reservoirs for irrigation. In addition the level of water recession has been much slower than normal, providing farmers with better opportunities to cultivate dry season and flood recession rice more productively. The area under dry season rice is largely conditioned by location and water availability and therefore unlikely to exceed the 237 000 hectares planted in 1999, though productivity is likely to be higher than last year. The final outcome of next year's crop can only be tentative at this stage, though taking into consideration the generally favourable outlook the mission assumes 735 000 tonnes as its initial forecast, similar to the 2000 crop.

Overall paddy production for the 2000/01 marketing year (Jan/Dec), including 2000 wet season production and forecast 2001 dry season production, therefore, is estimated at 3.762 million tonnes. In rice equivalent this would be around 2.332 million tonnes.

4.4 Minor Crops

A small area of total agricultural land is used for vegetable production. While not important in terms of quantities, such crops are of great importance to household nutrition. The main minor crops include maize, followed by vegetables, mung beans, soya beans and cassava. Sweet potatoes, sugar cane, sesame and groundnuts are also grown. The crops are mainly grown in areas with a high population density such as the provinces of Kandal, Kompong Cham and Kompong Speu. These provinces are normally also rice deficit areas and farmers tend to grow crops that are more profitable than rice.

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5. RICE SUPPLY/DEMAND SITUATION

5.1 Prices and Access

Irrespective of the devastation the floods caused this year, the overall rice situation in Cambodia remains satisfactory from an aggregate supply prospective. Although rice production in the wet season declined as a result of the flood damage on 400 000 hectares, the assessment mission found that a combination of large in-country disposable stocks held by traders, due to a sluggish rice market in 2000, and the prospects of a favourable rice crop next dry season, indicate that there is little concern of developing rice supply shortages over the next year. Indeed the fact that rice prices, both farm gate and retail, have been declining in 2000 and have generally remained lower than in 1999, supports this contention. In discussions with traders and government agencies a contributory factor to a sluggish market appears to be the much lower demand for Cambodian rice from cross border traders in Thailand and Vietnam, which in turn possibly reflects lower demand and the declining trend in international rice export prices. As a result of the sluggish market a number of traders reported rice inventories of between 30 and 300 percent over last year.

Figure 4, indicates the domestic rice price index whilst figure 5, indicates trends in the comparative fob price of Thai rice over the last 3 years to October this year.

Even in the relatively better-off riverine communes (where most of the affected households are located), however, there are at least 20-40 percent of the households below the poverty line. Given large scale destruction of crops and limited possibilities for expanding coping strategies, this segment of the population will not have sufficient resources to purchase food from markets, especially as on average, they face per capita rice deficits of 6 months. They would have to resort to extreme coping strategies such as borrowing at high interest rates and sale of vital assets, such as land. In addition to income constraints the floods have also hampered physical access to markets due to disruption in transport and communications.

Undisplayed Graphic
1994= 100
Average prices for quality 1 and 2 rice
Source: Ministry of Agriculture

Undisplayed Graphic
Source: FAO Food Outlook November 2000.

5.2 Rice Supply/Demand Balance for 2001

The rice supply demand balance sheet for the 2001 marketing year (Jan/Dec) is based on the following assumptions:

The rice balance sheet for 2001 is outlined in Table 3.

Table 3: Cambodia - Rice Balance Sheet 2001 (January - December)

 
(`000 tonnes)
Domestic Availability
2 433
Total rice Production
2 333
2000 Wet season
1 877
2001 Dry season
456
Opening stocks
100
Total Utilisation
2 478
Food
1 981
Seed
143
Post harvest and other uses
334
Closing stocks
20
Uncovered deficit
45
Pipeline rice assistance
45
Uncovered import requirement
0
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6. FOOD AID NEEDS IN 2001

The rice balance (Table 4) indicates that contrary to a surplus rice situation in the past few years, in 2001 there will be a deficit, which will be partly covered by a draw down from comparatively large private sector stocks and the rest by pipeline food aid. Consequently there will be no uncovered import requirement.

Although this represents a relatively satisfactory food situation form a macro perspective for 2001, this year's floods will make a large number of people who are traditionally on the borderline of subsistence and food insecurity, highly vulnerable to food shortages at least until they have an opportunity to recover through own production at the next harvest.

In general, ongoing vulnerability analysis indicates that there are three broad categories of "food insecure" people in Cambodia. The largest group currently comprises the chronically food insecure in a post-conflict situation, comprising approximately 2.0 million people. Of these, 1.5 million people currently receive WFP food assistance through an ongoing PRRO3. The second group is the "vulnerable population" numbering 500 000 people, who are physically handicapped and orphans, of whom 150 000 are currently being assisted through WFP/Govt./NGO institutional social sector mechanisms.

The third/new group of food insecure comprises those affected by the recent one in a forty year floods. Given that the floods destroyed large rice areas and that some 500 000 people were displaced, the food needs of this group are critical, especially as most have limited coping strategies. Under this category the total number of people affected is estimated at 3 million with WFP currently assisting about 500 000 of the worst affected under an emergency operation approved in October 2000 in the aftermath of the floods. With targeted food assistance, this category of transient food-insecure people are expected to recover by the next harvest (Dec 2001).

6.1 Analysis of Food Insecurity in Cambodia

Food Economy Zones: The analysis of food security, vulnerability and food aid needs is based on the geographic location and resource base, which play an important role in determining food security, and access especially among the rural poor. Cambodia can broadly be divided into the following food economy zones, which provide the basis for determining livelihoods and coping strategies:

1) Lowland rainfed areas: The majority of the population living in these areas rely on a single non-irrigated wet season rice crop, on small independent land holdings, as the major source of food and income. In addition, income is supplemented by a variety of seasonal activities. The terrain is relatively flat and under extensive cultivation. There are 43 districts in these lowland areas with 3.5 million people.

2) Scrub: The main resource base in these areas are degraded-forests, whist income is also derived from wage labour. The limited cultivation of rice is insufficient to meet annual needs. Land-less households are commonly found in these areas. The population is vulnerable to reduction of forest resources through exploitation and isolation from markets and major roads. These areas cover 28 districts with a population of approximately 1.9 million people.

3) Riverine: The majority of people living in these areas rely on cash crops, floating or dry season rice and fishing for food security and income. They reside next to major rivers or in communes adjoining the Tonle Sap. This category covers 29 districts and a population of approximately 2.8 million people. Currently (December 2000), the riverine populations are living off the small harvests or stocks from last year. Labour/exchange, borrowing, or city-migration has not started yet. Primary activity, now is to re-plant rice seeds in the hope of getting a recession rice harvest. From field interviews, it was understood that the coping strategies, especially migration, would be far greater in number and period. If targeted food assistance does not reach these beneficiaries, unacceptable coping strategies will have to be restored to, such as sale of land and other vital assets, and long-term migration (including children).

4) Urban/Market: The majority of people living in this Food Economy Zone rely on cash income jobs and small business in urban government centres. These areas cover 18 districts with an estimated 1.8 million people.

5) Forest: The majority of people living in these areas rely mainly on forest products for food and income. These areas cover 29 districts with 620 000 people and are characterised by a relatively low population density (less than 8/sq km).

6.2 Food Economy Zones and Household Food Access

Vulnerability Analysis4 suggests that in terms of household level access to food, the lowland rain-fed and scrub residents are the worst off. They suffer from an average hunger gap of 1 to 2 months per year, suffer from larger than average debt burdens, hold fewer assets, and have to resort to numerous small/un-viable coping strategies (borrowing from money lender, selling assets, migration, etc.). Overall growth in the economy (projected at 5-6 percent per annum over the next three years) is also expected to by-pass this group of people for the next few years (recent CDRI5 report). They form the bulk of the "food insecure" during regular years. This sector of the population needs food assistance to create additional income, employment and assets like roads, irrigation canals, rice banks as well as skills development to enable them to overcome chronic food insecurity in the long run. Most of the assistance is targeted at lowland rain-fed and scrub areas which account for over 70 percent of the targeted food assistance to food insecure communes.

In contrast, the "riverine" populations are usually better off (in terms of food security) than the average. In a normal year, less than 10 percent of targeted food assistance goes to these areas. The majority of the people currently suffering from the effects of the floods are from this food economy zone. They had to expand their traditional coping mechanisms in order to make up their severe deficit from floods. They resort to (a) migration (b) fishing (c) dry season/recession rice area (d) sugar-palm making and (e) small trade. The surveys also indicate that they fear that the harvest in the dry season (and other coping mechanisms) will not be able to meet their deficit and that they have to resort to debt to make up for the difference - in spite of expanding the above mentioned coping strategies.

The fewer coping mechanisms a family normally employs the less it is used to experiencing shocks or crises. Hence in these areas the need for emergency assistance is greater, especially in the light of the disaster. If these families can be prevented from descending into a debt cycle, they will be able to recover with the next harvest (Dec 2001) and will not, therefore, need further food assistance.

6.3 Methodology for Identifying Food Assistance for Chronic Emergency Affected People

WFP targeting of food insecure people happens at Commune level. The primary mechanism of food-based assistance in Cambodia is communally organised income and employment generation through Food For Work (over 85 percent of the resources are transferred to beneficiaries through this mechanism). On average, about 60 percent of the population in the targeted communes join the FFW projects (an average commune has 7 000 inhabitants or about 1,300 families). For the chronically food insecure populations, the transfer of assistance covers their average rice deficit/hunger gap per year which is about 20 kgs of rice and equivalent to 1.5 months of yearly per capita rice consumption.

For the 2001-targeting exercise, a combination of the RGC's Socio-Economic Survey 1999, the Census 1998, and WFP poverty indexes 1997, 1998 and 1999 was used to identify the food-insecure communes. Consumption expenditure in the socio-economic survey was regressed against a series of independent variables (education, household size, occupation of head, distance to main road, etc.) to derive at a significant relationship. These coefficients were subsequently used on the same indicators in the census data for 2.1 million households (almost all of Cambodian households) to determine estimated consumption expenditure for each of the 2.1 million households. The government poverty line (based on consumption expenditure level required to meet 2,100 calories of food per day plus a minimum of essential non-food expenditures) was applied to aggregate the estimated consumption expenditure to commune level to arrive at a percentage of households below the poverty line. This percentage was then combined with the aggregate of the poorest 25 percent of the communes targeted in 1997, 1998, and 1999 to identify the chronically food insecure communes. As a result of this process, 306 communes were classified as food insecure with a total population of approximately 2.1 million people . Of these, an average of 1.43 million are projected to benefit from ongoing targeted WFP food aid in 2001-20036. The breakdown of planned WFP food assistance for 2001 is indicated in Table 4.

Table 4: Planned Food Aid 2001

Population group
Projected food Aid Beneficiaries
Tonnes required
Chronically food insecure populations (includes population affected by civil insecurity/displacement)
1 350 000
29 000
Social Sector groups (handicapped, disease, etc.)
194 300
9 300
Emergency Operation (October 2000 - March 2001)
500 000
15 000
The above three categories of beneficiaries are currently being covered under the WFP's Protracted Relief and Recovery operations (2001-2003) and Emergency Operation (Oct 00 - Mar 01)

For the emergency a two-phase targeting process was employed:

These three criteria led to 114 communes with food deficits due to floods, even after expansion of coping strategies mentioned above.

To arrive at a final list of target communes for food assistance in 2001 (Jan - Dec 2001), this initial list of 114 communes is now being checked against:

It is estimated that the final numbers will be close to about 500 000 beneficiaries who will require assistance for an estimated four months. At a ration of 450 grams per day per person, the total food need is estimated at 16 000 tons between the period of April to December 2001. Although - as mentioned above - this population is relatively better off than the regular WFP beneficiaries in normal years, their needs have turned out to be more important than previously estimated. If these food needs are taken care of, this will prevent these flood victims to revert to risky coping strategies like high interest debts and sale of land. They will therefore be back on their feet and most probably not need assistance after the next harvest of December 2001.

The communes being targeted for WFP flood emergency food aid are expected to have a minimum of 4 months deficit (compared to a normal harvest). It is assumed that communes with less than 4 months deficit can expand their coping strategies and may not need assistance critically.

Among those being considered (approximately 51 communes/400,000 total population, for EMOP phase III), deficits range from 4 to 12 months. Average deficit of the most critically affected group is about 6 months. It is estimated that 1.5 months be met out of Phase III of the EMOP and the remaining deficit of around 4 months (of which food assistance would be needed for 2.5 months, and coping strategies would account for the other 1.5), should be considered being met through new food aid.

The analysis indicates that additional total food need are estimated at 16 000 tonnes for the period from April to December 2001. Communes Targeted for Food Assistance in 2001 are indicated in the map below:

6.4 Types of Additional Food Aid Intervention

The additional food aid intervention for the transient food-insecure population affected by the flood will be similar to the interventions being implemented under the existing PRRO, predominately labor based community food-for-work income generation activities.

WFP, through the Ministry of Rural Development, is presently assessing the damage to small-scale infrastructure by the floods. This assessment will provide a database of damaged structures, exact locations and repair estimates.

The list of severely flood affected and food-insecure target communes compiled by the WFP VAM unit and the small-scale infrastructure damaged data will be provided to WFP implementing partners, Provincial Departments of Rural Development (PDRD) and NGOs. The WFP implementing partners staff meet with Commune Development Committees (CDCs), where they are operational or commune leaders to inform them of the participatory process to be followed in the selection of food-for-work projects. A variety of planning issues are discussed at village meetings, including priority needs, types of activities, scale, participation of vulnerable groups, gender equality, community contribution, community ownership and maintenance plans .

The project details are then entered into the WFP Project Database. The activities are supervised by members of the community, and monitored and approved by the WFP technical monitor.. All partners jointly assess proposals: community representatives; WFP field monitors from the WFP provincial sub-office; and the implementing partner. Following consensus, an agreement is prepared which specifies the details of the activity, including the number of participating households, food rations, and the work output, with technical specifications prepared by the implementing partner. WFP staff pay regular visits to monitor progress and technical quality. On completion of the activity, the community and the implementing partner measure the final output of the project. WFP staff then independently checks this output measurement. When the final output has been agreed, the implementing agency prepares a food request order that must be approved by the WFP Provincial Sub-office Head. This modality of implementation has been developed during the two years of the current PRRO 6038.00.

WFP presently maintains 13 Provincial Sub-offices, covering all 24 of the Provinces and Municipalities in the country for social sector activities and 14 provinces for income generation activities.

Undisplayed Graphic

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7. LOGISTICS

The WFP Country Office has one international Logistics Officer and three national staff responsible for the overall management of commodity movements, reporting and local purchases. Six warehouses are maintained in the provinces and one in Phnom Penh, all under WFP management. Transport services to project sites are mostly being provided by the private sector.

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8. MEDIUM TERM RECOMMENDATION

Severe floods have extensively damaged the agricultural sector this year. To induce recovery and rehabilitation in the medium term, the following considerations are important:

In addition to recommendations for agricultural rehabilitation, the mission found that the assessment of crop production at commune level conducted jointly by WFP and the Provincial Departments of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in November 2000 generated useful data for targeting and programme planning in Cambodia. To develop this capability further, it is recommended that the government should assume the full responsibility for such surveys in future.

This report is prepared on the responsibility of the FAO and WFP Secretariats with information from official and unofficial sources. Since conditions may change rapidly, please contact the undersigned for further information if required.

Abdur Rashid
Chief, GIEWS FAO
Telex 610181 FAO I
Fax: 0039-06-5705-4495
E-mail: GIEWS1@FAO.ORG

Mr. John M. Powell
Regional Director, OAE, WFP
Telex: 626675 WFP 1
Fax: 0039-06-6513-2863
E-Mail: John.Powell@WFP.ORG

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1 Based on 1998 Government Population Census Figures.

2 The Economist Intelligence Unit Country Report November 2000.

3 Protracted Relief and Rehabilitation Operation

4 Vulnerability Analysis is an ongoing exercise in support of targeted WFP food assistance over the last five years. Information on a variety of indicators (crops, roads/market access, forest and fish availability, education/literacy, access to safe water, etc.) are collected and analyzed each year to determine the communes most in need of food assistance. For further information, refer to various VAM reports.

5 CDRI - Cambodia Development Research Institute is the leading independent research centre in Cambodia.

6 The number of food aid beneficiaries is lower than the total numbers of food insecure due to a variety of reasons. The major reasons are due to; small pockets of beneficiaries within relatively affluent areas, and small numbers being scattered over large geographical areas. WFP at the current time primarily reaches social sector beneficiaries through existing institutional mechanisms (orphanages, schools, hospitals, etc.) due to the need for much greater complimentary inputs (education, health services, training facilities, etc.). Since such institutional structures are mostly limited to urban areas, the coverage of "vulnerable groups" is limited in rural areas.