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31 Aug 2008 description

Africa Conflict and Humanitarian Unit (ACHU)

Summary of key findings

- Total spend in 2007/8 was =A3205m, a decline from =A3236m in 2006/7. However using adjusted figures the amount is broadly similar for both years. Both these years' spend was less than the exceptional 2005/6, when it peaked at =A3264m.

- Year on year trend: there has been a 10-15 % decline since the peak spend in 2005/6 of =A3264m.

- The top five recipient countries of DFID humanitarian aid are Sudan, DRC, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Somalia.

01 Jun 2006 description

Over 30 million people will need relief to meet their food needs in Africa in 2006. Countries in Southern Africa and the more north easterly parts (for example, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia) are worst affected - accounting for nearly 24 million people in need.

17 Feb 2006 description

Over 30 million people will need relief to meet their food needs in Africa in 2006.

01 Nov 2005 description

The Scale (and Cause) of Hunger in Southern Africa

22 Sep 2005 description

The UK is to provide an additional =A311.505 million in aid to meet the needs of those affected by food shortages in Southern Africa, International Development Secretary Hilary Benn announced today.

31 Jan 2004 description

The Context

The humanitarian crisis that became acute in Southern Africa1 at the end of 2001, when up to 14 million people were estimated to be in need of immediate food aid was the result of a complex mix of factors. Drought triggered but did not cause the crisis. The scene had been set by declines in remittances, the devastating effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the region, the effect of poor and inappropriate economic and social policies, the deterioration in rural infrastructure, and the decline in governments' capacity to deliver basic services.

30 May 2003 description

Foreword by the Rt. Hon. Tony Blair, Prime Minister

23 Dec 2002 description

The Department for International Development Clare Short today announced a further £30 million contribution to meet emergency assistance in Africa. £15m of the contribution will go to meeting emergency needs in Ethiopia and the other £15 million will be put to humanitarian assistance and recovery programmes across southern Africa.

Clare Short, Secretary of State for International Development said:

"I am very worried about food shortages in Africa.

19 Dec 2002 description

(Reporting period 1 December - 19 December)
Key Updates

The WFP EMOP is now 61.5% funded. There remains a shortfall of US$195 million.

The December pipelines for Zambia and Zimbabwe remain fragile but look a little healthier from January onwards.

05 Dec 2002 description

(Reporting period: 16 November - 29 November)
Key Updates

The WFP EMOP is now 56.2% funded. There remains a shortfall of US$222.8 million.

On Monday 25 November, the Government of Zimbabwe imposed a sudden ban on the milling of GM maize in country. As a result the food aid pipeline for December faces severe shortages.

01 Dec 2002 description

This weekend marks World AIDS Day, when we should pause to focus on the plight of people and families whose lives are blighted by one of the most lethal diseases history has seen.

This annual spotlight could hardly come at a more poignant moment: the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa is exacerbating a food crisis so extreme that it threatens to become the worst in modern times.

It is difficult to comprehend, but in seven southern African countries the lives of over fourteen million people are at risk of starvation - that's more than the number of people who live in Greater …

18 Nov 2002 description

Key Updates

As of the middle of November 2002, the response to the overall UN Consolidated Appeal for Southern Africa is 56% after contributions from the USA and Italy. The WFP Regional Appeal is 44% confirmed.

Due to the recent decision by the Government of Zambia to reject GM maize, WFP have had to divert approximately 51,000t of GM maize intended for Zambia, to other countries in the region. This GM maize would have met the cereal requirement of 850,000 people from now until March 2003.

07 Nov 2002 description

Key Updates

As of the end of October 2002, the response to the overall UN Consolidated Appeal for Southern Africa is 50%. The WFP Regional Appeal is 44% confirmed. We remain concerned about the lack of donor interest beyond the US, EC and UK.

The Government of Zambia announced its decision not to accept genetically modified food & requested that GM maize stocks be removed from the country. Zambia is the only country in southern Africa that has refused to accept GM grain. The effect is to make it impossible for the WFP to meet emergency needs in the country.

02 Oct 2002 description

Key Updates

DFID is supporting the rehabilitation of the rail link between the port of Nacala in Mozambique and land-locked Malawi. The improved link is essential to the special emergency operation being run by the World Food Programme on behalf of the Malawian government to get food to those most at need. The total cost of the programme is £4.26 million. DFID has allocated £4.1 million and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has provided £166, 000.

01 Oct 2002 description

Clare Short today outlined the lead role being taken by DFID as part of the international response to the ongoing food shortages in southern Africa and committed continued support and expertise. The WFP estimate that over 14.4 million people will require 1 million metric tonnes of food aid across southern Africa by March 2003.

29 Aug 2002 description

Of the region's 3.2 million tonne shortfall, 1.2 million tonnes will be needed as food aid (including 700,000 tonnes for Zimbabwe). The remainder of the shortfall is to be sourced by the private sector and by regional governments.

In Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe this year's food shortages have come on top of a poor season last year, and coping mechanisms are already stretched.

09 Aug 2002 description


Six countries in southern Africa will not produce sufficient maize to meet their requirements this year (Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).

The region faces a 3.2 million tonne shortfall of food, of which 1.3 million tonnes will be needed as food aid. Nearly 13 million people will need food aid before the next harvest due in March 2003.

We are very concerned about local food shortages. Significant numbers of people are unlikely to be able to meet their food needs without help.

12 Jul 2002 description

DFID has recently committed =A345 million through the World Food Programme and NGOs operating in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland. The funds will be used for food distribution as well as seeds and tools for the next planting season. We continue to monitor the situation.

22 May 2002 description



I congratulate the Mirror in focusing the world's attention to Malawi. A major crisis is unfolding in southern Africa. Not just in Malawi, but also in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho. The Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola are also facing food shortages due to endless conflict.

Make no mistake. The situation in Malawi will get worse before it gets better. Yesterday, the Mirror brought to light the work already being done to stop this crisis from becoming a full-blown tragedy.