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2000 Estimated Food Needs and Shortfalls for WFP Operations and Projects: Updated 30 Oct 2000

The World Food Programme wishes to thank donors for their continued generosity. This year donors have contributed over US $ 1.3 billion, and WFP has used these resources to mobilise over 3.1 million tons of food aid distributed to needy people.

Many crisis spots around the world demand our attention. Donors have responded generously to the severe drought in the Horn of Africa, but this region continues to need emergency assistance. Civil strife persists in other parts of Africa, driving up food aid needs. Drought conditions are certainly not unique to Africa. In central Asia, drought in Tajikistan, Georgia, Afghanistan, Armenia and elsewhere has put communities at risk of famine.

WFP Reaches More Beneficiaries

Through its relief operations (EMOPs and PRROs), WFP is assisting almost 60 million people, representing a 15 percent increase compared to last year. Tracking the geographical trend, food aid requirements remain much higher in Africa than in Asia and Eastern Europe. Donors have responded more effectively to relief needs in Africa, covering 75 percent of food aid requirements while 58 percent of needs have been met in Asia (see graph).

Requirements Still Out-pace Contributions

Compared to the same period last year, the level of donor contributions has increased slightly. This is quite encouraging, given the fact that many contributions are made in local currencies, which may have depreciated considerably against the US dollar.

Throughout the past years, both requirements and contributions have increased steadily. The amount of food mobilised has increased by 11 percent compared to last year; depreciation of local currencies has been partially offset by lower global commodity prices. However, relief requirements still out-pace contributions and the gap between food aid needs and contributions has now increased to 26 percent, or about 800,000 tons. (see graph).

Natural Disasters Creating Higher Food Aid Needs - An Update

The level of WFP assistance to victims of natural disasters - such as droughts, floods, cyclones and hurricanes - has been increasing steadily in recent years. This year, assistance to victims of natural disasters has risen to 40 percent of all WFP food aid. Within the broad ‘natural disasters’ category, 83 percent of requirements are attributed to droughts, 13 percent to floods and the rest to cyclones and hurricanes. Food aid requirements due to drought have further increased, compared to May 2000 from just below 500,000 tons to over 1.1 million tons.

Development Portfolio Faces Large Shortfalls

The overall development allocation plan is based on expected contributions and food stocks carried over from the previous year. For the year 2000, the allocation amounted to some 841,000 tons. However, resources made available cover only 82 percent of expected availability. This represents an unusually large shortfall that has had severe repercussions on planned activities.

Resource Mobilisation Issues

Although the donor community has responded to WFPs appeals in a very generous manner, the trend of contributions has not kept up with the increased needs. The critical nature of the resourcing requirements for the WFP operations, which provide assistance to refugees, cannot be emphasized enough. Donors are urged to consider providing support to the operations highlighted in this document when they consider their fourth quarter 2000 funding allocations.

In this context, over the past two years, WFP and its Executive Board have made considerable efforts to develop a Resource Mobilisation Strategy for the Programme. It is hoped that the Strategy will lead to a number of measures that will enable WFP to enhance the predictability, flexibility and the security of WFP resources, thus responding even more effectively to the needs of the hungry poor. A Resource Mobilisation Strategy Paper is being submitted for approval to the October session of the Executive Board.

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