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Food supply situation and crop prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa Dec 2003

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INTRODUCTION
This is the last issue for 2003 of this report prepared by the FAO Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) on the food supply situation and cereal import and food aid requirements for all countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The report is designed to provide the latest analysis and information on the food situation in these countries to governments, international organizations and other institutions engaged in humanitarian operations.

In this introductory part, countries in the sub-region facing serious food shortages are listed with principal causes of food insecurity. This is followed by the Highlights of the report. Part I provides a country-by-country review of the food supply situation by sub-region, as well as current crop prospects. The accompanying tables (Tables 1- 6) provide data on production, cereal import requirements and food aid needs. The information on food aid pledges, triangular transactions and local purchases is based on data transmitted to GIEWS as of end November 2003 by the World Food Programme.

Part II provides country cereal balance sheets (CCBS), highlighting cereal import and food aid requirements of individual countries, as well as other important data.

COUNTRIES FACING FOOD EMERGENCIES (Total: 23 countries)

Country Reasons for emergency
Angola Returnees, IDPs
Burundi Civil strife, IDPs
Cape Verde Drought
Central Afr. Rep. Civil strife, IDPs
Congo, Dem.Rep. Civil strife, IDPs and refugees
Congo Rep. of Civil strife, IDPs
Côte d'Ivoire Civil strife, IDPs
Eritrea Drought, IDPs, returnees
Ethiopia Drought , IDPs
Guinea IDPs and refugees
Kenya Drought in parts
Lesotho Adverse weather in parts
Liberia Civil strife, IDPs
Madagascar Drought in southern parts
Mauritania Drought
Mozambique Drought in southern parts
Sierra Leone Civil strife, IDPs
Somalia Civil strife, drought in parts
Sudan Civil strife, drought in parts
Swaziland Drought in parts
Tanzania, U.R. Drought in parts, refugees
Uganda Civil strife, IDPs, drought in parts
Zimbabwe Drought, economic disruption

Since conditions can change rapidly, and published information may not always represent the most up-to-date basis for action, enquiries or corrections should be directed to Henri Josserand, Chief, Global Information and Early Warning Service (ESCG), FAO, Rome (Fax: 39-06-5705-4495, E-mail: GIEWS1@FAO.ORG).

Please note that this report is also available on the Internet as part of the FAO World Wide Web (www.fao.org) at the following address: http://www.fao.org/giews/

HIGHLIGHTS

Crop prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa are mixed. Twenty-three countries still face food shortages while others expect bumper harvests. This provides good potential for enhancing food security through trade between surplus and deficit areas. In addition, local purchases and triangular transactions are highly recommended.

Eastern Africa

In Somalia, cumulative effects of successive droughts in the Sool Plateau, including widespread loss of livestock and other income sources, have led to an alarming humanitarian situation.

In Eritrea, despite improved harvest prospects, serious food shortages persist with as many as two-thirds of the country's population facing severe food shortages due to successive poor rains.

In Ethiopia and Sudan, a bumper 2003 harvest is expected to substantially enhance food security.

In the United Republic of Tanzania, despite an overall stable food supply situation, there are serious food security concerns for the central, southern and northern coastal areas due to drought.

In Uganda, intensified civil strife in the north and east has swollen the number of displaced people and increased humanitarian assistance needs.

Western Africa

A bumper crop is expected in the Sahel, following generally favourable weather throughout the growing season.

In Côte d'Ivoire, the food situation remains critical, particularly in the west and rebel-controlled north.

In Liberia, the humanitarian situation is improving following the signing of a peace agreement in mid-August and the deployment of a West African peace keeping force, but the overall security situation remains precarious.

In Sierra Leone, despite below-normal rainfall, the overall food security situation has improved with returning refugees and displaced farmers resuming farming activities.

Central Africa

In Central African Republic, food production is not expected to increase this year, notably in the north, due to insecurity at planting time coupled with seed shortages.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, food production continues to be hampered by insecurity.

Southern Africa

Weather conditions for 2003/04 agricultural season which has just begun are forecast to be normal.

In Zimbabwe, widespread shortages of key inputs such as seeds, fertilizer, fuel and farm power are expected to limit area planted. Some 5.5 million people, or half of the country's total population, are in need of emergency food assistance.

In Angola, food assistance is needed for 1.4 million returnees and other vulnerable people in spite of good harvests in 2003.

In Madagascar, an estimated 600 000 people in southern provinces need food assistance due to a poor maize harvest caused by drought last season.

In Mozambique, some 659 000 people in southern and central regions need food assistance due to near-total maize crop failure last season.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic is a major threat to the sub-region's food security.

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