Angola + 9 more

Regional Consolidated Situation Report for the Southern Africa crisis 31 Aug 2003

Situation Report
Originally published

Tanzania Appeals for Emergency Humanitarian Assistance
The Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania officially appealed to the international community for emergency food aid and seed assistance to support some 1.9 million drought affected people in Tanzania.

Poorly distributed and below normal levels of rainfall during the 2002/03 cropping season have led to an estimated 800,000 ton food deficit in the country. Currently, there are approximately 450,000 tons available in country, and the government is removing taxes on imported rice and maize to induce the private sector to help cover the remaining gap.

The Prime Minister has pledged that the government will release 33,000 tons of maize grain to be sold at a subsidised rate to 1 .9 million drought-affected people during the months of October and November. The government also requested financial support to cover the transportation of this amount.

In addition, the Prime Minister requested 45,000 tons of relief food aid through WFP to be distributed between December 2003 and March 2004, as well as 3,200 tons of seeds to be handled by FAO. He also reported serious food and seed shortages in Zanzibar, and stated that the government plans to undertake a detailed vulnerability assessment there to quantify the food and seed requirements.

In terms of food aid modalities, the Prime Minister expressed a preference for some form of food for work as opposed to "free" distributions.

The Prime Minister also expressed his grave concern on the climate outlook for the forthcoming season. The government fears that another poor season will have serious implications on food and water availability, as well as having adverse economic implications, including disruptions in the national electrical supply.

The donor community thanked the Prime Minister for his government's proactive stance on the national food security situation, and indicated that they will take the emergency request under serious consideration.

Immediate Assistance Needed for 659,000 People in Mozambique

The Vulnerability Assessment Committee (VAC) in Mozambique, recently released the results of a food security and nutrition survey of 5,165 households in the six provinces affected by drought. The survey found 659,000 people living in 40 districts in Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane, Sofala, Manica and Tete provinces face a situation of "extreme vulnerability", and require immediate and continued assistance until the next harvest in early 2004.

The survey also identified 254,779 people in the same districts who are "at-risk" of food insecurity and require close monitoring until the next harvest. Food security for this group could deteriorate before the next harvest, especially in the traditional lean season between October and December, if they exhaust all of their coping options, if food prices rise significantly, or if second season production does not perform up to expectations.

High levels of global acute malnutrition rates were also registered, with the prevalence of malnutrition in Tete Province being of particular concern. High levels of malnutrition amongst women highlighted that the nutritional status of adults is also of concern.

The consistently high levels of chronic malnutrition and morbidity and the high HIV/AIDS prevalence further threaten the food security of the communities in drought-affected areas.

The survey, implemented in the field by Provincial and District officers from the Ministries of Agriculture and Health, measured various indicators of vulnerability, including levels of dependency, chronic illness, mortality (adults and children), morbidity, nutritional status, infant feeding, and vitamin A supplementation. In addition, information was also gathered concerning food consumption, food stocks, expectations for second season production, cas-sava production, livestock, income sources, extreme coping strategies and mitigation programmes.

A complete set of recommendations and details of the analysis can be found in the full report, available from SETSAN. E-mail:

WFP Seeks Clarification on GOZ Directive

WFP is seeking clarification on a new Zimbabwe government directive on humanitarian aid. The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare has issued a new policy guideline which potentially alters the agreed procedures for the distribution of international relief food.

On the face of it, the new policy requires existing central, provincial and local government structures to be the entry point, as well as the "conduit" for service delivery. This covers not only food aid but also agricultural and other inputs. However, the Minister for Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare has orally assured WFP that ‘nothing has changed."

The new directive reads in part: "All the NGOs that distribute food assistance are required to adopt the public works approach, thus, households headed by able-bodied persons should participate in public works in order for them to receive assistance. The aged, chronically ill, disabled and child-headed households will be given free food assistance. The beneficiaries of the NGO’s food distribution programme will be selected from the ward/village assembly and neighbour-hood committee registers of people who require food assistance."

Humanitarian agencies are very concerned that the new directive, the "Policy on Operations of NonGovernmental Organizations in Humanitarian and Developmental Assistance in Zimbabwe", might open the door to potential politicization of humanitarian provided food. WFP maintains a zero tolerance policy on political interference in food aid.

WFP is engaged in discussions to clarify this situation and has stressed that it would be a mistake to change a system that has worked to the general satisfaction of the parties involved.

WFP estimates approximately 5.5 million out of 12 million Zimbabweans will need emergency food aid this year and has made an urgent appeal to donors for additional commodities.

Gasoline Prices Triple in Zimbabwe

In an attempt to ease gasoline shortages, Zimbabwe’s government, has tripled the price of regular gasoline while introducing a second, lower price for its own vehicles, public transportation and the agriculture industry.

Energy Minister Amos Midzi said the government officially ended the state oil company’s monopoly on gasoline imports to allow private companies to bring in fuel.

Private companies would be permitted to sell regular gasoline at Zim $1,170 (US 52 cents) a litre up from Zim $450 (US 20 cents) a litre. Diesel fuel widely used in agriculture and industries, went up from Zim $200 (US 8 cents) a litre to Zim $1,060 (US 47 cents).

The official exchange rate is Zim $824 to the US dollar, but the American currency brings at least 5,000:1 on the thriving parallel market. The UN exchange rate, used in the calculations above, is 2,250:1.

The changes in regulations are intended to cushion impoverished commuters from continued fare hikes and keep fuel affordable for farmers who recently resettled on former white-owned farms as part of a controversial land redistribution programme.

Zimbabwe is suffering its worst economic crisis since independence in 1980, with record inflation of 400 percent per annum and soaring unemployment. There are acute shortages of local currency, hard currency, food, medicine and other imports.

Seed Shortage Threatens Zimbabwe Crops

Zimbabwe’s crop production from the November season could be lower than normal, despite improved weather conditions due to inadequate planting supplies for farmers.

"Due to input supply problems and financing constraints, Zimbabwe’s 2003/04 agricultural season promises to be a poor one even if the rainfall situation turns out to be good," the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET) reported.

FEWSNET said only about 61 percent of the estimated national maize seed requirement of 40,820 tons was available, with current maize seed stocks estimated at about 52 percent of those available last year.

Humanitarian Situation Worsens in Lesotho

Prolonged drought has worsened the humanitarian situation in Lesotho. WFP Country Director Techeste Zer-gaber told IRIN the situation in the tiny mountain kingdom was deteriorating "after four months of drought".

In a recent situation report, WFP noted that the country has received no rainfall between May and early August and as a result winter crops such as wheat, peas and vegetables have largely failed and spring cultivation is more difficult and likely to be delayed.

Cereal production this year was approximately 60 percent of the five-year average, while sharply reduced employment opportunities have lessened people’s ability to purchase food.

As a result of "the hardships that these conditions are creating, WFP is considering advancing the start date of its Targeted Food Distribution programme, which is currently planned to start in November".

A joint FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission report in June noted that "the number of beneficiaries in Lesotho will vary from 125,000 to about 270,000 during the lean period between harvests " and estimated that 32,000 tons of cereal would be needed for distributions to targeted households. The FAO/WFP mission recommended targeted food assistance to households that had lost their crops entirely and had no livestock, and those affected by HIV/AIDS.

However, the situation of vulnerable households has deteriorated since the mission report leading to emergency increased requirements.

"The winter drought has meant that winter wheat was not planted, people have not been getting any vegetables to compliment their diets. The production of green peas has also been hampered. These are all the elements that contribute to the fact that WFP need to revisit plans regarding food aid distributions," Zergaber noted.

As for prospects of recovery, Zergaber added that much depended on favour-able weather conditions.

"We hope the rains will come in time, in September, so people can plant," he said.

Malawi’s Kwacha Depreciates by 15 Percent

A recent FEWSNET report has warned that the deteriorating macroeconomic situation in Malawi will have a negative impact on household food security.

The report noted that the local currency, the kwacha, depreciated at a faster rate in August compared with previous months - by around 15 percent from July’s levels.

"The Malawi kwacha was trading at an average of about K105 per USD1 by the third week of August," the report said. "This depreciation may result in a hike in the price of inputs, which are already difficult for farmers to afford, thereby affecting food production next season."

"There is a lot of speculation on the domestic market, as the local currency depreciates further almost daily. Fuel prices have not gone up yet, but if they do, this development will have wide repercussions on commodity prices, including those of food. A rise in food prices will increase the risk of food shortage for a majority of the poor urban and rural market-dependent households," the report said.

"Most rural poor households begin to run out of food from their own production around September/October in normal years, and depend on food purchases from the market for the rest of the season."

"These households mainly depend on casual labour to earn money to buy food. The earnings from this activity tend to be low, making it difficult for households to earn enough cash to buy adequate food, and any rise in food prices would just worsen their situation," FEWS NET cautioned.

For most of July 2003, the Malawi kwacha fluctuated between K89 per USD1 and K93 per USD1, "but since the beginning of August it started to lose value, reaching K105 per USD1 by the third week". This was contrary to expectations, as the local currency normally appreciates at this time, "coinciding with tobacco sales, the country’s main foreign exchange earner".

Up to 80 percent of Malawi’s development budget is funded by donors. The IMF is withholding US47 million in budge support, in response to reported government overspending.

20,000 Refugees Return to Angola

Approximately 20,000 Angolan refugees have returned home from three neighbouring countries since the UNHCR sponsored repatriation programme began in June. In addition, about 17,000 have returned on their own since the beginning of the year, UNHCR said.

A total of 400,000 sought refuge in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and Zambia during Angola’s lengthy civil war that ended in April 2002 when the government and UNITA signed a peace accord.

UNHCR expects about half of the refugee population to return to Angola over the next two years under the programme, which has received just over 50 percent of the USD 29.5 million needed to sustain it.

WFP, UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies are providing returning refugees with food assistance until their first harvest, as well as construction kits for shelter, blankets, soap and other basic supplies in order to assist the returnees in rebuilding their lives.

However, the influx of refugees and demobilised soldiers has exacerbated a food crisis that UN agencies said in July has put one and a half million Angolans in urgent need of food aid.

At this crucial time of refugee and IDP return, the lack of sufficient funding for WFP’s two logistics Special Operations is posing a serious threat to ongoing programmes of the humanitarian community. The Special Operations, ‘Logistic Services to the Humanitarian Community, and ‘Passenger Air Transport’ are seriously threatened and WFP may have to significantly reduce or suspend this vital service in the absence of additional donations. Both of these support operations are vital to humanitarian operations throughout the country.

WFP/Angola Provides Seed Protection Rations

WFP Angola has been actively participating in preparations for the forthcoming humanitarian seed and tools distribution campaign in virtually all provinces in Angola.

WFP will provide support to FAO and Euronaid seeds and tools recipients through Seed Protection Rations (SPRs), in cases where the recipients are not already WFP beneficiaries.

SPRs are meant to maximise the impact of the seeds distribution by reducing the risk of seeds being consumed as food rather than being planted. The SPRs will be distributed for a maximum of two months and will concur with the distribution of seeds and tools. At the national level, WFP has been informed that approximately 523,000 seed and tools kits will be made available for the September - November 2003 planting season through FAO, Euronaid and a US NGO consortium.

Complex Challenges in Angola

Providing protection and basic services for the majority of returning internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees in Angola remains a struggle, acting UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Mario Ferrai told IRIN. Ferrai said the UN, government and other humanitarian actors in the country were "absolutely aware that conditions of life were extremely difficult, not only for those who return but also for those who had stayed in their home areas".

"This is a major challenge because this is a country that has been totally devastated by 30 years of war."

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the Angolan authorities and the UN to do more to assist the returning Angolans, saying that failure to do so could threaten peace and undermine hopes of development.

In a HRW report, "Struggling Through Peace", the rights group noted that since the peace accord between the government and UNITA was signed more than a year ago, over two million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and some 25 percent of Angolan refugees living abroad had returned to their places or origin. However, the majority of those displaced by war remain in exile, or at transit and temporary resettlement sites.

HRW has voiced heightened concern over the means and conditions of the return process.

Voices From the Field

Two women carrying baskets on their heads are walking briskly along a dusty road under the leaden sky of Ambo-vombe, in the south of Madagascar. From time to time, one can hear their laughter. As they pass near a withered field, sadness fills their eyes for a moment, but soon they resume their lively conversation. Despite the drought and famine, they have enough food to feed their families - the baskets on their heads contain food rations they have just picked up at the World Food Programme’s distribution point.

A few minutes later, the two women take different paths. When Marline, the youngest one, reaches home she is welcomed by her three children’s shouts of joy. Her husband emerges from the hut and helps her put the basket down. Marline has a broad smile, as her husband is helping her now, and is giving her more importance. Marline is not the only woman who has acquired such importance in the region since the drought struck. For some time now, women have been at the centre of the households’ survival because of their key role in securing food from WFP’s food distribution programme. Everyone in the surrounding villages knows that women are the ones to receive the card that gives access to food rations. Marline’s husband is quite good to her and her children. She does not have to fear that he will sell the rations if she hands him the ration card. But she knows that for some other mothers, holding the card is a matter of survival for them and their children. At the distribution site, women do not have to fear they will be pressured in any way. Distribution is led by women just like them. Mar-line knows that the lady behind the desk will not try to hold back part of her rations or have her perform some service before giving her the food because she also has small children and shares Marline’s worries. While most of the workers at the distribution point are women, men are still taking part in the distribution to lend their strong arms in carrying the heavy bags.

Marline is especially grateful to the distribution managers for bringing the food distribution site closer to her home. Some months ago, they came to her village and paid people with food rations to open a new dirt road. Now, this dirt road they have been paid for is benefiting all of them, especially women as the trucks carrying the food arrive in the centre of the village and the people can go out to collect their food on a safe road in a secure area. Just back from the distribution point, Marline does not feel tired. The waiting time at the point was not long and it now only takes 15 minutes to return home. Also, she feels pleased to be so nicely welcomed at home. Like all the population in the Ambovombe region, Marline is longing for long term solutions to the drought and famine problem. But deep inside, she hopes that the improvement in women’s status brought about by WFP’s food distribution programme will be preserved beyond the time of crisis.

WFP’s Special Programmes in Lesotho

A young man stands in a queue at the monthly distribution at a Mafeteng health clinic in Lesotho to receive WFP rations - he says it is not for himself that he walks for one hour, but for his sister who is registered at the clinic - she is too thin and too sick to walk - she is 29 years old and dying of HIV/AIDS.

WFP Lesotho is presently feeding 50,000 beneficiaries under the chronically ill, HIV/ AIDS affected households, nutrition care for underweight under 5’s, pregnant and lactating women programme.

The WFP distribution of 50 kg maize, 5 kg pulses, 3 kg CSB (fortified corn-soya blend) and 2 litres of oil is done on a monthly basis through government and CHAL (Christian Health Association of Lesotho) clinics and hospitals.

At another distribution point in Mahales Hoek, Lesotho, 83 year old Malefetsane Ma-fuso stands in line to receive his monthly ration. He walks for 3 hours over the mountains, which in a normal year are capped with snow, in winter where temperatures Health clinic where he receives his WFP monthly ration.

Mlefetsane says that he used to own cattle which he used for ploughing to feed himself but due to drought he has had to sell his cattle and now relies on WFP food. He is registered at the clinic as a TB patient and says that without this help he would not survive.

WFP Country Office Highlights

ANGOLA: There have been large numbers of returning refugees and internally displaced recorded across the region. WFP continues to provide necessary food assistance as well as conducting Rapid Food Needs Assessments (RFNA) in order to ascertain urgent food and non-food requirements. In Zaire Province, WFP and German Agro Action carried out a RFNA in Buela commune (Cuimba Municipality). Mission findings indicated the population was in need of food assistance, seeds and tools for the forthcoming agricultural season, as well as educational facilities and health services. Cuimba Municipality is the destination for almost 90 percent of the spontaneous and organized refugee influx from the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Kuanza Sul Province, a similar RFNA in Kifangodo and Catofe areas (Kibala Municipality), concluded that the condition of around 18,000 recent IDP returnees is critical. In addition to an urgent need for food assistance, seeds and tools are also necessary.

LESOTHO: As a result of the prevailing drought, WFP is working with the Disaster Management Authorities and the Minister of Agriculture in order to determine food needs by constituency. Food security surveys conducted by field stations established by the District Agriculture Office in Mokhotlong, Thaba Tseka, Quthing and Qacha’s Nek Districts indicate the food situation is critical.

MADAGASCAR: WFP is closely monitoring the drought-affected areas in the South. Although the food security situation seems appears to have stabilized due to the current harvest of sweet potatoes, household food stocks will be exhausted in September. Sweet potatoes can be found on the local markets and represent the only source of income for farmers to purchase staple foods and additional commodities.

MOZAMBIQUE: WFP and implementing partners completed an assessment mission in Cheringoma District (Sofala Province) following reports of a serious hunger situation and an increase in the number of deaths in Memo locality. The causes of death remain unclear. However possible reasons include the consumption of toxic wild food. Subsequent to the assessment mission, immediate food distributions were organized.

NAMIBIA: The final distributions involving WFP food for the flood-affected people in the Caprivi region are underway. Under the Immediate Response EMOP, WFP provided a total of approximately 150 tons of assorted commodities for 12,000 people affected by the flood waters between June and August 2003. WFP food acted as a complement to assistance being supplied by the government.

SWAZILAND: Dry weather is worsening conditions in communities in the Lowveld as streams and rivers have dried up and water levels are only reachable several metres down. Water levels at the Great Usuthu River, one of Swaziland’s perennial rivers, have also dropped drastically. As a result, small-scale sugar production schemes face the serious threat of crop loss, as irrigation of sugar beet has not been possible for the past month.

TANZANIA: According to recent findings from the June-July Rapid Vulnerability Assessment conducted by the Food Security Information Team (FSIT), around 1.9 million people may require food assistance between November 2003 and March 2004. The gap between food crop production in the 2002/03 year and consumption requirements in 2003/04, minus carryover stocks, is approximately 350,000 tons. The FSIT estimates that approximately 80,000 tons of this will be required in the form of food aid and recommends a government-sponsored release of 35,000 tons from the strategic grain reserve, to be sold at a subsidized rate. The remaining 45,000 tons should be distributed as relief food through WFP, and a new emergency operation is under preparation.

ZAMBIA: WFP carried out a Rapid Food Needs Assessment in Sesheke District (Southern Province) following reports of severe food insecurity. In Kalobolelwa, Sesheke Central and Mwandi findings indicated that harvests have been poor due to drought and the untimely arrival of agricultural inputs. It is estimated that most households will exhaust their food supplies by the end of August.

Currently, 42,834 vulnerable children and 20,646 caretaker households receive food assistance through WFP’s urban intervention programme in 92 sites throughout the country. An additional 28 sites will begin implementation in the near future. Preparations are also underway for an expansion of WFP’s school feeding programme. With the expansion, the programme will reach approximately 18,700 students in 50 schools in five districts.

ZIMBABWE: As a result of the government’s new Directive on humanitarian aid, WFP met with President Mugabe and the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on the subject of the new Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ) NGO policy issued in mid-August. It has been reiterated that the system of WFP food aid distributions in existence up until that time was functioning satisfactorily and it would be a mistake to make changes now. WFP has yet to reach an agreement on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Emergency Operation with the GOZ and will work to finalize the MOU in such a manner as to ensure that food aid distributions cannot be subjected to political manipulation. WFP considers that finalizing this agreement has a very high priority. Until an agreement is reached, WFP will try to continue with the August distribution cycle using the same modalities for the identification of beneficiaries and distribution of food as done in the past with the full participation of WFP, implementing partners and communities.

Implementation 2002/03

WFP Johannesburg has contracted The Micronutrient Initiative, an international organization based in Canada, with an African regional office in South Africa, to develop a fortification awareness and capacity building programme in order to enable WFP country staff and their partners to take informed decisions that will see food aid for relief, rehabilitation and development being fortified with multiple micronutrients as part of normal programming where appropriate, and using local capacity wherever possible.

As part of this, a series of workshops are being organized by WFP and The Micronutrient Initiative. The purpose of the workshops is to promote active discussions on the options for fortification of food aid commodities, that will culminate towards the end of the year in meetings with private industry, WFP donors and key stakeholders.

After the regional workshop in Johannesburg, WFP and The Micronutrient Initiative will continue the initiative with workshops in each of the crisis affected countries with a focus on more specific brainstorming in light of the particular vulnerabili-ties of the targeted beneficiaries, who are catered for by a variety of activities (school feeding, mother-child health, home-based care, etc.)

Nacala Railway Line

Due to generous donations from DFID (USD 6,307,692) and CIDA (USD 355,642), WFP launched a Special Operation in September 2002 to rehabilitate the Nacala railway line, the only direct rail link between Mozambique and landlocked Malawi. This Special Operation also provided for emergency rehabilitation of roads inside Malawi and the installation of five Bailey Bridges, also in Malawi, to facilitate the continued transport of humanitarian food supplies to rural remote areas. The rehabilitation of the railway, repair of existing roads and the Bailey Bridges continue to be crucial to WFP’s operations.

An in-depth report of this Special Operation can be found on:



During the month of August, WFP welcomed a 25 million Euro donation from the European Commission to help alleviate widespread hunger in Zimbabwe. This is part of a 100 million Euro gift to WFP for its operations around the world. The donation enabled WFP to fast-track a regional purchase of about 66,000 tons of maize. Last year the European Commission and European Union member states contributed over 80 million Euros to Zimbabwe, representing about 40 percent of all contributions raised for the country.

An additional contribution from Ireland totalling USD 1,140,251 was also confirmed during August.

Confirmed Contributions
(As of 31 August)
Total EMOP Requirement
(Against 30 June 2004)
USD 72,969,613
USD 308,570,230
USD 235,600,617
73,618 MT
538,257 MT
464,639 MT


WFP launched an emergency food operation (EMOP 10290) in southern Africa in July 2003 to deliver 752,162 tons of food aid requirements to more than 6.5 million beneficiaries between July 2003 and June 2004. This was in response to a combination of erratic weather patterns resulting in shortfalls in domestic food production in some areas of Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. General economic decline, foreign exchange shortages, inadequate resources for agricultural inputs, and instances of short-sighted governance and policy continued to contribute to food shortages within the region, which is also being ravaged by spiralling rates of HIV/AIDS. EMOP 10290 was preceded by EMOP 10200 that targeted over 10 million beneficiaries between July 2002 and June 2003.

Additional donations and funding for all commodities are urgently required in order to avoid further disruptions in food distributions. Donors are urgently requested to make food pledges now in order to prevent foreseen shortfalls for the critical period beginning in September through to June 2004. To date, WFP has only received assurances for minimal contributions for the regional emergency operation and the outlook for the period from January onwards is now alarming.

GENERAL: The carry over stock from the previous EMOP 10200.0 and bridging EMOPs totalled 239,065 tons. However, 80,000 tons of this carry over is only expected to arrive in the respective countries by November. The general pipeline status for the EMOP 10290 is critical and urgent funding is required to avert pipeline breaks for all commodities.

LESOTHO: Considering carry over stocks and the current funding level to the regional EMOP, cereal needs are covered until February 2004, while pulses are covered until April 2004. Pipeline breaks for vegetable oil commenced in August and the impact of the critical vegetable oil shortfall (100 percent) will continue to be felt in September and October, before the arrival of the US donated 1,000 tons in November. This donation will cover distributions until the end of the EMOP in June 2004. Corn-soya blend (CSB) needs are also fully resourced until the end of the EMOP.

MALAWI: Current cereal stocks will be exhausted in December while pulses and CSB stocks will last until April 2004. The current stocks for vegetable oil will last until the end of May 2004, whereas dry-skim milk (DSM) stocks are adequate to cover all needs until the end of the EMOP. Sugar, which forms a part of Malawi’s requirements, will run out by the end of September.

MOZAMBIQUE: Current cereal stocks will only meet 55 percent of requirements in September with critical cereal shortfalls projected from December onwards. Due to this shortfall, it will be necessary to move over 7,000 tons of cereals from Swaziland into Mozambique in September to prevent additional disruptions in distributions. Pulses and vegetable oil will be exhausted from the end of August and there will be 100 percent shortfalls in September and October. CSB needs are fully covered until the end of 2003 and shortfalls will become critical from January onwards.

SWAZILAND: With possible carry over stocks of about 3,000 tons from the August distributions, no cereals pipeline break is expected in September. However, the cereals status will be fragile in October and November. The remaining balance of the South African donation will help meet about 75 percent of the cereals need in October, while US donated cornmeal will cover only 60 percent of cereal requirements in November. Critical cereal shortfalls are projected from December onwards. Pulses and vegetable oil stocks ran out at the end of August and 100 percent shortfalls are expected in September and October. US and ADB donations will play a crucial role for meeting the pulses and vegetable oil needs from November until December. CSB needs will be fully covered until the end of 2003 and shortfalls will become critical from January onwards.

ZAMBIA: All commodity needs are covered until the end of 2003.

ZIMBABWE: Cereal shortfalls will occur in September and October when only 60 percent of needs will be met despite the arrival of a 30,000 ton EU contribution. November and December cereal needs will be covered by the arrival of US donated cornmeal and the balance of the EU contribution. The cereal pipeline from December onwards remains a major concern, as there are presently no pledges. The approval of US$5.3 million revolving IRA fund for the regional purchase of non-cereals will be essential for a balanced food basket despite shortfalls of 20 percent for pulses in September, October and December. There is an adequate supply of CSB until February 2004, except in November when a shortfall of 50 percent will be experienced.

The United Nation's World Food Programme was created to fight hunger. It is an institution that for 40 years has embodied the principle that food should reach people when they need it wherever they may be-not only in the context of disasters, but also where grinding poverty and ill health inhibit socioeconomic development. Hunger is a tragedy that kills not only individuals, but also the creativity, productivity and hope of those who continue to survive. Inaction lies at the root of much of today's hunger. When appropriate investments in poor rural areas are not made, low farm productivity, high maternal mortality and economic decline are almost inevitable. In the past, the political will to overcome hunger was often lacking. Today, however, policy-makers are waking up to the fact that it is more economical to invest in people's future during good times then to respond once a crisis occurs. Timely action-not only through effective emergency relief but also through appropriate investments aimed at long-term growth and development- can make a difference.

WFP not only prides itself on its ability to respond to emergencies, but also embraces the broader goal of removing underlying causes of hunger. Once immediate food concerns have been addressed, WFP turns its attention to helping build, or in many cases rebuild, lives and communities. Chronic hunger often continues long after a crisis has ended and can even fuel future emergencies. Rehabilitation and development activities are therefore designed to sustain people as they work for a better tomorrow. Building assets, enabling education for girls and boys, providing skills training and nutritional rehabilitation-these all represent investments against the return of hunger. Saving lives is only the first element of a multifaceted approach. Helping build safe and productive lives carries it's own urgency.

September Events Calendar
2 September RIACSO Meeting
Johannesburg, RSA
Week of 8 September WFP/Partners Food Aid and Fortification Workshop
Harare, Zimbabwe
9-11 September RIACSO Consultation
'Measuring Vulnerability in Light of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic'
Johannesburg, RSA
12 September RIACSO Meeting on Vulnerability Assessment
Johannesburg, RSA
14-16 September High Level Working Group Meeting to Present Southern Africa Emergency Needs 2003/04
New York
15 September Community Household Surveillance Training
Johannesburg, RSA
21-26 September International HIV/AIDS Conference
Nairobi, Kenya
21-26 September AEPS Workshop
Johannesburg, RSA
29 September-29 October Inter-Agency PRRO Appraisal Mission
Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe


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