Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe will be in need of humanitarian food aid between now and next year's harvest. Among the principal factors are drought, floods, poor governance and economic mismanagement. A contributing factor is the debilitating rate of HIV/AIDS infection in southern Africa. The United States has delivered or pledged more than 500,000 metric tons of food aid since the beginning of 2002. At a total value of more than $266 million, the U.S. government is the largest donor to the World Food Program's operations in southern Africa.
Horn of Africa
In Ethiopia and Eritrea, millions of people are vulnerable to food shortages brought on by a severe drought. USAID had been monitoring the situation through its Famine Early Warning System, and started sending emergency food assistance in July. Since then, the United States has given $198 million in food assistance to Ethiopia and Eritrea, or approximately 474,000 metric tons of food.
With the recent cessation of hostilities, and both parties agreeing to unhindered humanitarian access, the WFP expects that its caseload will increase significantly. Most recently, USAID contributed 46,030 metric tons of food assistance, an estimated value of $40.1 million.
Angola continues to require emergency food assistance especially during the critical pre-harvest months of December and January. In 2002, the US Government contributed over 130,000 MTs of food aid valued at nearly $100 million. USAID continues to carefully monitor the humanitarian situation in Angola and continues to support the emergency food aid operations undertaken by WFP.
USAID's Commitment to Africa
To reinforce its development commitment, USAID is launching four new special initiatives this year in Africa: in agriculture, trade, education, and good governance. Increasing agricultural productivity in particular is key to Africa's efforts to reduce widespread poverty. Agriculture is the foundation for most African economies, supporting over 70% of the population and contributing an average of 30% of gross domestic product.
WASHINGTON, DC 20523