Southern Africa Complex Food Security Crisis Situation Report #8 (FY) 2003

Report
from US Agency for International Development
Published on 24 Jan 2003


U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)

Note: The last situation report was dated January 3, 2002.

BACKGROUND

A number of Southern African countries are currently experiencing food security crises, due to a combination of adverse climate conditions for two consecutive growing seasons, mismanagement of grain reserves, and restrictive government policies that severely inhibit private sector commerce. During the 2001/2002 production season, unusually dry conditions extended across much of the region, from southern Zambia eastward to southern Mozambique, resulting in crop failures and limited production in many areas. Normally, food stocks carried over from the previous year and the intra-regional trade of surplus commodities help to offset production shortfalls. However, regional stocks were drawn down to fill the previous year's food shortages, and surplus commodities within the region were limited. In FY 2003, Zimbabwe continues to face a serious humanitarian crisis, with nearly half the population at risk. Humanitarian food crises also exist in Malawi and Zambia. Poor and vulnerable households in Swaziland and Lesotho and some parts of Mozambique also require food assistance. In FY 2003, U.S. Ambassadors in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe redeclared disasters in response to the ongoing food security crisis. Since the onset of the crisis in February 2002, the U.S. Government (USG) has provided or pledged more than $278 million in humanitarian assistance through the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) and the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The majority of the USG humanitarian assistance has been emergency food relief provided by USAID/FFP.


NUMBERS AT A GLANCE - POPULATIONS IN NEED: SEPTEMBER 1, 2002 TO MARCH 31, 2003
Country
Maximum Number of Population in Need1
Maximum Percentage of Total (Country/Region) Population in Need1
Zimbabwe
6,700,000
49%
Malawi
3,300,000
29%
Zambia
2,900,000
26%
Lesotho
650,000
30%
Mozambique
590,000
3%
Swaziland
270,000
24%
Total
14,400,000
25%
1Anticipated populations and food assistance needs are based on SADC FANR assessments released on September 16, 2002. (Numbers are rounded.)

Total USG Humanitarian Assistance provided*: $278,629,550

Total USG Food Assistance provided in Metric Tons (MT)*: 499,493

* This total reflects the total USG humanitarian assistance provided in response to the Southern Africa Complex Food Security Crisis since February 2002.

CURRENT SITUATION

Latest Shipment of U.S. Food Assistance to the Region. To date, the USG has delivered over 430,000 MT of food assistance to the region. The balance of approximately 70,000 MT will arrive in the region by the end of February. The M/V Noble Star is currently offloading 13,500 MT of beans and 6,000 MT of oil in Durban. Of this total, the NGO consortium, C-SAFE, will receive 14,600 MT with the balance provided to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP). In addition, the Melini, carrying 11,300 MT of U.S. corn for WFP distribution in Zimbabwe, will arrive in the port of Durban within the next ten days.

Update on the WFP Emergency Operation (EMOP). WFP has sourced approximately 74 percent of the food resources (nearly 65 percent of cash contributions) required for its EMOP, with approximately 45 percent of those resources coming from the USG. USG assistance represented approximately 45 percent of the total humanitarian requirements for 2002.

Status of Biotech-Derived Food Assistance. The Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) has maintained its policy of not accepting biotech-derived food assistance, even if milled. Mozambique and Malawi have expressed concerns over the environmental effects of biotech food, but are accepting such food assistance as long as it is milled before distribution. However, the Government of Malawi (GOM) has publicly stated its intention not to disrupt the distribution of humanitarian corn if milling is not possible. Swaziland and Lesotho have continued to accept all emergency food assistance of biotech origin, but Lesotho requires milling.

The Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ) had agreed to accept U.S.-donated corn under the condition that all whole kernel grain be milled prior to entering the country to prevent it from being planted. However, the GOZ has recently shown some leniency by allowing WFP to mill an additional 17,500 MT of USG maize in-country and approving the use of additional mills in Gweru and possibly Harare. Nevertheless, logistical difficulties associated with the milling operation have significantly affected food distributions.

COUNTRY UPDATES

Zimbabwe. According to WFP, limited food stocks resulted in a WFP distribution of approximately 20,000 MT in December. Slow milling of U.S.-provided food commodities was the primary constraint to the distribution of approximately 40,000 MT of U.S.-provided cereal commodities earmarked for Zimbabwe in the region. Remaining U.S. food commodities are expected to be milled by February 2002, complemented by approximately 40,000 MT of emergency food commodities provided by the European Union - resulting in a sufficient WFP food pipeline for January and February.

As a result of this increased pipeline, WFP plans to distribute approximately 54,500 MT of food assistance in January to more than four million beneficiaries.

On November 7, 2002, U.S. Ambassador Joseph Sullivan redeclared a disaster in Zimbabwe in response to the ongoing food security crisis for FY 2003.

Malawi. Flooding, resulting from rains associated with tropical depression Delfina, affected the provinces of Salima, Balaka, Dedza, Machinga, Ntcheu, Dowa, and Phalombe in early January. As of January 14, the Department of Disaster Preparedness Relief and Rehabilitation reported that the floods destroyed nearly 3,500 homes and damaged crops in as many as 50,000 households. The impact of the flooding on agriculture and transportation networks may aggravate the ongoing food security crisis.

On December 4, 2002, U.S. Ambassador Roger A. Meece redeclared a disaster in response to the ongoing complex food security crisis in Malawi for FY 2003.

Zambia. WFP reported that December distributions reached 427,300 beneficiaries in Zambia. During December, WFP also prepositioned 2,045 MT of emergency food commodities for January distributions. WFP estimates that nearly 90 percent of the food assistance pipeline requirement for Zambia through March 2003 has been met by contributions from donors and the GRZ. However, the capacity of the logistical network to transport the 90,000 MT the GRZ plans to procure remains of concern.

On November 1, 2002, U.S. Ambassador Martin G. Brennan redeclared a disaster in response to the ongoing food security crisis in Zambia for FY 2003.

Mozambique. Flooding that resulted from heavy rainfall associated with tropical depression Delfina has constrained transportation networks in Nampula Province. In Nampula Province, WFP is unable to transport food commodities by truck. The storm also inflicted heavy damage on the railways, and on January 5 led to a derailment at Mutivaze, near Nampula, which has suspended all traffic to and from Malawi. However, there are reports that the rail line may open within the next few days. Within Malawi, the line to Lilongwe has been heavily damaged, largely due to a loss of a bridge near Balaka, between Nacala and Blantyre. The line to Blantyre has been less affected, so when the line is reopened within Mozambique, traffic to and from Blantyre should resume. Reports from the field indicate that it will take months to completely restore the line to Lilongwe. However, traffic to Liwonde and Limbe has not been interrupted and deliveries to Lilongwe can be made by road until the line is restored.

Lesotho. During the week of January 17, WFP distributed 865 MT of emergency food assistance to approximately 78,000 beneficiaries in eight districts.

Swaziland. As of December 27, WFP released 3,586 MT of food commodities to implementing partners for December distributions. WFP planned to distribute an additional 1,071 MT before the end of the month.

USG HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE

From the beginning of 2002 to present, the USG has provided or pledged more than $278 million in emergency humanitarian assistance in response to the food security crisis.

In FY 2002, USAID/OFDA provided more than $10 million in non-food programs that are currently underway in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, and Lesotho. As part of this assistance, USAID/OFDA provided $1 million to WFP to assist with its regional management and logistics coordination.

In FY 2003, USAID/OFDA provided $2 million to Africare to support supplementary therapeutic feeding in Malawi (CoGuard). USAID/OFDA also provided $250,000 to support farm surveys and supplementary feeding programs for orphans and vulnerable populations in Zimbabwe. USAID/OFDA recently provided $100,000 to WFP to support their rapid assessments that are ongoing in the six affected countries.

USAID/OFDA continues to address needs in water and sanitation, coordination, nutrition, and health, particularly preparing for outbreaks of endemic and opportunistic diseases.

In addition to emergency humanitarian efforts for the food security crisis in Southern Africa, USAID programs are designed to reduce the risk of future crises through the Agricultural Initiative to Cut Hunger in Africa. The objective of the Initiative is to promote a rapid and sustainable increase in agricultural growth and rural incomes in sub-Saharan Africa by advancing scientific and technological applications that will raise agricultural productivity, create agriculture-based enterprises, and improve the agricultural trade and market systems.

In response to the ongoing HIV/AIDS pandemic in the Southern Africa region, USAID's Africa Bureau (USAID/AFR) is supporting HIV/AIDS prevention, control, care, and support initiatives, as well as programs for HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children throughout the region. USAID/AFR also supports a regional HIV/AIDS program in Southern Africa that focuses on regional cross-border activities.


FY 2002-2003 U.S. GOVERNMENT HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE
SOUTHERN AFRICA FOOD SECURITY CRISIS
Country*
USG Food Assistance FY 2002
(From USAID/FFP and USDA)
Lesotho
27,760 MT
Malawi
149,895 MT
Mozambique
19,790 MT
Swaziland
15,542 MT
Zambia
74,500 MT
Zimbabwe
212,006 MT
Total
499,493 MT


Country
USG Non-Food Assistance FY 2002
(From USAID/OFDA)
Lesotho
$270,000
Malawi
$4,640,990
Zambia
$1,538,560
Zimbabwe
$2,925,661
Regional Support
$1,000,000
Total
$10,375,211

Country
USG Non-Food Assistance FY 2003
(From USAID/OFDA)
Malawi
$2,000,000
Zimbabwe
$250,000
WFP Regional Support
$100,000
Total
$2,350,000

Summary of FY 2002 - FY 2003 USG Humanitarian Assistance
USAID/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)
$12,725,211
USAID/Office of Food For Peace (FFP)*
$252,609,551
USAID Total
$265,334,762
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Total
$13,294,788
TOTAL USG HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE
$278,629,550
* Note: USAID/FFP value is an estimate. Commodities may have been reallocated to meet changing needs.

Bernd McConnell
Director, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance

*USAID/OFDA bulletins can be obtained from the USAID web site at http://www.usaid.gov/hum_response/ofda.