SECOND REGIONAL MISSION COMPLETED
Mr. James Morris, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Humanitarian Needs in Southern Africa, completed his second mission to the region. The mission team visited four countries affected by the humanitarian crisis (Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe), meeting with Government officials, donors and NGOs. On his return to Johannesburg, Mr. Morris stated that although the international community has so far succeeded in averting a humanitarian catastrophe in the region, the HIV/AIDS pandemic "threatens the very existence of countries".
US PLEDGES $10 BILLION TOWARD FIGHT AGAINST AIDS
Reactions have been mostly positive to US President George Bush's announcement during his State of the Union address last week of an additional US$10 billion (on top of the US$ 5 billion already allocated) toward AIDS in Africa. Bush is asking Congress to commit the total of US$ 15 billion over a five-year period, of which US$1billion will go to the UN-administered Global Fund against AIDS. During the SE Mission press conference in Johannesburg on 29 January, Stephen Lewis, the United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/Aids in Africa, said that Bush's pledge "opens the floodgates of hope," and that the announcement was "the first dramatic signal from the U.S. administration that it is now ready to confront the pandemic and to save or prolong millions of lives." Lewis expressed the hope that other nations would likewise increase funds available to combat AIDS. Dr. Prega Ramsamy, Executive Secretary of the Southern Africa Development Community, who was also part of the SE mission, commented on the allocation of the money, noting that it should be devoted to small-scale community projects in order to have a real effect on people's lives.
- Sub-Saharan Africa has the most people in the world living with HIV/AIDS (28.5 million), and estimated annual HIV infection rates are also higher than anywhere else on the globe (3.5 million in 2001)
- Southern Africa countries with HIV/AIDS rates over 30%: Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and Botswana
- Zambia - 26% of households have at least one person living with AIDS (PLWHA) 11 million African children have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS
- The epidemic leads to competing resources between health care and agricultural production at the household level
WFP OFFICES - COUNTRY HIGHLIGHTS
MALAWI: De-worming treatment will be implemented in conjunction with School Feeding Programmes, with teachers cooperating with health personnel in implementation. Two de-worming orientation meetings took place during the reporting period, involving 33 Lilongwe schools and 83 participants. The orientations outlined the de-worming exercise, issues of implementation and the formation of a drug administration programme for the schools involved.
MOZAMBIQUE: Following recent reports of hunger-related deaths in Magoe District (Tete Province), an assessment of the food and nutrition security situation was undertaken during the week by WFP, representatives from the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) and the Ministry of Health. The report will be released 5 February. WFP is currently distributing targeted food rations through the Lutheran World Federation in the worst affected localities. WFP accompanied the Minister of Education on a visit to schools in Massangena and Chicualacuala Districts (Gaza Province). The mission noted worryingly high school drop out rates of up to 20% in Massangena District. Nampula, Zambezia and Tete Provinces received rainfall during the reporting period, while central and southern parts of the country remained with little or no rain.
SWAZILAND: WFP has so far set up 111 Women's Relief Committees which will distribute WFP food targeted to the most vulnerable at 179 distribution points. The committees will empower and enhance women in food management, targeting, and education of beneficiaries on nutritional issues and HIV/AIDS.
Dry weather conditions continue in parts of the Lowveld, and according to observations by WFP Food Aid Monitors in the area, only 20-40% of the farming land has been cultivated this year. Reports from WFP Implementing Partners state that crops are wilting due to dry weather conditions, with Mubutfu, Nsubane, Mhlabeni and Lavumisa being badly hit areas.
ZAMBIA: An MP from the border town of Luangwa (Lusaka Province) has expressed concern over the state of crops in the district due to lack of rain over the past three weeks. Residents of Mazabuka District (Southern Province) interviewed by a WFP Food Aid Monitor indicated that rainfall received has so far been below normal for the season, affecting the growth rate of the crops, which are now wilting. Farmers also expressed fear of crop failure due to lack of access to fertilizers.
ZIMBABWE: The food security situation is reported to be deteriorating throughout the country, with bread queues appearing in some new areas. The fuel shortage is hindering the timely delivery of food aid from some rural storage facilities to distribution sites.
A government report from the Agriculture Extension Services Department (AREX) has stated that 75% of arable land in Zvishavane District has not been cultivated, and the harvest expected in the 2002-2003 planting season is about 2,000 tons against a normal harvest of approximately 17,600 tons. Poor status of crops in Buhera, Chimanimani, Chipinge and Nyanga Districts is causing concern about possible food shortages even after the March harvest. Matabeleland continues to receive little rain, resulting in limited planting, wilted crops and lack of pasture for livestock. In Gokwe North District, WFP is planning to erect portable warehouses closer to Gokwe as the road to Nembudziya warehouse becomes inaccessible during the rainy season.
RIACSO/NGO Partners meeting at 14:00 at RIACSO offices in Sunninghill, Johannesburg.
Presentation of the Mid Term Review of Consolidated Appeals
MISSIONS TO THE REGION
Visit to the Regional Bureau by delegates of European Parliament.
Last week, WFP received confirmation of a donation of approximately USD 6.3 million from the Government of France. With this contribution, the EMOP is 66% funded with a shortfall of USD173 million. WFP was also very pleased this week to receive a letter from the Government of South Africa confirming its intention to contribute 100,000 tons of maize to the regional EMOP.
Current Resourcing Status - WFP EMOP 10200.0
(as of 31 January 2003)
Total EMOP Requirement
(against 31 March 03)
During the Regional Strategic Planning Meeting from 13-15 January for the WFP Bureau for Southern Africa (ODJ), consensus was reached on WFP's regional strategies and priorities for 2003. These are found below.
ODJ Regional Goal (2003)
Contribute to saving lives and preserving livelihoods of the most vulnerable
Regional Strategic Priorities
- Integrate HIV/AIDS into all programmes/projects implemented in the region
- Increase scope and effectiveness of education support programmes
- Strengthen mechanisms and infrastructure to support crisis prevention/preparedness/response/recovery
Provide strategic direction and technical support and guidance to COs, leadership in advocacy and resource mobilization and proactive participation in inter-agency and regional coordination efforts
ODJ Bureau Strategic Priorities
- Facilitate the integration of HIV/AIDS into current and future programming and other WFP activities
- Support a comprehensive and measurable approach to education interventions
- Promote collaboration/co-ordination among stakeholders to improve regional Crisis Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery (CPPRR) capacity
- Strengthen the technical capacity of the Bureau to respond to the needs of the region
- Promote enhanced relationships with traditional and non-traditional donors
- Develop credible and compelling messages and messaging
- Facilitate relationships between donors, media, Country Offices and beneficiaries
- Strengthen interagency and regional partnerships in support of all ODJ strategic priorities
- Further strengthen regional logistics coordination
Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe should be able to distribute close to a full food basket in February. Malawi and Zambia will not be able to meet full distribution requirements for oil and pulses. The Mozambique cereal pipeline is fragile, but loans are being put in place to cover some of the more immediate needs.