Malawi + 5 more

Southern Africa Complex Food Security Crisis Situation Report #8 (FY 2002)

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published


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

Note: This Situation Report updates Southern Africa Complex Food Security Crisis Situation Report # 7 dated June 28, 2002.

BACKGROUND

Southern Africa is currently facing a regional food security crisis, due to a combination of adverse climate conditions for two consecutive growing seasons in a number of countries, mismanagement of grain reserves in some countries, and questionable government policies, primarily in Zimbabwe. During the past 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. This year, however, regional stocks are exceptionally low, as they were drawn down to fill the previous year's food shortages, and surplus commodities within the region are limited. Zimbabwe is on the verge of a serious food crisis, with almost half the population at risk. The potential for humanitarian food crises also exists in Malawi and Zambia. Poor and vulnerable households in Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho will also require humanitarian assistance. The governments of several countries in Southern Africa have declared national disasters due to actual and anticipated food shortages, including Malawi (February 27), Lesotho (April 22), Zimbabwe (April 30), and Zambia (May 28). Since the beginning of 2002, the U.S. Government (USG) has provided more than $68 million in emergency humanitarian assistance in response to the food security crisis through the United States 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 humanitarian assistance has been emergency food relief provided by USAID/FFP.


NUMBERS AT A GLANCE - POPULATIONS IN NEED

Country
Population in Need1
Jun 02 - Aug 02
Population in Need1
Sep 02 - Nov 02
Population in Need1
Dec 02 - Mar 03
Cereal Food Aid Needs (MT) through Mar 03
Zimbabwe
5,263,000
6,075,000
6,075,000
705,000
Malawi
543,000
2,142,000
3,188,000
208,000
Zambia
467,000
1,907,000
2,329,000
174,000
Mozambique
355,000
515,000
515,000
62,000
Lesotho
315,200
315,200
444,800
50,000
Swaziland
144,000
231,000
12,000
Total
6,943,200
11,098,200
12,782,800
1,211,000

1 Anticipated populations and food aid needs between June 2002 and March 2003 are based on WFP/FAO assessments during April and May 2002.

Total USG Humanitarian Assistance provided, to date: $68,617,388

Total USG Food Aid provided, to date: 132,710 MT

CURRENT SITUATION

New USG Food Aid Contribution. On July 8, USAID announced that the USG will provide an additional estimated 160,000 MT of mixed commodities through the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust in coming months, valued at approximately $82 million. This contribution will be consigned to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) for use in their Southern Africa Regional Emergency Operation (EMOP). This contribution is in addition to the 36,450 MT of mixed food commodities, en route to Southern Africa, and the 96,260 MT previously provided by the USG to the crisis. Upon shipment of the newly announced commodities, this will soon bring the total USG food aid contribution to Southern Africa to more than 292,000 MT, valued at an estimated $150 million. Further contributions from the USG are expected.

The 36,450 MT of mixed commodities currently en route to Southern Africa is slated to arrive in Durban, South Africa on July 23. All of these commodities will be consigned to WFP for use in their regional EMOP.

WFP EMOP Finalized. On July 1, WFP officially launched its EMOP for Southern Africa. WFP has requested nearly one million MT of commodities for its nine-month program, with a total program value of $507 million. The EMOP will address 67 percent of the overall cereal requirement for the affected countries, with government programs, NGOs, and the private sector expected to cover the remaining deficit.

Administrator Natsios Meets with SADC Ambassadors. On July 8, Administrator Natsios met with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ambassadors to discuss the continuing food security crisis in Southern Africa. On July 9, the Administrator attended the SADC Ambassadors' press conference at the National Press Club. At the press conference, the SADC Ambassadors recognized Natsios and applauded the USG and USAID for taking the lead in responding to the crisis in Southern Africa. While the SADC Ambassadors expressed great satisfaction with the U.S. response to date, they also emphasized the need for more donors as well as increased international awareness of the situation in Southern Africa.

COUNTRY UPDATES

Lesotho. The major causes of the current food security crisis in Lesotho include poor cereal crop production due to drought, unseasonable heavy rains, hailstorms, pest infestations, and poor soil management, which has led to serious environmental degradation. High food import prices have left much of the population without the means to purchase food. On July 5, WFP reported that Government of Lesotho authorities have completed targeting assessments in the field and are processing the data. U.N. agencies and NGOs are expected to validate beneficiary lists before issuing food cards to affected families. WFP also reports that collaboration efforts are underway with several NGOs in the country.

Malawi. From June 23 - 29, an OFDA assessment team traveled to Malawi to assist USAID/Malawi in assessing the emergency health, nutrition, and food security situations in affected areas. The team found that recent harvests in May and June have temporarily ameliorated the food security and nutrition situations. Malnutrition levels were reported at 6.6 percent, lower than the reported March levels of 11 to 19 percent. However, pre-famine indicators show the potential for serious nutritional concerns later in the year. Corn seed quantities for next planting season will likely be inadequate as many farmers lost their grain, which they use as seed. However, some hybrid varieties of seed are available, as is cassava.

Mozambique. An OFDA-led assessment to Mozambique from June 30 to July 4 determined that the food security situation has received a respite from the recent harvests, but the situation will likely deteriorate around November when this food runs out. Mozambique generally has adequate commercial corn seed available for the upcoming planting season in October. However, a joint Government of Mozambique and FAO program will supply seeds in drought-affected areas where availability is low. The Government of Mozambique, WFP, FEWS NET and other partners will begin a new round of field assessments in mid-July, to refine estimates of humanitarian needs.

Swaziland. The major causes of the current food security crisis in Swaziland include a poor 2001/2002 cereal harvest resulting from a mid-season dry spell at the critical maturing stage, two previous years of reduced harvests, low levels of grain reserves, and inadequate imports. On July 5, WFP announced a $2.1 million aid program to Swaziland would begin in the next two weeks. Although the exact tonnage was not announced, the commodities will be shipped overland from the port in Maputo.

Zambia. Vulnerability Assessment Technical Committee in Zambia has identified 38 districts as requiring food relief assistance during the 2002/2003-consumption season. The Committee is making preparations to conduct a second assessment in mid-July in line with six other Southern Africa countries in order to understand the full extent of the food problem and to put a monitoring system in place.

On July 10, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees reported that an estimated 250,000 refugees in Zambia would continue to receive half rations because of the food shortage in the region.

Zimbabwe. According to FEWS NET, affected populations in urban areas of Zimbabwe continue to grapple with the twin food problem of food shortages and the rapidly increasing cost of food and other essential household goods. The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ)'s Low Income Urban Household Budget for a family of six is estimated to have gone up by 12 percent between January 2002 and May 2002. Clothing and durable household goods had the highest increases of 100 and 66 percent, respectively, over the same period. Bread and salt have joined sugar, milk, cooking oil and corn meal as food items reported to be in short supply.

FEWS NET reports that the flow of food into the country is still very slow. As of June 19, only 9 percent of the corn deficit at the beginning of the current consumption year (April 2002) had been imported. Wheat stocks are estimated to have dropped to 85,000 MT as of mid-June and are projected to be depleted by the end of August, more than one month before the October harvest. Several NGOs have now embarked on importing food into the country, complementing efforts by the Government of Zimbabwe, WFP, and donors to address the food gap.

USAID is working exclusively through international organizations and NGOs in Zimbabwe, which have in place systems to minimize the potential for politicization of food aid distribution.

USG HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE

Since the beginning of 2002, the USG has provided more than $68 million in emergency humanitarian assistance in response to the food security crisis, including 132,710 MT of P.L 480 Title II and Section 416(b) emergency food commodities. This assistance has been provided through USAID/FFP and USDA.

Country
USG Food Aid (MT),
to date
Zimbabwe
42,930
Malawi
19,940
Zambia
23,500
Mozambique
9,890
Lesotho
Swaziland
Region (Countries TBD)
36,450
Regional Total
132,7101

1 This total does not include the new Emerson Trust procurement of 160,000 MT.

USAID/OFDA is planning a complementary response to food aid for Southern Africa. USAID/OFDA will work with USAID missions and appropriate local and international partners to ensure that adequate systems and supplies are in place to handle increased incidence of endemic and other opportunistic diseases (e.g. cholera, tuberculosis, malaria, and childhood diseases) that may arise as a result of the crisis. Where necessary, OFDA will support increased monitoring, surveillance, and reporting efforts on health-related issues and advocate for preparedness through mission health and population officers.

Another major component of DCHA/OFDA's response is agricultural recovery. DCHA/OFDA is working to provide agricultural inputs for the coming planting season, and will also evaluate a variety of seed types in an effort to diversify crops and provide more drought-resistant alternatives to maize (e.g. sorghum and cassava). Where possible, DCHA/OFDA will ensure that seed distribution programs are programmed in conjunction with ongoing agricultural development programs. OFDA does not foresee the need for large-scale agricultural tool distributions, but will consider support in areas where the affected population has been forced to sell or lost tools.

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, in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. USAID/AFR also supports a regional HIV/AIDS program in Southern Africa that focuses on cross-border activities in the region.


U.S. Government Humanitarian Assistance
Southern Africa food security crisis

Country
Agency
Implementing Partner
Sector Description
Amount
Malawi USAID/OFDA USAID/Lilongwe Supplementary Feeding
$25,000
USAID/OFDA Malawian Red Cross Health
$100,000
USAID/FFP WFP P.L. 480 Title II Food Assistance - 16,940 MT
$8,900,600
Total USAID
$9,025,600
USDA WFP Section 416(b) Food Assistance -3,000 MT
$1,243,382
TOTAL USG ASSISTANCE TO MALAWI
$10,268,982
Mozambique USAID/FFP WFP P.L. 480 Title II Food Assistance - 9,890 MT
$4,791,300
TOTAL USG ASSISTANCE TO MOZAMBIQUE
$4,791,300
Zambia USAID/OFDA U.S. Embassy in Lusaka Transportation Logistics
$50,000
USAID/FFP WFP P.L. 480 Title II Food Assistance - 8,500 MT
$2,966,100
Total USAID
$3,016,100
USDA WFP Section 416(b) Food Assistance -15,000 MT
$7,093,354
TOTAL USG ASSISTANCE TO ZAMBIA
$10,109,454
Zimbabwe USAID/FFP WFP P.L. 480 Title II Food Assistance - 20,120 MT
$13,241,600
USAID/FFP World Vision P.L. 480 Title II Food Assistance - 14,310 MT
$9,348,000
Total USAID
$22,589,600
USDA WFP Section 416(b) Food Assistance - 8,500 MT
$4,958,052
TOTAL USG ASSISTANCE TO ZIMBABWE
$27,547,652
Region
(Countries TBD)
USAID/FFP TBD P.L. 480 Title II Food Assistance - 36,450 MT
$15,900,000
Summary of USG Humanitarian Assistance
USAID/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)     
$175,000
USAID/Office of Food For Peace (FFP)
$55,147,600
USAID Total
$55,322,600
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
$13,294,788
TOTAL USG HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE, TO DATE
$68,617,388

Click here to view the map of the Southern Africa Complex Food Security Crisis.

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