Stephane Jost is responsible, within the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS), for the monitoring of the crop and food supply situation of Western and Central African countries. He notably prepares GIEWS's monthly "Sahel weather and crop situation reports" published during the rainy season in the Sahel. He collaborates closely with the CILSS - the permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel, (and particularly its Agrhymet Center), for the joint crop assessment missions in the Sahel, or for the transfer of the GIEWS workstation. Two training courses on the utilization of the workstation have thus been organized during the second half of 2000 for experts from the Sahelian countries. As the person in charge of media contacts within the service, he has participated in creating and then constantly improving the GIEWS Internet site, and he regularly participates in radio interviews following the publication of reports or "special alerts".
The objective of the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS), FAO, is to provide the decision makers and analysts with the most up-to-date information as possible on all aspects of food supply and demand, and to alert them of the risks of imminent food crises, so that appropriate intervention measures might be organized. Since 1975, our system publishes regular bulletins with regard to production, consumption, and the food product markets at the global level, as well as detailed reports on the regional or national situations. In order to achieve this objective, the agricultural economists of the GIEWS utilize the statistical data on food production, trade, food assistance, as well as food stocks and consumption.
The system maintains a close working relationship with governments, NGOs, the other United Nations agencies, as well as research institutions and the international media. It is capable of rapidly organizing evaluation missions with regard to food supply and demand in affected countries. The data referring to the current year is constantly kept up to date, as soon as new information and data arrive. Satellite images received in real time are used in order to predict possible droughts. Agricultural, economic and political information received from a wide variety of sources, such as official government declarations, NGO evaluations, and information coming from the national and international media is also utilized.
The system has also developed, in parallel, new methodological approaches with regard to rapid alert. We can mention of, in particular, its "integrated work station", whose objective it is to facilitate access to numerous information from diverse sources, and their joint exploitation, particularly on a geographic basis. This workstation has been translated into different languages, in order to facilitate its transfer and utilization in the different countries concerned. A considerable part of the information processed by the GIEWS is accessible on-line on its Internet site (www.fao.org/giews), which, in addition to the regularly published bulletins or reports, provides on-line access to different statistical or cartographic data bases.
For further information on GIEWS: www.fao.org/giews