FAO/GIEWS: Africa Report 02/97

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ZAIRE

Area:

2 267 000 sq.km

Climate:

Tropical wet climate in the central basin, tropical wet-dry in the extreme north and the

south


Population:

45.28 million (1996 estimate); G.N.P. per caput: n.a.

Specific characteristics of the country:

Low-income food-deficit country; tropical country with access to sea

Logistics:

Roads inadequate

Major foodcrops:

Roots and tubers, coarse grains, fruit

Marketing year:

January/December; Lean season: October (north), November-December (south)

Share of cereals in total calorie intake:

15 percent



CURRENT SITUATION

Precipitation was abundant over the entire country in January, except in the extreme north. The second maize crop is being planted in the centre and the south. The recently planted rice is growing satisfactorily in the south.

However, the security conditions in the region of Lubutu and Kisangani of eastern Zaire, continue to deteriorate. Advances by the insurgents leading Rwandan refugees who have settled in the region and local Zairians to flee, and there are reports of growing tension between these refugees and the local population. The number of refugees is estimated by UNHCR at 330 000 persons, while internally displaced are estimated at 200 000 to 250 000. Following the fighting, 11 000 refugees have arrived in Punia, southwest of Lubutu, and a further 11 000 are heading from Punia towards Yumbi. In early February, 40 000 refugees from Shabunda have left the camp and were heading in the direction of Kalima and Kindu, while 40 000 people from the Amisi camp were heading towards the Tingi Tingi area. 130 000 refugees are already in the Tingi Tingi camp, where severe malnutrition rates are reported. Food aid distributions are underway but, as a result of poor infrastructures, food aid is difficult to bring to the area and only limited quantities can be supplied.

There are also an estimated 50 000 assisted and 119 000 unassisted Angolan refugees in southern Zaire. Most of the unassisted population is expected to spontaneously return to Angola, following the improvement of the situation. Around 94 000 Sudanese and 12 000 Ugandan refugees also remain in Zaire. In the Kasaï region, approximately 600 000 displaced people, who arrived in 1992, fleeing ethnic violence in the Shaba region are present. Many of them are self sufficient, except in Mwene-Ditu, where their nutritional situation is reported to be critical.

CEREAL SUPPLY/DEMAND BALANCE FOR THE 1997 MARKETING YEAR (in thousand tons)

Wheat

Rice

Coarse grains

Total

Normal Production (rice in paddy terms)

17

425

1 240

1 682

Normal Imports

120

40

35

195

of which: Structural food aid

5

1

35

41

1997 Domestic Availability

19

313

1 196

1 528

1996 Production (rice in paddy terms)

19

470

1 186

1 675

1996 Production (rice in milled terms)

19

313

1 186

1 518

Possible stock drawdown

-

-

10

10

1997 Utilization

149

363

1 256

1 768

Food Use

149

328

1 060

1 537

of which: local purchase requirement

-

-

12

12

Non-food use

-

20

196

216

Exports or Re-exports

-

-

-

-

Possible stock build up

-

15

-

15

1997 Import Requirement

130

50

60

240

Anticipated commercial imports

125

50

-

175

Food aid needs

5

-

60

65

Current Aid Position





Food aid pledges

17

1

3

21

of which: Delivered

-

1

2

3

Donor-financed local purchases

-

-

12

12

Estimated Per Caput Consumption (kg/Year)

3

7

24

34

Indexes





1996 production as % of normal:




100

1997 import requirement as % of normal:




123

1997 food aid requirement as % of normal:




159


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