AFRICA: In eastern Africa, recent food aid pledges for Eritrea and Ethiopia have boosted the food aid pipeline but accelerated deliveries and pre-positioning of food are urgently needed. In Tanzania, despite the overall stable food situation, there are serious food security concerns for the central, southern and northern coastal areas. In west Africa, the food situation remains alarming in Liberia, while emergency food assistance is still needed in Côte d'Ivoire and Mauritania. In DR Congo, a serious humanitarian situation persists in Ituri despite international intervention and formation of a transitional national government.
ASIA: A large number of countries have been affected by tropical storms, typhoons, floods, and drought in Asia including China, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal, East Timor, and Mongolia. Hundreds of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have had to be evacuated. Crops have been affected significantly.In Asian CIS, unfavourable weather conditions have affected cereal production. Georgia and Armenia will require some targeted food aid. A record cereal crop is envisaged in Afghanistan, but access to food remains a problem for a large number of vulnerable people.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN: In Central America, food assistance is still required in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua for families affected by natural disasters of the past 5 years and recurrent economic shocks. The assistance should target affected women and children. In South America, the outlook is poor in Ecuador for the 2003 maize crop as a result of adverse weather. In Venezuela, prospects are poor for the coarse grain and paddy crops, mainly as a consequence of the reduced use of farm inputs due to the low purchasing power of farmers. In Haiti, food assistance will also be distributed to drought-affected farmers.
EUROPE: Prospects for the 2003 cereal crops have deteriorated across Europe in the wake of several weeks of exceptionally hot and dry weather. Wheat output in the EU is forecast to fall 10 percent and that of coarse grains is also forecast down to about 10 percent. Among the CEECs even larger reductions are expected. Adverse weather conditions have also compromised cereal harvest in the European CIS. Ukraine will be a net cereal importer while Russia will remain a net exporter but not a significant player in the international grain market.
NORTH AMERICA: Cereal production in North America is set to recover sharply in 2003 from last year’s drought-reduced levels. A good winter wheat crop has been harvested in the United States, about 50 percent up form 2002. Prospects for the spring wheat and coarse grains are also favourable. Likewise, in Canada, the main cereal crops of wheat and barley are faring much better than last year and production should rebound.
OCEANIA: Reflecting a generally satisfactory winter sowing season, prospects for the 2003 winter cereal output are favourable. Outputs of wheat and barley are expected to rebound to more than double the drought-reduced levels in the previous year. However, the 2003 summer coarse grains and rice crops, which have already been harvested, were sharply reduced due to reduced irrigation supplies on account of last year’s drought.