FAO/GIEWS: Africa Report No.2 - July 2003 p.3
Recent food aid pledges for Eritrea and Ethiopia have boosted the food aid pipeline, but deliveries need to be accelerated.
Good rains in parts and favourable weather forecasts for major producing areas augur well for improved crop and livestock production prospects in the sub-region.
Serious floods in some areas have displaced thousands of people and raised the possibility of localised food shortages.
In Tanzania, despite an overall stable food situation, there are serious concerns for the central, southern and northern coastal areas where rainfall has been erratic.
In Mauritania, although emergency food aid distributions and subsidized sales of wheat have improved the food situation in the worst-hit regions, grain supplies remain tight and livestock prices are falling, seriously limiting access to food for pastoralists and farming households.
In Côte d’Ivoire, the food situation remains critical, particularly in the rebel-controlled north and west.
In Liberia, intensified fighting has disrupted the current agricultural season and displaced thousands of families, pointing to a further drop in rice production this year, and hence increased food aid needs.
In Central African Republic, the food security situation is precarious; food production is not expected to increase this year due to persistent insecurity, notably in the north.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a serious humanitarian situation persists in the east and north-east due to inter-ethnic violence. Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands displaced.
In Burundi and Rwanda,rains in late April and May improved conditions for the 2003 second season so good crops are in prospect. However, there were localized crop losses in some provinces due to unfavourable weather.
Despite substantial recovery in cereal production in 2003, Southern Africa still requires a significant amount of food aid in marketing year 2003/04. The HIV/AIDS pandemic is a major compounding factor in the sub-region’s food security problems.
In Zimbabwe, cereal production remained well below normal levels, and 5.5 million people, or half of the country’s total population, need emergency food aid.
In Mozambique, the overall cereal harvest was good but some 949 000 people in southern and parts of central regions will require food assistance due to near-total failure of the maize crop.
In Angola, the 2003 cereal production increased substantially reflecting good weather, increased plantings following the return of IDPs to rural areas, and distribution of agricultural inputs. However, food aid will continue to be required for 1.4 million people, mainly returnees and vulnerable population, following three decades of civil war.