FAO/GIEWS: Africa Report No.1 - April 2004 p.3

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Eastern Africa

  • The overall food supply situation in the region has generally improved compared to last year mainly due to good crops in Ethiopia and Sudan.

  • In Somalia, serious humanitarian concerns continue to be reported for several areas of northern and central regions owing to cumulative effects of successive droughts.

  • In Eritrea, there are serious concerns over the lack of pledges and low levels of food aid stocks that prompted a reduction in rations and number of targeted beneficiaries.

  • In Ethiopia, despite a bumper harvest late last year, about 7 million people require food assistance.

  • In Kenya, food stress is reported for nearly one million people. The districts of Turkana and Marsabit are of particular concern.

  • In Sudan, the escalating civil conflict in Darfur has resulted in massive displacements of over a million people, and access to food has been sharply curtailed.

  • In Tanzania, serious food shortages are reported in several regions, including Dodoma, Shinyanga, Singida, Manyara, Lindi, Coast and Morogoro.

  • In Ugandan, civil strife in northern parts continues to claim the lives of civilians.

    Western Africa

  • The food supply situation for 2004 is generally favourable reflecting above-average to record harvests in the Sahelian countries and satisfactory crops in almost all other countries. Markets are well supplied and cereal prices have declined substantially.

  • In Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone internally displaced people  and refugees continue to need food assistance.

  • Of particular concern is the threat from desert locusts already well into the development stage in the northern parts of several Sahelian countries as well as in Algeria and Morocco.

  • Central Africa

  • In Central African Republic, insecurity continues to prevent many farmers from accessing their fields. Foodstuffs on the markets are scarce and the food situation remains precarious in many areas.

  • Although some renewed fighting has been reported in Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo, overall the security situation in the region has improved; food assistance continues to be needed for vulnerable groups and IDPs.

    Southern Africa

  • Rains in February/March over much of southern Africa have improved crop prospects.

  • Heavy downpours, on the other hand, have caused flooding in Angola, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique, mainly along the Zambezi River, resulting in substantial crop damage.

  • Madagascar has been hit by cyclones three times since January affecting 774 000 people and over 300 000 hectares of farm land, damaging vanilla, paddy and other crops.

  • In spite of scattered showers in recent months, the drought continues in Lesotho, Swaziland and north-eastern part of South Africa.

  • In Zimbabwe, household food security remains precarious due to high unemployment, low purchasing power and unaffordable food commodities.

  • The HIV/AIDS pandemic was named as a contributing factor in declaring a state of emergency in Lesotho and Swaziland; the disease is affecting the entire sub-region.

  • FAO/GIEWS - April 2004

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