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