|No.2 July 2006|
|Crop Prospects and Food Situation|
Food Emergencies Update
In spite of a generally satisfactory global food outlook, many countries around the world are experiencing severe food difficulties and require external assistance. In Western Africa, although cereal production recovered sharply last year, serious localized food insecurity is reported in several countries including Chad, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, due mostly to lack of access to food. The situation is of special concern in Niger: food stocks and savings are depleted, while the 2006 rainy season start is both late and spotty. In Central Africa, in the Central African Republic, the majority of the population is facing food insecurity following disruption in production and marketing activities as a result of civil strife. In Eastern Africa, the food situation remains precarious in pastoral areas. Despite generally improved rains in recent months, precipitation has been irregular and some areas still need to recover from the prolonged drought. Emergency food aid continues to be needed in pastoral areas of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti, even where good rains were received, given the long time needed for rebuilding herd numbers. In Somalia, food aid is also needed for 150 000 people affected by severe floods in Middle Juba, Lower Juba and Gedo regions. In addition, escalation of long-running conflicts in parts of the subregion continues to exacerbate the serious food situation. In Uganda, the humanitarian situation of 1.45 million internally displaced people remains critical as a result of the prolonged armed conflict in northern parts. The food situation is also serious in pastoral and agropastoral areas of Karamoja district. In Sudan, despite a recovery in last year’s cereal production, food aid is required for internally displaced persons, returnees and vulnerable population as a result of past and current conflicts. In Southern Africa, despite a significant improvement in the recently harvested main crops compared to last year, emergency food assistance of about 500 000 tonnes of cereals in aggregate is required. In Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, generally inadequate production, high unemployment, low purchasing power and the cumulative impact of HIV/AIDS are the main contributing factors to food insecurity. In Zimbabwe, continuing hyper inflation will make millions of vulnerable people food insecure during the marketing year. In Angola, a recent joint FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission estimated that some 800 000 vulnerable people will continue to need food aid. Due to prolonged dry spells in southern and central parts of the country, maize production has fallen sharply. Drought in southern parts of Madagascar has reduced food availability, and international food assistance is needed. In the Great Lakes region the continuing civil strife in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has affected large numbers of people who need food assistance. Food aid is also needed in Burundi following the reduced first season (2006A) harvest, combined with resettlement of returnees and IDPs.
In Asia, drought has devastated the Baluchistan and Sindh provinces of Pakistan, causing serious water and food shortages. In Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, some 11 000 people are at risk from landslides after heavy rains. Several provinces in Western and North China have experienced a prolonged drought that has affected the food security of vulnerable groups. In the Philippines, the long-standing internal conflict in the southern island of Mindanao has resulted in a precarious food situation and dire living conditions in the areas concerned. Renewed fighting in early July has displaced at least 32 000 people. In Nepal, food aid is being provided to some 225 000 people in the central and western parts of the country, affected by severe drought during the 2005/06 winter. Over 1 million people in the Yogyakarta and central Java provinces of Indonesia became homeless after the severe earthquake of 27 May 2006. The food security situation in Timor-Leste is significantly affected by recent civil unrest, which displaced some 15 percent of the country’s total population. Food aid is still needed in Mongolia after several years of unfavourable winter conditions and summer drought. Despite another relatively good production expected in 2006 in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the country still needs to import large amount of cereals and chronic food insecurity is likely to remain widespread. In Afghanistan, many vulnerable households, returning refugees, internally displaced persons and female-headed households continue to require food assistance as a result of the persistent civil conflict. Food aid is also needed for households affected by a drought-reduced crop this year.
In Central America, food aid is being provided to households affected by a series of natural disasters in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In Haiti, emergency food aid is required for the population in the drought-prone North-West region and in the capital city as a result of insecurity and civil strife. In South America, situations of localized food insecurity are reported in some areas of Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador following intense precipitations at the beginning of the year causing severe flooding with losses of food and cash crops.
In Europe, in the Russian Federation civil strife and military operation in Chechnya continue to take its toll on the population at large. Thousands of internally displaced persons and refugees in the neighbouring states continue to require emergency assistance.
|GIEWS||global information and early warning system on food and agriculture|