ROME, 18 July - The UN Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched an aid appeal in
support of seven million people in Southern Africa which are
severely hit by a food crisis.
for US$25 million to finance 13 agricultural emergency
interventions in Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and
Zimbabwe, according to a statement published today. The appeal
is part of the UN Consolidated National Appeals for the
Humanitarian Crisis in Southern Africa.
Close to 10 million people of the sub-region are
currently facing severe food shortages. Food crops were sharply
reduced for the second consecutive year.
The food crisis has been caused by drought and partly
floods. It is aggravated by several structural, chronic and
political problems such as high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, lack of
public financial resources, low purchasing power of the
population, poor management of strategic grain reserves in
particular in Malawi, land degradation, and land reform
activities, particularly in Zimbabwe. The most affected are
Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Malawi, FAO is already assisting 50 000
drought-affected farming families to grow crops during the
winter season in July. In addition, FAO is planning to
distribute maize and bean seeds, hand tools, fertilizer and
small water pumps to about 118 000 drought and flood affected
farm families. Projects will also aim to increase cassava
production. The costs are estimated at US$1.6 million.
For Zambia, FAO proposed
to distribute essential agricultural kits, including locally
adapted improved maize, sorghum, cassava and legume seeds, and
hand tools to 62 000 drought affected farming families. Around
US$2.6 million are needed to finance these emergency activities.
In Zimbabwe, FAO is
planning to increase agricultural production of about 400 000
farming households by providing them with seeds, fertilizer,
treadle pumps and hand tools. To improve household food security
of an additional 200 000 vulnerable families in communal areas,
FAO wants to provide small ruminants and poultry.
Emergency activities will also focus on 200 000
fishers and their families to improve protein supply and
incomes. FAO will also contribute to the eradication of
foot-and-mouth disease in southern parts of Zimbabwe, improving
the food security of an additional 300 000 vulnerable
households. For these projects, around US$16 million will be
around 100 000 most vulnerable farming families are in need of
seeds, tools and fertilizer to resume cultivation. The project
costs are estimated at US$3.3 million.
Swaziland FAO appealed for US$1.4 million to
support 21 000 drought-affected families. They are in need of
seeds, fertilizer and equipment for irrigated vegetable
gardening, restocking and feeding of poultry and pigs, the
distribution of cotton and cowpea seeds to cotton-growing small
All projects are aimed to restore
the self-reliance of vulnerable farm families and reduce their
dependence on food aid. Most of the inputs will be required for
the main planting season in October/November.