25 July 2003, Rome --
Despite a substantial increase in food production during the
first year of peace in almost three decades of war in Angola,
over a million people still urgently require food aid, according
to a special report published by FAO and the World Food
The FAO/WFP Crop and Food
Supply Assessment Mission said food aid needs remain high due to
increased numbers of refugees and demobilised soldiers. The
reduction in internally displaced people is offset by these
needy people returning home following the peace agreement in
April last year between the Government and UNITA military
Some 1.4 million Angolans - roughly
the same as 12 months ago - will require 219 000 metric tonnes
of cereals, 24 000 metric tonnes of pulses and smaller
quantities of oil, sugar, salt and corn-soya blend to survive
until the next harvest.
WFP plans to
assist 1.03 million of the most vulnerable Angolans, including
returnee and resettled farmers as well as IDPs still sheltering
According to the
FAO/WFP report, abundant rains, farmers returning to their land
and the distribution of agricultural inputs have led to a 14%
increase in cultivated areas, boosting agricultural performance
for 2002/2003. This year's cereal production is expected to
reach 670 000 tonnes - 23% higher than 2002.
Despite the favourable agricultural output, the report
predicts that Angola requires the commercial import of 490 000
tonnes of cereals with an additional 219 000 tonnes of food aid.
The two UN agencies also warn that
Angola's "potential to produce food should not
divert attention from the immense task of social and economic
development still to be accomplished."
More than 70% of WFP's current activities in
Angola are geared towards recovery - a dramatic shift since last
January, when 62% of the beneficiaries were assisted through
report concludes that the combined effects of Angola's
agricultural potential and the return of farmers to their land
are set to improve the food situation rapidly - if favourable
climatic conditions remain.
is possible and probable that, in the near future, Angola will
no longer need food assistance from abroad and will even be
capable of keeping strategic stocks of food for any eventual
crisis or natural disaster," said the report.
Information Officer, FAO
(+39) 06 570