Johannesburg, South Africa, 1-5 March 2004


Table of Contents


I. Introduction


II. Comparative Performance of Regions Towards The Attainment OF WFS Goal


III. Global Food Security Outlook


IV. The Way Ahead


V. African Regional Dimensions


VI. Undernourishment In Africa


VII. Key Constraints In Achieving The WFS Goal In Africa


VIII. Key Policy Frameworks


IX. Key Programmes


X. Food Security Information Systems


XI. The Way Forward And CAADP/NEPAD




1. This document provides a summary of the salient follow-up actions taken at the regional and sub-regional levels to implement the World Food Summit Plan of Action. By the time of the next Regional Conference, in 2006, all countries should be half way to achieving the WFS goal of halving the number of undernourished people by 2015. Therefore the Regional Conference in 2004 presents an excellent opportunity for collective reflection on the progress achieved to date. The main aim of this document is to highlight the region's particular needs, opportunities and weaknesses. This review is being conducted to affirm, inform, motivate, consult and seek advice on the successes and barriers of all the existing programmes aimed at reducing hunger.

2. The existence of hunger in a world of plenty is not just a moral outrage; it is also short-sighted from an economic viewpoint: hungry people make poor workers, they are bad learners (if they go to school at all), they are prone to sickness and they die young. Hunger is also transmitted across generations, as underfed mothers give birth to underweight children whose potential for mental and physical activity is impaired. The productivity of individuals and the growth of entire nations are severely compromised by widespread hunger. Hence, it is in the self-interest of every country to eradicate hunger.

3. Rapid progress in reducing the incidence of chronic hunger in developing countries is possible if political will is mobilized. A twin-track approach is required, combining the promotion of quick-response agricultural growth, led by small farmers, with targeted programmes to ensure that hungry people who have neither the capacity to produce their own food nor the means to buy it can have access to adequate supplies. Such approaches are mutually reinforcing. Programmes to enhance direct and immediate access to food offer new outlets for expanded production, while increasing the productive potential of those who suffer from hunger.


4. Worldwide, the latest estimates indicate that 798 million people were undernourished in 1999-2001 in the developing world, representing a decrease of just 19 million since 1990-92, the benchmark period used at the WFS. Thus, the average annual decrease since the Summit has been only 2.1 million, far below the level required to reach the WFS goal. It means that progress would now have to be accelerated to 26 million per year, almost 12 times the current rate of reduction, in order to reach that goal.

5. However, there are few countries which achieved progress in reducing the number of undernourished people. China alone achieved a reduction of 58 million since 1990-92. Indonesia, Viet Nam, Thailand, Brazil, Ghana and Peru have all achieved reductions of more than 3 million, helping to offset an increase of 75 million in 57 countries where progress has stalled. But if China and these six countries are set aside, the number of undernourished people in the rest of the developing world has increased by over 60 million since the WFS benchmark period.


6. Food consumption1, in terms of kcal/person/day, is the key variable used for measuring and evaluating the evolution of the world food situation. The world has made significant progress in raising food consumption per person. The levels of average national food consumption per person is likely to increase from 2680 kcal in 1997/99 to 2850 kcal in 2015 and close to 3000 kcal by 2030. This implies that the proportion of the population undernourished in the developing countries as a whole could decline from the 776 million in 1997/99 to 610 million in 2015 and to 440 million in 2030.

Per capita food consumption (kcal/person/day)

© FAO, World Agriculture: towards 2015/2030, p.30

7. The latest United Nations assessment of world population prospects indicates that the world population of 5.9 billion of the three-year average 1997/99 is likely to increase to 7.2 billion in 2015, and 8.3 billion in 2030. However, this increase in absolute numbers is a decrease in growth rate of world population; it peaked in the second half of the 1960s at 2.04 percent p.a. and had fallen to 1.35 percent p.a. by the second half of the 1990s. Further deceleration will bring it down to 1.1 percent in 2010-15, and to 0.8 percent in 2025-30. Practically all the increases of circa 70 million people on average till 2015 will be in the developing countries.

8. The slow pace of progress in reducing the absolute numbers undernourished notwithstanding, the considerable overall improvement implied by the projected numbers should not be downplayed. More and more people will be living in countries with medium to high levels of per capita food consumption. For example, by 2015, 81 percent of the world population will be living in countries with values of this variable exceeding 2700 kcal/person/day, up from 61 percent at present and 33 percent in the mid-1970s. Those living in countries with over 3000 kcal will be 48 percent of the world population in 2015 and 53 percent in 2030, up from 42 percent at present.

9. The number of countries with high incidence of undernourishment (over 25 percent of their population) and most in need of international policy interventions will be reduced considerably: from 35 in 1997/99 to 22 in 2015 and to only five in 2030. None of them will be in the most populous class (over 100 million population in 1997/99). They will account for an ever-declining proportion of the undernourished, 72 million out of the 440 million in 2030 (1997/99: 250 million out of the 776 million).

10. There is a strong correlation between economic growth and the reduction of hunger. This effect, of course, does not occur automatically. But it can be seen, that countries without economic growth or even a decline of GDP per capita were not able to reduce the number of the malnourished in their country or even faced a considerable increase. Hence the economic growth rates of several countries that have low food consumption levels and significant incidence of undernourishment are likely to fall short of what would be required for significant poverty reduction till 2015.

11. According to the latest World Bank assessment for the period 2000-15, slow growth in the first five years of the projection period is expected to be followed by faster growth in the subsequent 10 years, 2005-15; on average it is expected to reach 1.9 percent p.a. in terms of per capita GDP. Higher growth rates are foreseen for all regions and country groups (particularly the reversal of declines in the transition economies) with the exception of East Asia.

12. The exogenous economic growth assumptions used here, together with the growth of population, are the major determinants of projected food consumption, hence also of the incidence of undernourishment.


13. What are the most efficient instruments and mechanisms to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)?  The following gives a brief survey of some of the latest initiatives in FAO:

̃  The Anti-Hunger Programme outlines a twin-track approach to reduce the number of hungry people rapidly and sustainably. It is a conceptual approach to hunger reduction which identifies priority areas for national actions for the WFS goal to be met. It advocates access to food and immediate relief to those most desperately in need. The AHP identifies five priority areas for investment and provides a rough estimate of the incremental public resources needed to meet the costs. The AHP suggests key elements of a policy framework that are needed to be in place to maximize the impact of these investments by inducing complementary flows of private investment and enabling the poor and hungry to realize their full development potential.The WFS Declaration explicitly acknowledged the concept of the human right to adequate food. Further work was required to translate this concept into operational guidelines. FAO is currently providing the secretariat for the Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) for the elaboration of a set of voluntary guidelines to support the progressive realisation of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security. Once adopted, the guidelines are expected to assist Member Countries in establishing the legal and institutional basis for attaining inclusive food security and lines of accountability for its achievement. The value added by the rights-based approach is that it spells out obligations and responsibilities of all duty bearers. It gives individuals and groups a claim vis-à-vis the State and States acting together to respect, protect and fulfil their adequate access to food. The rights-based approach also allows a more precise assessment of policy measures which are necessary or should be avoided.

̃  The International Alliance against Hunger as an outcome of the WFS: five years later recognizes “the urgent need to reinforce efforts of all concerned partners as an international alliance against hunger, for the fulfilment of the 1996 Summit”. The aim of the alliance is first and foremost to facilitate initiatives at local and national levels by which the poor and hungry are enabled to achieve food security on a sustainable basis by mobilizing political will, technical expertise and financial resources.

̃  The Hunger Task Force, as an integral part of the Millennium Project, seeks to devise an implementation plan that will enable all developing countries to reduce the number of hungry and malnourished people by 400 million by 2015. The Task Force will strive to recommend programs that fulfil the following six directives over a three-year time frame:


14. At the 1996 World Food Summit in Rome, World Leaders made a commitment to achieve food security for all. Towards this end, they pledged to reduce the number of the world’s undernourished by half by the year 2015. The Rome Declaration on World Food Security2 and the World Food Summit Plan of Action summarise the conclusions of the WFS, including seven key commitments that would anchor actions towards the attainment of the WFS goal (Annex).

15. The political will to achieve the WFS goal was further re-enforced by the subsequent inclusion of the WFS goal among the Millennium Development Goals. At the 2002 World Food Summit: five years later, world leaders reviewed progress made towards the achievement of the WFS goal. It was acknowledged that progress to date had been rather slow and that there was an urgent need to speed up the pace if the WFS goal was to be reached by 2015. Also recognised was the importance of catering to both the short-term needs of the poor for improved access to food (food safety nets), as well as the longer term development requirements to enable sustainable food security: a Twin Track Approach to reducing chronic hunger. At this Summit, FAO unveiled the Anti-hunger Programme that is intended to sharpen focus on the generic steps that countries would need to take in order to achieve the WFS goal.

16. The Committee on Food Security was mandated to monitor and report on the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action. To this end, they have issued a variety of reports assessing the implementation of various aspects of the Plan3. These reports are available on the FAO website (

17. This paper assesses progress towards meeting the WFS goal in the Africa region, discusses key challenges, opportunities, and essential measures for expediting progress. It begins with a brief overview of the situation of malnourishment in Africa.


18. Overall, Africa has shown little progress in reducing chronic hunger. In 1998/2000, about 202 million people, more than a quarter of Africa’s population, were estimated to be undernourished, the problem being most acute for low-income food-deficit countries that do not produce enough food to cover the needs of their population and do not have the financial means to import the quantities needed to make up the shortfall. Forty-three out of 86 LIFDC are in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this sub-region, the proportion of undernourished was relatively stable, going from 35 percent in 1990/92 to 33 percent in 1998/2000. Notwithstanding this, the absolute number of undernourished increased from 168 million in 1990/92 to 194 million in 1997/99, and at current trends would rise to 205 million by 2015.

19. Significant regional variations exist. As Table 1 below shows, since the early 1990s, the number of undernourished has increased the most in Central Africa, fuelled by the civil conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the number of undernourished tripled. The number and prevalence of undernourished also increased in East and Southern Africa, due to drought and civil strife. These contrast with the progress made in West Africa, especially in Ghana and Nigeria, which each had reduction in undernourished persons exceeding three million. Over the past 30 years, North Africa has made the most progress. FAO estimates that for this sub-region, the prevalence of under-nourishment in 1998/2000 was 4 percent, having fallen from 27 percent in 1969/71 and 8 percent in 1979/81.

20. On a per country basis, during the 1990s, 10 African countries reduced the number of undernourished. However, at the end of the 1990s, 30 countries still had more than one-fifth of their population undernourished, in 18 of these the number of chronically hungry exceeding 35 percent of the population.

Table 1: Sub-regional Prevalence of Undernourishment in Africa


Proportion of undernourished in total population











North Africa









Sub-Saharan Africa









Central Africa









East Africa









Southern Africa









West Africa









Source: FAO

21. The performance in Sub-Saharan Africa contrasts with that of other developing regions of the world where both the absolute number and the proportion of undernourished in the population have declined. Food consumption trends demonstrate this: per capita food consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to increase by only 7 percent in the next 15 years to 2360 kcal/person per day, compared to 2700 kcal/person per day for South Asia and 3060 kcal/person per day for East Asia, and projections for the level of poverty (on the basis of less than US$1 per day) tell a similar story. (Table 2)

Table 2: Food and Hunger Indicators by Region


Sub-Saharan Africa

Near East and North Africa

South Asia

East Asia

Latin America and Caribbean

Developing Countries

Per capita food consumption (kcal/person/day)























Millions of persons undernourished























Millions of Persons in Poverty (US$1/day)






















Source: FAO and World Bank

22. Clearly, levels of undernourishment in Africa remain unacceptably high, making hunger a significant and persistent threat to the overall economic and social development of the continent. Also, at the current pace, the WFS goal would not be reached in Africa by 2015. There is thus a dire need to significantly accelerate the pace at which hunger is reduced on the continent.


23. A host of challenges must be overcome if the WFS goal is to be achieved in Africa. Some of the key constraints which hinder progress in reducing chronic hunger in Africa are:

24. A key requirement for sustainably reducing hunger is an enabling political, social and economic environment. This, African and other world leaders pledged to promote at the WFS in 1996. However, during the past decade, there have been numerous conflicts in Africa which have contributed significantly to Africa’s worsening food insecurity and poverty. Not only have these generated food emergencies for the displaced and others, but they have also caused undue destruction to infrastructure and other assets, eroding long term development gains. Governance and conflict prevention remain priority areas in the fight against hunger in Africa.

25. Since 2000, new conflicts have erupted in parts of Ivory Coast, Liberia and Nigeria, and today, the continent is still host to armed conflicts in several countries, including, Burundi, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, the Republic of Congo, and the Casamance region of Senegal despite bilateral, multi-lateral and regional efforts to resolve them.

26. Happily, some of Africa’s worst conflicts in terms of their human and economic toll have subsided in recent years and months. Notable areas of progress include the cessation of hostilities in Sierra Leone; the signing of the ceasefire by Ethiopia and Eritrea in June 2000; the improved security situation in Angola; and the signing of the Peace accord and establishment of a shared government between warring factions in the conflict of the Democratic Republic of Congo, even though peace and security have yet to be established in all parts of that country.

27. Also encouraging is the wave of elections in various countries across the continent in recent years indicating signs of strengthened democratic processes, even if not all were free from controversy. Examples of countries where national elections were held include Senegal, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Zambia.

28. Recognising that restoring stability, peace and security on the African continent is essential for poverty reduction and sustainable development, African leaders pledged once again, in the 2001 NEPAD Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance, to seek speedy and peaceful solutions to resolving conflicts. They also made a commitment to build Africa’s capacity to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts. In their pledge, AU Leaders and Heads of Government resolved to do more to protect the most vulnerable during conflicts, i.e. women, children, ethnic minorities and the handicapped. Furthermore, in an innovative move, Leaders agreed to a voluntary African Peer Review Mechanism which aims to promote adherence to and fulfilment of the commitments of the Declaration.

    Natural Disasters

29. Natural Disasters: Like conflicts and wars, natural disasters such as droughts, floods, locust swarms and livestock plagues have also escalated food insecurity in Africa in recent years. In 2002/2003, the severe and prolonged drought of East and Southern Africa devastated crops and livestock and left millions of people in desperate need of food assistance. Likewise, unprecedented floods struck Mozambique in 2000; cyclones and tropical storms caused flooding in Madagascar, leaving in their wake the destruction of crops, livestock, infrastructure as well as human life. Relatedly, the high dependence on rain-fed crops coupled with erratic rainfall patterns has always been one of the main causes of food insecurity in large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. The extent to which dry prevailing weather conditions affect crops largely varies from one year to another and from agro-ecological zone to another.

30. Natural disasters and civil strife take a heavy toll, whether measured in human fatalities and suffering or in economic losses. Both conflict and natural disasters result in food-related emergencies for which African countries normally depend on the international community for assistance. FAO, together with other development partners, assists member countries in meeting these emergencies when they arise. Currently, FAO has emergency programmes in a number of African countries through its Emergency Operations and Rehabilitation Division which responds to requests from countries following exceptional natural or man-made calamities.

31. FAO actively participates in the drafting of the inter-agency consolidated appeals that are formulated in the case of major or protracted emergencies. However, in some cases, the international community has been slow in responding to appeals for emergency food and other supplies. Recent examples include those in Ethiopia and Southern Africa. Such a slow response compromises the effectiveness of an early warning system in averting, or significantly reducing human suffering following a natural disaster. These incidences have served to highlight the need to further strengthen linkages between data collection, analysis and dissemination with emergency resource allocations. There is also renewed focus on the need to introduce more flexible sourcing arrangements for food and other emergency supplies.


32. HIV/AIDS looms over the continent as a key development challenge, negatively impacting upon the social and economic lives of millions of people, especially in East and Southern Africa where some of the highest infection rates are found, but also in some West and Central African countries. FAO is working with some member countries to address those issues of the HIV/AIDS pandemic related to nutrition and agriculture. Among others, FAO will continue to act to increase awareness of the food security and nutrition dimensions of the epidemic and to link efforts to mitigate its effects and stop its transmission.  Priority activities include improving nutrition and promoting household food security, including through better communication, training and improved planning and programming at national, district and community levels. Examples of specific agriculture responses, include the promotion of indigenous food crops which are rich in nutrients and less labour intensive for HIV/AIDS affected communities.

33. African countries have put in place numerous programmes to raise awareness and educate the population about various aspects of the disease. Recently, in some countries, drugs are also being provided to some HIV/AIDS infected patients, although these drugs still remain prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of sufferers. While recent international initiatives (at the WHO, WTO, the World Bank and US Government) are expected to increase access and resources for the provision of more affordable drugs, still only a small percentage (<5%) of infected populations will receive medications. It is therefore essential that greater attention be given to improving the nutrition of HIV infected individuals as this, coupled with some palliative measures to ease discomfort, will be the only treatment available to most PLWHA.  Good nutrition can slow the progression of the HIV and help fight secondary infections.  Well nourished HIV-positive individuals are healthier, more active, more comfortable and more productive than poorly nourished individuals.  It is also important to focus on the nutrition and food security of HIV-affected households to ensure both near and long term needs can be met.

34. Although the HIV/AIDS pandemic seems almost overwhelming in some countries, experiences of countries, such as Uganda have shown that with aggressive programmes of awareness-raising and education, it is possible to reverse infection rates. These programmes need to be combined with those that address the social and economic needs of those who are already infected, as well as their families, including AIDS orphans.


35. The WFS Action Plan recognised the need for appropriate and adequate macro and sectoral policy frameworks to guide hunger eradication programmes. African and other leaders pledge to establish and strengthen these.

    National Strategies for Agricultural and Rural Development

36. National Strategies for Agricultural and Rural Development: As a follow-up to the WFS, FAO prepared draft strategy papers for national agricultural development for its developing member countries, and those with economies in transition. The strategies sought to assist member countries to complement existing national strategies focusing on the attainment of the WFS goals at the national level. Most countries in Africa subsequently endorsed these strategy papers and, with support from FAO, also held one-day national workshops to review the strategies, assess the situation of food insecurity in the country, and further define actions required for the achievement of the WFS goal. The following were identified as the major constraints to the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action in the Africa region:

37. Subsequent to the WFS:fyl, FAO is once again supporting the updating of the national strategies for agricultural development. The revised strategies are expected to reflect the renewed focus on a twin-track approach towards eradicating hunger. It is anticipated that the draft strategies will be ready by December 2003. These would then contribute to country-led processes for reducing undernourishment.

    Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers

38. Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) are another set of significant policy frameworks being elaborated in most African countries which are in the IDA World Bank classification. They have become the cornerstone of development efforts in many African countries. Increasingly, they are also becoming the principle focus of international development assistance to developing countries. PRSPs place a heavy focus on social sectors (education and health) as well as economic sectors, of which the agricultural sector is key in most African countries. FAO is providing assistance to enable data collection and analysis, thus facilitating the incorporation of agricultural and rural focused strategies into the PRSPs of some member countries.

    Gender Equality

39. Gender Equality is a priority area. Following the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, most African countries strengthened or established policy and institutional frameworks for the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. A key objective of this was to mainstream gender in national and international policies and programmes. FAO has been providing assistance in this regard, including technical assistance for the formulation of policy and strategies (e.g. that prepared in Ghana); training of development planners in gender analysis, developing of training materials data re-tabulation.


    Special Programme for Food Security

40. In addition to policy level initiative, African countries have been implementing numerous programmes and projects for improving food security. One of these is the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) which was introduced by FAO in an effort to enable the testing and transfer of low cost technologies to rapidly improve the productivity and incomes of small-scale farmers on an economically and environmentally sustainable basis. Special attention is paid to reducing year-to-year variability in food production, with priority being placed on Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs). The SPFS is currently assisting national efforts in 42 countries. Some 26 African countries also benefit from South-South Cooperation (SSC) assistance, for which agreements have been signed with several countries in Asia, i.e. Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar, Pakistan and Vietnam. So far, most of the SPFS activities have been pilot projects with limited scope. In most cases, the main challenge is now to move from the pilot phase to the expansion phase.

    Food Quality and Safety

41. Growing attention is being placed on food quality and safety, essential considerations in food security programmes in Africa, as well as in the multi-lateral trade negotiations where, during the current Doha Round of WTO negotiations, food and agriculture are featured prominently. African countries, with the assistance of FAO and other Agencies, notably the WHO, are undertaking activities that will enable the establishment and strengthening of reliable national food quality control systems, and also enable their more effective participation in international efforts to establish an integrated international food safety system to facilitate trade. These activities include the following:

42. However, notwithstanding these and other related activities to improve food safety on the continent, much remains to be done. Priority actions are required to:

    International Trade

43. There has been some progress on the political level in promoting agricultural trade in Africa. Notably, in 2001, African leaders once again acknowledged the catalytic role that trade can play in spearheading agricultural and overall economic development, by including the strengthening of infrastructure and capacities for trade among the key pillars of the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) of NEPAD. Since its inception, CAADP has become a focus for renewed energy to stimulate local and foreign investments in African agriculture.

44. The regional economic communities and organisations are the operational units out of which the CAADP is to be implemented, reflecting the continent’s growing impetus towards integration, although operationally, a myriad of challenges abound. Within CAADP are embedded Regional Programmes for Food Security (RPFS), thus promoting coherence of national and sub-regional efforts for food security, including those related to trade such as the development of harmonised policies and measures for agricultural trade; reduction of technical barriers to trade; the promotion, reduction and harmonisation of tariffs; and adoption of international Codex Alimentarius norms and standards.

45. Other recent significant policy development for agricultural trade in Africa include the African Union’s First Ordinary Session of the Ministerial Sub-committee and the Specialised Technical Committee on Trade which took place in Grand Baie, Mauritius in June 2003. The meeting’s Agenda reflected key concerns of the African Union with regard to trade, including that in agricultural products. At this meeting, Ministers of Trade adopted common positions on the Doha Round of Trade Negotiations, and expressed concern about various missed deadlines, including those related to modalities in the negotiations on agriculture. Among other things, the Ministerial meeting and the preparatory Meeting of Senior Officials also considered the establishment of an African Common Market for Agricultural Products based on a technical document which FAO had prepared at the request of AU.

46. Key developments of significance to Africa have also taken place in the context of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since the WFS. Key among these was the Fourth World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar 2001, which launched a new round of multi-lateral trade negotiations. The resumption of talks on agriculture and services had preceded the Doha meetings. The success of the Doha Conference contrasts sharply with the failed Ministerial meeting of Seattle in 1999 and more recently in Cancun, Mexico in September 2003. Both of these meetings highlighted sharp differences among WTO members regarding their priorities for the multilateral trade agenda, and for agricultural trade reforms pertaining to market access, export competition, domestic support, as well as the Cotton Initiative proposed by West and Central African countries.

47. Since the launch of the Doha Round, FAO has intensified its trade-related capacity building programme in order to assist member countries, particularly developing countries and countries with economies in transition, to be well informed and so that all can participate effectively as equal partners in the negotiations. This programme is in line with the Plan of Action of the 1996 World Food Summit which commits FAO to assist developing countries on trade issues, and in particular, in preparing for multilateral trade negotiations including in agricultural, fisheries and forestry inter-alia through studies, analysis and training.


48. FAO continues to support the strengthening of national early warning/food security information systems in several African countries through enhancing technical and institutional capacity and promoting better co-ordination amongst partners in the collection, analysis and dissemination of relevant and timely food security information; and this for improved decision-making from targeting of short-term interventions to medium and long term programming. Support is being extended to sub-regional entities such as SADC, CILSS, and ECOWAS. Specific efforts have also been made by FAO to improve early warning and food security information systems in countries subject to complex emergencies.

49. The Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) provides policy-makers and relief agencies throughout the world with the most up-to-date and accurate information available on food production and food security. GIEWS has become a worldwide network which includes 115 governments as well as numerous NGOs and trade, research and media organizations. Among others, the current food supply situation in Sub-Saharan Africa is being assessed on a continuous basis and the most critical food shortages identified (based on food crops monitoring and many other factors).

50. As a follow-up to the World Food Summit, the inter-agency FIVIMS initiative was established to strengthen national and sub-national information systems concerned with the food insecurity and poverty/vulnerability of specific population groups. FAO started to support pilot applications of the FIVIMS initiative in several African countries with the most recent projects having been carried out in less developed ACP countries (Burkina Faso, Kenya, Madagascar) and small island developing states (the Comoro Islands and Cape Verde). The last annual meeting of the IAWG on FIVIMS was held in October 2003 in Kenya. Overall, the development of FIVIMS principles and methods in Africa still requires substantial investment in order to become more useful tools in the fight against hunger, as does the strengthening of integrated agricultural statistical systems.

51. Due to a number of reasons, the link between early warning/food security information systems and appropriate/timely interventions has sometimes proven to be difficult to maintain. Some difficulties include emergency relief operations not fully meeting food aid requirements, pipeline constraints leading to disruptions in food distributions, national food security stocks not replenished on time, additional donor contributions needed at a very late stage, civil strife hampering logistic operations/relief programmes, alternatives to food aid assistance difficult to implement.


52. Despite the modest gains made through the above and other actions to reduce hunger in Africa, African leaders recognise that a much more concerted effort is required to support agricultural development in Africa, if the sector is to fully play its role in providing food and spearheading Africa’s economic development. To this end, in the context of NEPAD, they have adopted the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) to guide investments and actions for the sector’s development. CAADP has three priority areas of focus for investments:

53. CAADP has set specific goals to be accomplished with regard to each of these by the year 2015. Recognising the daunting tasks envisioned to reach these goals, African leaders pledged at the Maputo summit to increase their national budgetary allocations to the agricultural sector, with a goal of reaching a minimum of 10 percent of their budgets within five years. They have requested their development partners, including FAO, to provide technical and financial assistance for the implementation of CAADP and NEPAD in general. In this regard, FAO will, among other things, continue to provide assistance towards the implementation of the SPFS and RPFS, both of which address directly the three CAADP pillars. Following the Maputo Summit of September 2003, FAO is also providing assistance to African member countries for the identification and formulation of bankable investment projects to meet CAADP goals.

54. To further sharpen focus on achieving food security, and, at the minimum, meeting the WFS goals in Africa and elsewhere, FAO will continue to work with member countries in making operational the decisions made at the WFS and WFS:fyl. Careful analysis and deliberations in these and other forums have suggested mechanisms for attaining the WFS goals. The Anti-Hunger Programme concept, the Right to Adequate Food concept and the International Alliance against Hunger have emerged out of that collective thinking. FAO and other development partners will support African countries in making operational these concepts in concert with national and regional initiatives, especially CAADP/NEPAD.


1 The more correct term for this variable would be “national average apparent food consumption”, since the data come from the national food balance sheets rather than from consumption surveys.


3 Reports available on the FAO website: