The Southern Africa region will continue to face critical food shortages during the 2004/05 consumption period. This report covers the results of a series of food crop supply and vulnerability assessments conducted in most member states, particularly those that have been hard hit by adverse crop growing conditions. FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions (CFSAM) have concluded in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe - five of the most affected countries in the region, as well as in Angola, which is emerging from a complex emergency.
The assessments show that while improvements in agricultural production in Angola and Mozambique were noted, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland and Zimbabwe will experience higher production deficits than those faced last year. When estimates from the six CFSAM missions are incorporated in the regional analysis, a much larger cereal shortfall emerges than had been anticipated. Whereas in June, an overall cereal production shortfall of 2.79 million MT (with stock replenishment) was projected, the analysis now indicates a shortfall of 3.25 million MT. At the regional level, current cereal import projections, if achieved, are sufficient to cover the assessed gap. A critical potential uncovered gap is assessed only for Zimbabwe.
The number of food insecure people requiring emergency assistance over the 2004/05 consumption period in the five countries covered under the current WFP EMOP is estimated at 5.078 million, down from 6.498 million last year. In Angola, the number has dropped from 1.40 million last year to 717,000.