HC Deb 15 November 2002 vol 394 cc1-2W
Tony Baldry

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the level of food security is in (a) Mozambique, (b) Angola, (c)Zambia, (d) Zimbabwe, (e) Malawi and (f) Swaziland; and if she will make a statement. [74614]

Clare Short

National Early Warning Units have estimated cereal requirements in all these countries, except Angola, for the marketing year April 2002 to March 2003. The World Food Programme (WFP) has provided estimates on import progress to 21 October 2002. National figures are detailed in the table.

Metric tones
Domestic cereal gap April 2002 to March 2003 Commercial and Government imports Food aid delivered Remaining cereal gap at 21 October 2002
Mozambique 380,000 233,000 63,000 84,000
Zambia 684,000 0 18,770 665,230
Zimbabwe 1,654,000 410,000 84,853 1,159,147
Malawi 277,000 194,000 149,008 +66,008
Swaziland 121,000 28,000 4,000 88,200

Additional planned imports and pledged food aid will reduce the cereal gap further, but timing of these deliveries remains uncertain. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is beginning a further series of vulnerability assessments, which will provide revised figures for humanitarian assistance needs to the end of March 2003. These assessments will be available in mid-December. WFP's emergency operation for the southern Africa humanitarian crisis is now 50 per cent. funded, ensuring that its food pipeline to the most vulnerable populations is secure at least until the end of 2002. We continue to press other donors to respond effectively to the crisis, so that the food aid pipeline can be sustained until the next harvest in April 2003.

The humanitarian situation in Angola is also very serious. Since the ceasefire, aid agencies have been able to reach many thousands more severely malnourished people, and WFP's caseload is expected to reach at least 1.9 million people by the end of the year. WFP's maize stocks for Angola are expected to run out in December unless donors act quickly to replenish the food pipeline. We are working closely with other donors and implementing partners to develop a consensus view on future needs in Angola, and remain at the forefront of diplomatic and political efforts to ensure that adequate levels of humanitarian assistance continue to be delivered.

Mrs. Spelman

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what is being done to build food distribution networks in(a) Malawi, (b) Mozambique, (c) Zimbabwe, (d) Zambia, (e) Lesotho and (f) Swaziland. [66178]

Clare Short

WFP has a major role in the regional humanitarian assistance effort. In addition to supporting food procurement, transport and in-country distribution costs within our £18.25 million support for the new regional appeal, DFID has funded logistical experts in the WFP regional office in Johannesburg, and in Zimbabwe and Lesotho national offices to strengthen capacity to plan and manage supply and transport issues

DFID is active in each country to promote effective co-ordination between international, bilateral and non-governmental organisations to tackle operational constraints. Jointly with other donors, we have urged SADC and regional governments to reduce regulatory and administrative obstacles to food supply for humanitarian and private sector actors alike