South Africa Donates $21.5 Million to FAO/WFP
find below a press release issued by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of
the United Nations (FAO) regarding South Africa's donation of $2.1 million to
FAO and the World Food Programme, to support the agencies' operations in southern
4 October 2005, Johannesburg - South Africa will donate
140 million rand ($21.5 million) to FAO and the World Food Programme (WFP) to
support the agencies' operations in southern Africa, FAO/WFP announced today.
The donation is the third major contribution from South Africa to the UN
agencies since 2003 and comes at a critical time in the gearing up phase of programmes
ahead of the region's lean season, which starts as early as November in some countries.
FAO will receive 98 million rand ($15 million) for agricultural and livestock
inputs, and WFP will get 35 million rand ($5.4 million) for food aid. An additional
7 million rand ($1.1 million) will be donated for the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) Regional Early Warning System.
"Yet again the Government
of South Africa is playing a leading role in trying to help its neighbours during
their time of critical food need," said Mike Sackett, WFP Regional Director
for Southern Africa. "Already many poor people have very little to eat and
their needs are only going to escalate the closer we get to the lean season, but
because it's a cash donation, we'll be able to buy food locally and quickly transport
it to the people in need."
In 2003 South Africa donated 170 million
rand to WFP which was used to buy 100 000 tonnes of maize in this country. In
2004, the Government donated 100 million rand, which was divided between the FAO
and WFP to help people meet their food security needs.
FAO has supported
farmers and their families with agricultural inputs, the provision of poultry
and goats, tools for small-scale irrigation and vaccines against animal diseases,
such as foot-and-mouth, and the creation of cassava and sweet potato nurseries
and backyard gardens, among other activities.
"Large numbers of people
in the central-eastern part of southern Africa including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi
and southern Mozambique are at risk of food insecurity due to reduced harvests,
lack of purchasing power and the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS," said Anne
M. Bauer, Director of FAO's Emergency Operations and Rehabilitation Division.
"Rural families will need further support to broaden the basis of
their often very poor incomes," she said. "Vulnerable households require
better access to agricultural and livestock inputs. FAO will provide assistance
in livestock surveillance, soil and water conservation and management, gardens,
small-scale irrigation, training in labour- and time-saving technologies, school
gardening and Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools," Bauer said.
WFP launched a regional appeal in January this year for $621
million to assist the region's most vulnerable in Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi,
Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe over the next three years. However, WFP still
faces an immediate funding shortfall of $152 million to feed up to 9.2 million
people through to the end of the next lean season in March/April 2006.
has asked for $16 million to finance its emergency activities in southern Africa.
To date, the agency has only received $3 million.
The situation in southern
Africa is considered so serious that in early August, UN Secretary General Kofi
Annan wrote to 27 Heads of State, the European Commission and the African Development
Bank to raise the alarm for urgent funding to "avert a catastrophe".
"Maize prices are already rising dramatically in most countries in
the region, months ahead of the lean season, which means that many people we assumed
would be able to fend for themselves will need food aid earlier," said Sackett.
"The South African donation comes at the right time to help many people who
would otherwise face an extremely difficult and long period without enough food
(+39) 06 5705 3105
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For more information,
please contact Zaheer Laher at (212) 692 2460
Issued by the Permanent
Mission of South Africa