Acting Foreign Minister Jeff Radebe signs agreement with the
Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
- South African Acting Foreign Minister Jeff Radebe will co-sign, with the Deputy
Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Sheila Sisulu,
an agreement establishing the WFP Regional Bureau for Southern Africa in South
The WFP informed the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2004 of their
desire to establish a Regional Bureau for Southern Africa in South Africa. The
WFP has been active in the Southern Africa region for some time after the Department
of Foreign Affairs previously gave priority approval to the WFP to open up a regional
logistics unit in Johannesburg to co-ordinate the UN inter-agency relief effort
for the sub-region.
Through the Agreement, this office would become upgraded
to a permanent regional office. The WFP is the premier international organisation
for food aid distribution and has been playing an important facilitation role
as the major supplier of food and non-food assistance to victims of humanitarian
crisis in the Southern African region. The WFP has a wealth of experience in setting
up and running emergency "food pipelines". The WFP's structures in the
region are also being utilised by Government Departments in the distribution of
aid. The establishment of the Regional Bureau will ensure the fast and efficient
execution of WFP activities. The Regional Office in South Africa will make the
WFP operations and humanitarian response to the region easier.
the Department of Foreign Affairs conducted discussions with the National Department
of Agriculture to find the best way of addressing the food shortage situation
in the region. The objective of South Africa's aid package is in support of the
NEPAD objectives and the MDGs is by concentrating on interventions that safeguard
the sustainable development of affected communities and thereby assisting in reducing
their dependency on long-term aid. The South African government has contributed
R140m to FAO/WFP to support food relief and rehabilitation projects in seven Southern
African Development Community (SADC) countries namely, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique,
Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
South Africa in previous years
also made substantial donations to assist with food security issues in the region.
It will be recalled that in response to the first WFP co-ordinated emergency appeal
in 2002, the South African Government donated R170 million for the acquisition
of 100 000 MT of maize meal for WFP humanitarian assistance to six Southern African
countries. In 2003, the South African Government contributed R100 million.
by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853
Department of Foreign Affairs
21 May 2006