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Source: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
20 March 2003
FAO/GIEWS Foodcrops and Shortages No. 1/2003

CROP AND FOOD SUPPLY SITUATION

OVERVIEW

As of March 2003, the number of countries facing serious food shortages throughout the world stands at 38, with 25 in Africa, 6 in Asia, 5 in Latin America and 2 in Europe. In many of these countries the food shortages are compounded by the impact of the HIV-AIDS pandemic on food production, marketing, transport and utilization. Upcoming joint FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessments will integrate this factor to the extent possible.

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In the Near East, cereal harvest in Afghanistan is seen to match the recovered harvest of the previous year following improved precipitation and better growing conditions. However, food aid will be necessary for the returning refugees, the nomads, the disabled and other vulnerable households. Recent good rains in Syria and Jordan have improved prospects for the 2003 cereal crop to be harvested in April/May. In Iraq, the outlook for the 2003 crop production is generally uncertain due to prospects of a possible war. Furthermore, cereal production will be affected by serious shortages of fertilizers, spare parts for agricultural machinery and other agricultural inputs. The food situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is also serious due to food shortages and market disruption which are further aggravated by continued military operations and the current tense political situation.

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