Global quantities fixed for 1992
The Commission has fixed the global amounts of food aid for the 1992 programme and listed the products to be supplied, as follows (1991 figures in brackets): cereals 1 385 100 t (1 360 000 t), milk - 53 000 t (83 500 t), butteroil - 6 800 t (12 000 t), vegetable oil - 70 000 t (60 000 t) and sugar - 11 540 (15 000 t), plus ECU 48 million-worth of other products (ECU 50 million).
Budget restraint has forced the Commission to reduce the quantities of milk products, sugar and other products. However it has put priority on two other products, vegetable oil and cereals.
The food crisis in sub-Saharan Africa is such that the Commission thought it should improve on the extra amounts of cereals given in 1991, albeit in only a very small way. Experience has shown that it takes more than a year to wipe out the effects of a drought as bad as the one in 1991. The Commission is not claiming that this very small increase is a full response to the extra needs in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly on the Horn, and it is very possible that the total quantities of cereal will not be enough to meet the developing countries' requirements. The situation will be monitored carefully so that action can be taken quickly if any problems arise.
The list of products to be supplied as food aid this year is the same as in 1991. However, a combined nomenclature code has been adapted to include the pigmeat added to the list in 1991.
Commission proposes a special aid programme for 1992
On 1 April, the Commission decided to suggest to the Council and the European Parliament that a special food aid programme be set up for various countries in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world.
The Commission feels that this is necessary if the Community is to provide a proper response to the already serious famine situation facing about 60 million people. Estimates suggest that something like 6.5 million tonnes of food aid will be needed in 1992.
The Commission proposes that the special programme cover 800000 t of cereal equivalent, costing ECU 220 million. This would be in addition to the approximately 1.4 million t of cereal equivalent provided under the normal food aid budget for 1992.
Financing this special programme will mean using the procedure described in the declaration which the three institutions annexed to the decision on financial prospects adopted at the trialogue on 5 February 1992.
The size of the operation and the need for speedy, efficient implementation are such that the Commission suggests revising the financial prospects and then adopting a supplementary and amending budget.
It therefore proposes that the Council decide on the principle of a special food aid programme of 800000 t of cereal equivalent for various countries of sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world in 1992.
It is also calling on Member States to mobilise their own resources so that the response of the European Community as a whole is equal to the challenge.
Lomé IV Indicative programmes signed
Cameroon and Gabon
ECU 128.5 million is what Cameroon gets from the Community under the Lomé IV national indicative programme, signed in Yaounde by the Cameroonian Planning Minister and DG VIII Deputy Director-General Philippe Soubestre on 14 February. This includes a first structural adjustment support allocation of ECU 18.5 million. The framework of mutual obligations for the use of Stabex transfers 1990, worth ECU 67 million, was also signed on this occasion.
Philippe Soubestre was received by President Paul Biya and also had the opportunity to meet the leaders of the opposition party, who had asked to see him.
In Gabon, Mr Soubestre and the Gabonese Planning Minister signed the ECU 34 million national indicative programme (including ECU 5 million for structural adjustment support) in Libreville on 18 February. President Omar Bongo and Prime Minister Oye Mba attended the ceremony. The agreement fixing the immunities and privileges of the Commission delegation in Gabon was also signed by Mr Soubestre and the Foreign Minister. There have been political changes in Gabon and the present Prime Minister is in office following a national conference.
Comoros hosted the signing ceremony for the Indian Ocean Commission's indicative programme in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Moroni on 21 February. The IOC was represented by its President-in-Office, His Excellency Said Hachim Said Hassane, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and the Community by Louis Huby, Head of the Indian Ocean division.
This Lomé IV programme will give the IOC ECU 25.5 million of the total ECU 30 million allocated to regional cooperation in the south-west Indian Ocean. It will go to finance, inter alia, trade, services and personnel projects and help make these countries better economically integrated.
Sanctions maintained against Haiti
Ministers met in Lisbon on 17 February to discuss Haiti in the light of the OAS decision on sanctions.
The Community and the Member States said that they intended to continue with their suspension of financial and technical cooperation with this country, although the humanitarian relief measures (about ECU 4 million in emergency aid and emergency food aid so far, distributed through NGOs) would be maintained. They also expressed solidarity with the OAS embargo.
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