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IRI Climate Information Digest - Impacts January 1999
    CLIMATE AND HEALTH - Drought and famine have also engulfed areas of Somalia where an estimated six people or more per day  were dying of malnutrition.

    FISHERIES Landings of small pelagics in Peru remained erratic along the coast, with catch concentrated in the north (Paita), and comprised mostly of mackerel species.  Catch in the central and southern areas were low, and a temporary ban on anchovy was in effect in parts of the central region beginning on
    January 20.  Cumulative catch for 1999 was approximately 530,000 metric tons, compared to 38,000 metric tons in 1998, and 970,000 metric tons in 1997 for the same time period.

    HAZARDS/THREATS - The Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) reports that an estimated 10,000 Somalis have recently crossed the border from southern Somalia into Ethiopia following drought-induced dislocation. FEWS further reports that "drought and insecurity in Somalia, along with the continued ban on livestock by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, could produce further repercussions in the Somali region of Ethiopia and warrants continued monitoring."   Kenya's Agriculture Minister early in January, issued a food shortage alert and ordered the country's National Cereals and Produce Board to intervene in the marketing of maize, the staple food.

    AGRICULTURE -  In Ukraine and Belarus exceptionally mild conditions were favorable for over-wintering of winter grains. Unseasonably heavy rains in the Philippines were associated with crop damage in Luzon.  For most of the month below average rainfall stressed soybeans in southern Brazil but intermittent rains over this region and into Argentina alleviated most the negative impacts of dry conditions. The lack of rainfall in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda has been associated with reduced production of cash crops such as coffee and tea.  Industry sources have ascribed reduced production and quality and rising prices to the rainfall deficits.

Material for this portion of the IRI Climate Information Digest has been extracted from the IRI Climate Data Library, the NOAA NCEP Climate Prediction Center, the USDA/NOAA Joint Agricultural Weather Facility and the Fishmeal Exporters Organization. Additional information was obtained from  the UN/OCHA.