A massive relief operation averted the potential famine and starvation of 18 million people in the 1992/1993 southern Africa drought, brought on by one of the worst droughts of the century. The success is due to the early warning system instituted by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and supported by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and the rapid response by the UN system and the international community to the declaration of national emergency situations, the existence of a well advanced logistic network, including transportational and warehousing facilities, the high degree of multi-lateral coordination, and the central role played by WFP in coordinating activities. More than six million tonnes of commodities were imported into ten countries.
The FAO's Nutrition and Food Quality Programme covers a broad range of nutrition related activities aimed at assuring access by all to adequate supplies of good quality and safe food at affordable prices. In 1993, the FAO helped over 40 member governments follow through on their pledge to revise or establish national plans of action for nutrition.