FANRPAN together with FEWS Net (Famine Early Warning System Network) was tasked by the SADC FANR sector to carry out a short term study to identify policy issues that hamper the timeous and efficient flow of maize grain in deficit countries as well as propose short and long term measures to avert the current food crises in the SADC. Currently the SADC region faces a cereal deficit of 5.19 million tones. The deficit was due to drought, excessive rains and floods, and low carryover stocks from the previous season. Crop assessments conducted jointly by SADC/FAO/WFP in May 2002 in Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe indicate that the SADC region is facing the worst food crises since the 1992 drought. A total of 13 million people in the region are in need of food assistance between now and April 2003.