FAO in the 2016 humanitarian appeal for the Central African Republic

FAO in the 2016 humanitarian appeal for the Central African Republic

19/01/2016

The scale of the crisis in the Central African Republic is unprecedented, with nearly half of the population – 2.3 million people – in need of humanitarian assistance. Insecurity and outbreaks of violence are still seriously affecting the agriculture sector ‒ the backbone of the country’s economy. As 75 percent of the population relies on agricultural activities as their main source of food and income, farmers’ vulnerability continues to rise and their livelihoods are still at risk. Despite the support provided for the 2014 and 2015 main agricultural campaigns – which helped to reduce dependence on humanitarian assistance and stabilize incomes – 1.3 million people continue to be severely food insecure.

A quarter of the population remains displaced, both internally and in neighbouring countries, increasing pressure on host communities and their already limited resources. After a period of relative calm, the recent wave of violence has generated additional humanitarian needs. Given the upcoming elections, the situation is expected to further deteriorate. In 2016, protecting and restoring livelihoods through the provision of productive assets and the development of food security and market data collection is crucial to ensure the availability of and access to food.

Through its Youth Programme, FAO contracted local youth associations through the cash-for-work approach to clean water channels in Bangui prior to the rainy season. A total of 2 400 youths from selected communities helped to increase water flow by digging 2 652 m of ditches, installing 55 087 m of gutters and removing 1 260 m3 of waste. The work also contributed to backyard gardening activities. Mud removed from the channels was cleaned of waste, hard dirt and plastic, and used as compost – a valuable fertilizing material for vegetable production. Furthermore, 41 500 m of water infrastructure was built in three districts of Bangui, and training sessions were conducted on solid biodegradable composting techniques, benefiting 104 young gardeners who also received biodegradable waste processing machines. FAO’s cash-for-work activities have helped reduce vulnerability to flooding and food insecurity, and enhanced the availability of gainful employment – a critical factor in reducing temptation among youths to join militia groups.