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Crisis in the Central African Republic
In the Central African Republic, out of a population of 4.8 million people 2.7 million requires immediate humanitarian assistance as a result of the conflict and a prevailing situation of chronic countrywide malnutrition, extreme poverty and inappropriate sanitation. In addition, over 1.4 million has been displaced, both internally and to neighbouring countries, since the beginning of the conflict.
The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis carried out in October 2014 indicates that 1.5 million people is food insecure; 19 percent of the rural population has been classified as Crisis (IPC phase 3) and 12 percent as Emergency (IPC phase 4).
In a country where agriculture provides the main source of livelihoods and income, it is crucial to respond to the urgent needs of affected farmers, whose vulnerability continues to rise and livelihoods are increasingly at risk. Read more about the 2015 agricultural campaign.
FAO has established strategic partnership with NGOs to provide crop production support to 111 750 vulnerable families and 100 seed multiplier groups across the country throughout 2014. Each family received 25 kg of crop seeds (varieties included bean, groundnut, maize, millet, niébé, rice, sesame and sorghum) and two hoes to plant in time and produce their own food. In addition, FAO is assisting 30 000 internally displaced people with vegetable seeds and tools that hadn't received support during the last agriculture campaign.
FAO is working to revitalize the agricultural sector and increase farmers' abilities to cope with crises as part of longer-term support to the country. The Organization has developed an integrated community-centred approach called caisses de résilience that helps families accumulate, diversify and protect assets on a regular basis throughout the year. Women's associations and farmers' groups act as a platform for individual and collective actions by linking the use of sustainable agricultural practices to rural finance opportunities, while strengthening social inclusion and solidarity. Support to participating families focuses on the production of quality seeds, school gardening activities, savings and loan schemes (S&L), as well as nutrition surveillance and cash transfer initiatives. FAO has already trained 250 young professionals from the Ministry of Rural Development on general agriculture topics, and various NGO partners have started working with 300 farmers' groups and 100 youth in Bangui, distribute processing units to 105 farmers' groups in Bozoum and support 160 farmers' groups through S&L and trainings.
Under the 2015 Humanitarian Response Plan, FAO has requested USD 42 million to provide sustained support to 240 000 farming families. This will enable them to establish food reserves thanks to increased access to essential agriculture inputs, and reinforce their resilience through income-generating activities.
As co-lead of the Food Security Cluster, FAO plays a crucial role in food security coordination, as well as needs assessment and analysis, thus enabling timely decision-making. Strategic partnership between FAO and the World Food Programme (WFP) is essential in order to prevent duplications in the crisis response, ensure a greater impact of implemented projects and increase cost-efficiency of both agencies operating in the country. People benefiting from FAO's assistance also received food rations from WFP to reduce the risk that families will eat the seeds instead of planting them.