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Crisis in the Central African Republic
In the Central African Republic, 2.2 million people — nearly half of the population — require 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 constitutional referendum, and legislative and presidential elections, held in December 2015, February and March 2016, respectively, have marked the end of the two-year conflict and the beginning of a national recovery process. However, the situation in the country remains of concern, as the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report (August 2016) indicates a worsening food security situation compared with the previous analysis (April 2015), with 2 million people severely food insecure (IPC Phases 3 and 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.
Acute Food Insecurity Situation - August 2016
In 2016, FAO has established strategic partnership with NGOs and provided crop and vegetable production support to 123 600 vulnerable families across the country. As a result, a total of nearly 43 000 tonnes of food crops and 4 900 tonnes of vegetables were produced, allowing for beneficiaries to generate income and support social and economic welfare.
The outbreak of the crisis has exacerbated tensions between farmers and pastoralists, resulting in various communal conflicts increasingly violent. Livestock production, in particular transhumant livestock herding, was also severely affected. In collaboration with implementing partners, FAO conducted joint field surveys on the situation of transhumance in the country. As resuming regular transhumance movement is linked to the restoration of security in the country, actions promoting intercommunity dialogue and social cohesion are necessary; this will contribute to reduce the risks of transhumance-related conflicts. Furthermore, as there is an urgent need to rebuild livestock and cattle herds, FAO carried out a vaccination campaign and a total of 850 000 animals were treated against pest of small ruminants and contagious bovine pleuropneumonia.
As part of longer-term support to the country, FAO is working to revitalize the agriculture sector and increase farmers' resilience. 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. In 2016, FAO supported over 2 450 farmers’ groups (45 000 households) by improving their technical capacities and resilience through cash-for-work activities and savings and loan schemes.
Under the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan, FAO seeks USD 55.7 million, of which USD 8 million has been mobilized, to provide agricultural and livestock support to 178 000 vulnerable families. This will enable them to restore their livelihoods and boost local and national food security capacities.
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 the crisis response. To maximize the impact of implemented projects, families benefiting from FAO's assistance have also received food rations from WFP to reduce the risk of eating seeds instead of planting them.