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Crisis in the Central African Republic
In the Central African Republic, 2.7 million people — over 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 latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report (April 2015) indicates a slight improvement of the food security situation compared with the previous analysis (October 2014) with 1.28 million people currently 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 - April - Nov 2015
FAO has established strategic partnership with NGO and provided crop production support to 96 200 vulnerable families across the country for the 2015 main agricultural campaign. Each family received hoes and sufficient crop seeds (varieties included cereal, groundnut and sesame) to cultivate 0.5 ha of land. In addition, FAO will assist 40 000 families with vegetable seeds and tools during the off season.
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 will carry out a vaccination campaign starting in October 2015.
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 2014, FAO supported 14 000 families and 150 members of national and international NGOs through savings and loan schemes, school gardening activities, as well as nutrition surveillance and cash transfer initiatives. Throughout 2015, over 35 000 families are receiving support through activities related to the caisses de résilience approach.
Under the 2015 Humanitarian Response Plan, FAO seeks USD 42 million, of which USD 11.5 million has been mobilized, to provide sustained support to 240 000 farming families. This will enable them to establish food reserves thanks to increased access to productive assets, and increase 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 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.