Central African Republic - Situation update 21 May 2015

Central African Republic - Situation update 21 May 2015
May 2015

FAO’S Response

A major food crisis has been contained in 2014 thanks to timely donor support that has allowed emergency crop production support, saving families from a domino effect of continued losses, as well as preventing farmers from adopting negative coping strategies with long-term effects. During 2014, FAO provided crop production support to 142 000 farming families. With funds received, FAO also supported 14 000 crisis-affected households through livelihood resilience activities (caisses de résilience), linked to vegetable, small livestock and fish production, to allow families to better cope with future shocks.

Resilience building

FAO received pledges to assist 97 800 crisis-affected households ‒ of the 150 000 identified ‒ with agricultural inputs to cultivate 0.5 ha of land, which will contribute to meet their food needs for up to nine months, reduce dependence on humanitarian assistance and stabilize their incomes. A total of 3 100 tonnes of seeds will be procured this year and delivery to FAO hubs has already started; 66 percent of the seeds are being purchased within the country, for which quality control is being reinforced.

FAO is partnering with over 25 international and national Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) to carry out distribution operations. Each family will receive 31 kg of crop seeds (groundnut, maize, rice and sesame) and three hoes to plant in time and produce their own food. Furthermore, FAO plans to assist 20 000 of the identified households with inputs for short cycle production. In order to strengthen household resilience in the Central African Republic, FAO developed a comprehensive approach called caisses de résilience that is enabling families to build their agriculture techniques, financial capacities and governance structures at community level. Participating families are contracted to produce quality seeds; and support to school gardening and feeding, nutrition surveillance and cash transfer initiatives will be provided to boost their communities’ capacities.

These activities are coupled with the distribution of small processing machines, allowing for food and seed reserves to be established. As they are not dependent on the rainy season, resilience measures provide opportunities for households to accumulate, diversify and protect assets on a regular basis year round as well as increase knowledge. Throughout 2014, 14 000 households have been supported, and 120 national and international members of NGOs have been trained on the caisses de résilience approach, specifically on Saving and Loans schemes (S&L) and Farmer Field School techniques; 90 000 household have been identified to receive support throughout 2015.

FAO has signed all Letters of Agreement with identified NGOs and small livestock distributions are being undertaken in Bangui. As youth unemployment is a major concern, usually resulting into criminal activities and social unrest in urban areas, supporting youth is one of the Organization’s main priorities. FAO has already assisted 1 100 youths through initiatives to increase the production of poultry, fish and cash crops. Currently, 1 000 youths are supported through other activities including labour intensive work, garden schools, peri-urban agriculture, cash for work and development of agribusiness.

Food Security Cluster

The Cluster, co-led by FAO and WFP, provided coordination support to implementing partners and the Government from the early stage of the crisis (December 2013). The Cluster was instrumental during the planting season by promoting joint FAO/WFP/NGO partner interventions. FAO provided agricultural inputs, WFP provided food protection rations, while partner NGOs were in charge of distributing both food and seed commodities to the same households to limit the risk of planting material consumption. The objectives of the 2015 SRP focus on: providing life-saving food assistance; supporting agricultural and gardening activities by ensuring that households have access to productive assets (especially during the lean season); strengthening households’ resilience through agricultural income-generating activities and capacity building; promoting natural resource management through approaches fostering social cohesion; and coordinating partners’ food security interventions and information management and sharing.