Central African Republic - Executive brief 24 February 2015

Central African Republic - Executive brief 24 February 2015
Feb 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.

Resilience building

FAO and Non-governmental Organization (NGO) partners have provided crop production support to 142 000 vulnerable families across the country. Each family received 25 kg of crop seeds (beans, groundnut, maize, millet, niébé, rice, sesame and sorghum) and two hoes to plant in time and produce their own food. Results from post-distribution assessments indicate that 92 percent of distributed seeds were planted; in addition, seeds were shared among community members. Furthermore, vegetable producers received immediate assistance before the start and during the crop season.

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 are planned for 2015.

As youth unemployment is a major concern usually resulting into banditism, criminal activities and social unrest in urban areas, FAO is supporting small livestock activities (20 000 chicks have been delivered to 40 young farmers’ groups). Training has been provided to 250 young professionals to facilitate their reinsertion in professional life.

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 NGO partners 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; providing support to 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.