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Civil strife in Republic of Congo disrupts food supplies in Brazzaville

A Special Report issued by FAO's Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) warns that the intense civil strife between May and November 1997 has left many people in the Republic of Congo - particularly in the capital Brazzaville - vulnerable to rising food prices and supply shortages. Although production of the country's staple crop, cassava, has not been greatly affected by the fighting, livestock losses have been high and trading activities have been hit hard, particularly in the capital.

According to the report, "The urban dwellers of Brazzaville who have lost their jobs in the modern private sector following the destruction of the city business centre will experience difficulty obtaining adequate food. Food prices are still high because of logistics and marketing constraints."

For 1998, it is estimated that food imports will reach only 80 percent of the 1995/96 level - amounting to 72 000 tonnes and leaving an import gap of 46 000 tonnes in cereal equivalent terms. This shortfall is expected to be met by a variety of coping mechanisms, such as fishing, hunting and cultivation of short-cycle crops, as well as food aid targeted at vulnerable groups.

26 March 1998

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©FAO, 1998