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Country Briefs

  Central African Republic

Reference Date: 30-June-2021

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Food production in 2021 expected to be affected by conflicts, displacements and COVID‑19 pandemic restrictive measures

  2. Slow trade activity contributes to keeping food prices high

  3. About 2.3 million people estimated severely food insecure in lean period

Food production in 2021 expected to be affected by conflicts, displacements and COVID‑19 pandemic restrictive measures

In northern areas, planting of the 2021 millet and sorghum crops is ongoing and harvesting is expected to begin in late September. Latest weather forecasts point to average precipitation amounts between July and September 2021, with likely positive effects on yields. In central and southern areas, harvesting of the 2021 early planted maize crop will begin in mid‑August and, according to satellite‑based images, crop conditions were near the average levels as of mid‑June (ASI map).

Ongoing conflicts and displacements, coupled with restrictive measures to control the COVID‑19 pandemic, are expected to continue affecting agricultural activities and limit farmers’ access to crop‑growing areas and inputs, with a negative impact on 2021 crop production.

Slow trade activity contributes to keeping food prices high

Prices of locally produced cassava, maize, sorghum and peanuts increased slightly between March and May 2021, in line with seasonal trends. In May, prices were higher on a yearly basis due to insecurity, which hampered farmers’ access to the markets, resulting in low supplies and due to increased transportation costs amid the COVID‑19 pandemic containment measures. Prices of imported commodities, such as white beans, rice, wheat flour and fish, were also at high levels in May. This was mainly due to the implementation of movement restrictions used to avoid the spread of the virus, which disrupted transports at regional level and slowed down trade.

About 2.3 million people estimated severely food insecure in lean period

According to the latest IPC analysis, published in May 2021, about 2.3 million people (nearly half of the total population) are estimated to be in IPC Phase 3: “Crisis” and above during the April‑August 2021 lean season, including 600 000 people classified in IPC Phase 4: “Emergency”. The main drivers of the high food insecurity levels are high prices and continued civil insecurity. The situation has been aggravated by the armed violence connected to the presidential and legislative elections held in December 2020, which triggered population displacements. It is estimated that about 1.4 million people (almost one‑third of the country's population) are either internally displaced or refugees in neighbouring countries.

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