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Central African Republic PDF version    Email this article Print this article Subscribe FAO GIEWS RSS  Share this article  

Reference Date: 17-June-2015

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Crop production in 2015 is likely to be negatively affected by continuing civil insecurity

  2. Prices of animal protein have risen significantly due to constraints in available supplies

  3. Food access severely constrained due to destroyed livelihoods, reduced own production and sharply curtailed market activity

Cropping season negatively affected by continuing insecurity

Harvesting of the maize crop is expected to start in July in parts of the Centre and the South, while still some sowing would continue in June. In northern provinces, where sorghum and millet are predominantly grown, crops are either being sown or are vegetative and harvesting is expected to start from August.

According to satellite-based data, favourable weather conditions prevailed from March until the first dekad of June in both the southern maize-producing areas and in northern millet/sorghum growing areas. However, continuing civil insecurity is likely to negatively affect crop production following a significant reduction in area planted due to the abandonment of a substantial number of farms. Furthermore, the significant drop in food crop production over the past few years has led to the depletion of the already inadequate household productive assets. The Ministry of Agriculture, FAO, WFP and NGO partners are providing crop production support to vulnerable households across the country. FAO plans to assist 150 000 households through the distribution of seeds and farming tools but so far has secured funding to assist only 97 800 households.

Prices of animal protein have risen significantly due to constraints in available supplies

The livestock and fishing sectors have been severely affected by the crisis. The decline in livestock numbers from 2013 due to theft, looting and mass slaughter of animals is estimated at 67 percent for cattle and 77 percent for small livestock and poultry, a daunting task for the future recovery of the overall agricultural sector. Furthermore, local populations no longer have access to certain types of foods such as beef since the departure of pastoralists to Cameroon at the beginning of 2014. The sudden tightening of available supplies of animal food products has driven up the cost of animal protein. According to a recent assessment conducted in March 2015, the price of one chicken, has jumped from CFA 1 000 (USD 1.7) to somewhere between CFA 3 000-4 000 (USD 5.2-6.9). Fish supplies have also declined by about 40 percent from pre-crisis levels due to insecurity in fishing areas and loss of fishing equipment.

Grave food security situation persists

The acute and complex emergency affecting the Central African Republic (CAR) has resulted in widespread disruption in agricultural and marketing activities and caused massive displacement resulting in a severe negative impact on both food availability and access. According to UNHCR, a new surge in violence reported since the beginning of the year is triggering new internal and cross-border population movements resulting in approximately 50 000 additional people being displaced since the beginning of the year. As of late May 2015, the IDP caseload was estimated at 426 240, (representing about 9.3 percent of the total population), including about 36 930 in Bangui.

A large segment of the population of the CAR is facing serious and constantly deteriorating food access constraints, due to destroyed livelihoods, reduced own production, sharply curtailed market activity, food availabilities and access. In addition, not only the quantity of food intake is reduced, but the dietary diversity is also drastically diminished, with the substitution of more nutritious cereal and vegetable staples with more cassava and the sharp reduction of animal proteins intake. This widespread dietary deterioration raises serious concerns, having a dire effect in terms of nutrition and health.

According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) in April 2015, about 1 268 000 people (out of a total population of 4.6 million), are in need of urgent assistance (IPC Phase 3: “Crisis” and IPC Phase 4: “Emergency”). In rural areas, 19 percent of the people are in IPC Phase “Crisis” and 12 percent are in IPC Phase “Emergency “ Additional food security indicators show a deterioration of the situation compared to a year earlier. For instance, According to a recent rapid assessment, the percentage of households with inadequate food consumption stood at 36 percent in March 2015, compared to 26 percent in October 2014.

The international community launched, in December 2014, a Strategic Response Plan, which aims to assist 2 million beneficiaries for a total cost of USD 613 million. The food security cluster plans to assist 1 200 000 beneficiaries for a total cost of USD 195 million, providing immediate life-saving assistance through food aid distributions, supporting the agricultural sector by improving access to essential agricultural inputs, including seeds and tools, and contributing to strengthen the resilience of households through cash-for-work activities on the rehabilitation of agricultural infrastructures and the establishment of community-based credit systems that will allow reinvestment in productive activities.

Increased and strong livelihood support required

In addition to emergency relief operations (distribution of seeds and farming tools), FAO is engaged in resilience support operations and some 27 000 households would be assisted, with received funds so far, through resilience activities (caisses de resilience) that will help households to accumulate, diversify and protect assets by building their capacities in terms of agriculture techniques, financial abilities and governance structures at community level. Participating families will be engaged in contractual production of quality seeds and food, support to school gardening and feeding, nutrition surveillance and cash transfer initiatives to boost their community. These activities will be completed with the distribution of small processing machines and the constitution of food and seed reserves.

Last year, FAO, WFP and NGO partners provided crop production support to a total of 111 750 vulnerable families across the country. The targeting of beneficiaries was based on the results of the IPC analysis conducted in April 2014. For the main planting season, each of the 83 950 families was assisted with 25 kg of crop seeds (groundnut, maize and rice) and two hoes, as well as by WFP’s provision of seed protection rations. In addition, FAO assisted 27 800 families with seeds (beans, maize, millet, niébé, sesame and sorghum), and tools as part of the short-cycle (secondary) season support.



Relevant links:
From GIEWS:
 As of Jul 2015, included in the list of "Countries Requiring External Assistance for Food"
 Cereal Supply/Demand Balance Sheet
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Maps
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 2014, 2014
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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