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Central African Republic: anticipating the immediate consequences of conflict on agricultural livelihoods and food security

08/06/2021

According to the latest IPC analysis, about half of the population in the Central African Republic is facing high levels of acute food insecurity, where already more than 70 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. The country recently experienced renewed activities by armed groups, especially in the run-up to the general elections of December 2020 and February 2021, which resulted in large-scale population displacement, as well as disruption of the country’s main supply route from Cameroon.

Due to this recent escalation of conflict, an additional 321 000 people have been internally displaced between mid-December 2020 and the beginning of March 2021, many of whom are small-scale farmers who have lost their productive assets when their villages were attacked, leaving them extremely vulnerable. 

More than 170 000 recently displaced people are expected to return to their villages as the post-electoral situation is calmer, but will find themselves without the necessary tools and resources to cultivate during the main agricultural season between June and September. FAO has thus launched an anticipatory action project to support both returnees and host communities to prevent the further deterioration of their food security situation. FAO is pre-positioning strategic stocks of agricultural inputs (crop seeds and tools) near villages affected by post-electoral violence and where massive returns are expected. Rapid distribution will be initiated as soon as displaced people return to their villages.

The intervention is expected to support food production in the areas surrounding Bouar, Bossangoa and Bossembélé, while enhancing social cohesion by mitigating tensions over lack of resources. The project aims to help households affected by the post-electoral conflict who meet the criteria defined by the Food Security Cluster. Activities will target both recent returnees and host communities who are traditionally the first to assist to displaced households. 

While existing financial resources will support no more than 4 000 households, the total number of recently displaced vulnerable households is over 34 800. To address the extent of the crisis, it is essential to urgently scale up efforts and mobilize resources to support 60 000 local families (300 000 people) who already live in the villages where the returnees are expected to arrive.