Food Coalition

Revised humanitarian response Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) - Central African Republic

While the majority of the population in the Central African Republic relies on agricultural and livestock production for their livelihoods, productivity has been decreasing over the years due to insecurity, land disputes, recurrent low rainfall and lack of infrastructure, as well as the adoption of subsistence farming with low investment and subsequent limited harvests.

During the lean season (May–August), vulnerable households’ food insecurity may further worsen given that average harvests of the 2019/20 agricultural season were lower than previous years due to below-average rainfall throughout the country – lower production was registered in particular for cassava, groundnut and sesame. Households have also depleted their food stocks.

Since the first COVID-19 cases were reported in the country, the Government has taken several urgent and essential healthrelated measures to mitigate the spread, including border closures, movement restrictions between Bangui and the largest towns in the East, the closure of the national airport and increased controls at the border with Cameroon. The effects of the essential restrictions have exacerbated the slowdown in food commodity imports and there have been major supply chain disruptions. The majority of imports are now coming from Cameroon due to the closure of borders with other countries, but a two-week delay in supply has been observed due to increased border controls which created shortage in supply (mainly for oil, rice, soap and wheat) in Bangui as well as in other provinces.

Staple food prices are increasing in most of the markets due to limited supply, especially in Bangui where the cost of the daily food basket has doubled since the onset of the pandemic. Indeed, COVID-19 has directly affected the price of imported products such as of cassava and rice.

The livestock sector is likely to be affected by COVID-19-related movement restrictions and border closures, disrupting the movement patterns of transhumant herders.

Physical distancing and reduced income-generating opportunities have severely affected the purchasing power of vulnerable households who are increasingly adopting negative coping mechanisms to meet their immediate food needs. The population most affected by the situation, with a significant increase in the levels of food insecurity, is located in Abba, Bangui and Sibut, in addition to areas classified in IPC Phases 3 and 4. The most vulnerable population groups such as IDPs are expected to suffer the most from the effects of the pandemic.

Priority Areas of work: Global Humanitarian Response Plan
SDG: 1. No Poverty, 2. Zero Hunger, 5. Gender Equality, 16. Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Level: Country
Country: Central African Republic
Budget: USD 42.3 million

Action Sheet:  CAR_CB0183EN.pdf

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