Central African Republic - Executive brief 15 January 2015

Central African Republic - Executive brief 15 January 2015
Jan 2015

FAO’S Response

A major food crisis has been contained thanks to timely donor support that has allowed emergency crop production support, saving families from a domino effect of continued losses, as well as preventing farmers from adopting negative coping strategies with long-term effects.

Resilience building

FAO and Non-governmental Organization (NGO) partners have provided crop production support to 111 750 vulnerable families and 100 seed multiplier groups across the country. Each family received 25 kg of crop seeds (beans, groundnut, maize, millet, niébé, rice, sesame and sorghum) and two hoes to plant in time and produce their own food. Results from post-distribution assessments indicate that 92 percent of distributed seeds were planted; in addition, seeds were shared among community members.

Furthermore, vegetable producers received immediate assistance before the start and during the crop season. Over 795 farmers’ groups, including women’s associations and 1 400 households, received vegetable seeds and tools. Strategic vegetable seed stocks were also prepositioned in FAO’s field offices in the Central African Republic for rapid response capacity to support 30 000 internally displaced people and affected populations until the early lean season (March 2015). Thus far, 7 000 families received vegetable seeds that will contribute to produce enough food for five months. As small livestock is also a major concern, 20 000 chicks were delivered to 40 farmers’ groups by the end of 2014.

While providing relief and rehabilitation assistance, FAO has forcefully promoted its dual resilience agenda. FAO developed a comprehensive approach called caisses de résilience that will enable families to build their agriculture techniques, financial capacities and governance structures at community level. Participating families will be contracted to produce quality seeds, and support to school gardening and feeding, nutrition surveillance and cash transfer initiatives will be provided to boost their communities’ capacities. These activities will be completed with the distribution of small processing machines allowing for food and seed reserves to be established. As they are not dependent on the rainy season, resilience measures provide opportunities for households to accumulate, diversify and protect assets on a regular basis year round as well as increase knowledge. Training has been provided to 250 young professionals and 120 national and international members of NGOs on the caisses de résilience approach, specifically on Saving and Loans schemes (S&L) and Farmer Field School techniques.

Various NGO partners have started to work with 300 farmers’ groups and 100 youth in Bangui, distribute processing units to 105 farmers’ groups in Bozoum and support 160 farmers’ groups through S&L and trainings. An additional 1 200 farmers’ groups will be supported as of January 2015 throughout the country, except in Mambere-Kadéi, Mbomou, Nana-Mambéré and Sangha-Mbaéré, where partnerships remain to be developed. In addition, school gardens/field project have started in 13 primary schools with international partners in Boda and Bria, as well as in four primary schools in Bangui with local partners. The round table scheduled for 13 February 2015, in which FAO is expected to play a key role, aims at revamping the agriculture sector in CAR.

Food Security Cluster

The Cluster, co-led by FAO and WFP, provided coordination support to implementing partners and the Government from the early stage of the crisis (December 2013). The Cluster was instrumental during the planting season by promoting joint FAO/WFP/NGO partner interventions. FAO provided agricultural inputs, WFP provided food protection rations, while NGO partners were in charge of distributing both food and seed commodities to the same households to limit the risk of planting material consumption. The 2015 SRP has been finalized by the Cluster and its partners. Its objectives focus on: providing life-saving food assistance; providing support to agricultural and gardening activities by ensuring that households have access to productive assets (especially during the lean season); strengthening households’ resilience through agricultural income generating activities and capacity building; promoting natural resource management through approaches fostering social cohesion; and coordinating partners’ food security interventions and information management and sharing. The amount of the appeal for food security is USD 195 million (32 percent of the global appeal), which includes USD 1 million for coordination, to assist 1.2 million people.

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