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Recent oil price hikes are pushing up staple food prices

  • Key Message Update
  • Central African Republic
  • January 2023
Recent oil price hikes are pushing up staple food prices

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    • Following the government’s decision to suspend the state subsidy for hydrocarbon sales, petroleum product prices have increased considerably since January 4, 2023. As a result, the cost per liter has risen from 865 francs to 1,300 FCFA for gasoline, from 855 francs to 1,450 FCFA for diesel, and from 650 francs to 1,150 FCFA for gasoline and kerosene. These price increases have resulted in higher transport and food costs.

    • Poor households in areas under the control of rebel groups are relying on income from day labor activities, petty trade, and artisanal mining, in order to make market food purchases. Households are adversely affected by higher transport and food costs due to   the rise in hydrocarbon prices in the context of undersupplied markets due to insecurity. Consequently, households are forced to reduce the amount and number of meals, facing  Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity outcomes.

    • Poor households in peri-urban areas, relying on income from market gardening, fishing, and sand extraction along waterways, are negatively impacted by the higher transport costs. In addition, the prices of rice and maize were 40  and 20 percent higher than the five-year average in the Bangui markets and 90 and 40 percent higher than the average in the Bria markets. Higher essential product prices have forced households to reduce their food diversity and the quantities consumed.  

    • Since the start of the dry season, armed groups have been more active in several regions, attacking and ambushing the national security forces (FACA) and their allies, particularly in the north, north-west, and northeast of the country (the prefectures of Ouham, Ouham-Pendé, Ouaka, Haute-Kotto, Vakaga). Armed groups have also increased checkpoints along the main roads to control and levy illicit taxes on transporters and civilian populations. Fear of attacks and abuses by these armed groups limits mobility and access to fields and forest products for populations in these areas.

    • Incidents between farmers and herders linked to seasonal transhumance movements between December and March have also resumed, especially in the Mbomou, Kémo, and Ouaka prefectures. Tens of thousands of cattle crossing agricultural land for pasture and water cause deadly conflicts between herders and farmers. These conflicts sometimes result in the internal displacement of populations and disruption of the flow of goods, limiting household access to usual sources of food and income.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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