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Persistent deterioration in security in conflict zones contributing to high risk of food insecurity

  • Key Message Update
  • Central African Republic
  • January 2022
Persistent deterioration in security in conflict zones contributing to high risk of food insecurity

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The country's security situation remains precarious. Abuses between rebel groups and the Central African Armed Forces (FACA), supported by allied forces, resumed in January in the northern and northeastern areas of the country, particularly in the Haute-Koto prefecture, resulting in tens of victims where houses and fields burned. Added to this was a rise in threats of mine and explosive device detonations in areas under rebel occupation, particularly in Mambere-Kadéï, Ouham-Péndé, Lim-Péndé and Ouham-Fafa, thus paralyzing poor and very poor populations’ livelihood activities in these areas.

    • The country's health situation remains concerning in the face of the new wave of COVID-19. In January, the number of cases continued to gradually increase with 122 new infections recorded as of January 21, 2022. Vaccination is still slow, with a total of 587,785 doses administered, i.e., 6.2% of the population. To deal with the outbreak of the pandemic, the government and local authorities are strengthening restrictive measures, but the implementation of stricter restrictions will impact purchasing power, as well as livelihoods for the poor and very poor households in the informal sector in the coming months, particularly in the country's urban centers.

    • Harvests started in October and will continue until mid-February (cassava and long-cycle crops, in particular the different varieties of sorghum and millet). This, in addition to the off-season crop harvests and market gardening, will improve the food availability for poor and very poor households likely through March/April 2022. This access to food will be further reinforced by the availability of wild-harvested foods, fishing and hunting in areas controlled by government forces.

    • Highly subject to the security situation, internal and external flows of food and non-food products are average in areas not affected by the conflict. In addition, imported and local products are moderately supplied and accessible in markets in areas not occupied by the rebels (Bangui). In the regions under occupation, supply flows remain deeply disrupted. The supply of staple food products (cassava, yellow and white maize, local rice, fish, and wild harvested foods) is average in markets due to the recent harvests. However, the prices of manufactured and imported food products, which maintain their December 2021 level, are higher than last year and the five-year average for the same period. These products will be of greater importance in the coming months as food stocks from new harvests are gradually depleted.

    • In areas of conflict and/or difficult access, largely in the presence of armed groups, annual production for the 2021/2022 agricultural season is moderately lower than the previous year. Access to the first harvests is still difficult in areas under rebel occupation due to restrictions on population movement and insecurity. In order to compensate for this shortcoming, the most vulnerable populations resort to gathering wild harvest foods, hunting and fishing to meet their nutritional food needs. Affected households in these areas continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity.

    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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