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Food prices continue to be high relative to last year

  • Key Message Update
  • Central African Republic
  • July 2020
Food prices continue to be high relative to last year

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • With a total of 4,599 positive cases including 59 deaths and 2,994 active cases in 9 prefectures as of July 25, the COVID-19 pandemic is progressing in the country and continues to negatively affect economic activity, especially in urban centers. The security situation is worrying in the prefectures of Nana-Mambéré, Ouham-Pendé, and Ouham, where rebel groups have been active since the beginning of July. Additionally, transhumance movements since the start of the season continue to lead to the destruction of fields and conflicts between farmers and herders. This resulted in the deaths of 11 farmers and 6 herders during this month according to local authorities.

    • The rainy season is unfolding favorably with cumulative rainfall as of April first above average. In conflict-free prefectures in the southwest, the appearance of new crops in progress (fresh corn, green vegetables) and household access to harvested products (caterpillar in Lobaye) are helping to alleviate difficulties households face accessing food.

    • Overall, prices remain high compared to the same period last year: 59 percent for sorghum, 69 percent for maize, 18 percent for cassava, and 73 percent for imported rice. Despite the improvement in imports from Cameroon since June, the speculative practices of traders, the increase in the cost of transport linked to longer travel times, illegal taxes levied by armed groups, and the degradation of the road network, continue to contribute to high prices.

    • Food assistance delivery is restricted as movement of humanitarian actors is limited and there is an increase in need following the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, between June and July, humanitarian actors were able to distribute food assistance to nearly 9,8000 people in rural and urban areas. Faced with high market prices and reduced assistance, households in relatively quieter areas are increasing their consumption of wild foods to maintain acute food insecurity Stress (IPC Phase 2). In contrast, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) persists in the eastern, northern, and northwestern prefectures where insecurity limits household access to fields and disrupts market supply.

    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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