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Rising food prices at the start of the lean season

  • Key Message Update
  • Central African Republic
  • March 2019
Rising food prices at the start of the lean season

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In areas of high IDP presence and in inaccessible areas, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes persist. However, WFP and its partners continue to distribute food rations of 20 days or less, reaching between 23 and 39 percent of the IDP population at sites in Nana-Gribizi, Haut-Mbomou, and Basse-Kotto in February. According to preliminary data from ACLED, the number of civilian fatalities recorded in the first quarter of 2019 is 80, compared to 196 in the same period last year. The peace agreement and continuation of dialogue for the implementation of an inclusive government could promote relative improvements in security.

    • In other parts of the country, household food stocks are becoming depleted, leading to an early onset of the lean season in the north. Many households are Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Those with access to arable land are beginning to prepare their land for agricultural production in 2019, which is expected to more than 2018. The rainy season, which is expected to be above average, should support production but could also cause further deterioration of the road network and impact market supply. Access to food is expected to deteriorate until the end of the lean season in June and harvests in July. 

    • While households are starting to rely on markets to access food, the flow of commodities from Cameroon to Bangui is often blocked by rebels, such as the recent blockage lasting more than 10 days in Nzokombo commune this month. The cost of losses and illegal fees paid to the rebels for escorts are passed on to the final market price in Bangui and onward to markets in the central and northern areas. In addition, the border closure with Chad limits trade. Food prices in Bangui markets have risen moderately to significantly in March compared to the same period last year: 20 percent for palm oil and 40 to 50 percent for yellow maize, rice, and cassava.

    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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