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Conflict and rising prices worsen food insecurity as lean season approaches

  • Key Message Update
  • Central African Republic
  • March 2024
Conflict and rising prices worsen food insecurity as lean season approaches

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Field preparation activities are continuing in the central and southern regions of the country, pending the first significant rains, which will allow for an effective start to the sowing of food crops in April, including maize, peanuts, beans, squash, and sweet potatoes. In the north, millet, sorghum, and rice planting is anticipated to start in June. During the previous agricultural season, many households living in the most insecure areas planted few to no crops due to the lack of safe access to their fields. Conflict remains most intense in Haute-Kotto, Haute-Mboumou, Vakaga, and Ouham-Pende. Households in these areas are facing an early onset of the lean season due to the rapid depletion of family stocks and are already resorting to negative coping strategies such as reducing portion sizes and the number of their daily meals, likely facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes
    • The rapid depletion of household food stocks has increased demand for food at markets amid seasonally declining supplies. Food prices, already very high in conflict zones due to reduced supplies and high transportation costs, have continued to rise. By contrast, the supply of imported products (rice and vegetable oil) is relatively stable in secure areas. However, supply remains low in prefectures with active armed rebel groups, such as Obo and Bria. Periodic fuel shortages have exacerbated the situation.
    • Conflict continues to be the main driver of acute food insecurity in CAR, with internally displaced people and refugees facing the greatest levels of acute food insecurity. According to OCHA, one Central African in five is internally displaced or living abroad. In its latest report, the Population Displacement Commission recorded 522,231 internally displaced people as of January 31, 2024. New population displacements due to violence by armed groups continue to be recorded in certain areas, notably in the prefectures of Haute-Kotto, Ouham Pendé, and Ouaka. However, spontaneous returns of IDPs to their localities of origin have also been recorded in these areas (notably in the prefectures of Haute-Kotto and Nana-Gribizi). These returns are a sign of localized improvements in security and in the sociopolitical situation

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Central African Republic Key Message Update March 2024: Conflict and rising prices worsen food insecurity as lean season approaches, 2024.

    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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