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Early depletion of food stocks causes poor households to access markets earlier than usual

  • Key Message Update
  • Central African Republic
  • May 2021
Early depletion of food stocks causes poor households to access markets earlier than usual

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Household food stocks are lower than normal due to the below-average harvest as conflicts, floods, fires and bushfires have resulted in crop losses and disrupted the farming season. Poor households, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities, victims of abuses by armed groups and those who have mostly lost their main sources of income and food, have limited access to adequate food and are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes of food insecurity.

    • The current 2021 agricultural cycle is marked by a rainfall deficit at the beginning of April, which mostly subsided in May with the exception of a few areas. Corn, peanuts and squash crops are mainly in the emergence to flowering stage. During the current agricultural season, the amount of area sown will be reduced compared to last year due to the unavailability of seeds both in quantity and quality. Sown land will also be reduced because of the difficult access to fields in certain areas where armed groups have been present, particularly in the North and the North-East, which ultimately limits movement for these populations.  

    • Most of the country's markets have an average level of supply, however, the market availability of basic food products is relatively low in areas such as Bambari, Obo, Berberati, Bossangoa, Bouar, Bria, Bangassou, Mbomou and Nana Gribizi where access is difficult because of impassable roads or civil insecurity. In general during this lean period, above-average demand comes from households affected by the socio-political crisis relying on minimal residual stocks. The resumption of control of certain areas and roads by government forces has made it possible to ensure an overall average level of internal and external market flows (via Cameroon and DRC), however, the border with Chad still remains closed. 

    • The prices of local agricultural products (cassava, maize, local rice, red sorghum, and peanuts) are slightly above-average compared to last year at the same time because of Ramadan. Prices of imported food products (rice, white beans, refined oil, wheat flour, fish, etc.) are also above-average in markets throughout the country. 

    • According to OCHA, as of April 30, approximately 729,005 people were internally displaced in CAR, of which 73 percent are in host communities and 27 percent in IDP sites. The overall trend indicates a decrease with around 9,000 fewer displaced persons in April as compared to March. The gradual takeover by government troops of towns that were occupied by armed groups has led to a gradual return of the population to some areas, mostly within the same sub-prefectures.  

    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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