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Staple food prices remain high during the main harvesting period

  • Key Message Update
  • Central African Republic
  • November 2019
Staple food prices remain high during the main harvesting period

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In November, intermittent conflict, low agricultural production, and high staple food prices continue to limit food access and lead to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in prefectures in the east and northeast. Clashes between armed groups in October – in Amdafok of Vakaga and in Bambouti of Haut-Mbomou – have led to the displacement of populations near Bria. These events have led to an increase in humanitarian food assistance needs for displaced populations sheltering in Haute-Kotto and Haut-Mbomou, where internally displaced persons (IDPs) already account for 106 percent and 69 percent of previous prefecture-level population estimates, respectively. Access to humanitarian food assistance remains low in Haute-Kotto, Basse-Kotto, Mbomou, and Haute-Mbomou. However, access to food assistance reached 12,665 people located in IDP sites and host communities in October in Vakaga, which is equivalent to 19 percent of the estimated population in Vakaga.

    • After above-average rainfall led to flooding along the Oubangui and Ouaka rivers in October, rainfall has generally returned to normal, minimal levels in November. However, at least 57,000 people in flood-affected localities are currently dependent on humanitarian food assistance and market food purchases given that the floods damaged crops in the fields and spoiled household food stocks. Food assistance – consisting of a 20-day ration and energy biscuits – has reached 4,629 and 1,175 flood-affected people in the prefectures of Bangui and Lobaye, respectively.  

    • In other parts of the country, the end of the rainy season is generally facilitating drying and storage of the main harvest, which is beginning to improve food availability at the household level. Market supply of staple foods is also improving, but the price of staple foods remains high due to the transportation and marketing costs imposed by illicit taxes, damage to road infrastructure, and ambushes by armed groups. In November, the price of a bowl of maize or cassava ranged from 25 to 50 percent above the November 2018 average across key urban reference markets.

    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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