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Even with the start of the harvest, basic commodity prices remain unaffordable for poor households in conflict zones

  • Key Message Update
  • Central African Republic
  • September 2023
Even with the start of the harvest, basic commodity prices remain unaffordable for poor households in conflict zones

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • While corn, groundnut, and manioc harvests continue in the south of the country, the first millet and rice harvests are scheduled for early October in the north. Harvests are expected to be average due to good rainfall and will enable household stocks to be replenished and reduce market dependence of the poorest households. The harvest period, which also offers opportunities for agricultural employment, will enable poor households to have cash or in-kind income to cover certain food and non-food expenses. Households living in more secure regions of the country are likely to experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes.
    • Commodity prices remain very high, particularly in the most insecure areas in the north and northeast of the country, where armed groups are disrupting markets and displacing populations. According to WFP data, the August 2023 price of cassava rose by between 98 and 138 percent in Vakaga, Lobaye, Mboumou, and Haut-Mboumou compared with the five-year average. The price of maize has also risen, fluctuating between 86 and 140 percent in Ouham Pendé, Lobaye, and Mambére. The populations of these areas are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes due to their dependence on the market for food amidst high costs of staple products. 
    • From January to September 2023, around 205 violent incidents and 384 associated deaths were reported by ACLED, representing a 12 percent increase in incidents and a 44 percent decrease in deaths compared with the same period in 2022. Violent incidents and deaths totals remain significantly lower than the maximum observed in the second half of 2021; however, the security situation remains precarious with numerous reports of violence against civilians, particularly in Haute-Kotto, Ouham-Pendé, Basse-Kotto, Haut-Mbomou, Mbomou, Ouham, and Bamingui-Bangoran.
    • The total number of displaced people fell between July and August due to the improved security situation, particularly in Ombella-M'Poko and Ouaka. According to OCHA, the total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Central African Republic was 488,866 as of August 31, 2023, compared with 514,547 last month (July 2023). However, despite this general downward trend in the number of IDPs, the increase of attacks by armed groups is maintaining a climate of insecurity in areas such as Ouham, Lobaye, and Ouaka, and has led to further population displacements, particularly in the prefectures of Haut-Mbomou and Haute-Kotto. Conflicts in neighboring states are also driving refugee movements from Sudan, Chad, and the Democratic Republic of Congo towards the Central African Republic.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Central African Republic Key Message Update September 2023: Even with the start of the harvest, basic commodity prices remain unaffordable for poor households in conflict zones, 2023.

    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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