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Crisis levels of food insecurity will continue into the coming months due to the effects of conflict

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • April 2014
Crisis levels of food insecurity will continue into the coming months due to the effects of conflict

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  • Summary
  • Situation

  • Summary
    The conflict in Central African Republic continues to severely disrupt livelihoods and has led to the internal displacement of about 600,000 people or 13 percent of the country’s total population. Despite humanitarian interventions, poor households and IDPs in areas worst affected by the conflict, including the northwest and west-central regions and Bangui (Figure 1), have limited food access and are facing food consumption gaps. For these populations, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity are expected between now and the next harvest (July to October 2014, depending on the area). Well-targeted and appropriate humanitarian assistance is required to save lives and restore livelihoods.

    Situation

    According to a recent FAO/WFP assessment, 2013 national food crop production levels fell 38 percent compared to 2012 levels, despite normal rainfall, due to civil unrest. As a result, households in areas affected by conflict exhausted their food stocks in January/February 2014, two months earlier than usual. Typical household income sources (ex. local labor, crop sales, and livestock) have also become very limited and less diversified than usual, and are not enabling households to fully meet basic food needs.

    According to a Multi-Cluster/Sector Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) conducted in January 2014, most interviewed households had switched to consuming less expensive foods and 90 percent had reduced their food intake to one meal per day. Similarly, a survey conducted by IOM in March 2014 of IDPs in Bangui found that during the two weeks prior to the survey, most of the interviewed households reported that they went more than one day without eating and sold assets in order to purchase food. Due to this situation, acute malnutrition rates will likely increase over the coming months.

    Humanitarian assistance programs continue, although they are periodically interrupted by violence and sporadic attacks. WFP assistance programs are planning to help 1.25 million people between January and August 2014, mainly through emergency food distributions. Similarly, FAO is planning assistance for 150,000 households in the form of seeds and agricultural tools. However, as of March 2014, these programs were only one-third funded.

    Despite this humanitarian assistance, poor households and IDPs in conflict zones are still unable to meet their minimal food needs and will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity during the next several months. With the start of harvests in July in the south and October in the north, the severity of the crisis will decline due to the consumption of vegetables and early harvests. However, humanitarian organizations in the field indicate that the upcoming growing season will be disrupted by difficult access to fields, due to residual insecurity, and a critical lack of agricultural inputs. If the 2014 harvest is again below-average, as it is currently expected, food security will likely deteriorate again in 2015. Well-targeted and appropriate humanitarian assistance is needed between now and the next harvests (July to October 2014, depending on the area) to assist food insecure populations in meeting their immediate food and non-food needs. Other interventions are also required to assist poor households and IDPs in restoring their livelihoods and improving their resilience to future shocks. 

    Figures Figure 1. Areas of civil insecurity in CAR with refugee and IDP flows since December 2013

    Figure 1

    Figure 1. Areas of civil insecurity in CAR with refugee and IDP flows since December 2013

    Source: OCHA

    Figure 3

    Source:

    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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