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Ongoing security problems keep a slowly growing population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3)

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • December 2016
Ongoing security problems keep a slowly growing population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3)

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through May 2017
  • Key Messages
    • According to estimates by the UNOCHA as of October 31, 2016, escalating security problems have slightly increased the size of the displaced population by nine percent, to 420,681 people. Persistent security threats are preventing the start up of normal seasonal economic activities and the redeployment of government  personnel. Most affected households will remain dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic food consumption needs.

    • In spite of this year’s generally good rainfall conditions, crop production is expected to decline for the fourth consecutive years as a result of the security problems limiting farming activities. The current Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes faced by displaced populations, returnees, poor resident populations, and host households will continue through at least May 2017 due to the continuing civil conflict, which is curtailing food access in impacted areas in the northwestern, southwestern, southeastern, and central reaches of the country (Ouham, Ouham Pende, Nana Gribizi, and Vakaga). 

    • These production shortfalls will deplete the food stocks of poor resident households sooner than usual and they will have unusually little purchasing power. As a result, the upcoming lean season will begin one to two months earlier than usual, or by March, and will last longer than usual, with the risk of creating a shortage of seeds for the next growing season.







    • Deterioration in the security situation, increasing the number of displaced persons
    • Less crop and food production due to the conflict curtailing access to cropland
    • Lower than average incomes from most sources
    • Disruption of traditional trade networks
    • Atypical decline in food stocks in spite of ongoing harvests
    • Confinement of livestock to localized areas by the continuing conflict
    • Restriction of humanitarian operations by security problems
    • Ongoing civil conflict and continued large-scale population displacements
    • Low local demand and poor food access due to weak purchasing power
    • Continued poorer than average income levels
    • Continued below-average flow of cereals
    • Downsizing of areas planted in off-season (market garden) crops and decline in irrigated crop production for 2016/2017; Below-average wage income from farm labor
    • Continuing contraints on humanitarian programs from civil security problems

    IDPs, returnees, and host households in  northwestern, central, southwestern, and southeastern areas

    • Presence of new IDPs
    • Loss of livelihoods and consumer purchasing power
    • Sharp decline in food availability and food access
    • Tightening market supplies in conflict areas
    • Poor food consumption


    Projected Outlook through May 2017

    In spite of the installation of a legitimate government in March 2016, acts of violence and civil security threats by different opposition groups continue to trigger population displacements, particularly in northwestern, southwestern, southeastern, and north-central areas of the country (Ouham, Ouham Pende, Nana Gribizi, and Vakaga) (Figure 1). According to estimates by the UNOCHA as of October 31, 2016, there were 420,681 displaced persons in different parts of the country, including more than 45,434 IDPs in Bangui, which is a nine percent increase over the figure for September 2016. The Overview of Humanitarian Needs for 2017 pubilshed by the UNOCHA attributes this to the new upsurge in violence fueled by the activities of armed criminal gangs and the lack of social relations between different tribes or ethnic groups. Most displaced persons are reliant on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs.

    These security problems have also translated into below-average 2016/17 harvests compared with the pre-crisis period in spite of normal rainfall conditions, with the growing season generally disrupted by population displacements and the limited access to cropland and farm inputs. The combined effects of the below-average levels of production compared with the pre-crisis period and the limited ability of households to purchase food supplies on local markets due to their atypically weak purchasing power will cause poor resident households to deplete their food stocks sooner than usual. As a result, the 2017 lean season is expected to begin one to two months prematurely, or by March, and to last longer than usual. The poor security situation will also limit income-earning opportunities (such as trading in crops and forest and animal products) and income from farm labor for poor households in rural areas. In addition, the start of the next growing season could be marred by poor access to cropland and a limited supply of seeds, which could affect harvests for 2017/18.

    Continuing security issues are limiting the access of humanitarian organizations to affected areas, and the government and its parstners are having difficulty effectively meeting the needs of vulnerable households. The Overview of Humanitarian Needs published by the UNOCHA attributes the problem to a lack of security on major arteries, logistics issues, the malfunctioning of basic social structures, and a shortage of funding. This could lead to the temporary suspension of the humanitarian operations of certain partners in the wake of the 73 attacks on relief workers in the first nine months of 2016, resulting in two fatalities.

    The food stocks of displaced populations, poor resident households, and host households in Bangui and northwestern, southwestern, southeastern, and central areas of the country are well below-average and their purchasing power is atypically weak as as result of the ongoing conflict. Thus, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of acute food insecurity are expected through at least May 2017, including food consumption gaps.  


    Figures Figure 1. Areas affected by security issues since September 2016

    Figure 1

    Figure 1. Areas affected by security issues since September 2016

    Source: UNOCHA Central African Republic Humanitarian Bulletin No 17

    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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