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Below-average food stocks and incomes limit food access

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • February 2017
Below-average food stocks and incomes limit food access

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  • Key Messages
  • PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2017
  • Key Messages
    • The ongoing conflict is continuing to trigger internal population displacements. According to OCHA, as of January 2017, there were 411,785 internally displaced persons resorting to high levels of coping, such as begging and skipping meals.  Appropriate, well-targeted emergency assistance is needed to help improve the food security situation of these households.

    • Findings from the December 2016 mVAM survey show seasonal declines in the prices of locally grown staple food crops between September and November, driven by shipments of fresh crops to major markets. However, there is no guarantee of good market integration due to the impacts to trade flows and effects of the security crisis, which are also responsible for the variability in food prices across the country. Cattle prices also reportedly increased during this same period, curtailing access to animal protein.

    • Household food access is limited by the combined effects of the below-average levels of household food stocks and incomes due to the security crisis. Food access and consumption will be even more limited at the height of the lean season between June and August, as needs continue to increase. IDPs, returnees, poor resident populations, and host households in the northwest, the southwest, the southeast, and the central reaches of the country (in Ouham, Ouham Pende, Nana Gribizi, and Vakaga) will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through at least September 2017.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    National

    • Sharp rise in the prices of imported foods and livestock to well above-average levels
    • Lower than average incomes from most sources
    • Disruption of traditional trade networks
    • Atypical decline in household food stocks in spite of the recent harvests
    • Confinement of livestock to localized areas by the continuing conflict
    • Limited access to farmland and seeds and fewer employment opportunities
    • Continuing displacements
    • Below-average cereal trade due to the security crisis and poor condition of roadways
    • Rise in food prices, fueled by the tightening of supplies as a result of the security crisis, creating problems with food access, particularly during the lean season

    IDPs, returnees, and host households in  northwestern, central, and southwestern areas of the country

    • Presence of new DPs as a result of the fighting, threats, or attacks on civilian populations in  Bria et Bambari around the middle of January 2017
    • Loss of livelihoods and consumer purchasing power
    • Well below-average food availability
    • Diminishing market supplies in conflict areas
    • Poor food consumption

     


    PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2017

    The ongoing conflict and new surge in violence since the beginning of the year are continuing to hinder social relations between different ethnic groups and humanitarian access. Three members of the U.N. peacekeeping force were murdered by unidentified men in the northwestern part of the country in January. Rival groups are still distrustful of each other.   According to the report on the joint mission by CONCERN and OCHA dated January 12, 2017, certain armed groups are fueling security problems on the main road between Kouango and Lihoto (in Ouaka prefecture) to profit from the coffee trade in that area. This is only serving to discourage IDPs from returning to their homes. OCHA has estimated the number of displaced persons in the CAR as of January 2017 at 411,785, most of whom are reliant on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs.

    Despite of the average performance of the rainy season, there will be below-average levels of rainfed and irrigated crop production for 2016‐2017 for the third consecutive year due to the security crisis, which is limiting employment opportunities for farm labor and restricting access to farmland in areas still affected by the conflict such as Ouham, Ouham Pende, Nana Gribizi, Ouaka, and Vakaga. These constraints on the means of production have sharply reduced output, resulting in the premature depletion of on-farm food stocks by March rather than May, as is normally the case. Normal income generation the sale of crops will be sharply reduced and there will be limited employment opportunities. As a result, poor households will have very little food access.

    Food supplies and income levels from other sources such as animal protein, foraging, hunting, fishing, government assistance, and petty trade are well below-average as a result of the ongoing conflict, which is limiting household livelihood activities. In addition, expenses for the purchasing of food supplies, health care, clothing, education, donations, and the purchasing of farm inputs have increased, though most households do not have the financial means to engage in these types of spending. The food access of poor households as well as DPs, returnees, and host households will be especially limited.

    The ongoing civil conflict is continuing to disrupt domestic and cross-border trade in staple foodstuffs, severely affecting shipping, market integration, and the variability of consumer prices. However, according to the findings by the mVAM survey conducted in December 2016, there were seasonal declines in the prices of locally grown staple food crops between September and November in all parts of the country with the shipments of fresh crops to local markets.  Consignments of animals on livestock markets have been well below-average due to the security problems impeding access to these markets. The resulting high prices of livestock compared with the pre-crisis period and the small numbers of households with remaining animals continue to limit the accessibility and consumption of animal protein.

    The below-average levels of crop production for the third consecutive year, the restricted access to farmland, and the market disruptions caused by the ongoing conflict will continue to hamper livelihood activities, further reducing household food and financial resources and prolonging their heavy dependence on humanitarian assistance. There will be an earlier and longer than usual lean season and, without humanitarian assistance, displaced households will have limited food access and face continuing food consumption gaps and livelihood protection deficits through at least September 2017. IDPs and poor resident households in Bangui and northwestern, southern, and central-western areas will continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of acute food insecurity.

    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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