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Continued return migration by certain displaced households

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • July 2015
Continued return migration by certain displaced households

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through December 2015
  • Key Messages
    • The conflict in the Central African Republic continues, though its intensity has diminished with the increased presence of national and international peace-keeping forces and local conflict resolution initiatives designed to promote social accord. This is reflected in the gradual return of displaced persons to their villages and towns of origin.

    • However, the observed continuing conflict is reportedly leading to new population movements in mixed farming and pastoral areas driven by problems with access to natural resources and livestock thefts.

    • The results of rapid assessments of the livelihoods and food consumption of IDPs or returnees by certain NGOs are concerning. There will continue to be Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of acute food insecurity through December 2015, particularly in prefectures in the central and western reaches of the country.

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    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    National

    • Displacement of numerous populations from conflict areas under attack by armed groups
    • Growing food consumption needs with the presence of IDPs in host households
    • Closure of the border with Chad
    • Below-average volume of cereal trade
    • Continuation of the conflict
    • Continuing population displacements
    • A growing season marred by a decrease in area planted, resulting in below-average food production
    • A continued below-average volume of cereal trade

    Displaced populations, returnees, and host households in central, western, and southeastern areas of the country

    • Presence of new IDPs in host households and settlement sites
    • Market disruptions
    • Sharp contraction in income-generating activities
    • Perpetuation of current anomalies

    Projected Outlook through December 2015

    The security incidents engendered by the ongoing conflict and population displacements have decreased to some extent since June 2015, giving rise to a steady flow of return migration by displaced populations. According to a June 2015 report by the Commission on Population Movements (CMP), some of these returns are spontaneous, prompted by reported improvements in security conditions in the home areas of these IDPs, while others were triggered by the closure of IDP camps such as those in Bangui. There were an estimated 368,859 displaced persons as of June 2015, compared with 399,268 in May 2015. However, there were reports of new population movements and the opening of new camps in Ouham, Nana Gribizi, and Ouaka prefectures in July 2015. Sixty-two percent of IDPs are living with host families and 38 percent are housed in camps and settlement sites. The proportion of IDPs living with host families is larger in the south than in central and northwestern areas of the country, where most are being housed in camps.

    The growing season in the Central African Republic continues. According to the FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS), those crops already planted are benefiting from favorable weather conditions. However, with the delay in the start-of-season in April, crop planting activities for maize extended into June, though these crops are normally harvested in July in the main maize-producing areas in the central and southern reaches of the country. There were similar delays in the planting of millet and sorghum crops, which were still in the sowing or vegetative stage in June 2015 in northern prefectures, though they are normally harvested in August. The persistent security problems are also impeding the progress of the growing season, reducing the size of cropped areas as fields of crops are abandoned by displaced populations. Most of the assistance furnished to farmers has been in the form of seeds and farm implements. According to the findings by the joint post-distribution mission by the FAO, the WFP, the government of the Central African Republic, UNOCHA, and partner NGOs monitoring the progress of the growing season around the country, 100,000 of the 150,000 target households had effectively received food production kits, which is 60 percent coverage.

    Market intelligence shows a steady tightening of cereal supplies on local markets. For example, data disseminated by the market information system operated by the French Red Cross and Central African Red Cross shows a sharp drop in cereal supplies in general and supplies of locally grown rice, maize, and imported rice in particular on tracked markets in Berberati sub-prefecture in Mambéré Kadéi prefecture, though there is still a large availability of cassava. The unavailability of locally grown rice is due to poor local production, while the drop in rice imports from Cameroon could be attributable to security problems. According to the market information system bulletin published by the Red Cross, cereal prices are rising, but cassava prices are falling with the good production of this crop due, mainly, to the growing numbers of crop farmers with the shut-down or slowdown in mining activities. Prices for cattle, sheep, and goats are high, fueled by the drop in supplies on local markets and slowdown in imports from Cameroon. The drop in consignments of animals is a result of the ongoing conflict and associated problems with looting, which have sharply reduced the size of livestock herds. According to the results of the rapid participatory assessment of pastoral conditions in livestock-raising areas of Nana Mambéré prefecture by CRS (Catholic Relief Services), the average number of head of cattle per pastoralist went from 100 head prior to the security crisis down to 30 to 50 head in the case of those pastoralists who still have any remaining livestock. Markets in conflict areas are getting fewer if any shipments of animals with pastoralists fleeing to more secure areas, generally along the border.

    Findings by other more rapid and more localized assessments of the situation in IDP camps and of returnees in certain prefectures show most displaced households with poor food consumption scores. According to the rapid assessment of the situation of returnees in Ndjoukou sub-prefecture in Kemo prefecture by ACF (Action Against Hunger) in July 2015, 97 percent of households had less than a week’s worth of food stocks and a poor or worse food consumption score. Yet another rapid assessment of the situation of displaced populations in Kouanga sub-prefecture in Ouaka prefecture by ACTED (the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development) in June 2015 showed 100 percent of these households dependent on market purchase for food supplies for household consumption and with poor or worse food consumption scores.

    With the combined effects of the food deficits in past years and shortfall in last year’s crop production, as well as the projected production shortfall for this year due to the smaller cropped areas, a large percentage of displaced households and their host families will continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity. Moreover, a small group of IDPs/returnees could be facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) if civil security problems continue to obstruct the delivery of humanitarian assistance between now and December 2015. According to the results of the food security analysis conducted by the IPC Technical Committee in the Central African Republic in April 2015, the main areas of concern are Ouham, Nana Gribizi, Haute Kotto, Ouham Pende, Mambéré Kadéi, and Ouaka prefectures and Mbrés, Bambari Bambouti, Obo, Zémo, Rafai, Abba, and Boda sub-prefectures, which is consistent with FEWS NET’s understanding of the situation.

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2

    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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