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Humanitarian access is restricted in areas of greatest concern

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • June 2019
Humanitarian access is restricted in areas of greatest concern

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Due to the high number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and irregular access to planned humanitarian assistance, Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) is expected to persist in Haut-Mbomou, Mbomou, and Haute-Kotto until October. From October to January, the availability of the harvest in late 2019 and associated decline in food prices is expected to improve food security outcomes to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) even in the absence of food assistance.

    • Although conflict remains a driver of food insecurity in the rest of the country, access to agricultural production activities and humanitarian food assistance is relatively better. Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) is expected in IDP sites while Stressed (IPC Phase 2) is expected outside of IDP sites. In the absence of assistance, these IDP sites would deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    • Despite a delayed start of season, cumulative rainfall from April to September is forecast to be average. Given the overall improvement in the security situation and the return of some IDPs to typical agricultural livelihood activities, 2019 harvests are expected to be higher than 2018. However, total agricultural production is still expected to remain below the pre-crisis average.


    According to preliminary data from ACLED, the number of violent incidents against civilians was lower in the first six months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. However, the number of fatalities is comparable to that of 2018. For example, 34 civilians were killed in May in Ouham-Pendé. The latest update from the Commission on Population Movements counted 621,663 IDPs in March. The level of displacement has held steady at a monthly rate of 600-650, but key informants suggest that the number of returnees to their places of origin exceeds the number of newly displaced.

    The level of violence in the remainder of 2019 is expected to be similar or to decline. Conflict and insecurity persists following the implementation of the peace agreement, but it is expected that the number of newly displaced persons will be lower than the number of IDP and refugee returnees. 


    Due to erratic rainfall distribution in April, the start of seasonal agricultural activities was delayed. Planting was consequently completed late. However, most of the country received average to above-average rainfall in May and early June, apart from the southwest. This has supported normal germination and crop growth. 

    Rainfall accumulation in the remainder of the April-September rainfall season is forecast to be average and sufficient to support normal crop yields. However, delayed planting is expected to delay the availability of the green harvests by several weeks. In a normal year, these would be available in July.

    Prefectures in the south and southeast

    During the ongoing rainy season, conflict and insecurity and poor road conditions are limiting market access in the east and southeast. Low market supply in these regions has driven up staple food prices since March.

    High food prices are expected to persist until October, when the rainy season ends and main crops become available.



    As the lean season progresses through August, poor households are heavily dependent on market food purchases, humanitarian food assistance, and wild foods. Sources of income include sales of wild foods in rural areas and daily petty trade and transportation activities in urban areas. Compared to last year, ongoing road infrastructure rehabilitation programs (carried out/funded by MINUSCA and the European Union) have improved internal trade flows of food commodities, which are primarily imported from Cameroon. However, prevailing insecurity in the east and southeast – particularly in the prefectures of Basse-Kotto, Haut-Mbomou, Mbomou, and Haute-Kotto – has restricted road access and movement, which has in turn limited the market supply of food commodities, especially in rural areas. Low supply coupled with high demand has driven up the prices of staple foods such as rice, beans, and cassava, which ranged from CFA 3,000-5,000 (USD 5.15-8.58) in May in most markets. In the reference markets of Obo and Zemio, prices ranged from CFA 9,000-12,000 (USD 15.45-20.59). Although historical price data are not available, these prices are significantly above normal.

    Since mid-May, rainfall has been average to above average. In some areas, torrential rains have caused some flooding, causing damage to homes and infrastructure in Kaga-Bandoro city. Although the rainy season began late, cumulative precipitation has been generally favorable for crop growth and development. However, the delayed arrival of rain slowed the regeneration of pasture in livestock grazing areas in the north, resulting in a persistent slight deficit. As a result, transhumants have extended their stay in the south, which has led to some conflict incidents between farmers and herders. Meanwhile, field reports indicate that some IDPs have returned home to plant and development program implementers have successfully distributed seeds to farmers. Based on this and given that reduced levels of conflict have permitted more farmers to engage in agricultural activities, it is expected that 2019 crop production will be higher compared to 2018. However, total production will likely still remain below the pre-crisis average.

    Internal displacement remains widespread, with the highest concentration of displaced persons located in Upper Kotto and Bangui. According to the Commission on Population Movement, 34 percent of the IDP population lives in settlement sites and 66 percent live among host communities. According to WFP, humanitarian food aid continues to reach at least 50 percent of the IDP population in each settlement site and at least 20 percent of the IDP population living in host communities. This assistance is planned and likely through October. However, WFP reports that insecurity and restricted access is affecting consistent delivery of food assistance to IDPs in Haute-Kotto, Haut-Mbomou, and Mbomou. Assistance to IDPs in Nana-Gribizi has also declined.

    As a result of the above factors, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes remain widespread in prefectures affected by conflict. Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) exists in areas of greatest concern, including Haut-Mbomou, Mbomou, and Haute-Kotto, where limited access to humanitarian aid and limited ability to engage in typical livelihoods activities continues to sustain food consumption deficits. IDPs in areas where humanitarian food assistance delivery remains consistent are expected to be Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!). In areas where security conditions have relatively improved, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected as poor IDP and host community households are able to engage in typical agricultural production activities. These outcomes are expected to be maintained through the end of the lean season in September in the presence of planned food assistance. From October to January, the availability of the harvests and anticipated, associated decline in staple food prices is likely to lead to some improvements in food security, even in the absence of humanitarian assistance. However, as agricultural production is expected to remain below the pre-crisis average and conflict and insecurity is expected to persist, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC) outcomes are expected to persist.

    Figures Central African Republic Seasonal Calendar
Rainy season: April to October in the south and July to September in the north. S

    Figure 1

    Figure 1

    Source: FEWS NET

    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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