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Livelihoods continue to be disrupted in conflict areas

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • June 2021
Livelihoods continue to be disrupted in conflict areas

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  • Key Messages
  • PROJECTED OUTLOOK TO JANUARY 2022
  • Key Messages
    • The security situation in the country is still precarious, particularly in the north, southeast and northeast. The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) remains high despite some returning during a relative lull. Their severely disrupted livelihoods have caused them to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity. The next few months (July to August) will be the peak of the lean season, making access to food and income even more difficult.

    • Supply to most markets in the country is at an average level. However, the supply of imported food is below its pre-crisis level in December 2020. The number of weekly convoys supplying the Central African Republic (CAR) through the Cameroon-Bangui corridor has dropped by nearly 60 percent.

    • Overall, prices for local commodities (maize and cassava) in June are generally stable compared to last month. Compared to last year, these prices are generally up; however, they are down in Bangui, Kaga-Bandoro, Obo, Paoua, and Bambari. These lower prices are the result of the relatively good availability of products in these markets.

     

    AREACURRENT ANOMALIESPROJECTED ANOMALIES
    NationalAs of June 15, 2021, 7,101 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded, including 98 deaths. Vaccinations have been underway since mid-May and have reached 78,137 people as of June 23, 2021, according to Our World in Data. COVID-19 restrictions continue to have a negative impact on household food security in Bangui. Small-scale trade and transportation in particular are affected by these measures because of the increase in the cost of transportation and food products.

    In the coming months, civil insecurity will continue to be a limiting factor for food security, particularly in conflict areas where disruption of markets and livelihoods will limit local populations’ access to food and income. However, the lull that is already perceptible in the Bangui region, in the prefectures of Kémo, Lobaye, Sangha Mbaere, and parts of the Ouaka and Mambéré-Kadéï prefectures, will continue and will promote a greater return of IDPs.

     

    The security situation limits access to crop fields and markets, which limits household food access and forces poor and internally displaced households to rely on foraged products for food such as smoked caterpillars, wild yams, and wild potatoes.

    Food security conditions in some prefectures, notably Bamingui-Bangoran, Mbomou, Haut-Mbomou, Basse-Kotto, Ouham-Pendé, Vakaga, and Nana-Grébizi, will continue to deteriorate because of inaccessibility due to road conditions and civil insecurity. See Figure 2 for the geographic distribution of IDPs.

     

    Internal trade flows are lower than normal due to disruptions related to rebel activity, thereby limiting access to supply areas. Initial recovery of external flows is observed in the Bangui-Douala corridor, but they have not returned to their normal level for a typical year. 

    A suspension of budgetary aid from France to CAR was announced, which could result in difficulties for the future of the Central African economy. Yet it is unclear whether the CAR government will make up for the loss of funds with other plans. 
     With the return of the rainy season, marking the end of the transhumance period, the movement of Chadian and Sudanese herders toward their countries of origin is underway. While certain crops are being planted, the return of animals to those areas is a source of various conflicts between farmers and herders. The most recent conflict in the northeast resulted in over 14 deaths and extensive property damage and, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), caused 2,441 people to be internally displaced in Bangbali.  

    PROJECTED OUTLOOK TO JANUARY 2022

    The growing season is proceeding normally thanks to regular and normal rainfall. The large-scale farming operations underway are focusing on crop production from maize and peanut fields. However, fresh maize and fresh peanuts have already appeared in some markets in the forest livelihood zones, particularly in the prefectures of Lobaye, Kémo, and Basse-Kotto. Harvests are expected to be higher than last year due to the current good rainy season, as well as an increase in the area planted as a result of the return of displaced persons who have been able to develop their land. The first maize and peanut harvests are expected in late July. 

    Prices of local food products (including maize, cassava, and sorghum), which are higher than last year (see Figure 1), will hold until August before a seasonal decline starting in September. However, the prices of imported products, such as rice, will rise steadily because of higher transportation costs and previous global increases in prices from the disruption of trade channels caused by COVID-19.

    Favorable agricultural production outlooks will facilitate a stable rebuilding of household food stocks and guarantee good access to food for households starting in August. However, for poor households (IDPs and host communities) whose food and income sources are diminished, the current situation of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity will continue through September. Additionally, some areas are likely to experience difficulties in obtaining basic foodstuffs in the coming months, not only because of civil insecurity, but also because of their inaccessibility. These areas include Bouar, Boda, Bossangoa, Ngaoundaï, Bangassou, Boali, Bossembélé, and Bimbo.

    Figures CALENDRIER SAISONNIER POUR UNE ANNÉE TYPIQUE

    Figure 1

    CALENDRIER SAISONNIER POUR UNE ANNÉE TYPIQUE

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. Maize price trends in 2020 and 2021 in the Bambari market

    Figure 2

    Figure 1.

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2. Distribution of IDPs in camps

    Figure 3

    Figure 2.

    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

    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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