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Uneasy lull in the security situation in early March 2015

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • March 2015
Uneasy lull in the security situation in early March 2015

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected outlook through June 2015
  • Key Messages
    • The repeated violence in January-February 2015 was followed by a de-escalation in attacks in March, though continuing fears are slowing return movements and further hampering the planned humanitarian response designed to assist displaced populations. The food security situation of IDPs is steadily deteriorating as violence disrupts household food and income sources and is resulting in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity during the month of March.

    • The lean season is beginning earlier than usual for poor food-deficit households which, together with displaced households, have increased the total number of people facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity in March 2015. With the gradual depletion of their food stocks, growing numbers of households will be facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or higher food security outcomes over the coming months.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    National

    • New outbreak of civil insecurity
    • Growing numbers of displaced persons and host households
    • Below-average household food stocks
    • Decline in purchasing power and limited food access
    • Growing numbers of people dependent on market purchases
    • Closure of the border with Chad
    • Below-average cereal trade flows
    • Premature depletion of household food stocks and earlier than usual start of the lean season
    • Continued isolation of conflict areas, impacting food-related commercial activities
    • Continued below-average cereal trade flows
    • Growing numbers of people dependent on humanitarian assistance
    • Limited dietary diversity (cassava leaves, tubers, and wild yams)
    • Nutritional insecurity, particularly for children

    Displaced populations in Ouham, Ouham Pendé, Kémo, Ombolla M’Poko, Ouaka, and Nana Mambere

    • Growing fears and trade restrictions
    • Heightened dependence on humanitarian assistance, which has been hampered by ongoing attacks
    • Continuation of current anomalies

     


    Projected outlook through June 2015

    There has been no major improvement in the security situation despite the reported lull in violence in early March 2015. The steady flow of returnees up until the end of 2014 has slowed significantly since the beginning of this year with the new outbreak of ethnic violence. Internally displaced households are still living in camps or, in most cases, with host households. IDPs remain dependent on humanitarian assistance, which may not suffice to meet needs in rural areas where no international troops have been deployed. These households, concentrated mainly in northern, northwestern, and southwestern prefectures, could continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or higher levels of food insecurity through June 2015.

    As of March 2015, poor households across the country have depleted their food stocks due in part to a poor agricultural season last year. Consequently, markets are currently getting their food supplies from traders. According to the findings of the crop and food security assessment conducted by the FAO and WFP in September/October 2014, low demand has kept cereal prices close to or below-average. This joint food security assessment attribute the low demand, mainly from nondisplaced households, to a preference for less expensive local foodstuffs (cassava, wild plant foods, etc.). In addition, demand is growing steadily weaker with the decline in household purchasing power and a reduced number of people in certain villages as security threats increase population movements.

    The continuing ethnic violence, particularly in remote rural areas, could reduce the land area planted in crops during the upcoming agricultural season (March/April to September) and limit demand for farm labor, which serves as a source of income for poor households. This violence could also disrupt income-generating activities such as the sale of fish, wild game, and wild plant products, except in areas where the presence of multinational troops has improved security conditions. Currently, incomes from these sources are not generating enough cash to cover food purchases.

    The depletion of household food stocks and the impact of the ethnic violence on household incomes are preventing poor resident households from getting enough food to meet their basic needs. Moreover, the findings from rapid assessments conducted by Action Against Hunger (ACF) and Solidarités International in IDP camps in certain villages in Ouham prefecture show a high percentage of households with « poor » food consumption scores and/or consuming just one meal a day. Thus, poor households, mainly in the North and Northwest, and displaced populations are in need of emergency assistance to prevent them from resorting to distress strategies by June 2015 and to avoid a further escalation of the Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity currently observed in March 2015 to even worse outcomes over the coming months for a minority population of local residents and IDPs. By late September, however, food security outcomes could improve with the end of the lean season and the start of the upcoming harvests.

    Figures Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar for 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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