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Recent harvests are starting to improve the food security situation

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • October 2013
Recent harvests are starting to improve the food security situation

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook Through March 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Harvests in the southern and western parts of the country have improved the food security situation in these areas compared to conditions at the height of the lean season in August. Households in these areas are able to meet their food needs and will experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity through March 2014.

    • Security conditions in the northern and central regions of the country continue to limit access to normal income-generating activities, as well as local households’ access to their fields, thereby disrupting farming activities. As a result, food access is still limited and local households will continue to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through March of next year.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    Mambéré-Kadeï, Lobaye, Ombella, Ouham, Kaga Bandoro, and Sibut

    Below-average harvests

    Below-average food stocks will cause households to be more dependent than usual on market purchases.


    Projected Outlook Through March 2014

    The Central African Republic has been in the throes of a politico-military crisis since December 2012, with armed groups continuing to roam the country. The unstable situation is continuing to trigger regular population displacements. According to the UNHCR, there are approximately 400,000 internally displaced persons within the country, including 37,000 in the city of Bossangoa who were displaced during the past two months by violence in neighboring areas.

    There are ongoing reports of security incidents, both in Bangui and across the country, with humanitarian organizations becoming increasingly the target of looting and attacks by armed groups. This is significantly limiting the delivery of assistance to at-risk populations (refugees and IDPs). Despite these unstable security conditions, NGOs (ex. Action Against Hunger (ACF), Doctors Without Borders, Mercy Corps, COOPI, and the Red Cross), U.N. agencies, and their partners are coordinating their efforts to assist at-risk groups within their respective service areas. For example, the World Food Program (WFP) reported that they distributed 715 metric tons of food supplies to 55,126 recipients throughout the country during August 2013.

    Harvests in the north are getting off to a slow start and are expected to be below-average. Despite relatively normal rainfall, satellite imagery shows low levels of vegetation between July and September, particularly in Lobaye, Mambéré-Kadeï, Lobaye, Ombella, Ouham, Kaga Bandoro, and Sibut (Figures 2 and 3). This satellite data would appear to corroboratepreliminary ground reports of a significant reduction in cultivated land area due to the late start-of-season and the effects of the ongoing conflict on the availability of seeds and farming implements, as well as on access to local fields. More recently, a number of farmers were forced to abandon their fields due to violence in late August and early September. For poor households who depend on agricultural labor as a key income source, the disruptions to agricultural activities have caused a decline in income levels.

    In general, the food security situation is showing a slight improvement over conditions at the height of the lean season in August with the start of cowpea and maize harvests and the large availability of tuber crops, particularly cassava, in certain areas. Access to staple foods vary depending on the region and socioeconomic group in question, and is better in the south than in the north. Households residing in the south, the west, and parts of the east are currently consuming food from their own crop production and are expected to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity through March 2014.

    In the northern and central regions of the country that were hard hit by the combined effects of the politico-military crisis and the disruptions in the growing season, access to staple foods continues to be a source of concern despite the start of harvesting activities. Food availability for both households and traders is poor compared with seasonal norms. Moreover, the security situation is limiting access to normal sources of household income, as well as access to local fields which is interfering with the start-up of market gardening activities. As a result, poor households in these areas will reduce their expenditures relating to essential nonfood items and will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through March 2014.

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Cumulative rainfall estimate (RFE) for Batangafo, Ouham

    Figure 2

    Cumulative rainfall estimate (RFE) for Batangafo, Ouham

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    eMODIS normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for Batangafo, Ouham

    Figure 3

    eMODIS normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for Batangafo, Ouham

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 4

    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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