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Security conditions limit access to normal income sources and restrict market gardening activities

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • October 2016
Security conditions limit access to normal income sources and restrict market gardening activities

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook Through May 2017
  • Key Messages
    • With the escalating ethnic tensions in conflict areas, displaced households, host households, returnees, and poor resident households all have limited access to croplands and livelihoods. They are no longer able to meet their basic needs and are dependent on humanitarian assistance. OCHA’s latest estimates show a stabilization in the number of displaced people with a total of 384,884 on September 30th (Figure 1).

    • The ongoing civil conflict is continuing to disrupt traditional trade channels, resulting in below-average trade flows and rising prices for staple foodstuffs in urban areas, even during the harvest season. In addition, income levels from crop and livestock sales and wage labor are generally below-average. This is weakening the purchasing of poor households and restricting their food access. 

    • Even with the widespread harvests and the end of the lean season in October, the food security situation is a continuing source of concern because food availability will not be able to offset the food gaps of poor resident households in insecure conflict areas, displaced households, and host families. These households will be unable to meet their food needs and, thus, be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through at least May 2017.







    • Price increases of imported foods and livestock
    • Below-average incomes from most sources
    • Disruption of traditional trade channels
    • Atypical reduction in food stocks in spite of the harvest
    • Confinement of animals in localized areas due to the continuing conflict
    • Limited access to croplands and seeds and fewer employment opportunities
    • Restricted humanitarian operations due to security problems
    • Steady rise in the prices of imported foods
    • Low local demand and poor food access due to weak purchasing power
    • Continuing poorer than average sources of income
    • Smaller areas planted for off-season (market garden) crops and reduction in irrigated crop production for 2016/2017 and in wage income
    • Continued constraints on humanitarian programs due to civil security problems

    IDPs, returnees, and host households in  northwestern, central, and southwestern areas

    • Presence of new IDPs
    • Loss of livelihoods and consumer purchasing power
    • Sharp decline in food availability
    • Poorer market supplies in conflict areas
    • Poor food consumption


    Projected Outlook Through May 2017

    Climatic conditions in general and rainfall conditions in particular have been good for crops. Harvests are currently in progress or already completed. However, based on the conclusions of the IPC analysis conducted in August 2016, the security situation in northwestern, central, and southwestern areas of the country is a continuing source of concern with the new wave of armed attacks in these areas. This ongoing conflict is continuing to limit access to croplands and trigger population movements and the abandonment of farms, reducing crop production in these areas for the fourth consecutive year. The combined effects of these repeated shortfalls in food availability and market disruptions are putting poor resident households and displaced populations in a worrisome situation in terms of food access and food consumption. Food insecurity levels in certain areas (such as Vakaga Prefecture) could further escalate due to their remoteness, the extremely low level of humanitarian assistance, and the large presence of returnees from South Sudan.

    Market garden production could be threatened by the presence of armed groups, which are restricting access to croplands in prefectures with ongoing conflicts such as Ouham, Ouham Pende, Nana Gribizi, Ouaka, and Vakaga. Other constraints on market garden production include a lack of seeds, the temporary displacement of local populations during the planting season, and the destruction and looting of storehouses and work tools. Thus, there is likely to be less off-season crop production, resulting in fewer crop sales and employment opportunities for farm labor. Household food reserves in the worst-off areas are also expected to be depleted earlier than usual, or by March instead of May, as is generally the norm.

    As far as pastoral conditions are concerned, armed groups continue to block and control migration corridors for transhumant livestock. There are frequent reports of animal thefts in Ouham, Ouham Pende, Nana-Mambere, Nana-Gribizi, and Ouaka prefectures. The result is an overall reduction in income from animal production. 

    In spite of this year’s good pattern of rainfall and the rising levels of major waterways, the major disruptions in fishing activities from ongoing security problems are generating below-average income levels, particularly in Haut-Mbomou, Mbomou, and Haute-Kotto prefectures. The civil conflict is also disrupting other income-generating activities such as hunting and the collecting of wild foods, which are also producing well-below-average incomes. This overall reduction in income is continuing to abnormally weaken the purchasing power of poor households and limit their food access.

    The persistent civil security problems are also restricting the market access of producers looking to sell their goods. Trade channels are still disrupted and transportation costs remain high. According to the results of the IPC analysis conducted in August 2016, prices for staple foods such as cassava, rice, and sesame are reportedly on the rise, particularly in markets in urban areas across the country.   

    In spite of the widespread October harvests, displaced populations, returnees, host households, and poor households are still in a food Crisis (IPC Phase 3), with extremely limited access to livelihoods. This will continue to be the case at least through the end of May 2017 in conflict-affected areas of northwestern, southeastern, and north-central parts of the country (Ouham, Ouham Pende, Nana Gribizi, and Vakaga) due to the below-average levels of food stocks, the continued disruption of trade, and the decline of most food and income sources. There will continue to be very little dietary diversity (with diets limited to cassava leaves, tubers, and wild yams) and persistent food consumption gaps.  

    Figures Figure 1: Trends in internal displacements in CAR (number of IDPs between August 2015 and September 2016)

    Figure 1

    Figure 1: Trends in internal displacements in CAR (number of IDPs between August 2015 and September 2016)

    Source: Commission on Population Movements

    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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