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The conflict precludes any improvement in food security, even with ongoing harvests

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • October 2017
The conflict precludes any improvement in food security, even with ongoing harvests

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  • Key Messages
  • PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH MAY 2018
  • Key Messages
    • The security crisis continues, with numerous reports of crimes and armed incursions, particularly in villages in the northwestern and southeastern parts of the country, triggering new displacements bringing the number of internally displaced persons to 600,250 according to estimates by the UNOCHA as of September 30, 2017.

    • In spite of the ongoing harvests, there is still poorer than average food availability and disruptions in market access and livelihoods across the country. This is driving up the prices of food products and weakening household purchasing power. It is also heightening WASH-related needs (water-sanitation-hygiene) and needs for shelters, protection, and education for poor households.

    • Ongoing conflicts continue to affect food security outcomes in the northwestern, southeastern, and central part of the country (Ouham Pende, Nana Mambéré, Basse Kotto, Mbomou, Haut Mbomou, and Haute Kotto). Most poor households in these areas with poor crop and animal production prospects and limited access to humanitarian assistance will remain in the Crisis (IPC Phase 3) stage of acute food insecurity through at least May of 2018.

    AREA

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    National

     

     

    • Rises in the prices of imported foods and livestock
    • Lower incomes from most sources
    • Disruption of traditional trade channels
    • Atypically low food stocks in spite of ongoing harvests
    • Confinement of livestock to localized areas by the ongoing conflict
    • Limited access to fields and seeds and fewer employment opportunities
    • Restrictions on humanitarian operations due to security concerns
    • Continued rises in the prices of imported foods
    • Low local demand and difficulty maintaining food access with the erosion in purchasing power
    • Continued lower than average incomes
    • Smaller areas planted in off-season (market garden) crops and less irrigated crop production for 2017/2018 and income from farm labor
    • Continued constraints on humanitarian programs due to civil security problems

    Displaced populations, returnees, and host households in the northwest, center, and southwest

    • Growing numbers of DPs
    • Loss of livelihoods and purchasing power
    • Sharp decline in food availability in spite of ongoing harvests
    • Lower market supplies in conflict areas
    • Poor food consumption

     


    PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH MAY 2018

    The already volatile and precarious security situation in the Central African Republic has further deteriorated over the last few months, with clashes between armed groups, hand-to-hand fighting, the burning of villages, the looting of homes, and other such exactions. This new wave of violence is creating an extremely alarming humanitarian situation, displacing close to 600,250 people according to UNOCHA estimates as of September 30, 2017, who are deeply dependent on humanitarian assistance. The new outbreak of hostilities is also disrupting the education system, with these population movements preventing schools in many villages from reopening. National and local government officials and their international partners have been unable to stop the escalating violence or agree on an exit plan for ending the crisis. Meanwhile, the conflict continues, with the risk of aggravating food insecurity, particularly in more inaccessible areas receiving very little humanitarian assistance.

    The widespread October harvests with the average to above-average rainfall activity across the country will extend through the month of January, strengthening food availability on local markets and at the household level. However, with the ongoing conflict, residents of areas affected by the new rise in ethnic tensions have not had access to their land, resulting in below-average levels of crop production for the fourth consecutive year. The lean season is expected to begin earlier than usual, or by March instead of May, due to the low levels of food stocks and limited employment opportunities. The civil conflict is also continuing to disrupt other sources of income such as animal production, fishing activities, hunting, and harvests of wild plant products which, as a result, are generating well below-average levels of income. This is producing an atypical erosion in purchasing power and curtailing staple food access, preventing poor households from meeting their food needs.

    In spite of the tense security situation, NGOs and U.N. agencies (the WFP, FAO, etc.) and their partners are working together to assist vulnerable populations (refugees, DPs, and poor local households) within their respective service areas. However, reported acts of pillaging and attacks by armed groups are disrupting or halting humanitarian operations. It is vital to bring an end to the conflict to enable humanitarian actors to operate safely and allow households to begin the process of rebuilding their livelihoods.

    The inaccessibility and limited scale of humanitarian assistance will keep most displaced households, returnees, host families, and poor populations affected by the conflict in the northwestern, southeastern, and central part of the country (Ouham Pende, Nana Mambéré, Basse Kotto, Mbomou, Haut Mbomou, and Haute Kotto) in the Crisis (IPC Phase 3) stage of acute food insecurity through at least May of 2018. They will be faced with low food stocks, a weak purchasing power, and a larger diet of cassava leaves, tubers, and wild yams and will be essentially dependent on food assistance.

    Figures

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2

    Figure 1 : Trends in population displacements in the CAR (number of DPs between June 2016 and August 2017)

    Source: Commission Mouvement de Populations

    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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