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Below-average production levels expected on account of the civil conflict

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • September 2014
Below-average production levels expected on account of the civil conflict

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected outlook through December 2014
  • Key Messages
    • The persistent civil security problems in the Central African Republic are continuing to disrupt normal livelihood strategies and humanitarian access. According to estimates by the Commission on Population Movements (CMP) as of early September, there were still close to 487,636 displaced persons, including 65,568 in Bangui alone.

    • The current Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of acute food insecurity in areas hardest hit by the conflict (i.e. Ouham, Ouham Pende, Nana Mambere, and Ouaka) will continue through December, fueled by below-average harvests, limited income sources, poor food access, and reduced food consumption.

    • Food security conditions in areas less impacted by the conflict (Sangha and lower Kotto) began to gradually improve in September with the ongoing harvests in these areas. However, their below-average incomes and weak purchasing power will keep most households in Stress (IPC Phase 2) between October and December, with reduced but minimally adequate food consumption.

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    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    National

     

     

     

     

    • Below-average incomes from most sources.
    • In general, lower incomes will continue to limit food purchases by households dependent on local markets.
    • Smaller cropped areas and below-average crop production for 2014/2015, as well as below-average incomes from farm labor between August and September.
    • Below-normal household food reserves and stronger than usual dependence on market purchases.
    • Continued internal population displacement, driven by ongoing security problems.
    • Continuing dependence of displaced households on humanitarian assistance due to restrictions on their mobility and normal livelihood strategies.
    • Smaller market supply of livestock with the departure of pastoralists for other countries.
    • Less meat consumption due to low supplies and high prices.
    • Limited coverage of cases of moderate malnutrition by treatment services, with the risk of exacerbating the severity of malnutrition.
    • Deterioration in the state of child nutrition (poor service coverage for children with moderate acute malnutrition, limited access to health care services, and effects of potential epidemic diseases).

    Ouham, Ouham Pendé, and Kémo

    • Closure of the border with Chad due to the continuing conflict.
    • Smaller volume of commodities traded between the two countries, which could affect market prices.

    Projected outlook through December 2014

    The security situation in the Central African Republic is marked by continuing ethnic violence, particularly in the western, northwestern, and central reaches of the country (Bangui, Ouham, Ouham Pende, Nana Grizibi, Kemo, Lobaye, Nana Mambere, and Ouaka). This is keeping displaced households in refugee camps, out in the bush, and with host families or communities and is interfering with the humanitarian response. The August 20, 2014 situation report by OCHA mentions the day-time looting of an FAO truck carrying 30 metric tons of seeds to Kaga-Bandoro and Ndele on August 17, 2014. The FAO warehouse in Bambari and two WFP trucks were also looted that same month. This is only serving to curtail the delivery of on-site humanitarian assistance to at-risk populations in affected areas.

    An examination of the progress of the rainy season from April 1st through September 10th shows rainfall levels in the central reaches of the country at or slightly below the five-year seasonal average, with no major effect on the evolution of the growing season. However, crop production in conflict areas (i.e. Ouham, Ouham Pende, Nana Mambere, Kémo, and Ouaka) is expected to be below-average due to low production capacity, limited access to fields, the lack of animal traction and scarcity of farm inputs and seeds, population displacements by the ongoing conflict, short-term seasonal labor migration, and the recruitment of able-bodied workers by various armed groups. In addition, for safety reasons, households who normally growing crops in faraway fields in the bush are now just cultivating fields near their homes. With crop production representing an important source of food and/or income for agricultural households, a below-average harvest will undermine normal sources of food and income and will limit employment opportunities for poor households, both now as well as in the post-harvest period. Due to assistance from humanitarian organizations, the growing season is progressing normally for households in areas farther south (i.e. in the Sangha and lower Kotto areas) where the security situation is relatively stable.

    Poor and displaced households in conflict areas (i.e. Bangui, Ouham, Ouham Pende, Nana Mambere, Kémo, and Ouaka) are currently facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity and have cut back their usual three daily meals to one to two meals currently. This will continue through December despite ongoing humanitarian assistance programs, particularly for households experiencing significantly below-average to no harvests this year. These households will have below-average food stocks, will be unable to quickly rebuild their livelihoods, and will have poor food access and limited incomes. As a result, they will have little dietary diversity (with a diet of cassava leaves, tubers, and wild yams) and will face food consumption deficits on account of their weak purchasing power. According to a FEWS NET assessment in August 2014, these households will be unable to meet their food and nonfood needs through usual livelihood strategies. In southern areas (Sangha and lower Kotto), meanwhile, the consumption of freshly harvested crops and ensuing improvement in food availability is expected to ease the crisis conditions to some extent. Nevertheless, with the expected shortfall in 2014/15 crop production, household food stocks will not suffice to meet needs for the normal coverage period (five to six months), resulting in limited staple food access for poor households, as well as an earlier and harsher than usual lean season in 2015. These households will also be unable to earn enough income (ex. from the sale of crops) to cover certain normal essential nonfood expenses. Thus, food security conditions in these areas will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through the end of December.

    Figures

    Figure 1

    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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