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Agricultural activities have resumed, but Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes continue

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • September 2018
Agricultural activities have resumed, but Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes continue

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  • Key Messages
  • Preface
  • Summary
  • Projected outlook through January 2019 :
  • Projected outlook through the end of the next lean season (September 2019):

  • Preface


    FEWS NET Remote Monitoring Updates in September 2018 have an extended outlook beyond the standard projection period. The end of this report includes a discussion of most-likely outcomes through the end of the next lean season for this country. Reporting for this country may follow a non-standard schedule in the coming months. Check back regularly for new analysis, subscribe for report updates, or follow us on social media.

    Key Messages
    • In September, humanitarian aid enabled Stressed! outcomes (IPC Phase 2!) in some sub-prefectures. However, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely among most displaced and host community households in areas inaccessible to humanitarian aid through January 2019, particularly in the sub-prefectures of Alindao, Bria, Obo, Bambari, Batangafo and Kabo.

    • In many prefectures, a decline in violence against civilians since July has allowed displaced persons to return home and agricultural activities to resume. However, fighting has intensified in the Ouham, Ouaka, Nana-Gribizi, Mbomou, and Haute-Kotto prefectures.

    • Despite an increase in agricultural activities, rainfall deficits of five to 15 percent since May in the west of the country and limited access to agricultural inputs and tools overall is expected to keep total production below average in comparison to pre-crisis levels. As a result, households have limited incomes and will remain highly dependent on market purchases and on hunting and gathering food.

    • There were an estimated 621,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) as of August, a decrease of approximately nine percent compared to January 2018, according to the Commission on Population Movement.
    • Many households have resumed agricultural activities due to a recent reduction in clashes between armed groups, a decrease in violence against civilians, and the redeployment of security forces.
    • Security conditions remain precarious and theft and robbery are frequent. Armed groups regularly impose illicit taxes and extort money from producers and traders.
    • Agricultural production will be below the pre-crisis average due to limited access to agricultural inputs and tools as well as rainfall deficits, which are likely to negatively affect yields in the north, south, and southwest.
    • Armed groups are likely to continue to fight for control of local resources. Their continued presence in cities threatens the safety and security of residents and traders, who they often rob.
    • In areas with a high concentration of displaced persons, households will remain highly dependent on food assistance, market purchases, and hunting and gathering wild foods.


    Projected outlook through January 2019 :

    Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected in most parts of the country through January 2019. In the sub-prefectures of Bria and Paoua, food assistance reached 50 and 52 percent of the population, respectively, between July and September. In Ouaka and Botangafo, food assistance reached approximately 21 percent of the population. It is assumed food assistance was sufficient to cover 50 percent of the beneficiaries' caloric needs. This prevented food consumption gaps and enabled Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes for many displaced and host community households. As future funding for humanitarian aid is not yet confirmed, it is anticipated that these households may deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the absence of assistance.

    According to satellite imagery and field reports (Figure 1), rainfall has been five to 15 percent below average in the western half of the country since the start of the season in April/May.  In addition, there are average to below-average vegetation conditions in the south and west of the country. Moisture deficits are likely to have a negative impact on crop development and yields in these areas. Even now, maize and peanuts currently sold in the markets are from underdeveloped grains.

    Since July, insecurity and acts of violence against civilians has declined in many prefectures (Figure 2), except in Ouham, Ouaka, Nana-Gribizi, Mbomou and Haute-Kotto prefectures where fighting between militia groups has intensified. In addition, the gradual redeployment of national and MINUSCA armed forces has encouraged IDPs to return to their homes and resume agricultural activities. According to data from OCHA, the number of IDPs decreased by nine percent compared to early 2018, which had been marked by an increase in security incidents. Compared to April, significant numbers of IDPs returned home in the prefectures of Ouham-Pendé, where there was a 48 percent reduction in IDPs, and Basse-Kotto, where there was a 28 percent reduction. In contrast, the number of IDPs increased by 73 and 27 percent in the prefectures of Nana-Gribizi and Mbomou, respectively, due to recurring clashes between armed groups and continued violence against citizens. In total, approximately 38 percent of IDPs live in refugee camps while 62 percent live with host families. The sub-prefectures in which IDPs represent more than 20 percent of the population include: Alindao (Basse-Kotto), Bria (Haute-Kotto), Obo (Haut-Mbomou), Bambari (Ouaka), Batangafo, and Kabo (Ouham).

    New green harvests of maize, peanuts, and leafy vegetables are currently available at local markets. Maize prices in July were stable compared to last year. In contrast, the price of cassava, which is a staple food for most households, has increased in most markets due to demand exceeding supply, deteriorating transport infrastructure on market supply routes, and frequent robberies and extortion carried out against traders by armed groups. As a result, cassava prices have increased by 34 percent in Bozoum, 50 percent in Ndelé, and 20 percent in Bocaranga compared to July 2017. The markets in Obo and Sikideké have the highest cassava prices in the country at 56 percent above the national average (CFAF 269 per kilo). This has reduced household purchasing power and limited access to food for households that are highly dependent on market purchases. Many households are likely to cope by reducing the size or number of daily meals. Households that rely on both market purchases and own-produced food are expected to use Crisis (IPC Phase 3) livelihood coping strategies such as reducing expenditures on fertilizer and other agricultural inputs and consuming immature maize or cassava.

    With improved access to fields and the availability of staple and cash crop harvests from September to January, the main source of food for many households will be staples and produce they have grown themselves. Based on a national survey in September 2017, the proportion of households engaged in agricultural activities is likely to exceed 67 percent. Households are also expected to supplement own-production with hunting, foraging, and fishing. As a result, most households are likely to consume two meals per day. In addition, the harvests will lead to a typical seasonal decline in staple food prices between October 2018 and January 2019, improving food access for households more dependent on market purchases. However, in areas with a high concentration of displaced persons and areas where armed groups are still active, households are expected to have low food availability and access and will require high levels of humanitarian food assistance. In areas with the highest concentration of displaced persons, including Alindao, Bria, Obo, Bambari, Batangafo, and Kabo sub-prefectures, low household and market stocks will likely lead to food consumption gaps for most households. These areas will remain highly dependent on food assistance and will experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes.

    Projected outlook through the end of the next lean season (September 2019):

    The gradual redeployment of national and MINUSCA security forces, continued dialogue between the government and armed groups, and ongoing efforts to reintegrate 5,000 ex-combatants are expected to contribute to improvements in security conditions overall. This is likely to encourage more displaced persons to return to their place of origin. However, it is anticipated that livestock theft, extortion, and robberies by armed groups will continue at the same rate in most prefectures, which will negatively impact household livelihoods. April will bring the start of the production season, when agricultural activities resume following 2018 harvests. The limited income generated from selling agricultural products from the previous harvests, such as cotton, coffee, peanuts and cassava, and hunting and gathering products will be used for home reconstruction and to purchase agricultural inputs and tools. April also marks the start of the lean season. Between April and September 2019, it will be difficult for most households to access staple foods due to seasonal price increases. Displaced and poor host community households in areas inaccessible to humanitarian assistance will likely have the largest food consumption gaps and experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. These households will be more dependent on market purchases and hunting and gathering wild foods.

    Figures The map shows the percentage anomaly of cumulative rainfall from May 1st to September 20th compared to the 1981-2010 average.

    Figure 1

    Source: USGS / FEWS NET

    The graph shows trends in acts of violence against civilians in 2017 and 2018 compared to the 2013 to 2016 average. Incidents

    Figure 2

    Source: ACLED / FEWS NET

    Rainy season : Apr to Oct in South and Jul to Sep in North. Planting: Apr to Jun. Maize and groundnut harvest: Jul to Sep. Mi

    Figure 3

    Source: FEWS NET

    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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