2.5 million people need immediate humanitarian assistance; and one in five Central Africans is now internally displaced. These figures are likely to rise as the conflict places millions at risk of a full-scale food and nutrition security crisis due to low production in 2013 coupled with prevailing chronic countrywide malnutrition, extreme poverty and inappropriate sanitation.
The results of the Multisectoral Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) undertaken by FAO and its partners indicate that, in spite of insecurity, 78 percent of farmers will be cultivating in the coming weeks. However, 94 percent of communities report that they do not have enough seeds to plant for the next agricultural season.
In the light of the MIRA findings, the Revised Strategic Response Plan was launched on 19 January, outlining the humanitarian strategy for CAR in 2014. A substantial scaling up of operations is necessary in the short term to ensure the provision of protection and life-saving assistance to 1.9 million people. The Food Security Cluster is seeking USD 180 million to assist 1.25 million people.
FAO aims to support 150 000 crisis-hit families in the Central African Republic to enable them to produce their own food, protect their scarce resources and earn some income. The success of the 2014 maize, rice, sorghum and millet planting seasons, starting in April and May respectively, will be a turning point for food security.
The results of the Markets and Food Security Assessment carried out by FAO and the World Food Programme (WFP) warns that the country needs a long and expensive humanitarian operation over at least the next 18 months to stem the growing toll, and pave the way to rebuild livelihoods.