2.5 million people need immediate humanitarian assistance; and one in five Central Africans has been 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 security situation in Bangui, as well as in the rest of the region is deteriorating and a number of attacks on convoys and looting of inputs have been reported. The level of insecurity, as well as inaccessible roads, represents the main challenges as it is hampering the distribution operations causing a delay of 15 days. Nonetheless the distributions will still take place within the current planting season and pre-emptive measures are taken to ensure delivery of agricultural inputs.
1.3 million people face crisis (IPC Phase 3) and emergency (IPC phase 4) levels of food insecurity (IPC analysis cycle Sept 2013).The IPC updated map is due out in the coming days. This analysis will give updated figures on food insecurity in the Central African Republic.
FAO has established strategic partnerships with NGOs to implement the distribution plan and assist 76 000 farming families countrywide. Each family is receiving 25 kg of crop seeds and 2 hoes to plant in time and produce at least 500 kg of groundnuts, maize and rice that will contribute to feed a family for around four months; 9 500 households have already received agricultural kits.
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.
FAO aims to support 150 000 crisis-hit families in CAR 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.