Central African Republic: Results of the analysis of the current acute food insecurity situation, April-May 2014

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8th cycle of IPC analysis - Humanitarian assistance is crucial

Deterioration of food insecurity following the flaring up of the conflict since December 2013 and the early arrival of the lean season. Humanitarian assistance is crucial to support the agricultural season starting now and to avoid a humanitarian disaster.

Using the EFSA results of October 2013, in a post-harvest period, the previous IPC analysis of November 2013 showed that 23% of the rural population was in humanitarian phases (phase 3, Crisis and phase 4, Emergency). The IPC analysis of April 2014 has been confronted by a serious lack of quantitative data and has not been able to produce detailed figures, but the classification shows a net deterioration after the last analysis. The national TWG estimates that the number of people in humanitarian phases would be almost double compared to November 2013 with around 1 700 000 people in phases 3 and 4, that is about 45% of the rural population of the classified zones.

In the first place, it is important to consider the difference in seasons between the two analyses, with that of November taking place just after the harvest period while the present was done in a lean period. Three other factors explain this deterioration:

(i) the livelihoods have been profoundly affected by the war, in certain cases totally lost through the sale of assets, lootings, destruction and displacements; (ii) the lack of food availability, in the context of the lean period; especially severe with the depletion or destruction of stocks from the last harvest which had already been below average, and the loss of livestock; (iii) the problems of access to food with the disruption of market supply, the difficulties of physical access due to civil insecurity, which sometimes targets certain ethnic groups according to the area, and the limited access to finance due to the loss of income and the increased price of food products (more than 30% on average for the period January-April 2014 compared to the same period the previous year).

The prefectures in phase 4 (Emergency) are Ouham Pendé and Ouham, which are the most affected by insecurity, for which reason Ouham was already in phase 4 last November. All the other prefectures are on phase 3 (Crisis), with the exception of the Mambéré-Kadéi prefecture which is classified in phase 2 (Stressed). For the first time, a specific analysis has also been made for Bangui.

Four prefectures: Bamingui-Bangoran, Haute Kotto, Sangha Mbaéré and Vakaga were not classified due to insufficient data. These prefectures were already affected by food insecurity according to the analysis of last November.

The most vulnerable people are the displaced, in particular those in the bush for whom very little information is available. Lastly, the host families and the households which have lost their means of production are also particularly vulnerable.

The lean period has started sooner due to the early exhaustion of food stocks after smaller harvests in 2013. Considering the volatility of the situation and the lack of field access due to the insecurity, this analysis is a snap shot of the situation in April-May 2014. Field surveys should be carried out in order to update the situation.