Remote Monitoring Report

Lean season to begin early in March

February 2019

February - May 2019

June - September 2019

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • Households affected by the conflict are expected to experience food deficits through September, especially as market prices rise during the lean season. The distribution of food aid in January and February likely prevented considerable food deficits for some households in Ouham, Mbomou, and Nana-Gribizi. However, assistance remains underfunded and most displaced households, host families and returnees are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse.

  • In relatively stable areas of the country, household food stocks are expected to be depleted by March. Most will likely depend on food purchases, wild foods, and stressed consumption strategies until green crops are available in June. Most households will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2). However, persistent tensions between farmers and transhumant people could temporarily disrupt livelihoods.

  • The proportion of households practicing agriculture increased to 84 percent in 2018. Given the redeployment of security forces, the increase in the number of internal returnees in 2018 and the planned interventions of humanitarian actors, it is likely that more households will be able to practice farming during the 2019 production season.

ZONE ANOMALIES ACTUELLES ANOMALIES PROJETEES
Nationale
  • Despite an increase in the proportion of households engaged in agriculture last season (84 percent versus 63 to 70 percent in the past three years), agricultural production (cassava, maize, groundnuts) remains about 30 percent below of the pre-crisis average.
     
  • The security situation remains precarious, marked by renewed aggression and robbery of civilians by armed groups or individuals. The conflict continues to cause new displacement and to limit normal population movements. Humanitarian access remains limited and acts of violence sometimes result in the suspension of humanitarian interventions. According to IOM, there are 580,692 internally displaced persons (IDPs), 375,684 internal returnees and 118,607 returned from abroad.
  • Household stocks are expected to be depleted early, resulting in an early lean season beginning in March in the northern and northwestern regions and starting in May in other regions. A seasonal rise in prices to average to above average levels is expected from March to August.
     
  • Insecurity resulting from the activities of armed groups and intercommunal conflict is expected to persist in the central and eastern parts of the country, resulting in displacement. However, the ongoing gradual redeployment of security forces and renewed peace process is anticipated to relatively enhance security and promote the return of IDPs and refugees to neighboring countries in other parts of CAR.
Les régions du Sud et de l’Ouest
  • At the beginning of the transhumance season, tensions between herders and farmers over the exploitation of resources have led to acts of violence and movements of about 9,000 people in the sub-prefecture of Batangafo and surrounding areas.
  • The intensification of transhumance migration from February to May could increase community conflict over resources, especially in the southern and western regions, where transhumant and transboundary transhumant populations are located.

 

PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2019

In most of the relatively stable regions, households are expected to rely on their own production and stocks until March. Overall, cereal and cassava harvests were higher than in the previous year, but remain about 30 percent below the pre-crisis average. On the other hand, production of cash crops declined because some households missed the ideal period for planting (about 24 percent) or did not have agricultural tools (about 15 percent), according to preliminary results of the 2018 ENSA survey. In these regions, crop sales are the main source of income and households are expected to be able to purchase food to meet their minimum caloric needs during the lean season. However, the early onset of the lean season, the low diversification of food supply, and the prevalence of racketeering and looting will continue to generate Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes.

In areas of high insecurity and acute tensions between armed groups (Mbomou, Basse-Kotto, Haute-Kotto, Ouaka, Ouham and Nana-Gribizi prefectures), an average of 64 per cent of households were able to practice farming during the season, according to the 2018 ENSA. The proportion of households that were able to practice agriculture is lowest in the prefectures of Haute Kotto (41 percent) and Basse Kotto (33 percent). Insecurity often prevents access to fields and planting or harvesting activities. Households in these areas are therefore more dependent on markets and humanitarian assistance. Some displaced households and host families may earn small business income (27 to 30 percent), daily paid farm and non-farm work (32 percent), or sale of agricultural produce (13 to 15 percent). In December, 20-day food rations had benefited about 75 percent of IDPs and returnees. According to available reports from OCHA, food assistance in January and February in the form of rations or cash enabled some households in Ouham, Mbomou, and Nana-Gribizi to improve to Stressed! (IPC Phase 2). However, delivery of assistance remains inconsistent and most IDPs, host families, and returnees remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

With the early depletion of stocks, households will increasingly purchase food from local markets beginning in March in the north and north-west and in May in the rest of the country. This period also corresponds to the seasonal rise in the price level of commodities. In December, significant price increases had already been observed in Bangassou, an area that accounts for half of the 118,600 returned from abroad. Rising staple food prices will have a greater impact on IDPs, host families, and internal returnees in the most vulnerable areas, given that food purchases are one of their primary sources of food.

The period from March to May is also the peak of transhumance from the North to the South and West. Farmers may use armed groups to protect them in case of conflicts with transhumant herders. Since transhumance began in January, clashes between communities have already resulted in more than 9,000 displaced along the Batangafo-Lady and Batangafo-Kambakota corridors. In addition to these conflicts, assaults and robberies of civilians by armed individuals will continue to limit the movement of people and the access of producers to their fields, particularly in conflict zones. However, the relative stability in some parts of the country favors the mobilization of humanitarian actors towards the implementation of resilience actions for the benefit of households. According to the Food Security Cluster, humanitarian actors intend to increase livelihoods interventions to distribute seed and agricultural tools, and this is expected to increase production compared to the previous agricultural campaign. In addition, the rainy season is expected to have a timely onset in March and be above-average from June to August, according to NOAA/CPC forecasts. This should promote timely access to harvests of maize, groundnut, and leafy vegetables by July. Therefore, in relatively stable areas, household food access is likely to deteriorate until June, but wild food availability and July harvests are expected to keep them Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through September.

The deployment of security forces in Alindao (Basse-Kotto) and Bangassou (Mbomou) early this year could help reduce the abuses of armed groups against the population. In addition, the ongoing process of dialogue, demobilization, disarmament, and reintegration in the country may continue to encourage more cases of IDP and refugee returns than new displacement cases, similar to the evolution of population movements. observed in 2018 (Figure 1). Given that humanitarian food aid is underfunded and access to it is limited by increased security incidents, it is likely that rations for IDPs, host families, and returnees will be erratic. As a result, most of these households should be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse through September.

About Remote Monitoring

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.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 28 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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