C.A.R.’s Emerging Food Shortages

The beginning months of 2016 have not welcomed a sense of rejuvenation in all nations. To a great extent, many conflicts refuse to be dampened. For the Central African Republic (CAR) the difficulties being faced are seemingly set to worsen over the coming months. The World Food Programme (WFP) has reported that as much as half of CAR’s population is going hungry. Approximately 75% of its people are dependent on agriculture for means of income. However, three years of slaughter and the displacement of nearly one million people from their homes has immensely disrupted yields and has dangerously elevated the food prices in the unstable country.

The most recent wave of violence, in September of last year, further instigated the rise in food prices. In 2013, the country was hit by the worst crisis documented in history when Muslim fighters forced leader Francois Bozize out of Office. Subsequent attacks followed from both Christian and Muslims sides leading to an unprecedented slaughtering of livestock, slashing the numbers of sheep and Goats to almost 40%.

The WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a report that crop production in 2015 was 54%, less than half the pre-crisis average. The state of the food insecurity as it stands has mounted five-fold in the space of a year.

The WFP said that families’ food shortages are so severe that children receiving food under their emergence food program are putting part of their serving in plastic bags to take home.

Nearly 2.5 million people are now surviving on cheap, low-nutrient food, the WFP said. Families have been forced to sell their possessions, pull their children out of school and even resort to begging.

In order to combat its current problems the security of food is a crucial element that must be tackled. The WFP said it had only secured about half the $89 million it needs until the end of July to respond to the needs of 1.4 million people in CAR and neighbouring countries accommodating CAR refugees.

The FAO, which has been actively addressing the situation in facilitating the work of farmers with seeds, necessary apparatuses and vaccinating livestock, is currently calling for £60 million in order to alleviate the strain that this situation is having on the state of peace on this country.