Central African Republic, food prices

Central African Republic: When food prices spike

Our teams manage and prevent malnutrition in the Central African Republic by improving food access.

By Christine Kahmann

Apr 17 2013

After a coup last month, the Central African Republic is still experiencing violence and food prices, which are typically unstable, have been made more volatile by recent events. The recent upheaval has not helped the high rates of malnutrition and food insecurity typically found in the Central African Republic. So in addition to responding to immediate needs after the violence, Action Against Hunger continues to work to provide long-term solutions for communities faced with chronic hunger and seasonal malnutrition.

Creating a Food Secure Future

Our teams work to manage and prevent malnutrition through various means. We help families start their own home gardens, giving people who previously didn’t have access to fresh food the opportunity to grow their own. We educate and assist farmers in producing crops that are more diverse, nutrient-rich and plentiful so they can have a more balanced diet as well as more crops left over to sell. We also conduct informational sessions for mothers to teach the importance of breastfeeding and proper nutrition for their young children. All of these initiatives aim to create sustainable solutions to hunger in the communities we serve.

Immediate Help in the Lean Season

It is particularly important that we continue our life-saving nutrition and food security programmes in the coming months. Before the next harvest in July, many families will experience a “hunger gap,” which means their food intake will be severely limited—sometimes to just one meal a day. But with the recent upheaval ahead of the lean season making many families’ situations more unstable, our work is even more important.
 
“The coup is exacerbating an already precarious situation for a country marred by chronic poverty and food insecurity. Within a month we’ll be in the lean season, and food prices will surge even higher," said Clement Cazaubon, Action Against Hunger's Country Director in Central African Republic.
 
In response, we’re racing to help people through the lean months of May and June through a range of programs, like providing families with provisions of staple foods like rice and beans that help shield families from greater exposure to severe malnutrition.
 
And these initiatives have already proven successful: we have seen a significant jump in the number of breastfeeding mothers, children who are eating three meals a day, and families that are better educated about nutrition. We will continue to help restore stability and provide support for the people of the Central African Republic.

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Photo credits:  © Eric Dessons