SEED4CHANGE CAMPAIGN IN THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
FAO and WFP to break hunger cycle in CAR
FAO and WFP have begun providing seeds, hand tools and food to nearly 50,000 hungry farming families for this planting season in the most food-insecure areas of the Central African Republic. It coincides with the height of the lean season when household food stocks are typically lowest.
Under the ‘seeds protection’ initiative, FAO provides crop and vegetable seeds, while WFP provides groundnuts, maize, rice, sorghum, and beans to the same families.
Three years of conflict have disrupted agriculture and severely constrained people’s access to food as they have been struggling with the effects of multiple poor harvests, disrupted markets and soaring prices for many staple foods. “As peace is returning to CAR, this initiative is a beam of hope for thousands of families,” added Djossa. Another 50,000 families will be supported during the second planting season in August/September, meaning 100,000 families in total (500,000 people) will be supported under the initiative this year.
With 75 percent of the population depending on agriculture, FAO, WFP and their partners have been working together since the beginning of the unrest to mitigate negative impacts on agricultural production and food security; the seeds protection initiative was first implemented in 2014. The Government of the Central African Republic is leading a strategic effort to revive the agricultural sector. FAO and WFP are supporting the Government through longer-term programmes that aim to save and strengthen livelihoods and build resilience.
However, the two UN agencies warn that with only half of both agencies’ funding needs secured, people in CAR face receiving only half of the support they need.
The distribution of seeds and food is made possible by funds from the governments of (in alphabetical order) Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the African Development Bank, the European Union and ECHO, the Fonds Bêkou, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, the Common Humanitarian Fund for the Central African Republic, UN Women, and the World Bank.