Action Against Hunger Warns of Potential Food Emergency as Violence Rocks the Central African Republic

  • Violence and road closures are driving food shortages and price increases
  • Humanitarian access to people in need is impossible in many places
  • Before the violence broke out, experts warned that 1 in 9 people could be pushed to the brink of famine by May 2021

A wave of violence has broken out across the Central African Republic following disputed elections on December 27, 2020. Major supply routes have been closed, leading to food shortages and rising food prices. Experts estimate that 30,000 people have fled to neighboring countries and more than 60,000 have been internally displaced.

Prior to the current unrest, experts had predicted that one in nine people may be pushed to the brink of famine (IPC stage 4) by May 2021. More than half the population -- 2.3 million people -- were expected to suffer acute food security, and now violence is worsening the situation. The conflict threatens to create a humanitarian disaster, particularly if conflict continues to restrict humanitarian access and leave vulnerable populations without essential aid. 

Speaking from Bangui, Action Against Hunger’s Country Director in C.A.R., Mathilde Lambert said:

"People are fleeing their homes with just the clothes on their backs, and when they finally arrive at a place of relative safety, many can’t feed their families. Food is becoming scarce and prices are rocketing. Meanwhile, hundreds of food trucks are sitting idly on the other side of the border in Cameroon, unable to reach people trapped by the violence in C.A.R.

“Even before fighting broke out, the food security situation in C.A.R. had been deteriorating. This is a country where more than half the population is projected to be facing crisis levels of food insecurity in the coming months and one in nine will be pushed to the brink of famine (IPC 4). The needs on the ground are already overwhelming, and rising violence could be the straw that breaks the camel's back.” 

Action Against Hunger has been present in C.A.R. since 2006. In 2020, we supported more than 300,000 people with nutrition, health, water, sanitation, hygiene, food security, livelihoods, and mental health services.

Action Against Hunger is leading a global movement to end hunger in our lifetimes. It innovates solutions, advocates for change, and reaches 25 million people every year with proven hunger prevention and treatment programs. As a nonprofit that works across 50 countries, its 8,300 dedicated staff members partner with communities to address the root causes of hunger, including climate change, conflict, inequity, and emergencies. It strives to create a world free from hunger, for everyone, for good.