Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Central African Republic

Map of CAR

April 9, 2018


  • Since 2012, conflict has disrupted livelihoods and food security in the Central African Republic (CAR), a poor, rural nation primarily reliant on subsistence agriculture. As of January, at least 2.5 million people in CAR—approximately half the country’s population—are in need of humanitarian assistance, with 2 million experiencing acute food insecurity, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports. Humanitarian access to vulnerable populations is limited, as armed groups have taken de facto control of large parts of northwestern, central, and southeastern CAR, despite the presence of UN peacekeeping troops.

  • The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in CAR has increased by more than 296,000, or nearly 60 percent, since January 2017. This brings the total number of IDPs to 694,000, the highest level of displacement since 2013, according to the UN. In addition, nearly 544,000 Central African refugees reside in neighboring countries, including Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Republic of the Congo (ROC), Sudan and South Sudan. One in every four people from the Central African Republic is internally displaced or a refugee.

  • According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), the lean season—the period when food is most scarce—will again start in early April due to the continuing deterioration of livelihoods, reduction of food accessibility due to low agricultural production and high prices, and limitations of humanitarian access. FEWS NET projects that IDP populations and poor host communities in the southeast, east, and northwest regions of the country will remain in Crisis (IPC 3)* levels of acute food insecurity or worse until at least September.   

*The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal—IPC 1—to Famine—IPC 5.


  • With support from USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP), the UN World Food Program (WFP) provides general food distributions, using U.S. in-kind food, to several hundred thousand food-insecure IDPs, host community members and returnees affected by conflict and insecurity in CAR. Through FFP contributions, WFP is also providing school meals for children from crisis-affected families.

  • FFP also supports emergency food assistance for CAR refugees sheltering in the Republic of Congo (RoC), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Cameroon through WFP.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2018 $14.9 million 7,230 MT
Fiscal Year 2017 $47.1 million 28,562 MT
Fiscal Year 2016 $55.4 million 23,776 MT


Last updated: April 10, 2018

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