Report by Joseph Decalo & Fanta Biderman-Kenguemat
M’BAIKI (LNC) – Insidious, but yet there, early detection of signs of shortages of key commodities begin to be felt throughout the country. In the capital Bangui, butchers on markets to tell: “The reason the price of meat is going up so fast is because of the scarcity of products to sell”. But no one believed them. But it is the truth.
What as bad, usually happens in the capital, with economic crisis, tends to grow in magnitude in province, being more helpless to fight against. The sudden rise in beef prices is well explained by the growing scarcity of this product. A ripple effect of the security crisis in the country, entailing necessarily food crisis by rebound.
Shepherds were and are subjected to attacks by armed groups: kidnapped, ransomed, pillaged and even killed….What able to dry up the flow, even if convoys are often accompanied by the MINUSCA, most of them are delayed, stopped and even raided. This also explains why more and more cattles come from Chad; while for decades, CAR was the exporting lung of meats in the sub-region.
A FOCUS ON LOBAYA
At Moboma, a city in the subprefecture of M’baïki, a zone usually rich in forest products, game animals and others, there is also a sudden rise in food products prices, in proportions well in excess of what happens in Bangui. Prices of games exploded until reach sometimes 200 %. A same explanation: rarity of products, and with identical causes, insecurity due to armed gangs still keeping roaming. A female merchant in the Moboma market gave a clarification: “Not very long ago, I went to meet hunters, and they sold me meats from forest at a reasonable price, and there was abundant supply. Now, they no more bring many things, fearing to be attacked by bandits while working in forest. Me too, I am afraid when I get around on foot or by motorcycle-taxi to fetch my necessary provisions. Robbers are still roaming. That why the prices have increased so dramatically. We, too, must make a small profit!”
POTENTIAL EXTENSION RISK
For months, UNDP and OCHA CAR keep on sounding the alarm about the coming of an imminent crisis of famine, that can put about 2 million to face severe food shortages. Because of the endless security crisis, the economic foundation which is agricultural collapsed. Farmers are prevented by armed groups to freely go to fields to work, thousand of barns for provision were burned by rebels, as well by Anti-Balaka militias as by troops of Seleka. Making the more vulnerable to hunger, primarily in the province, where almost half of the people are being held hostage, lacked them access to even rudimentary health care, as more and more now access to daily food too. The U.N. seeks to raise nearly $400 million to support 1.6 million of the most vulnerable men, women and children there ― a 25 percent decrease from 2016, when 37 percent of the goal was raised.
© January 2016 – LAMINE MEDIA