Central African Republic
Mambéré-Kadeï and Sangha-Mbaéré Prefectures / 2016
by French Red Cross, Première Urgence International (AFD)


The socio-economic situation of Central African Republic has been deteriorating for several decades. A succession of economic, political and industrial crises weakened the country, now one of the poorest in the world. Conflicts continue between different armed factions, creating tensions and population movements. The inhabitants of the Northeastern and Southwestern parts of the territory are affected by these displacements and are undermined by growing food insecurity.

It is in this context that the French Red Cross and the First International Emergency seek to install humanitarian interventions in the fields of nutrition, health, water and sanitation, food security and Health surveillance, targeting the most vulnerable populations.

Malnutrition, particularly undernourishment, has become one of the major challenges in the country where chronic malnutrition rates exceed the emergency thresholds defined by WHO (MICS 2010: 40.7%, SMART 2014: 40.8%, SMART fast CRf 2016: 43.8%).

The study was conducted in February to June 2016 by the socio-anthropologist Marie-Noëlle Ottavi. It was technically supported by Blanche Mattern, technical referent Link NCA at the headquarters of Paris. This study was financed by AFD.


Following the discussions and consensus reached with the experts present at the workshop in Berbérati in June, the final classification of the hypotheses was as follows


Major Risk Factors


Exclusive breastfeeding practices inappropriate for children 0-6 months

Inappropriate food diversification practices for young children after 6 months

Significant influence of food beliefs and taboos on the diet of pregnant and lactating women

Food Safety

Household food practices centered on cassava consumption and low dietary diversity

Low availability / availability of local foods in markets due to low production

Low source of monetary input due to instability of sources of income


Weakness of the health care system and lack of interest in the health system

Repetition of diseases in young children: Acute respiratory infections, diarrhea, malaria

Very low access to drinking water in the study area, which is at the origin of a high vulnerability to water-borne diseases

Social protection

Young age of mothers and spacing of pregnancies too short

Low level of education and aggravation

Women's workload and accentuating their precariousness

Social cohesion

Weakness of state institutions


Important risk factors

Difficulties in food processing, lack of storage and food preserving

Decrease in agricultural activities for mining activities in the study area

Increased family mobility due to greater seasonal migration

Weakness in hygiene practices

Problem of existence and use of sanitary facilities

Repetition of crises for 25 years and insecurity due to the socio-political conflict of 2013





Link NCA full report RCA Barberati 2016 (in french) Abstract Link NCA RCA Barberati 2016