The Central African Republic (CAR), a landlocked country with a population of 4.7 million bounded by South Sudan to the east and Cameroon to the west, has a history of political instability.
A major security and humanitarian crisis erupted in 2013, displacing over 25 per cent of the population. Democratic elections in 2016 ended three years of turmoil. The new government is working with the International Monetary Fund and donors to propose reforms and development programmes.
The 2015 Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme ranks CAR 187th out of 188 countries. Life expectancy at birth is 48 years, 164 of every 1,000 children die before age five, and the adult literacy rate is 56 per cent, according to 2011 data from the World Bank.
Access to education and health services is minimal, and outcomes are worsening, whilst many people cannot consistently access adequate food.
After collapsing in 2013 economic growth has resumed at around 5 per cent a year. Nationwide, 67 per cent of people live below the poverty line: in rural areas 72 per cent are poor.
Agriculture employs about 80 per cent of rural people and generates 50 per cent of GDP. During recent upheavals, many farmers were driven from their land, supplies of inputs were cut, and marketing broke down. Farm output remains below levels achieved in 2008-2012.
Security remains a concern.
Because of the volatile situation, IFAD has not yet defined a country strategy for CAR.
However, IFAD has an on-going intervention in CAR, the Project for Reviving food crops and small livestock production in the Savannah (PREVES).
We are working to increase food security and incomes of smallholder farmers in the four sub-prefectures in the Savanes Region by supporting farmers’ organizations and production and marketing of staple foods and small ruminants.
About 2.3 million people, more than half of the country's population, are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
More than 67 per cent of the population lives in extreme poverty.