Southern Madagascar recorded below-average cumulative rainfall between October 2020 and February 2021, particularly in the Alaotra Mangoro, Analamanga, Haute Matsiatra, and Ihorombe regions. This is the fifth below-average rainy season reported in southern Madagascar in the last six years, with the Grand Sud affected by its most severe drought since 1981. Rainfall deficits severely reduced staple food production and the size and body condition of livestock. Harvest in 2021 is expected to reduce by more than 50% compared to the five-year average, causing food prices to increase. Livelihood opportunities remain below normal because of new restrictions imposed on 21 March to mitigate the second wave of COVID-19. Poor households reportedly reduce the quantity, frequency, and quality of their diets by consuming – almost exclusively – atypical wild foods. Stressed (IPC-2) and Crisis (IPC-3) acute food insecurity outcomes are expected to persist across southern Madagascar until at least May 2021.
172,331 migrants and asylum seekers without documentation attempted to enter the US from Mexico during the month of March. 18,890 of those were unaccompanied children, the highest number on record. Around 103,900 of the migrants were denied entry. Shelters in the north of Mexico are unable to accommodate all migrants pushed back from the US border. Existing shelters are overcrowded, have limited number of beds, and lack sufficient space to maintain the necessary social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In Mexico, migrants and asylum seekers are at risk being intercepted and kidnapped by criminal armed groups. Migration flows are expected to continue or increase in the coming months, as weather conditions facilitate travel.
Health facilities in Yemen have recorded a significant influx of people infected with COVID-19, with total cases in March numbering more than double the total of previously reported cases since the outbreak began. Most patients arrive in critical condition, likely because of fear or due to scarce resources to access healthcare. The beginning of the rainy season in April-May and associated disease outbreaks will likely put more pressure on the health system, with potential flooding further reducing humanitarian access. Displacement will likely affect access to services and facilitate COVID-19 spread. International support is needed to increase healthcare capacity and provide medical supplies including ventilators, oxygen machines, and general PPE. On 22 March the internationally recognised government’s emergency committee issued instructions to close halls, clubs, and wedding venues, while mosques remain open for prayer times. Official Yemen case numbers are unreliable as the de-facto authority in the north has not reported any cases for almost a year.