Antananarivo, 29 October 2016 – Like the rest of the Southern African region, Madagascar has been affected by two successive years of drought, worsened by the El Nino phenomenon since September 2015. This has negatively and deeply impacted the three regions of the Grand Sud which is home to approximately 1.63 million people.
The one year humanitarian response plan initiated in February 2016 was budgeted for a total amount of US$ 69.9 million, and has so far only been financed to the tune of 52%. Nonetheless, the impact of ongoing humanitarian response operations demonstrates positive and encouraging results.
Between February and August 2016, the total number of people facing severe acute malnutrition decreased by 90,000 and the nutritional status of children under 5 years old generally improved.
Furthermore, the number of pockets of nutritional insecurity reduced from 32 to 17 communes between February and June 2016.
These achievements notwithstanding, aggravating factors that heighten the vulnerability of the people living in the affected region have persisted. Compared to 2015, in June 2016 crop yields for maize, cassava and rice dropped by 95% due to the lack of and delay of the rainy season. The area hit by the drought has expanded and now affects 5 more municipalities located in two districts of Taolagnaro and Toliara, previously unaffected.
The “Integrated Food Security Phase Classification” (IPC) assessment, conducted between September and October 2016 demonstrated that 845,000 persons are currently in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, among them 330,000 are in emergency phase (IPC phase 4) and 515,000 in crisis phase (IPC phase 3). In order to respond to this emergency, the United Nations System and the rest of the Humanitarian Country Team have doubled their efforts to save lives and reduce human suffering of the people of the Grand Sud.
To respond quickly to this challenge, the National Disaster Management Authority (Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et Catastrophes – BNGRC) supported by the United Nations System and the rest of the Humanitarian Country Team has reviewed the humanitarian needs of the Grand Sud up to May 2017. Humanitarian needs were reviewed in the light of the IPC results and are now estimated at a total amount of US$ 154.9 million. Only 26% of these needs are covered by the recently announced financial commitments and US$ 115.3 million still needs to be funded to cover food security and livelihood, water, hygiene and sanitation; education; nutrition; protection, and health sectors, as well as the coordination of the overall response.
Furthermore, an early recovery and resilience building plan is already available for the Grand Sud.
It covers a three year period for a total amount of US$ 189 million, addressing and focusing on the root causes of the problem in addition to its consequences. This plan will maximise the results of the humanitarian efforts targeting the most drought affected areas in the Grand Sud of Madagascar by ensuring a smooth and comprehensive transition towards development.
The Government of Madagascar, through the National Disaster Management Authority (BNGRC), and the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System, President of the Humanitarian Country Team, would like to thank all national and international partners for the humanitarian responses already realised through their financial and in-kind contributions in support to the country. An appeal for more resources is hereby launched to support the people of the Grand Sud in order to save lives as well as support sustainable development for this region. This is in an effort to avoid worsening of the humanitarian situation, strengthen resilience to recurrent droughts and to finally and definitively implement projects to support sustainable human development.