Madagascar - Drought OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2000/0112
OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Madagascar - Drought
7 June 2000


This report is based on information from the UN Resident Coordinator's Office in Madagascar and from FAO/WFP. The FAO/WFP assessment report on the impact on cyclones and drought on the food supply situation in Madagascar is available on the OCHA Internet Website (

1. The Southern part of Madagascar is subject to cyclical drought. While the Northern part was hit by cyclones in February and March, the rainy season was less favorable in the rest of the country, particularly in the south and major central paddy growing Lake Aloatra Region.

2. According to the FAO/WFP, the South Region which include Ambovombe, Amboasary, Bekily, Ampanihy, Beloha, and Tsihombe, is prone to drought and food insecurity. The current drought is causing sharp declines in yields of maize, cassava and sweet potatoes. The following regions are affected by drought, and experiencing yields reduction of rice, maize and cassava: the Lake Aloatra Region (covering the Sub-Prefectures of Ambatondrazaka, Amparafaravola and Andilamena); the Central East Coast Region (covering the Sub-Predectures of Vatomandry, Mahanoro, Marolambo, Antanambao and Manamposty); and the Vakinankaratra Region (covering Antsirabe, Faratsiho, Antanifosty and Betafo).

3. The Warning System (SAP: Système d'Alerte Précoce), which keeps a database on food security, climate, and prices and monitors all disasters in the South, reported that the situation is likely to deteriorate in regard to the food crops as well as livestock, while it has not yet reached the state of famine.

4. SAP categorized the affected areas as follows: DA (areas with serious food problems); DS (areas with serious economic problems); and DE (areas with slight economic problems). SAP indicated that 15 communities in DA have 231,290 inhabitants requiring 6,245 tons of food from June for three months. Stocks should be prepared for DA as well as DS. The report from SAP further recommends the launching of a food for work programme.

5. On 25 May, a coordination meeting was held in Ambovombe at le Commissariat Général au Développment intégré du Sud (CGDIS) to assess and review the situation together with the Government, UN agencies, donors and NGOs. At the meeting, participants confirmed the importance of taking measure to be prepared for development in DA areas, including preparation of stocks, and the need of nutrition status research. It was agreed that all aid operations should be carried out in a coordinated manner, taking into account all on-going distribution by donors, UN agencies and NGOs such as UNICEF, WFP, Cantines Scolaires, Catholic Relief Service, Médicin Sans Frontières (MSF) and Sécaline.

6. No request for international assistance has been received by OCHA to date.

7. The Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Madagascar is monitoring the situation. OCHA is in close contact with the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator and will revert with further information if the situation warrants it.

8. This Situation Report and further information on ongoing emergencies are also available on the OCHA Internet Website at:

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers (OCHA Disaster Response Branch): Mr. Klaus Wiersing /Ms. Y. Sawada, direct Tel. +41-22 917 22 70 / +41-22-917 1768

Press contact: Mr. Donato Kiniger-Passigli, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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