Madagascar: Grand Sud Drought - Office of the Resident Coordinator, Situation Report No. 5 (as of January 2017)

Situation Report
Originally published



• Three districts remain classified as IPC Phase 4 (Emergency), with others in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis).

• Pockets of high acute malnutrition persist, some above the WHO emergency threshold.

• Out of the 1.3 million people in IPC phases 1, 2, 3 and 4, still more than 1.1 million people (88%) remain in need of potable water.

• The rainfall season has commenced, except over Taolognaro.

• While welcome, the rains are hampering the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the access to local markets. Despite the limited resources, responses have been accelerated:

• 12,227 tons of food have been distributed to 874,648 people.

• 15,500 cases of severe acute malnutrition and 35,000 cases of moderate malnutrition have been treated.

• 257,081 people received agricultural inputs for the new planting season.

• Up to 12 per cent of the people without access to safe water in the 8 most affected districts received access to sustainable safe potable water since the beginning of the responses, and an additional 13 per cent will receive access during the first quarter of 2017

Situation Overview

As opposed to the below-normal rains received by the rest of the country, the Grand Sud has benefited from close to normal rains from November 2016 onwards, with expectations of good rains until April 2017. However, the agriculture season in the Grand Sud is being jeopardized by lack of seeds at household level.
Mass nutrition screening in November 2016 showed a deterioration in the districts of Beloha, Tshiombe, Ambovombe and Ambosary as the lean season deepened. Two new pockets with high rate of global acute malnutrition above the 15 per cent emergency threshold appeared in the district of Ambovombe. The deterioration is expected to continue up to the peak of the hunger-gap season in April 2017.

The school year started on 03 October 2016, with negative coping mechanisms being reported as parents continue to keep their children out of school. Student absenteeism is high at 9 per cent (11 per cent for girls) in October and 6 per cent in November1 . Atsimo Andrefana (Betioky and Ampanihy) have the worst rates at 12 per cent (14 per cent for girls). Teacher absenteeism was around 40 per cent in October and 35 per cent in November (53 per cent in Anosy2 ). The situation of teacher absenteeism in Androy has improved from 46 per cent to 21 per cent, apparently due to the intensified follow-up by authorities.

The main challenges are as follows: i) humanitarian access due to the effects of rainfall damaging roads - this has affected all sectors and all interventions; ii) an expected lack of funding beyond January 2017 (with limited potential sources of funding identified to date), iii) weak transport capacity, making operations more costly; and iv) the sustainability of the local presence of the coordination office, as its running costs is still not covered.