Southern Madagascar | Response overview (October 2021)

News and Press Release
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Key points

  • People in southern Madagascar continue to endure the worst drought in 40 years, which has adversely affected agricultural productivity, with reduced cultivated land area, driving up humanitarian needs.
  • Compounded by other shocks, including plant pests, animal diseases, localized insecurity and the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, people in the region are facing a hunger crisis.
  • Due to the semi-arid context of southern Madagascar and high levels of environmental devastation caused by the depletion of soils through erosion and deforestation, sandstorms (Tiokamena) have covered croplands and pasture with deposits of sand. Driven in part by climate change, this phenomenon has occurred during the main agricultural campaign, transforming arable land into wasteland across large areas and rendering agriculture-based livelihoods extremely precarious.
  • Since early 2020, the prices of basic products (rice, oil, etc.) have significantly increased as a result of currency depreciation and COVID-19 containment measures, which disrupted market functioning.
  • Madagascar is also facing a worrying locust situation requiring urgent large-scale survey and control operations. At the end of the 2020/21 campaign (June–July 2021), the locust populations in the Tsivory region consisted of immature, transient congregants to sub-gregarious adults, and found favourable conditions for their development.
  • Based on available information, historical data and locust control experience in Madagascar, an estimated 400 000 ha of land will need to be treated during the 2021/22 locust campaign (November 2021– June 2022).