The south of Madagascar is facing a major nutrition and food security emergency which will continue to worsen if response interventions are not scaled up.
More than 16% of children aged 6 to 59 months are suffering from acute malnutrition including 2.6% with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) (ranging from 17% to 27% and from 2.7% to 5.3% in the six most affected districts), which is over the emergency levels.
Preliminary SMART survey results in the Grand Sud (conducted between April and June 2021 by UNICEF in collaboration with WFP) indicate a deterioration in the nutrition situation compared to previous surveys conducted in November 2020.
Significant deterioration in wasting prevalence can be seen in five districts (Ambovombe, Bekily, Beloha, Tsihombe, and Betioky).
Over 30,000 children with SAM have been admitted in the Grand Sud between January and April 2021, more than double the number admitted for the same period in 2020. The nutrition situation is expected to deteriorate further in the coming months due to lack of rainfall and below average harvest for 2021.
Since the start of the year, UNICEF has promoted a multi-pronged approach, building on interventions that link nutrition to WASH, shock responsive social protection, education, health and protection interventions.
From January to June 2021, UNICEF’s water and sanitation interventions have reached 161,000 people most affect by the drought in Androy, Anosy and Atsimo Andrefana.