WFP Madagascar Country Brief, February 2021

Situation Report
Originally published


In Numbers

446,405 people assisted through in-kind and cash assistance as a part of emergency drought response

541,490 people received cash assistance in urban areas as part of the COVID-19 response

USD 51 million six-month (March–August 2021 net funding requirements

Key Highlights

The drought in the south of Madagascar persisted throughout February, further deteriorating food supply and critical access to water in some areas, while heavy rains in certain areas have damaged the roads and complicated access.

In two of the most affected districts (Amboasary and Ambovombe), Severe Acute Malnutrition admissions have spiked from 400 in January 2020 to 2,700 in January 2021, signifying the gravity of the situation.

The number of people migrating from food-insecure villages to FortDauphin is increasing. Assistance in Fort Dauphin and return to the villages of origin of displaced persons is jointly coordinated by the Government and humanitarian community.

Operational Updates

Drought Situation

To better assess the state of current food security situation and confirm the extension of the current lean season beyond May, in February 2021, WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) jointly conducted a food security and crop assessment. The results of the most recent start of agricultural season and food security assessment, conducted by the NVAC (National Vulnerability Assessment Committee) in February 2021, reveal a very alarming situation: one out of two households is severely food insecure, while agricultural production is expected to be significantly reduced, in all areas (especially in Amboasary, Ampanihy and Ambovombe) by more than 60% compared to the average of the last five year’s harvest.

Full analysis and assessment results will be available and announced by the end of March. This will guide WFP and other humanitarian actors in adapting their response to the growing needs.

The nutrition situation becomes more and more worrisome. New admissions of children with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) have progressively increased in 2020 and in the beginning of 2021. In two of the most affected districts (Amboasary and Ambovombe), SAM admissions have gone up from 400 in January 2020 to 2,700 in January 2021.

While in some southern districts drought and sandstorms persisted throughout February, significant rainfalls started occurring in other areas (Tuléar, Ampanihy and Amboasary). Although these rains provide some relief, mostly allowing farmers to better feed their cattle, they have arrived too late to save the 2020/2021 harvest. In Amboasary, the rains are causing delays in food delivery as road conditions are deteriorating.

The crisis is also becoming more and more complex due to the increased migratory flows of affected people to urban centers, mainly to FortDauphin. The Government and humanitarian actors are jointly taking action to assist the displaced persons in Fort Dauphin and arrange their safe return to their villages of origin.

Drought Response

In the areas where markets are still functional, WFP has started to provide unconditional cash assistance at an amount of USD 20 per household per month. In February, 277,955 people residing in the drought-affected southern regions received cash transfers. Where the markets are not fully functional, WFP reached 168,450 people with in-kind assistance, complemented with supplementary nutritious food for 36,881 pregnant and lactating women as well as children under the age of 6 months.

With the available resources WFP aims to scale up its assistance until the end of April 2021 and reach almost 300,000 people every month with cash and 450,000 people with in-kind assistance.