In July 2021, WFP assisted 463,573 beneficiaries with in-kind food assistance and 213,730 beneficiaries through cash transfer in the 9 drought-affected southern Madagascar districts.
In August, WFP plans to reach 674,000 people with both in-kind and CBT modalities, coupled with prevention of malnutrition. 14,000 people in IPC 5 are being provided with a full 30-day ration, while a half ration (15 days) is distributed to those in IPC 3 and 4.
Following consultations with food security and nutrition actors involved in the south, WFP has increased its needs-based plan for the upcoming lean season (September 2021 – March 2022) from 674,000 to 1,016,000 people in IPC 3, 4 and 5 in order to cover gaps recently identified in the overall response. WFP urgently requires additional funds to sustain this substantial scale-up and provide all targeted beneficiaries with full rations at least until March 2022.
The first UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flight took place in Madagascar on 9 August. UNHAS uses a 12-seater aircraft to connect through weekly rotation the following southern locations from and to Antananarivo: Fort Dauphin, Ambovombe, Ampanihy and Tulear. Although enough funding has been secured until January 2022, additional funds are needed in order to ensure continuity of this service up to the end of the lean season (March 2022) and beyond if need be.
At least 500,000 children under five years of age are expected to be acutely malnourished through April 2022 in southern Madagascar, including 110,000 severely malnourished requiring urgent life-saving assistance, according to the latest IPC Acute Malnutrition analysis conducted in ten districts in the Grand Sud. The districts of Ambovombe and Bekily have 'Critical' levels of acute malnutrition (IPC Acute Malnutrition Phase 4), requiring urgent treatment to save the lives of the affected children. Amboasary, Beloha, Betioky, Toliara and Tsihombe districts have 'Serious' levels of acute malnutrition (Phase 3) and also require action for treatment and prevention.
Madagascar continues to face the most severe drought since 1981, affecting most of the areas in the south, including Atsimo Andrefana region, the breadbasket of the Grand-Sud, and resulting in a severe humanitarian crisis.
The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis shows that 1.14 million people need urgent assistance (IPC Phase 3 or above). Amboasary Atsimo is the most affected district, classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), 75 percent of its population is in IPC Phase 3 or above, and nearly 14,000 people are in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). The situation is expected to continue deteriorating from October to December 2021, bringing the number of people in IPC Phase 3 or above to 1.31 million.
The food security situation remains worrisome in the coastal areas of the Tulear II district as well as parts of Betioky South district. During the second half of July, Ampanihy district has registered rainfalls for a total average of 1.2 millimeter. Albeit limited, some farmers have taken advantage of these rainfalls to plant off-season crops such as sweet potatoes.
The prices of main food commodities remain stable, compared to June, in the districts of Betioky and Tulear II, except for cassava having increased by 25%. In some areas of Ampanihy district, the price of a 20-liter water jerrycan has risen from 300 Ariary (Ar) in June to 700 Ar in July, despite some rainfalls over the past few weeks. The price of oil has increased by 2,000 Ar, from 6,000 Ar per liter in June to 8,000 Ar in July.