Madagascar is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years. The combined effects of drought, low agricultural productivity, the impact of COVID-19 and a lack of essential food staples in the market, have resulted in a deteriorating food security situation.
With one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world, more than half of all children in the country suffer from chronic malnutrition. The EU continues its humanitarian assistance to Madagascar, focusing on food and nutrition in the Grand Sud, disaster preparedness, and education in emergencies.
What are the needs?
Some 1.64 million people face acute levels of food insecurity, which may increase to more than 1.9 million for the period September-November 2022. It is expected to reach over 2 million people from December 2022-March 2023.
Across the 3 regions of Southern Madagascar, global acute malnutrition affected 9.5% of children aged between 6 and 59 months until April, confirming a very precarious nutrition situation.
Around 309,000 children in the Grand Sud are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition through August 2022. This includes nearly 60,000 expected cases of severe acute malnutrition.
Access to water is a structural problem and is insufficient during this period of drought. Protection is a key sector that remains largely unaddressed. The level of prevention and response is currently very low. Child abuse and gender-based violence are increasing, and school dropout rates are on the rise.
The coronavirus pandemic has considerably exacerbated the worrying food security situation. According to the World Bank, COVID-19 has pushed 1.4 million people into extreme poverty due to job losses in key manufacturing and service sectors, as well as the sudden loss of income for informal workers affected by lockdowns in major cities.
How are we helping?
In 2021, EU humanitarian assistance amounted to €8 million to respond to the food insecurity and nutrition emergency needs. In addition, we allocated €4 million to reinforce actions on education in emergencies and disaster preparedness, and support the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in line with the national plan.
In 2022, our funding aims at reinforcing the aid provided last year by assisting the most affected people. We will help provide access to food and nutrition services while responding to the specific needs of children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people with disabilities, including protection mainstreaming.
The EU is also working with its partners on preparedness for drought response. EU humanitarian funding amounts to €12.4 million including nearly €2 million for the response to the 2021/2022 cyclonic season.
Between mid-January and April, 6 tropical cyclones and storms hit Madagascar: Ana, Batsirai, Dumako, Emnati, Gombe and Jasmine. Heavy rains, high winds and storm surge caused flooding, leading to the displacement of tens of thousands of people, and the destruction of key infrastructure.
The EU and its Member States have strongly contributed to the Government's immediate response to help the affected populations. The cumulative toll of these events is heavy: 206 deaths and more than 960,000 people have been affected according to the national authorities.
The EU monitors the humanitarian situation in the Grand Sud. Both the EU’s humanitarian and development aid departments are also combining and coordinating their efforts to build the long-term resilience of the communities in the Grand Sud.
In addition, the European Commission is providing €100 million in humanitarian assistance to support the rollout of vaccination campaigns in countries in Africa with critical humanitarian needs and fragile health systems.
At least €8.9 million out of this funding is supporting vaccination campaigns for the most vulnerable in the Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region. Madagascar received €1 million of this package.
Last updated: 20/05/2022
Picture: © UNICEF/Andrian. All rights reserved. Licensed to the European Union under conditions.
Facts & figures
More than 1.6 million people need emergency humanitarian assistance.
2 out of 5 people are severely food insecure.
Around 309,000 children in the Grand South are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition through August 2022, including 60,000 expected cases of severe acute malnutrition
Faces worst drought in 40 years.
EU humanitarian funding:
€38 million in 2022 for the Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region, including
€12.5 million to Madagascar
€12 million in 2021