Madagascar experienced its worst drought in 40 years in 2021. The food security situation is deteriorating due to the combined effects of (i) drought, (ii) low agricultural productivity, (iii) the impact of COVID-19, (iv) a lack of essential food staples in the market, and (v) cyclones both in 2022 and 2023.
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 and Grand Sud-Est, disaster preparedness, and education in emergencies.
What are the needs?
Currently, 2.2 million people face acute levels of food insecurity. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine puts additional pressure on an already fragile situation.
Around 479,000 children in the Grand Sud and Grand Sud-Est are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition, including nearly 92,000 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 rising.
The COVID-19 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. This is due to job losses in key manufacturing and service sectors and the sudden loss of income for informal workers affected by lockdowns in major cities.
How are we helping?
In 2023, the EU allocated €14.6 million for humanitarian aid in Madagascar. This includes 2 allocations to:
- assist those most affected by tropical cyclone Freddy in February 2023
- reinforce the air operation set up by the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) with a helicopter. This enables humanitarian actors to assist communities affected by the flooding and other damage caused by these 2 cyclones.
This year’s funding aims at reinforcing the aid provided last year by assisting the most affected people in the Grand Sud and Grand Sud-Est.
Our support will help provide access to food, education in emergencies and nutrition services while responding to the specific needs of the most vulnerable people.
We will continue integrating protection considerations in all interventions and reinforce logistics capacities. The EU is also working on preparedness for natural hazards, including tropical cyclones/storms and drought.
The EU monitors the humanitarian situation in the Grand Sud and Grand Sud-Est daily. Both the EU’s humanitarian and development aid departments are combining and coordinating their efforts to build the long-term resilience of the communities in both regions.
In 2022, as part of the overall budget, the EU allocated €4.25 million to address food insecurity and increasing costs of logistics. The aim is to mitigate the negative impact of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine on the price and availability of food, fuel, fertilisers, and other commodities in Madagascar.
Last year, the EU also provided an integrated response to tropical cyclone Batsirai, which struck Madagascar in February 2022.
The operation involved a massive EU civil protection deployment and the delivery of humanitarian aid. This was possible thanks to a series of EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights that brought humanitarian partners, emergency teams from EU Member States and European Commission experts to Madagascar.
This operation was complemented by the EU Humanitarian Aid flights, used to transport humanitarian actors and cargo.
Since 2021, the European Commission has provided €100 million in humanitarian assistance to support the rollout of vaccination campaigns in African countries with critical humanitarian needs and fragile health systems.
At least €8.9 million of this funding supports vaccination campaigns for the most vulnerable in the Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region. Madagascar received €1 million of this package.
Last updated: 06/03/2023
Facts & figures
2.2 million people are highly food insecure and need assistance.
2 out of 5 people are severely food insecure.
Around 479,000 children in the Grand South and Grand South-east are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition, including nearly 92,000 expected cases of severe acute malnutrition.
Faced in 2021 its worst drought in 40 years.
EU humanitarian funding:
€14.6 million in 2023
€19.9 million in 2022
€12 million in 2021
Nearly €70 million for the Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region in 2022