Madagascar: Acute Food Insecurity Situation March - May 2017 and Projection for June - September 2017
01.03.2017 > 30.09.2017


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In geographical zones subject to this analysis, 9% of the population (about 262,800 people) are in emergency phase (IPC phase 4) and 27% (about 804,600 people) are classified in crisis phase (IPC phase 3). In the Southeastern regions, 9% of the population are in phase 4 (120,806 people) and 27% (364,151 people) in IPC phase 3. In the South, although there has been an improvement compared to 2016, the population classified in phase 4 represent 8% of the global population (142,064 people) against 20% (330,000 people) in 2016, and the people in phase 3 is totaling 440,528 people (23%) against 32% (515,000 people) in 2016. The situation has deteriorated in Betioky and Tuléar II while elsewhere a decrease on the number of people requiring urgent actions was noted. During four consecutive years, the South has recorded insufficient and unequal rainfall distribution; a situation which was aggravated with the effects of El Niño phenomenon in 2016. Indeed the situation has led 20% of the population into emergency phase and 32% into crisis phase, thus making a total of 845,000 people in humanitarian phase at the end of 2016.

Between March and May 2017, the proportion of the population in the South in phase 3 and phase 4 has significantly reduced up to 582,592 people owing to, among other things, humanitarian aid provided in the concerned areas. However, 35% of the population are still in that state; the proportion is still very important in the commune of Beheloka, Tulear II (at least 50%) and in the districts of Betioky and Tsihombe. These areas are in emergency phase and the effects of the humanitarian aid (IPC phase 3!) in the districts of Ampanihy, Beloha, Amboasary Sud, the four communes in the Taolagnaro district are still to materialize. At least, 30% of the population record a poor food consumption score (SCA) except Ampanihy (27%) and at least 30% adopt one emergency strategy. Overall, around 30% of the population having one source of single income are at risk in the face of the increasing of food prices, particularly at the beginning of the period under study. Global Acute malnutrition (GAM) remains below the threshold (10%) for the five districts out of the 8 where the SMART survey has been conducted. For Beloha, Bekily and Ambosary districts, the MAG rate exceeds the threshold but remains below 15%. Ambovombe and Bekily districts would likely be at least one phase worse without the on-going humanitarian actions (IPC Phase 2!). Regarding the Southeastern regions, this part of the island has also experienced a long drought period towards the end of 2016 and early 2017; a situation which has not helped the 2016 “contre-saison”, nor the start of the main agricultural season of 2016-2017. In addition, crops that have been able to survive the lack of water and those planted late have been destroyed by flooding following the passage of ENAWO cyclone in March 2017. The reduced off season cropping production has had repercussions on price variations with at least 20% increase at the beginning of the period under study compared with prices of the previous year, while income sources are limited or even unstable. These factors have lead the analysis to classify Vangaindrano, Farafangana and Vohipeno districts into crisis phase (IPC Phase 3). In Vohipeno, 43% of the population have a poor FCS, representing the highest rate in the Southeastern regions.

For the projected period from June to September 2017, despite the predicted global price instability of food products at the end of that period in the analyzed areas, the situation is going to improve slightly for some districts; indeed, the beginning of the period overlaps with the post-harvest period meaning an improvement of availability and access to food products and also a stabilization of the nutritional situation. Almost all the districts in “IPC phase 3!” and “IPC phase 2!” will certainly move to IPC Phase 3 (Betioky,Tsihombe, Beloha, Amboasary Sud, the four communes in the district of Taolagnaro, and the commune of Beheloka in Tuléar II) and IPC Phase 2 (Ambovombe, Bekily). Also for Vangaindrano, the district will move from IPC Phase 3 to IPC Phase 2. Better harvest prospects are forecasted in those areas although a significant production decrease is expected due to the delay and rainfall deficit during the start-up phase of the main agricultural season. Elsewhere, the situation remains the same. Vohipeno and Farafangana districts classified in IPC Phase 3 will most probably retain the same status; the expected production at the beginning of the projected period has been severely disrupted by the rainfall deficit during the cropping starting phase (the planted areas for rice production has decreased to at least 15%, and at least 30% of households could not grow rice and 50% for cassava) and also destroyed by flooding from ENAWO cyclone. The food product price trend between December 2016 and May 2017 is higher compared with the same period of the previous year, limiting household access to food. The lean season might come earlier. On the contrary, the districts of Manakara and Ampanihy are exceptions: the food insecurity situation for the population in Manakara has been predicted to worsen with the drop in rice and cassava production estimated up to 50%. This district will move from IPC Phase 2 to IPC Phase 3. For Ampanihy, the classification improvement is highly dependent on humanitarian aid; during the projected period, it will move from « l’IPC Phase 3! » to « l’IPC phase 2! ». This district has also experienced an important decrease in planted areas around 25% for rice and 80% for legumes.

Thus, from June to September 2017, 28% of the population (about 855,800 people) will be in IPC Phases 3 & 4, and would need an emergency action to protect their livelihood, reduce the food deficit and acute malnutrition. In the Southeastern regions, this proportion is more important (34%) than in the South (24%); which can be explained by the numerous emergency interventions carried out since the end of 2015. Household food consumption in the South-East and the mostly stricken districts for the projected situation would deteriorate compared with the current period. All parameters related to availability, access, use and food stability put together, based on the situation before harvest from the main season will lead to that situation. Even after harvest, one could expect an increase of percentage of households with poor and borderline food consumption score. In the South, we should expect a slight improvement of the situation compared to 2016 although it will remain fragile.

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