Madagascar: Acute Food Insecurity Situation March-June 2018 and Projection for July-September 2018
01.03.2018 > 30.09.2018


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The current period of the analysis coincides in part with the end of the lean season and the beginning of the crop season. Overall, we note a decrease in the number of people requiring urgent action in the areas most affected by the long drought of 2016, intensified by the effects of El Niño. However, with most districts classified as IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) or IPC Phase 3! (Crisis - would probably be at least 1 higher phase without the effects of Humanitarian Aid),the food and nutritional situation in the analysis zones remains worrying. Indeed, around 1 million people, or 30% of the population in the areas analyzed, are still in IPC Phase 3 and 4 (Crisis and Emergency), and require urgent action to reduce their food and nutrition deficits and protect their livelihoods. Most households in situations of Crisis or Emergency are located in the Districts of Amboasary, Bekily, Ambovombe, Tulear II, Ampanihy, Betioky and Beloha with more than 25% of their respective population in this situation. Moreover, the proportion of people classified in the Emergency phase (IPC Phase 4) is around 10% in all districts except Vohipeno and the 5 communes of Taolagnaro, and reached 18% in Beloha. The main cause of this continuing critical situation is that the off-season harvest did not significantly improve access to food. It has been affected by the insufficiency in time and space of precipitation useful for the good development of cultures; Moreover, the volatility of food available on the market is penalizing access to food for low-income households. The drying up of water points has been reported in the South West region concerned by the analysis (Betioky, Tulear II and Ampanihy). The evidence documenting household food consumption is worrisome in all areas of analysis. The quantity consumed and the frequency of household consumption deteriorated: 35% of households in Beloha and Betioky Districts and more than 40% in Ambovombe and Tulear II have a poor food consumption score. Moreover, the majority of households already take half a ration per meal. In addition, diversity of household food is extremely poor in Ampanihy, Beloha, Ambovombe and Amboasary with over 40% of households consuming 1 to 2 food groups only. Faced with food difficulties both in terms of availability and access to food, the use of emergency strategies such as irreversible dilapidation of assets has been very popular with more than 20% of the households concerned in Manakara, Ampanihy and Amboasary and up to 32.5% in the District of Vangaindrano. In these districts, at least 18% of households begin to sell productive assets such as livestock, as well as their home or plot of land.


At the beginning of the projected period coinciding with the post-harvest period of the major cropping season 2017/2018, food security is expected to improve following an increase in the availability and accessibility of food and a stabilization of the nutritional situation typical of the season. However, towards the end of this projected period, the population will be confronted with the preparation of the next cropping season and the beginning of the lean season. Furthermore, during this period, which runs from July to September, there is often a continuous rise in food prices.

In all the zones of analysis, the very marked insufficiency of precipitations useful to the development of cultures as well as the not insignificant attack of armyworms in some localities of the Great South, do not improve the situation of the most vulnerable, who do not expect a good harvest compared to the previous campaign. At least 80% of them predict a decline in production of 2017-2018 campaign for the South, while for the South-East, a moderately promising crop is expected.

In the four districts of the Greater Southeast, the classification remains unchanged but with a decrease in the number of people in Crisis and Emergency phases (IPC Phase 3 and 4) in Vohipeno and Manakara Districts where additional income opportunities from cash crop (coffee, vanilla), and the preparation of off-season irrigated rice should be introduced. On the contrary, in the Districts of Farafangana and Vaingandrano, the most vulnerable households are likely to get worse because of the expected price surge, while these districts are home to a high proportion of poor households due to recurrent shocks (drought in 2017 and post-cyclone floods that have made the riverside areas vulnerable) and a situation of structural poverty. These two districts did not benefit from consequent post-hazard humanitarian assistance as in the South.

In the Great South, rainfall deficits since the start of the crop year may strongly penalize the expected production and ricochet on the availability and accessibility of food. Districts that benefited from a more mild rainfall regime such as Bekily, Ambovombe, Amboasary and the 5 communes of Taolagnaro can always expect a more or less satisfactory harvest, especially with the rains in early June. However, food production will always be lower compared to the average of the previous 5 years. As a result, the weld will start earlier than expected and will be more felt in areas where agricultural production is the smallest. The early start and especially the intensity of the period may result in deterioration of the nutritional status of children. Food consumption will still be precarious and the strategies to cope with food difficulties will be more severe. Considering that the planned food aid in the projected period is not significant, the proportion of the population in Crisis Phase (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is estimated to be higher than that of the current period.

The Crisis situation (IPC Phase 3) will be maintained for most districts of the Great South (the majority of the population is in IPC Phases 2 and 3), with the exception of Beloha which will switch to IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) with a quarter of its population that could end up in the emergency phase (IPC Phase 4).

The food insecurity in Beloha District is predicted to worsen with a significant drop in production in the countryside 2017-2018, a situation that will certainly disadvantage food availability despite the functionality of the markets. To this could be added further deterioration of livelihoods. For the areas in difficulty, the next growing season, the preparations for which will start from September will be uncertain due to insufficient seed for the start of the 2018-2019 campaign.

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