Madagascar: Acute Food Insecurity Situation August - October 2018 and Projection for November 2018 – March 2019
Report in French
01.08.2018 > 31.03.2019


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The period of analysis between the months of August and October covers the end of the harvest and the beginning of the lean season for all the analysed zones: the Great South (Ambovombe, Beloha, Bekily, Tsihombe, Ampanihy, Betioky, Morombe, Tuléar II, Amboasary), the 5 towns of Taolagnaro (Ranopiso, Andranobory, Analapatsy, Ankariera, Ankilivalo), the Great South East (Mananjary, Manakara, Vohipeno, Farafangana, Vangaindrano) and the region of Atsinanana (Brickaville, Vatomandry, Toamasina II).

Of the 1,059,000 people categorized in the populations who need immediate action to protect their livelihoods and reduce their food deficits, most of them are located in the southern districts of Beloha (67%), Ampanihy (55%), Betioky (49%), and Tsihombe (47%). It is important to note, however, that the districts of Ambovombe, Bekily, and Amboasary are home to at least 35% of this population group; the latter is close to 20% in the 5 towns of Taolagnaro followed in this analysis. Also, almost a quarter of the population of Beloha and more than 15% of the population of Ampanihy are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

The Great South in particular has been hit by a significant rainfall deficit during the important stages of the crop cycle. This deficit mainly affected harvests of major foodstuffs (rice, maize, cassava), which experienced significant declines of at least 60% overall compared to the averages of the last 5 years. With reference to the situation of June 2018, barely three months after the high season harvest, both food quality and frequency of food consumption has gradually deteriorated: More than the majority of households in Beloha Districts (53%), Tsihombe (54%) and Ambovombe (58%) have a poor Food Consumption Score (FSC). This population far exceeds 20% in the districts of Betioky, Ampanihy, and Amboasary. In the 5 towns of Taolagnaro and the district of Bekily, it reaches respectively 39% and 47%. Moreover, household dietary diversity is extremely poor in Beloha, Tsihombe, and Taolagnaro, with 1 to 2 food groups out of 12 for at least 25% of households.

The districts in the regions of Androy and Anosy (Amboasary) have been severely affected by drought, with losses of at least 50% of rice, maize and cassava harvests compared to the average of the past 5 years. Main observations: the lack of rebuilding assets after the massive decapitalization of previous difficult years, the poor access to staple foods because of very insufficient income and very little diversity, negative adaptation strategies such as the continuous sale of productive cattle. For the Beloha District specifically, a problem also arises on the accessibility of the main foodstuffs given the characteristics of household incomes: little diversified and highly dependent on the performance of agricultural seasons with the sale of crops.

With the deterioration of the food situation in the Great South, the nutritional situation remains stable overall with a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate of less than 10%. However, there are pockets of vulnerability in Ampanihy (a nutritional emergency situation with a GAM-proxy of 19.5%) and localities under alert in Beloha (4 towns out of 8 with a GAM-proxy of 9%).

In the Greater Southeast, the situation has improved significantly because of the good production of the main 2017-2018 cropping season of the main foodstuffs. A significant decrease in the number of people in Crisis and Emergency phases (IPC Phases 3 and 4) is observed in the Vangaindrano and Farafangana districts as well as compared to the last analysis of June 2018 than that of October 2017. Indeed, additional revenue opportunities through the sale of part of the rice and cassava crop came in addition to the available stocks that most households were able to maintain for up to a month. Considering the vulnerability to recurrent shocks (cyclones and floods in particular) and the structural poverty of this area, the resilience capacity of communities most exposed to these shocks will have to be further strengthened to avoid the deterioration of the situation in the area.

Regarding the three districts of the Atsinanana Region, despite flooding during the 2018 crop season in January 2018, an increase in production of the main food crops is observed. This resulted in a stable food situation in terms of availability and accessibility; the existence of various economic opportunities contributes to this situation.


The projected period from November 2018 to March 2019 includes both the start of the crop year, the lean season, the off-season crop season (end of December 2018 - beginning of January 2019), and the hurricane season with risks of flooding specifically for the eastern part and the southeastern part.

In general, an increase in the number of people requiring urgent action (IPC Phases 3 and 4) should be expected over the projection period with at least 1 300 000 people (almost 30% of the total population analysed), 247,000 more people than the current figure. It has been estimated that these people in IPC Phases 3 and 4 will be concentrated in the South and more specifically in the districts of Beloha (where they could reach 70%), Ampanihy (68%), Betioky (65%), Tsihombe (51%), Ambovombe (40%), Amboasary (39%) and Bekily (39%). In fact, in these areas, the consequences of the failure of the 2017/2018 crop year, combined with the difficulty of access to foodstuffs with the general rise in prices often recorded during the second half of the analyzed period, will make the lean season of the population earlier and more difficult. This situation would not give them the opportunity to overcome the precariousness of their livelihoods. In addition, a period of drought following the El Niño episode in prospect for the country during the last quarter of this year until the beginning of the year 2019, with 70% chance as announced by the world organization of meteorology; as well as the end of the various recovery and / or recovery activities before the end of the year, are significant parameters.

As a result, Beloha will remain in IPC Phase 4 if Ampanihy will be able to move into this phase and Ambovombe into IPC Phase 3!, the other southern districts, namely Bekily (IPC Phase 3), Betioky (IPC Phase 3) and Tsihombe (IPC Phase 3 !), will stay in the same phase. Finally, Amboasary will switch from the IPC Phase 3 ! in IPC Phase 3 and the 5 towns of Taolagnaro from IPC Phase 2 ! to IPC Phase 3.

In the districts of Morombe, Tulear II, Farafangana and Vangaindrano, the proportion of population in IPC Phases 3 and 4 would be around 20%. In the rest of the analysis areas, the population in IPC Phases 3 and 4 would not exceed 12% except for Toamasina II, Manakara (15%) and Farafangana (17%). In these areas, even if it remains marginal, it is important to emphasize the existence of a shock-absorbing mechanism with income opportunities through the needs of agricultural labor during the transplanting of rice, and cape pea harvests (Atsimo Andrefana), and cash crops (mangoes, litchi, etc.). However, if these cash crops will be impacted by the potential cyclone damage in the eastern part, the main source of household income could be penalized. Thus, these areas will remain classified in IPC Phase 2 but with a much larger number of population in IPC Phase 2 and above. For the 3 districts of the region of Atsinanana, they will switch from IPC Phase 1 to IPC Phase 2.

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