Foreword by the United Nations Resident Coordinator
As the Great South of Madagascar began to emerge from its worst drought in 40 years, eight districts in the Great South East of the country were severely affected by two successive cyclones in February 2022. Following successive severe droughts (December 2019 – February 2020 and November 2020 – January 2021) in the Great South, which resulted in a historically catastrophic level of food insecurity (IPC Phase 5) in Madagascar, a ramping up of the humanitarian response in 2021, combined with relatively good seasonal rainfall in 2021-2022, has considerably improved the situation. However, during this period, eight districts in the Greater South East of the country were affected by two tropical cyclones, Batsirai and Emnati, which increased the humanitarian needs in the affected areas.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Government of Madagascar for its leadership in managing the humanitarian crisis in the Deep South, which lasted nearly two years, and in leading the response to tropical cyclones Batsirai and Emnati.
The National Response Plan has been revised twice under the leadership of the National Office for Disaster Risk Management (BNGRC). The last revision of May 2022 integrated both the needs induced by the drought in the Deep South and the needs induced by the cyclones in the Southeast. The revised plan aims to provide emergency multisector assistance to 2.1 million people over the next six months (June to December 2022) in the Grand Sud and Sud-Est, while considering the foundations of resilience. and longer term development.
Complementing the extension of the national plan, and in consultation with national authorities, we have revised, extended and expanded the humanitarian flash appeal to mobilize additional resources for lifesaving interventions until the end of 2022 for people affected by drought and cyclone. areas. This third version of the flash appeal requests an additional $154.7 million over the next six months, targeting 1.9 million people, to complete the government’s response. It will aim to provide 1.9 million people with food assistance, 1.3 million people with access to drinking water, 58,000 malnourished children and 22,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women with nutritional support, 310,000 people with free basic health care, 14,600 pregnant women with health care, and 1 million people with access to water, as well as protection support and assistance for women exposed to gender-based violence ( GBV) and children at protection risk.
Despite its humanitarian nature, this third version of the Appeal emphasizes a resilience approach, taking into account the specific needs of communities in areas affected by drought and cyclones. In addition, the actions undertaken within the framework of this Appeal will continue to support existing government structures, in particular the BNGRC, the Nutritional and Medical Rehabilitation Centers (CRNM) and the Food Bank.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank every donor who has contributed to funding the successive Appeals since its launch in January 2021. The Extended Appeal (covering from January 2021 to May 2022) is now 81% funded, an unprecedented level. already achieved in the region, demonstrating the strong solidarity and commitment of international partners to help the populations and communities of the Great South.
Your support enabled a massive scaling up of humanitarian operations, which played a key role in preventing the risk of famine identified in the Grand Sud in June 2021. Humanitarian partners provided essential assistance and protection to 1.1 million 1.3 million people targeted between January 2021 and May 2022. For the first time in history, the drought response mobilized air support to reach very hard-to-reach areas, there was also an increase of 67% of humanitarian workers in the Grand Sud from January to September 2021, while four humanitarian clusters have been activated (Food Security and Livelihoods, Nutrition, WASH and Health) for the response.
As we enter the second half of the year, it is essential that we maintain our humanitarian response to save lives, restore livelihoods and build the resilience of drought and cyclone affected communities in the Grand Sud and the Great Southeast of Madagascar.
Together, in support of the government’s response, we can ensure that people whose lives have been threatened by drought and cyclones can end this year much better than they started it. We count on your generous support.
Resident Coordinator for Madagascar
Overview of the crisis
As people in Madagascar’s Deep South began to emerge from the worst drought in more than 40 years, the country was hit by six tropical weather systems from January to April 2022, killing at least 214 people and affecting an estimated 571,100. On January 17, 2022, Tropical Storm Ana landed in Madagascar, bringing heavy rains and flooding that affected an estimated 131,500 people and killed 55, mostly in the central and northern parts of the country. Subsequently, tropical cyclone Batsirai made landfall near the city of Mananjary on February 5, affecting the regions of Atsimo Atsinanana, Vatovavy and Fitovinany, and tropical cyclone Emnati made landfall south of the city of Manakara on February 23. February, affecting the same areas. Between these two cyclones, tropical storm Dumako hit Madagascar on February 15 near Sainte Marie in the Analanjirofo region, causing flooding in the northeastern regions and killing 14 people. Tropical Storm Gombe then made landfall on March 8 without significant damage, followed by Moderate Tropical Storm Jasmine, which affected more than 4,800 people and killed 5 in southern Madagascar after arriving on April 26.
The Greater South-East of the country, made up of the regions of Vatovavy, Fitovavy and Atsimo Atsinanana, was the hardest hit by the weather, with tropical cyclones Batsirai and Emnati making landfall in the space of two weeks. The two cyclones affected 423,800 people, including 121 people killed by Batsirai and 15 by Emnati.
Livelihoods in the region – which is generally relatively food secure – have been decimated, with 70% of households reporting damage to the rice-growing areas of Nosy Varika and Vohipeno, 80% reporting losses of fruit crops and 100% reporting losses. rice. cash crops, including coffee, vanilla and cloves. The cyclones also caused significant damage, with production losses and damages estimated at over $160 million, including loss of household livelihoods, housing infrastructure, and community school infrastructure.
Food insecurity has increased in the Grand Sud-Est due to the effects of cyclones, with five of the six districts of the Grand Sud-Est region expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from April to August 2022. C This is the first time that Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and above food insecurity is projected in the Greater South East, where food insecurity generally does not exceed the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level. ‘CPI). About 67,000 people will be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). According to the agricultural sector, 492,000 people will need immediate post-harvest assistance as part of agricultural recovery.
Meanwhile, the situation in the Grand Sud, which has been rocked by consecutive droughts during the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 rainy seasons, remains precarious. Following a sharp scaling up of humanitarian assistance, food insecurity and malnutrition improved in the Grand Sud during the first half of 2022, which is particularly remarkable as it coincided with the peak of the lean season. No district will be in emergency (IPC Phase 4) from May to November 2022, according to the latest Integrated Food Insecurity Classification (IPC) analysis, and the number of people in the Grand Sud facing Phase IPC 3 and above has declined from over 1.1 million people in 2021 to just over 1 million from April to August 2022. Similarly, Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates in the most drought-affected districts decreased to 8.4% (from 9.2% in September 2021), and severe acute malnutrition was 0.7%. However, the situation remains fragile, with 7 out of 10 districts remaining in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity and the number of people in Crisis or above food insecurity remaining above average in 5 years. Planting of crops in 2022 was delayed by a poor start to the season and, although crops were finally planted following rains brought by cyclones and storms, the heavy rains also contributed to a resurgence of migratory locusts and at good conditions for the fall armyworm.
Cyclones and drought have had devastating consequences for women and children. The risk of exposure of women and girls to gender-based violence has been exacerbated by each of these disasters and more than 6,900 cases of gender-based violence have been recorded in the Grand Sud and Grand Sud-Est in 2021 and in the first quarter of 2022, with 92% of survivors being women and 8% men. At the same time, families have adopted desperate coping mechanisms, with child labour, child marriage and sexual violence (including sexual abuse and sexual exploitation) highlighted as the top three problems of child protection during a rapid protection assessment in the Grand Sud.
Children’s access to education has also been compromised: schools have been damaged by cyclones, while children in the Deep South have dropped out of school to help their families survive the drought by searching for food and water or doing child labor, including selling water, petty trading, begging and herding zebus. The increase in the number of child marriages has forced girls out of school, particularly in the Grand Sud, where five regions (Anosy, Androy, Atsimo Andrefana, Atsimo Atsinanana) already had some of the marriage rates of highest children in the country before the drought.
Each of these emergencies has also compromised access to clean water and increased the risk of communicable diseases. In the nine districts affected by the drought, access to drinking water remains low, forcing the majority of the population to use surface water. In the cyclone-affected districts, WASH infrastructure has been destroyed or contaminated.
The affected areas face a high prevalence of childhood illnesses, including diarrhoea, malaria and respiratory infections, while immunization coverage is low. Malaria also affects the Grand Sud and Grand Sud-Est regions, notably Anosy, Atsimo Andrefana and Atsimo Atsinanana. The Grand Sud is also at risk of outbreaks of poliovirus and measles, with two cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus reported in the Atsimo Andrefana region in the past 12 months and three confirmed cases of measles reported in the region. of Atsimo Atsinanana since the beginning of 2012.
As a result, there are now at least 1.9 million people in the Greater South (1.15 million) and Greater South East (0.75 million) who would need humanitarian assistance between June and December 2022.
- United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA’s activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.