USAID provides plastic sheeting to help repair shelters damaged by Tropical Cyclone Giovanna
USAID provides plastic sheeting to help repair shelters damaged by Tropical Cyclone Giovanna
USAID/Michael Keegan


During the early morning hours of February 14, 2012, Tropical Cyclone Giovanna made landfall on the eastern coast of Madagascar, bringing winds of up to 120 miles per hour. The storm progressively weakened as it tracked southwest across the center of the island; however, strong winds and rain affected many population centers, including the capital, Antananarivo, and the major eastern cities of Toamasina and Vatomandry. By February 16, Tropical Cyclone Giovanna had resulted in at least 17 deaths, 76 people injured, and affected many, according to Government of Madagascar (GoM) reports. The storm had also caused significant damage to public infrastructure, such as water, electricity, and telecommunications services, throughout Madagascar.

On February 15, 2012, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., Glenn Fedzer declared a disaster due to the effects of the cyclone. In response, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) provided support to relief agency CARE to support post-storm clean-up activities and the procurement and distribution of emergency relief supplies. CARE also planned to draw from stocks of plastic sheeting and water containers pre-positioned with funding from USAID/OFDA in preparation for potential emergency shelter and sanitation needs that could arise during the cyclone season, which annually extends from October to April.



USAID/OFDA Assistance to Madagascar


Total USAID Assistance to Madagascar


*This figure includes funding for both disaster response and disaster risk reduction activities. (As of September 12, 2012)


Latest Madagascar Fact Sheet

South Africa Floods and Cyclones Fact Sheet #2 (249kb PDF) and map (696kb PDF)

(FY 2011) Southern Africa DRR Fact Sheet #1 (302kb PDF) and map (121kb PDF)


Key Developments

In late February, Tropical Storm Irina traversed northern Madagascar, bringing heavy rains for several days that displaced fewer than 150 people and caused limited damage to houses and public infrastructure.  Additionally, between March 1 and 3, the Irina weather system brought heavy rains to southern parts of Madagascar as it moved through the Mozambique Channel and away from Madagascar.  The rains led to severe flooding in areas in the southeast, leaving more than 14,000 people displaced.

On March 4, the GoM declared a state of emergency in flood-affected districts in the southeastern Vatovavy-Fitovinany and Atsimo-Atsinanana regions.  According to the U.N., sufficient pre-positioned food assistance and emergency relief supplies existed to meet the humanitarian needs of displaced people; however, rehabilitation of the damaged main road in the area was expected to take up to 10 days, potentially hindering access to affected populations during repairs.  Humanitarian assessment teams, initially deployed to evaluate the impact of mid-February’s Tropical Cyclone Giovanna, began gathering damage information from flood-affected areas.

During the week of February 27, USAID/OFDA staff--deployed in response to late January storms and floods in southern Africa--met with humanitarian agencies and attended coordination meetings in Antananarivo, Madagascar to discuss humanitarian conditions and emergency relief operations.

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: November 05, 2012

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