Madagascar Floods
In 2015, Madagascar faced its worst rainy season since 1959. USAID, with our partner CARE Madagascar, provides emergency shelter supplies.

Key Developments

As of February 11, heavy mid-January floods had affected approximately 126,000 people in Madagascar’s AlaotraMangoro, Analamanga, Betsiboka, Boeny, Diana, Melaky, and Sofia regions, displacing approximately 17,000 people and destroying crops and infrastructure across northern Madagascar, the Government of Madagascar (GoM) reports. The GoM declared a national emergency and requested international assistance on January 24; in response, humanitarian actors operating in Madagascar have disbursed emergency funds and pre-positioned relief commodities. Agriculture, education, and water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance remain the most pressing humanitarian needs in flood-affected areas of Madagascar, according to the UN.  

Poor rainfall in parts of southern and southwestern Madagascar have resulted in Crisis levels of acute food insecurity among households in Atsimo-Andrefana Region’s Ampanihy District and Stressed—IPC 2—levels of acute food insecurity among some households in Amboy Region’s Beloha, Ambovombe, and Tsihombe districts, according to the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET). Additionally, a persistent, widespread fall armyworm infestation in some drought-affected areas will likely result in significant crop losses and below-average maize production, particularly in Ambovombe, where up to 90 percent of farmland may be infested, FEWS NET reports. Across southern Madagascar, approximately 730,000 people may be in need of emergency food assistance during the ongoing November-to-March lean season, according to the most recent IPC analysis. In February, USAID partner WFP provided food distributions to more than 123,000 people as well as nutrition assistance to nearly 36,000 children and pregnant and lactating women in southern Madagascar.  

Recent assessments by USAID partner Catholic Relief Services (CRS) indicate that a lack of rainfall in southern Madagascar has caused a water shortage—particularly in Androy and Atsimo-Andrefana regions—and will likely cause a failed March-to-June cereal and maize harvest. In addition, increased water prices due to the shortage have prompted households to limit the use of safe drinking water. With USAID support, CRS is providing food assistance to drought-affected communities in southern Madagascar.

USAID is also responding to disasters in neighboring Southern Africa countries.


Madagascar experiences a variety of natural hazards, including tropical cyclones, drought, flooding, and recurrent locust infestations. USAID’s response strategy in Madagascar focuses on addressing urgent humanitarian needs while investing in disaster risk reduction programs that strengthen the ability of communities to prepare for and mitigate the effects of disasters. Activities have included supporting conservation agriculture, locust control efforts, and helping flood-affected communities adapt to decrease their vulnerability to flooding.

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: April 14, 2020

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