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

Latest Southern Africa Fact Sheet

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Key Developments

USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) is responding to disasters in Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

On January 5, Tropical Storm Ava made landfall over the northeastern coast of Madagascar, resulting in more than 50 deaths, displacing nearly 55,000 people, and damaging infrastructure, according to the Government of Madagascar (GoM). The majority of displaced households had returned to areas of origin by January 18. The GoM estimates that the storm flooded more than 600 wells and damaged more than 500 schools, affecting nearly 49,000 students. As of mid-January, the GoM had largely repaired major roads and bridges; however, some secondary roads, bridges, and dams that sustained heavy damage have not yet been repaired, according to USAID staff in the region.

Approximately 407,000 people in southern and southeastern Madagascar faced severe food insecurity as of December 2017, according to a recent assessment conducted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN World Food Program. However, an early January FAO report projects that as many as 1.6 million people could experience Crisis—IPC 3—or Emergency—IPC 4—levels of acute food insecurity by June. In addition, populations in Madagascar continue to experience the highest prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) in the region, with a national prevalence of 8.6 percent. In pockets of southern Madagascar, some children are facing GAM levels that exceed the UN World Health Organization (WHO) critical threshold of 10 percent, according to the Southern Africa Development Community.

From August 1–December 10, 2017, GoM Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) officials reported nearly 2,580 confirmed, suspected, or probable cases of plague, including more than 220 related deaths, across 58 of the country’s 114 districts. While the MoPH reported containing the plague outbreak in urban areas as of late November, WHO has highlighted the need to remain vigilant in preventing and responding to new cases for the remainder of the annual plague season, which typically lasts through April. Health organizations and MoPH officials continue to conduct surveillance activities and respond to reported cases of plague.

USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA)  is responding to a regional drought in Southern Africa. Please visit our webpage for additional information.


Madagascar experiences a variety of natural hazards, including tropical cyclones, drought, flooding, and recurrent locust infestations. On October 23, 2017, U.S. Ambassador Robert T. Yamate redeclared a disaster in Madagascar for the fourth consecutive year due to the effects of drought in southern regions of the country. USAID/OFDA’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.

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Last updated: August 03, 2018

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