Madagascar

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

Key Developments

Floods triggered by two tropical storms in early 2015 and continued heavy precipitation resulted in 23 deaths and affected more than 64,000 people in Madagascar’s capital city of Antananarivo and surrounding areas, according to the Government of Madagascar National Office for Disaster Risk Management (BNGRC). In March 2015, floods displaced approximately 35,600 people and damaged or destroyed more than 1,800 houses. BNGRC coordinated the response, including disseminating alert messages, evacuating people from affected or high-risk areas, distributing emergency food assistance and relief supplies, and reinforcing riverbanks to withstand heavy rainfall. Following the flooding, the Malagasy Red Cross provided tents to displaced persons in Antananarivo, and the UN World Food Program and its partners distributed 145 metric tons of emergency food commodities to flood-affected people.

Concurrently, prolonged drought in southern Madagascar since late 2014 coupled with a locust infestation beginning in 2013 has resulted in low crop yields and deteriorating food security, particularly in Androy, Anosy, and Atsimo Andrefana regions. From July–August 2015 Madagascar experienced the country’s worst staple crop harvest in a decade, with crop production decreased by as much as 10 percent since 2014. Compared to the five-year productivity average, harvests in 2015 were only 50 percent of previous levels, according to the UN. Between 460,000 and 580,000 families were acute food insecurity as of December 2015, the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network reported.

On December 4, 2015, U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar and Comoros Robert T. Yamate renewed the disaster declaration in Madagascar due to the effects of the drought.

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.

Background

Madagascar experiences a variety of natural hazards, including tropical cyclones, drought, flooding and recurrent locust infestations. These multiple intersecting hazards can exacerbate food insecurity, and leave communities with insufficient resources to cope with shocks. USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance’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: April 27, 2016

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