UPDATE OF THE SITUATION
A resurgence of migratory locusts had infested more than 48,000 hectares in the far south of Madagascar at the end of June, particularly affecting the regions of Androy and Anosy. The locust infestation impacted off-season crops sown in March 2021 and is likely to hamper the next main planting season, which is due to start in October. The destructive effects of the locust invasion exacerbated two consecutive droughts, sandstorms and an infestation of fall armyworms which, in the hardest hit areas, caused crop losses. According to FEWSNET, the production of dried cassava is expected to be 60 to 90 percent below the five-year average, while Ampanihy and Ambovombe are expected to be 75 to 90 percent below the average.
More than 1.14 million people are now severely food insecure, almost double the number in the same period of 2020, and the number of people living in conditions close to famine (CPI 5) will double, dropping from 14,000 to at least 28,000 at the start of the next lean season in October, according to the Integrated Food Security Classification (IPC) analysis. The number of people in Emergency food insecurity (IPC 4) will drop from the current 392,000 people to 510,000 people in the coming months, with at least 5 of the 10 districts of the Great South classified as Emergency. In the worst-case scenario, Ambovombe-Androy district would be threatened with famine from October, according to an IPC analysis carried out in June 2021. In the hardest-hit areas, people have been forced to resort to measures for survival, such as eating locusts, raw red cactus fruits, or wild leaves.
More than 500,000 children under the age of five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021, including 110,000 who are likely to face severe malnutrition and require life-saving emergency treatment, according to the classification analysis of the malnutrition phase sharp rise in the CPI in April 2021. This represents a five-fold increase. from 2020, when around 100,000 children faced acute malnutrition. In Ambovombe, acute malnutrition affects more than 27% of children under 5, compared to 8.5% in November 2020. In Bekily, malnutrition almost doubled from November 2020 (8.2%) to May 2021 (16 %).
The humanitarian flash appeal, which initially ran from January to May 2021, has been revised and extended until May 2022 in recognition of the escalating crisis in the Deep South. Under the revised appeal, the number of people in need increased from 1.3 million to 1.6 million following the failure of the 2020/2021 harvest, while the number of people targeted by the humanitarian aid rose from 1.1 million to 1.3 million.
By the end of July 2021, humanitarians had provided vital and life-saving assistance to more than 879,400 people in the Deep South. Over 867,100 people received food security and livelihood support, of which 780,450 received food assistance, nearly 410,000 received cash transfers and 87,500 received agricultural support. More than 251,100 people have been helped to access safe drinking water, while more than 51,000 have been helped to access improved sanitation. About 175,900 children under five and pregnant women received nutritional support and / or treatment. More than 79,360 children have been vaccinated against preventable diseases, while more than 93,300 children have received school kits and 18,200 have been treated for deadly diseases. Some 35,200 people have been reached through awareness-raising campaigns to prevent gender-based violence and increase knowledge about reproductive health issues, and more than 14,050 pregnant women have received antenatal care.
However, more funding is urgently needed to ensure that humanitarian organizations can meet the growing needs. Of the $ 231 million required between January 2021 and May 2022, some $ 91.1 had been received by the end of July. An additional $ 139.6 million is urgently needed for life-saving and life-sustaining actions in the months to come.