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Severe 2021 lean season outcomes with minimal improvement expected from harvest

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Madagascar
  • April 2021
Severe 2021 lean season outcomes with minimal improvement expected from harvest

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Food security outcomes during the 2021 lean season have been severe in southern Madagascar, with widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3). In several districts the presence of humanitarian food assistance has prevented more severe area-level outcomes. Screening data suggests acute malnutrition increased notably during the January-March peak of the lean season. Although area-level Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are not anticipated in the presence of ongoing humanitarian food assistance, it is likely that some households in most districts are facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes, and in Ambovombe and Amboasary, it is anticipated that a small number of worst-affected households are likely experiencing food consumption gaps in line with Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) outcomes. 

    • Although harvests and increased labor opportunities will support some seasonal food security improvements between June and September, food assistance needs will remain high throughout the projection period, as both of these food/income sources will provide below-average levels of food and cash income. Food assistance, estimated at a half-ration in April/May, is currently a key food source for many worst-affected households and will not be distributed after June, according to available information. Widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will persist between June and September, and some populations will likely be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

    • Outside of southern Madagascar, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are likely through September, supported by  the main harvest of rice and near-average food prices. However, some poor households are likely to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2), particularly in the capital, due to loss of income from the economic decline associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased 65 percent between mid-March and the end of April; deaths increased 79 percent over the same period, leading the government to set tighter restrictions, particularly in Antananarivo. Renewed implementation of restrictions in the capital will limit income sources for poorest households working mainly in the transport and tourism sectors, hotel and restaurants, and odd jobs, negatively impacting their food access. Inter-regional travel to and from the capital is banned, leading to increased food prices. A curfew is in place on weekdays, and a total lockdown is in effect on the weekends.  As of the end of April, the cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Madagascar is around 37,000, with 650 deaths.

    This Food Security Outlook Update provides an analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography over the next six months. Learn more here.

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