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Consumption deficits persist with the lean season, but soil moisture improvements imminent

  • Key Message Update
  • Madagascar
  • December 2022
Consumption deficits persist with the lean season, but soil moisture improvements imminent

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Ongoing humanitarian food assistance will continue to support Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) and Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes across much of the Grand South through January 2023. However, multiple years of below-average harvests and rising food prices are still driving high levels of food insecurity throughout the region. Areas with limited food assistance are experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, and should assistance end after January, households will likely face widening food consumption gaps at the peak of the lean season, and more households and areas are expected to fall into Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

    • Although soil root zone moisture continues below average in the Grand Southwest, near-surface soil moisture has improved to near normal, allowing for a normal establishment of maize and other cereals. However, in the Grand Southeast, as well as in the north and the east, below-average soil moisture conditions during November are currently negatively affecting the beginning of the season. Improvements are expected across the country in early 2023, supported by near-average rainfall forecasts.

    • With market supply seasonally low and transportation and general inflation putting upward pressure on prices, poorer households, particularly in the Grand South, are continuing to experience limited purchasing power and, therefore, a reduction in food access. Food prices in November rose 10.4 percent over 2021, while transportation costs rose 19.7 percent during the same period. In November, dried cassava prices in Ihosy increased by 30.8 percent compared to October and 63.5 percent compared to last year, while in Fianarantsoa, prices rose 10.0 percent and 34.0 percent, respectively. Also in Fianarantsoa, local rice prices rose 2.4 percent month-on-month 14.3 percent year-on-year. However, the prices of imported rice have remained stable since October, given the price cap imposed by the government.

    • Humanitarian actors are currently delivering assistance to approximately 415,463 beneficiaries across the Grand South, with the highest levels of assistance in Ampanihy and Betoiky. 154,078 beneficiaries are receiving 100,000 MGA per month in cash transfers, and 261,385 beneficiaries are receiving 30 kg of rice, 5 kg of legumes, and 3 kg of cooking oil per month. Both types of assistance represent 50 percent of kilocalorie needs, and are covering at least a portion of household’s food gaps, thus preventing worse outcomes in areas where assistance is highest. However, as funding past January 2023 has not yet been secured, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes remain likely in worst-affected areas of southwestern Madagascar. Should funding be secured, it remains highly likely that there will be a gap in its delivery during February, resulting in a deterioration of food security outcomes until humanitarian assistance delivery can be re-established.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level 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. Learn more here.

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