• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 25,680,000 Total population [?]
  • 2,133,000 People affected [?]
  • 1,137,000 People in Need [?]
  • 392,000 Severe humanitarian conditions - Level 4 [?]



The Republic of Madagascar, particularly the Grand South region, is facing a severe food and nutrition crisis following three consecutive years of extreme drought conditions. The island has been repeatedly affected by droughts, below-average rainfall, and other natural hazards, such as floods and cyclones. Between November 2020–January 2021, the Grand South recorded less than 50% of the normal rainfall, resulting in almost 69% of the region being impacted by the worst drought conditions recorded since 1981. ?

One of the main drivers of humanitarian crises is below-average rainfall, which affects vegetation, agricultural production, and livestock. In Madagascar, its effects have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, related restrictions, and insecurity, limiting humanitarian interventions and income-generating activities. Almost 80% of the population is engaged in agricultural activities dominated by rain-fed small-scale subsistence farming. ?

The most affected areas include Amboasary Atsimo, Ambovembe, Ampanihy, Beloha, and Tsihombe districts in the Grand South region, which are all classified as IPC Phase 4 (Emergency). Between April–September 2021, the number of people that will be acutely food insecure (IPC Phase 3 and above) in southern Madagascar is estimated at 1.14 million. Nearly 14,000 people in Amboasary Atsimo district reported IPC Phase 5 (Catastrophe). This is the first time Madagascar has reported experiencing IPC Phase 5 since the introduction of the IPC methodology in 2016. An additional 392,000 people are in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency), and 731,000 are in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis). An early lean season, drought, and food insecurity are expected challenges the country will face throughout the coming year. More districts will likely enter IPC Phase 3, and the number of people in IPC Phase 5 is expected to double by the end of 2021. ?

Up to 80% of the population has resorted to desperate survival measures, such as eating locusts, raw red cactus fruits, or wild leaves. Malnutrition among children reached 16.5% as at April – an increase of 9% between December 2020–March 2021. ?

Latest Developments


No recent significant humanitarian developments. The crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.

Key Priorities


WASH: The southern regions have the country’s lowest water supply coverage and are highly vulnerable to drought. Access to potable drinking water is a major challenge for the local population. In rural areas, only 36% of households utilize improved water facilities.? 

Food: Lack of grains from the harvest will also deplete grain reserves and intensify acute food shortages. Most communities are also facing humanitarian challenges from floods which has washed off rice fields and increased the strains of food insecurity.

Health: Malaria and plague outbreaks are recurrent in Madagascar. People living in remote areas without roads or communication infrastructure struggle to reach health centres. ?