Problem: Southern Madagascar is currently experiencing extreme food shortages and rising prices. Following months of closed borders and restrictions on travel and trade, food insecurity is growing across the island with the situation in the south now critical. This, coupled with seasonal drought and cyclical lean seasons before crops can be harvested means half the region's population, or 1.5 million people, are now not able to find enough food to eat. The number of people affected is three times the number projected mid-year, with women and children comprising most of those experiencing “crisis” or “emergency” hunger conditions.
As hunger numbers rise, so do the proportion of families who are resorting to crisis-coping mechanisms. Reports are now circulating in National and International media of people being forced to eat bugs or clay, and SEED staff have reported that those in rural communities are resorting to eating plants that unless soaked for days are poisonous.
Actions: After the severe economic challenges brought on by COVID-19, and the ongoing drought, SEED Madagascar has begun a 6-month intervention to provide emergency food distribution to some of Madagascar's most vulnerable populations. Initially this will focus on 41 rural communities surrounding the regional town of Fort Dauphin where SEED is based, and the isolated communities where no other agencies are working in food insecurity.
- Purchasing and distributing food supplies of rice, beans and oil to families with members suffering malnutrition
- Purchasing and distributing ready-to-use therapeutic food (specialist malnutrition supplies such as Plumpy'nut bars) to families with children suffering moderate and severe malnutrition.
- Supporting families that require hospital attention
- Training community agents and local healthcare clinic staff in identifying and treating signs of malnutrition - Set up of food storage sites for easy distribution by local agents.