Madagascar key message update: Results likely to worsen as lean season progresses if aid does not continue, September 2022 – Madagascar
Ongoing humanitarian food aid in parts of southern Madagascar is mitigating the worst outcomes in those areas, resulting in a crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) by October. However, households continue to face significant constraints in accessing food in the absence of any significant cassava and sweet potato harvests, rising food prices and well below average income opportunities. In the worst-affected areas, any reduction in humanitarian food aid or interruption of delivery is likely to lead to a deterioration in emergency relief outcomes (IPC Phase 4) by the end of the lean season.
Along eastern Madagascar, which was hit by an above-average cyclone season in 2022, households are expected to slowly recover, especially with ongoing cassava and upcoming rice harvests. However, these areas are likely to continue to experience stressful (IPC Phase 2) outcomes throughout the forecast period, while pockets of households are likely to continue in distress (IPC Phase 3), due to crop and infrastructure losses. In the rest of the country, near-average output and near-normal incomes will continue to drive minimum (IPC Phase 1) results until January 2023.
Food prices continue to rise in key reference markets, with poor root and tuber production causing many increases. In August, the prices of dried cassava in the Ampanihy market increased by 8 percent on a monthly basis and remained above last year’s and five-year averages by 42 percent and 67 percent, respectively. In Antananarivo in September, the prices of sweet potatoes increased by 11.6 percent per month and 80.5 percent compared to the previous year, while dried cassava increased by 12.5 percent per month and 148 percent compared to the previous year. Corn prices there also rose in September by 8.8 percent compared to the previous month; however, imported rice prices were stable on a monthly basis thanks to government-imposed price ceilings,
Climate forecasts currently call for a slow start to the rainy season in the Great South, followed by average rainfall for the rest of the main farming season. Although this is expected to improve work opportunities compared to last year, better-off households that normally employ agricultural labor have suffered a significant reduction in their ability to do so due to deteriorating terms of trade and livestock prices given multiple consecutive years of drought. Meanwhile, poorer households in the Great South are likely to have very little seed left over from previous seasons below average and will continue to face significant financial challenges in accessing seed to market.
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