Madagascar Flash Appeal 2008

3 March 2008

Since late January 2008, Madagascar has been hit by two cyclones – intersecting, although at different times – in the central Antananarivo plain.  Both cyclones brought heavy rainfall to most parts of the island, affecting more than 239,000 people, in particular in the northeastern and northwestern parts of the country.  The resultant floods hit heavily populated areas, such as the capital city of Antananarivo, as well as important farming areas, such as Alaotra Mangoro Region.  As a result, the food security situation has dramatically deteriorated, and the risk of maternal and child mortality due to a lack of access to quality services, and to water- and vector-borne diseases, has increased. 

While Madagascar is prone to natural disasters, including chronic drought, flooding and recurrent cyclones, it has suffered two consecutive significant cyclone seasons, leaving little time in between for people to recover their livelihoods.  The humanitarian implications are particularly significant, as Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranked as number 143 in 2007 out of 177 countries on the Human Development Index.  Further, while seasonal food insecurity is not uncommon in Madagascar, the fact that the lean season coincides with the December-to-April cyclone season means that regular seasonal food insecurity is aggravated by the effects of the cyclones, further compounding the vulnerability of populations whose coping strategies are already limited. 

On 22 February 2008, the Government of Madagascar, recognising that the needs far outstripped its own capacity to respond as well as that of the in-country humanitarian community, appealed to the United Nations and the diplomatic community for international solidarity and assistance in addressing the humanitarian situation caused by the devastating cyclones. 

Prior to this emergency, the Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et des Catastrophes (BNGRC) , in cooperation with the international humanitarian community, had merged its sectoral committees with the international humanitarian community’s clusters[1] to form Government-led sector working groups.  Drawing on lessons learned from the 2006/07 flood response, the Government and its partners had also in 2007 developed a contingency plan, which they tested with live simulations in the areas now affected.  Based on this planning, the Government also pre-positioned food and non-food items in high-risk areas.  This has enabled a far more timely and effective response to the current situation, in particular aiding in the conduct of rapid assessments, which took place in the worst-affected north-eastern coastal areas, as soon as the weather allowed.  This appeal is based on those assessments, and will be updated as further assessments are undertaken in the regions of Alaotra Mangoro, Atsimo Atsinanana, Sofia and in the Southeast. 

To support the Government in its response, the international humanitarian community (NGOs, the Malagasy Red Cross Society, the International Organisation for Migration, and United Nations organisations) is seeking US$[2] 36,476,586, of which $6,446,129have already been committed, leaving unmet requirements at$30,030,457,to address the immediate needs of more than 239,000people affected by the cyclones, heavy rain and winds.  The requirements are equivalent to $125 per affected person.  A CERF request has been submitted and is currently under review.  This appeal has been developed in partnership with the BNGRC and provides the framework for a common inter-agency understanding of priorities, based on identified as well as inferred needs, pending further assessmentFunds for early recovery needs assessment and initial early recovery planning activities are also being sought in this document, while further needs assessments are undertaken.  Medium- and longer-term early recovery needs will be presented in a subsequent Early Recovery Plan. 

[1]Established in April 2007, in keeping with the humanitarian reform.

[2]All dollar signs in this document denote United States dollars.  Funding for this appeal should be reported to the Financial Tracking Service. (FTS,, which will display its requirements and funding on the CAP 2008 page.



Document History

3 March 2008

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