Madagascar Food Crisis


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Madagascar Food Crisis


Please act now to help vulnerable families in southern Madagascar, especially those with disabilities, who are facing life-threatening starvation.


  • Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (SAF)
  • Fiangonan’i Jesoa Kristy eto Madagasikara (FJKM)
  • National Office for Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC)
  • Platforme Des Federations Des Personnes Hadicapees (PFPH)


Right now, over 14,000 children and adults are on the verge of starvation in southern Madagascar, off the southeast coast of Africa. People have resorted to eating insects, leaves and cactus plants to survive.

Southern Madagascar has had back-to-back droughts since November 2020, leaving the region’s people facing acute hunger. And this largely unreported crisis is getting worse every day!

The number of children who are severely malnourished has doubled in some areas over the last four months. According to the UN’s World Food Programme, as the scale of the crisis grows, the situation will rapidly deteriorate further in the coming months into a famine. 

cbm-funded partners are getting ready to provide urgent humanitarian relief to the most vulnerable children and families, especially those with disabilities. But as the scale of the crisis grows, your help is urgently needed to reach more children and adults facing life-threatening starvation.

“The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.” – Proverbs 22:9

Most people living in the southern part of Madagascar rely on their harvest for food and income. But, because of the lack of rain and drought, people cannot cultivate their crops to provide for their families or to sell at the market. Families are now facing major food shortages that threaten their lives and well-being. This is especially true for children, women, and people with disabilities, who are most affected in times of crisis.

Families are unable to meet their daily food needs, and are facing acute malnutrition. 

Most families rely on foraging for wild foods and leaves, which are difficult to eat and can be dangerous for children and pregnant women. There are reports of desperately hungry people eating termites and mixing clay with tamarind, something that is unheard of in New Zealand.

Sadly, it appears that this food crisis is not going to go away anytime soon, with the UN along with other agencies reporting that the south of the island will produce less than half its usual harvest in the coming months because of low rains, prolonging the hunger crisis.

This is a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis. People are in desperate need of urgent support from generous people like you.

Please respond to this growing humanitarian crisis by sending your generous gift to help feed vulnerable people today. Thank you.


Your generous gift today will help provide much needed food and other basic items to individuals and households (including family members living with a disability), who are most at risk in the Anosy region in the south of Madagascar.

Your gift will also help households of those with disabilities to strengthen their livelihood and ensure that people living with all forms of disabilities, and their representative bodies are included in the planning, design, implementation and monitoring of disaster risk assessment.


The world’s fourth largest island, Madagascar boasts a unique ecosystem, with many species of plants and animals found nowhere else. However, the country has faced challenges in its socio-economic development and in recent decades it has experienced a stagnation in per capita income and a rise in people living in poverty. Political instability undermines government institutional capacity, economic growth and development efforts. It also reduces people’s access to basic services and their ability to prevent and recover from frequent shocks such as climate-related disasters.

Madagascar is ranked 161st out of 189 according to the Human Development Index. Affecting almost half of all children under the age of 5 – the world’s tenth highest rate – chronic malnutrition is considered a major public health concern in Madagascar.

Farming, fishing and forestry form the backbone of the Malagasy economy. Agriculture is dominated by rain-fed small-scale subsistence farming: seven out of 10 smallholder farmers own no more than 1.2 hectares of land. Rice is the main staple food and the island’s main crop, but not enough is produced to satisfy the national demand. Agricultural production remains low due to factors such as: limited access to agricultural productive assets, credit and markets; gender inequality limiting women and girls’ access to land; poor post-harvest techniques; inadequate natural resources management; and lack of adequate access to markets for smallholder farmers.

Madagascar is among the ten countries most vulnerable to disasters and is considered to be the most cyclone-exposed country in Africa. A quarter of the population lives in areas highly prone to cyclones, floods or drought. Climate change and environmental degradation exacerbate these risks while the increasing fragility of the ecosystem intensifies vulnerability to shocks and food insecurity. Deforestation has become a major concern: 90% of Madagascar’s original rainforests have been lost to logging, charcoal-making and slash-and-burn agriculture.

The Southern regions are the less populated in Madagascar but have the highest prevalence of poverty and malnutrition. The area is also insecure with increased criminal activities. Climate hazards with changing rain patterns, drought and heat waves exacerbates the living situation. The Grand Sud (south) region of Madagascar has suffered several consecutive years of inadequate rainfall; as a result it is estimated that an average of 750,000 people per year are severely food insecure. Water infrastructures are missing, and no sustainable agricultural program has been developed in the past.

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