Food Distribution in Anosy Region
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.
There are over 1.14 million people suffering from high acute food insecurity in Madagascar, of whom 14,000 are in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5)IPC, July 2021
In the wake of the severe economic challenges brought on by COVID-19, and the ongoing drought, SEED Madagascar carried out a 6-month intervention to provide emergency food distribution to some of Madagascar’s most vulnerable populations. This focussed 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.
Early results from Round 1 have suggested that the average recovery rate was 94% for children with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and 99% for children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
However, project findings revealed that the number of children with malnutrition is drastically higher than predicted based on the needs assessment conducted by SEED in December 2020. This is a result of improved screening efforts, increased COVID-19 cases, rising migration to target villages, and surging food prices. To respond to this increasing need, SEED has re-evaluated the project budget and expenditure plan needed to support malnourished children in the existing seven healthcare centres as well as potential expansion to one additional site.
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Impact of Round 1 (January - June 2021)
- Trained 82 community health agents and 7 health clinic (CSB) staff across 7 rural health care centres in identifying malnutrition in children under five.
- Community health agents have completed malnutrition screening across 41 rural villages
- Set up seven food storage sites near CSBs.
- Purchased and transported a total of 48,220 sachets of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) packets from Madagascar's capital of Antananarivo to target sites.
- 47,942 sachets of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) have been distributed to a total of 515 children suffering from Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) across 41 villages.
- 36,006 kg of rice, 24,301 cups of beans, and 3,588 litres of oil have been distributed to support 653 families of children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) across 41 villages, with a total of 4,119 family members receiving unprepared food.
- Conducted a total of 3,366 targeted nutritional education sessions with 653 families during RUTF and food distributions.
- Monitoring, evaluation, and learning data collection from Round 1 indicated a 94% recovery rate for children diagnosed with MAM and a 99% recovery rate for children diagnosed with SAM. Of the children who recovered from SAM, only 7% will require continued treatment as MAM cases, with 1% requiring continued treatment for SAM.
- Supported three children with SAM who have complications, and their families, in traveling to the hospital in Fort Dauphin.
This project is possible thanks to the generosity of The Silver Lady Fund and private donors via Enthuse.