People in Madagascar are experiencing an exceptionally acute food and nutrition crisis that is leaving thousands of children severely ill and pushing families into extreme poverty. Since March 2021, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) emergency teams have been setting up more and more mobile clinics to deliver humanitarian and medical assistance in several of the country’s districts. We have now begun distributing food and recently opened an inpatient therapeutic feeding center in the hospital in the town of Ambovombe, on the southern tip of the island.
After years of back-to-back droughts, the prospects for the harvest—which in a normal season would now be well underway—are extremely poor. According to the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET), food production is expected to fall up to 70 percent below the last five-year average. Though there may be variations between districts depending on climate, irrigation, and availability of aid, the situation is catastrophic in the region where MSF works—and the crisis could worsen with the onset of the lean season in October.