UK provides $2.5 million to tackle food insecurity in Madagascar's Great South

Joint Press Release

24 June 2021
Enfant buvant de l'eau potable
© UNICEF/UN0327684/Ralaivita

UK has signed an agreement of US$ 2.5 (GBP £1.8 million) with UNICEF for additional 12-month multisectoral assistance to save thousands of lives threatened by acute malnutrition and food insecurity in the southern area of Madagascar.

The British funding will increase access to water for 25,000 people and deliver emergency cash assistance to 6,500 households in the South.

The new funds will allow mobile clinics to provide 35,000 children and 6,000 women with access to quality health care, strengthen the detection and treatment of acute malnutrition and give more than 9,000 people at risk access to quality services for the prevention of gender-based violence.

Today, UK announced a US$ 2,5 million agreement with UNICEF to provide essential access to drinking water and quality health care, nutrition services and cash transfers to thousands of people affected by severe drought in the Great South of Madagascar.

Impacted by climate change, the Deep South has experienced one of its most severe droughts in 40 years. With crop losses estimated at around 60 percent in three districts, 1,13 million million people suffer from severe food insecurity. Global and severe acute malnutrition cases have increased sharply since December 2020 and will continue to deteriorate in the absence of an adequate response.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further compounded the crisis, leaving families without alternative sources of income and forcing many to adopt negative surviving strategies, such as moving to urban areas. This has heightened the associated risks faced by vulnerable groups, with a reported increase in cases of child abuse and gender-based violence from 25% to 50%.

The Great South communities affected by food insecurity will benefit from an emergency fund of US$ 2,5 which, via UNICEF –  the partner – will ensure:

.        The promotion of water, hygiene and the supply for 25,000 people;

.        Food security assistance via cash transfers to 6,500 households;

.        Treatment of childhood illnesses associated with acute malnutrition to 35,000 children and 6,000 women;

.        Prevention of acute malnutrition through access to detection and referral services on infant and young child feeding in an emergency for 150,000 families with children;

.        Protective measures against gender-based violence and violence against children for 9,180 children and women at risk.


This funding supports the previous intervention of £1 million from UK to UNICEF Madagascar in December 2019 through the Africa Humanitarian Response Fund (AHRF).


David Ashley, British Ambassador to Madagascar said:

“The situation in the Southern Madagascar is very alarming. A prolonged drought – linked to the effects of climate change – makes thousands of people suffer from increasing malnutrition and even face the risk of famine. The new British aid announced today will save lives by improving the access of thousands of families and children in the Great South to safe drinking water, health care and cash assistance.”


Michel Saint-Lot, Representative of UNICEF Madagascar said:

“This funding offers an immediate response while laying the groundwork for long-term recovery and development. By strengthening the capacity of local communities to detect and respond to malnutrition in children and by providing access to safe drinking water, the UK’s vision and support will reduce the impact of this drought on the most vulnerable, especially children.”

Media contacts

Timothy James Irwin
Chief of Communication
UNICEF Madagascar
Fanja Saholiarisoa
Communication Officer
UNICEF Madagascar

A propos d'UNICEF

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