Emergency Food Distribution in Madagascar

by SEED Madagascar
Emergency Food Distribution in Madagascar
Emergency Food Distribution in Madagascar
Emergency Food Distribution in Madagascar
Emergency Food Distribution in Madagascar
Emergency Food Distribution in Madagascar
Emergency Food Distribution in Madagascar
A child receives therapeutic food treatment
A child receives therapeutic food treatment

After 60 days of receiving therapeutic food treatment from SEED, single mother Toliasoa, aged 16, was glad to know her 18-month-old son Mara made a full recovery from malnutrition. After months of weakness and fatigue, Mara was able to walk and play again.

Following severe drought in 2021, in the first few months of 2022 southern Madagascar has seen back-to-back cyclones, destroying homes, schools, health centres, and crops. Of the three million people living in Madagascar’s Grand Sud, nearly half are in need of urgent food support. Globally, malnutrition is estimated to be linked to 45% of child deaths, with 309,000 children in the region projected to suffer from acute malnutrition between May and August 2022. In response, SEED is implementing the Emergency Food Distribution Programme, through two projects: Fort Dauphin North and Fort Dauphin South. 

Mara is just one of the 1,700 total malnourished children who have received support from SEED to overcome malnutrition. In partnership with 18 local health centres and 190 community health workers, SEED has also provided over 10,000 family members with rice, beans, oil, and nutrition information sessions to further aid recovery. 

The number of single-mother households in the region exceeds the national average, and cultural expectations restrict women’s access to already-limited employment opportunities. Women are finding it increasingly difficult to support their families' health and livelihoods, and a lack of awareness around family planning further exacerbates these challenges.

In response, 190 SEED-trained community health workers are conducting home visits with women and girls across the project’s 95 target communities to increase awareness of and access to family planning services. This will enable women and girls to choose when, and if, they want to have children, contributing to long-term community recovery and resilience.

SEED is fundraising to continue to respond to the immediate needs of these communities and to support longer-term recovery and resilience. Thank you for supporting SEED’s Emergency Food Distribution Project.

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Analapatsy Market
Analapatsy Market

Food insecurity in Madagascar is increasing at an alarming rate, and children are particularly vulnerable; 309,000 children under five in Southern Madagascar are currently malnourished, with 60,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). SEED has responded to this crisis through the implementation of its Emergency Food Distribution Programme. 


SEED conducted Round II of the Food Distribution programme from August to December 2021, supporting 268 malnourished children and their families across 41 villages of southern Madagascar. SEED distributed malnutrition treatment to children, whilst families received a total of 16,080 kilograms of rice, 10,720 cups of beans, and 1,608 litres of oil alongside nutrition and WASH information sessions. Round II was an overwhelming success: all 268 children enrolled in the programme fully recovered from malnutrition.


Surveys and interviews with caregivers of malnourished children also revealed significant programme impacts related to health-seeking behaviors and trust in local health centres, which are likely to improve the health of communities in the long-term. Over one third of caregivers reported an increase in confidence to approach health centres, and 98% said they would be more likely to bring their family to a health centre because of SEED’s support. One parent explained: “Being part of SEED’s Emergency Food Distribution Programme pushed me to trust the CSB health centre with their healthcare services. The project built a bond between me and the health centre. 


Despite the programme’s success, malnutrition rates have continued to rise sharply across southern Madagascar. In some regions, admissions for SAM have reached quadruple the five-year average. In response, SEED is developing Round III of the programme, which will begin in February 2022. Additionally, in December 2021, SEED expanded its programme to include an additional five communes, with 45 referring villages, which will provide support for a further 730 malnourished children and their families.

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Mothers and Children collecting food
Mothers and Children collecting food

Madagascar is facing a humanitarian crisis. The economic consequences of COVID-19 combined with the worst drought since 1981 have caused severe food insecurity in the south. SEED has responded to this crisis through the implementation of its Emergency Food Distribution Project, covering 41 villages with an estimated population of 700,000 people across southern Madagascar. The first round of the project was completed in July 2021, and supported 653 malnourished children and their families, achieving an overall recovery rate of 98.2%.

SEED distributed a total of 36,006kg of rice, 24,301 cups of beans and 3,588L of oil, alongside nutrition education sessions, to the families of all 653 malnourished children. Ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) was distributed to children with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM), whilst children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) received RUTF from local health facilities.

Sibiby is one example of the project’s positive impact. At 14-months-old, she is the youngest of her eight siblings. Her mother, Mrs Avizy, looks after her and their family in the rural village of Andramanaka. Like many areas in the region, Andramanaka has strong agricultural potential, but due to the drought, a large part of the population has been left food insecure.

In June 2021, Sibiby was diagnosed with MAM, having a mid-to-upper arm circumference (MUAC) of just 120mm. With the support of community health agents trained by SEED, Mrs Avizy’s family received unprepared food, RUTF, and nutrition education. After two months of treatment, Sibiby’s MUAC increased to 128mcm, indicating a full recovery.

Despite the success of SEED’s project, food insecurity is still on the rise, and the number of people living at imminent risk of famine are expected to double over the next month. SEED aims to expand distribution to reach more children and families in need.

Thank you for supporting SEED’s Emergency Food Distribution Project.

Thank you! (Misaotra!)

Mother feeding baby Ready to Use Therapeutic Food
Mother feeding baby Ready to Use Therapeutic Food
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Narovana and Valisoa
Narovana and Valisoa

Madagascar is facing a humanitarian crisis, accelerated by the economic consequences of COVID-19 and the most severe drought in the last 40 years. Having repercussions on the agricultural sector, a primary source of income and food for many, these factors have led to the decline of food security in the south. Malnutrition, which is life-threatening, has become a serious public health concern, especially amongst children. SEED has responded to this crisis through the implementation of a food distribution programme, covering 41 villages in the south. Our programme distributes ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) and unprepared food to those most in need: children suffering from moderately acute malnutrition (MAM) or severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and their families. 


One of the children who receives food from SEED is six-month-old Valisoa, who is among the 138 children in the region diagnosed with SAM. Sadly, her father died just after she was born and her mother, Narovana, is single-handedly raising Valisoa and her six siblings. Narovana is a farmer and her family has been left vulnerable to the challenges caused by COVID-19 and the drought. In March, SEED-trained community health workers advised Narovana to take Valisoa to a local community health centre for a health check, where she was subsequently diagnosed with SAM. With SEED’s intervention, Valisoa now receives RUTF from her local community health centre and her family receives rice, beans, and oil each month while she undergoes treatment. Narovana has one less worry knowing that she can provide nutritious food for her family during such a challenging time. 


SEED will continue to distribute RUTF and food parcels to children and families like Valisoa’s for as long as funding permits. Unfortunately, the situation in the south continues to worsen, with cases of malnutrition rising and more families left vulnerable to food insecurity.


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Organization Information

SEED Madagascar

Location: London - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @SEEDMadagascar
Project Leader:
Mark Jacobs
London, London United Kingdom
$106,962 raised of $267,686 goal
543 donations
$160,724 to go
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