Norway boosts WFP response to Madagascar cyclones after another major storm

Published on 20 March 2007

WFP has welcomed a donation of US$800,000 from the Norwegian Government to ensure that food assistance reaches tens of thousands of people hit by a series of cyclones and storms over the past three months – including the latest, Indlala, which struck the northeast last Thursday.

WFP has welcomed a donation of US$800,000 from the Norwegian Government to ensure that food assistance reaches tens of thousands of people hit by a series of cyclones and storms over the past three months in Madagascar – including the latest, Indlala, which struck the northeast last Thursday.

The Malagasy Government declared a national state of

This Norwegian donation will allow WFP to rapidly expand our emergency operations and provide food aid to thousands of families who have lost everything because of these cyclones
Krystyna Bednarska, WFP Country Director in Madagascar

emergency last month after a succession of severe storms – including Bondo, Clovis, Favio and Gamede – battered the island between December and February.

These cyclones and ensuing flooding killed seven people, displaced about 33,000 and left hundreds of thousands in need of food assistance.

Critical time

“This Norwegian donation will allow WFP to rapidly expand our emergency operations and provide food aid to thousands of families who have lost everything because of these cyclones,” said Krystyna Bednarska, WFP Country Director in Madagascar.

“This contribution comes at a particularly critical time since WFP is fast running out of funds and because another powerful cyclone, Indlala, has just hit the coast and left another 14,000 people in urgent need of our assistance,” said Bednarska.

Emergency food aid

WFP still requires an additional US$2.15 million to fund its cyclone-related operations – a figure that will increase considering the damage inflicted by cyclone Indlala.

Indeed, WFP is planning to send 135 tons of emergency food aid this week to the area affected by Indlala.

Indlala struck northeastern Madagascar on Thursday morning with winds up to 230 kilometres per hour.

Joint investigation

Reports from the area describe heavy damage to buildings and agricultural land, including rice paddies and the island’s major vanilla plantations.

A joint initial investigation mission – involving the government, UN agencies and partners – is currently in the area assessing the damage.

Meanwhile, WFP has started distributing emergency 30-day food aid rations to 117,000 people who lost their crops in cyclone-affected parts of southeastern, northwestern and western Madagascar.

Initial relief rations

However, due to a serious funding shortage, WFP has been restricted to targeting families with children under 3 and pregnant women.

WFP is planning to assist a total of around 195,000 people in the same areas, including moderately malnourished children, pregnant and lactating women.

After the initial relief rations, WFP will provide assistance for another three months through food-for-work and food-for-assets activities to help families and communities cope until the next harvest in June.

Community assets

Along with saving the lives of the most vulnerable people in the short term, these activities will also help to create useful community assets and improve food security in the long term.

“By funding WFP’s food-for-work and food-for-training activities, we will help people to help themselves as well as helping Madagascar to improve its chances of achieving some of the key Millennium Development Goals, including halving hunger, reducing child mortality and enhancing maternal health,” said Hans Fredrik Lehne, Ambassador of Norway in Madagascar.

Donation

Norway’s donation to WFP will provide some of the most vulnerable people on the island with enough food assistance to keep them healthy until the next harvest in June as well as help them to create long-term assets, which will benefit both their families and communities.

The activities funded by the donation will also support the Madagascar Action Plan (MAP 2007 – 2011), which is the government’s overall strategy to reduce poverty and boost economic growth.