World Bank Provides $100 Million to Protect Livelihoods and Improve Food Security in Southern Madagascar
WASHINGTON —Amid a severe food security crisis in the south of Madagascar, the World Bank is providing $100 million in additional financing to the Support for Resilient Livelihoods in the South of Madagascar (Mionjo) Project.
“The government has prioritized climate change adaptation and development in the southern region of the country. This includes stepping up the fight against malnutrition, which requires concrete projects that empower the population and provide vital water infrastructure that is key to irrigating crops and protecting again the impacts of drought,” said Andry Rajoelina, President of the Republic of Madagascar. “This additional funding from the World Bank for the Mionjo project reinforces our efforts to enable people to develop income-generating activities and support development.”
This new financing, which includes $50 million from the Crisis Response Window Early Response Financing, is part of the World Bank’s ongoing engagement to strengthen the government’s response to the drought-induced crisis, address vulnerabilities, and enhance the resilience of communities and sustainability of food production and livelihood systems. It builds upon the objectives of the original Mionjo project to address longer-term development challenges and strengthen local government in the southern regions. It will benefit more than 920,000 people in 14 districts across three regions in the South (Anosy, Androy, Atsimo Andrefana), which are among the hardest hit by the crisis.
“We cannot develop the south of Madagascar, one of the poorest regions of the country, without breaking this recurrent cycle of drought. With this new support, which increases financing for the Mionjo project up to $200 million, we seek to link up near-term recovery with medium-term livelihood support and build-back better greening interventions to rehabilitate food production and livelihood systems and improve the health of ecosystems that underpin them,” said Hafez Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa.
The project’s activities benefit from a cross-sectoral collaboration across four ministries, and involve investments in agriculture, water, environment and decentralization. At the household level, the aim is to reach those who are most food insecure with immediate water and cash assistance and climate-smart innovations to jumpstart their agriculture activities and help recover their livelihoods and assets. At the village level, the project will upgrade water supply sources to render them more efficient and capable of supporting both human and animal consumption, and in some areas, irrigated production of higher value, nutrient rich foods.
Interventions will also restore degraded ecosystems through reforestation and installation of windbreaks. They will also help improve community management of water and other natural resources that are fundamental to sustaining productive and resilient livelihoods. In response to threats posed by locusts, this additional financing will also finance locust surveillance and control measures led by the national locust management agency, with technical backstopping from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The southern region of Madagascar is experiencing the worst drought in 40 years, a dire situation that is amplified by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other covariate shocks, and has resulted in a deteriorating food security situation that includes cute risk of famine in some of the hardest-hit communes.