IOM at forefront of humanitarian response in Madagascar

Florence Zanarine is a mother of three living in the Ambahy commune, situated in the Mananjary district, Madagascar. She is a needlework artist who creates traditional mats and hats. Her husband is a charcoal maker who earns about 2,000 Ariary (approximately 0,49 USD) for each bag he sells; in general, he manages to sell between five and ten bags a week.

In February 2022, their house was completely destroyed by Cyclone Batsirai, and currently they are living in their neighbour's place.

In the first hours after the crisis, IOM, Malagasy Red Cross and National Risk and Disaster Management Office sent experts to conduct a multi-sectoral rapid assessment to determine the number of internally displaced persons in the three regions and five communes most affected. The information gathered allowed for a rapid transition to assist affected households. As a result, IOM, in collaboration with its implementing partners Malagasy Red Cross (CRM) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), provided financial assistance to households in the seven communes of the Vatovavy region affected by the Batsirai and Emnati cyclones in a form of financial support for house rehabilitation for the most vulnerable populations.

Among the direct beneficiaries of the UN CERF-funded project was the Florence’s family. After receiving the first donation of 150,000 Ariary (about $35), the family was able to purchase the first materials to rebuild the house, and after receiving a second donation of 200,000 Ariary, they are now ready to proceed with the reconstruction process.

"We are very grateful for the financial support for house reconstruction. What we earn on a daily basis only allows us to buy some food. Not having a house to live in is indeed a great hardship, but thanks to the financial assistance from IOM, we can now start rebuilding our own house," said Florence.

Another project beneficiary's story is also encouraging. Violette Paulà Rafotoniankinana also lives in the Ambahy commune and is a single mother of two children, aged ten and four. She sells fried fish to support herself and her family.

Her house was also completely destroyed by the Cyclone Batsirai and she has to seek refuge at her parents' house.

After the cyclone hit, she started to rebuild her destroyed house with her own resources, but due to lack of financial means, she could not complete the process.   

Now, thanks to the financial assistance from CRS, funded by IOM/CERF, she has been able to speed up the reconstruction process by purchasing the necessary materials and paying the workers, and now her house reconstruction is finished.

In total, the IOM project has assisted 4,000 households in seven target communes in the Vatovavy region; IOM has also provided Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) trainings for 123 stakeholders and rehabilitated four shelters.

"In Madagascar, we were able to respond quickly to the climate tragedy that occurred in February this year. Our main effort was to provide immediate assistance, but also to monitor and follow up on the feedback from our beneficiaries, staying on track for continuous performance improvement. Humanitarian aid is one of the key areas of IOM's work, and we will continue to provide support to those most in need, drawing on the years of experience of IOM's offices around the world", - summed up Roger Charles Evina, Chief of IOM Mission to Madagascar and Comoros.

for more information contact Ekaterina Samolygo,