WFP Races to Reach People Affected by Cyclone Batsirai

Photo: WFP/Rakotoarisoa Rindran/2022
Published February 11, 2022

ANTANANARIVO – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), along with the Government of Madagascar is providing food, logistics, IT assistance and an airlink to support relief operations in the districts of Mananjary and Manakara badly affected by Cyclone Batsirai that made landfall on February 5.

Before the storm hit, the U.N. World Food Programme had already started providing hot meals to evacuees in shelters in Manakara. Food prepositioned by the U.N. World Food Programme in Manakara and Tamatave, ahead of the cyclone, has started reaching affected communities, with additional stocks making their way to the areas worst hit. The U.N. World Food Programme is also supporting assessments to ascertain the full impact of the cyclone.

“The U.N. World Food Programme is working round the clock to ensure food and essentials reach those whose lives have been turned upside down by the cyclone. Our logistics and IT support to humanitarian partners is ensuring a timely and efficient response to the disaster,” said Pasqualina Disirio, the U.N. World Food Programme’s country director in Madagascar. “We are seeing severe damage including destruction of the rice crop that was just weeks away from harvest. Cash crops like cloves, coffee and pepper have also been affected in a region where the majority of people make a living from agriculture.”

  • The U.N. World Food Programme has distributed 10,000 hot meals in cyclone shelters in Manakara, since February 3, 2022.
  • Some 8.7 metric tons (MT) of prepositioned food has been distributed to displaced people in Manakara and 3.4 MT has been distributed in Vohipeno, while another 5.2 MT will be distributed over the coming days.
  • In addition, around 160 MT of food is being transported to Mananjary.
  • Cash distributions for nearly 1,400 households are ongoing in Farafangana.
  • The U.N. World Food Programme is supporting the government in its rapid assessment including an aerial survey. The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) is conducting special flights in coordination with OCHA to assess the impact of the cyclone. UNHAS continues the air bridge between Antananarivo and Mananjary and other areas to support the response.
  • The U.N. World Food Programme will also provide road transport to partners between Manakara and Mananjary to enable relief efforts. The U.N. World Food Programme has already provided logistic support for relief goods such as tents, wooden pallets and tarpaulins.
  • The U.N. World Food Programme has deployed staff to assess IT needs of the entire humanitarian community in the areas worst affected. In preparation for the cyclone, the U.N. World Food Programme provided government authorities with IT equipment (smartphones and power banks), a vehicle as well as access to MoDA (U.N. World Food Programme’s data collection platform) in order to fast-track the registration and management of displaced people eligible for aid.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

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