UN migration agency tracks displacement in drought affected Madagascar

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Since 2013, the Greater South of Madagascar (“Grand Sud”) has been experiencing a prolonged drought and below-average rainfalls, affecting 1.8 million people.

National disaster risk management experts and representatives of the development cooperation community in Madagascar wrapped up a two-day discussion on ways to adapt the UN Migration Agency’s (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Tools to the Malagasy context, and agreed on a roll out schedule.

The DTM will help gather key data on population displacements, which will help inform the emergency response, including IOM’s implementation of community stabilization and livelihood support initiatives in communities experiencing an increase in the movement of people.

“DTM tracks mobility and displacement over time by monitoring trends, dynamics, needs and flows in populations to provide critical information to decision-makers and those responding to a crisis,” said Daniel Silva y Poveda, IOM Madagascar Chief of Mission, at the meeting. “Since 2004, the DTM has been implemented in over 60 countries worldwide in response to conflicts, natural disasters and complex emergency settings, from small and short-term cases to large-scale, regional and protracted displacement trends and migration crises.”

In late 2016, a rapid assessment was conducted by IOM and the Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et des Catastrophes (BNGRC) of Madagascar. The assessment concluded that the drought has resulted in significant and complex mobility patterns in the south of the country, and from the south to other regions of the country, with some villages seeing a 30 per cent reduction in their population.

The study also estimated the impact that these migration trends have had on education, food security, water and sanitation, and protection in the areas most affected.

For instance: a diminished agricultural workforce – which hinders the resilience and capacity of recovery for those who stay behind – pressures limited basic social services in the areas where migrants decide to resettle. Other factors include abuse and exploitation of vulnerable migrants, and child labour.

With support from the Government of Japan and the BNGRC, DTM will be rolled out in Madagascar’s southern Androy region, with a view to collect systematic information on drought-induced migration.

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