This profile provides an overview of climate risks in Madagascar, including how climate change will potentially impact three key sectors in the country: agriculture and livelihoods; health and nutrition; and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The brief also includes an overview of USAID Food for Peace program area livelihood zones and historical weather trends and future climate projections in Madagascar.
Madagascar faces risks from an increasingly variable and changing climate, which add to the challenges of widespread poverty and food insecurity. Agriculture employs 78 percent of the workforce and accounts for approximately 27 percent of gross domestic product. Rising temperatures, coupled with projected declines in total rainfall and longer dry periods, could put additional stress on the already precarious livelihoods of the country most vulnerable populations. Cyclones in the north of the country and droughts in the south often devastate crops, leaving farmers without the means to maintain subsistence food sources or generate income from cash crops. Given the vulnerability of much of the population, resilience is a significant challenge for Madagascar. Recurring extreme weather events, which prevent households from rebuilding, replanting, recovering and ultimately moving out of poverty, are a major impediment to improved resilience.