In the first few months of 2008, three consecutive cyclones struck Madagascar affecting 17 of 22 regions. The paths of Fame and Ivan crossed in the central plain around the capital of Antananarivo, while Jokwe grazed the northern tip of the island. These cyclones were accompanied by heavy rainfall, especially in the northeast and northwest. These category three and four storms caused extensive physical destruction to infrastructure, and affected the livelihoods of an already struggling population. The conjunction of these events affected 342,000 people out of a total population estimated in 2008 at over 19 million. Among those affected, 191,404 lost their homes and over 100 people died.
In the wake of the disasters, the Government of Madagascar, together with international experts, undertook a comprehensive damage and loss and needs assessment to ascertain the extent of the damages caused by the storms, and to define a comprehensive and feasible recovery plan.This Damage, Loss, and Needs Assessment (DNLA) estimated the total damage and losses caused by the cyclones to be Malagasy Ariary (Ar.) 549.4 billion (US$ 333.0 million). Damage and losses were concentrated in the agriculture, fisheries and livestock sector (Ar.170.0 billion or US$ 103.0 million), the housing and public administration sector (Ar. 210.5 billion or U$ 127.6 million) and the transport sector (Ar. 75.5 billion or US$ 45.7 million). The housing sector sustained primarily damages, whereas the agricultural sector saw an overwhelming majority as losses. These sectors are crucial to the livelihoods of the poor in Madagascar, and the impact from the storms has increased the vulnerabilities of large portions of the population.
An integrated, multi-pronged approach for the economic recovery of the affected area, and for the reconstruction of destroyed physical assets, is required to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable members of society and to resume socio-economic development in the affected regions. Financial requirements to address the most immediate as well as the longer-term recovery and reconstruction needs are assessed at Ar 255.4 billion (US$ 154.8 million). A total of Ar. 31.2 billion (US$ 18.9 million) is required for immediate recovery activities, while Ar. 224.2 billion (US$ 135.9 million) is needed in the medium-to-long term recovery and reconstruction phases.The strategy considers primarily public sector investment needs – private sector recovery and reconstruction needs are, for the most cases, not included in the estimate. Risk management measures and the costs of building back better are, however, mainstreamed in this estimate in order to mitigate the effect of future cyclones.