On 22 January 2020, the cyclonic circulation called Zone de Convergence Inter-Tropicale (ZCIT) made landfall on the West coast of Madagascar, in the district of Besalampy, the Melaky region. This prompted a Red Alert Warning for heavy rains in Boeny, Sofia (Districts of Analalava, Antsohihy, Mampikomy, Boriziny, and Mandritsara) and a Yellow Alert Warning for the region of Analamanga and Alaotra Mangoro. On 23 January, Red Alert for High wind for most of the coast of the country, from the North, North-Eastern, North-Western, and Western regions was equally issued. The depression eventually went out to sea on 23 January at around 3:30 pm, between Toamasina and Vatomandry (Ambila Lemaitso, in the region of Atsinanana) and continued to move towards the islands of Reunion and Mauritius, East of Madagascar, as it evolved into the moderate tropical storm Diane by 24 January.
Despite leaving the island, the clouds associated with the phenomena kept bringing rain over several regions, including Alaotra and Atsinanana and as of 25 January, the casualties registered was 9 people missing, 31 reported dead, 106,846 affected and 16,031 displaced. The estimation of damage on infrastructure was significant and government declared a state of emergency.
In response, Malagasy Red Cross Society (MRCS), with support from IFRC, launched this DREF operation on 5 February to meet the immediate shelter and non-food items (NFIs), livelihoods and basic needs, health care and WASH needs of 5,000 people (1,000 households) affected by this disaster in three of the most impacted regions - Alaotro Mangoro and Betsiboka and in urban Antananarivo. This operation was set to last 4 months, but due to COVID19 containment measures set out in the country, the operation was extended for a supplementary 2 months through the publishing of Operation Update 1 in June. Operation Update 2 was issued in September, approving an extraordinary 3 months timeframe extension to enable the Malagasy Red Cross Society and IFRC complete the replenishment of NFIs mobilised from National Society the emergency/contingency stocks for distributions. Overall, the operational timeframe for this operation was 9 months.