Though Madagascar’s economy benefits from ecotourism, ecological research, and a growing agricultural sector, the unequal distribution of wealth has left ninety percent of the country’s population living on less than two dollars a day. This widespread poverty, combined with weak government agencies and a tenuous political situation, has led to an alarming humanitarian situation. More than half of all children in Madagascar suffer from chronic malnutrition, and over half of the country’s population struggles with food insecurity.
High risk of natural disasters
Madagascar is also one of the highest-risk countries for natural disasters, and recently that risk became a reality. In February 2013, Tropical Cyclone Haruna swept through the country and devastated the lives and livelihoods of tens of thousands of people. Torrential rains and strong winds destroyed houses, ruined crops, and flooded water points. This natural disaster left already fragile populations even more vulnerable to waterborne diseases, food insecurity, and malnutrition.
Action Against Hunger began working in Madagascar in 2012, planning for long-term programs while providing emergency relief when needed. In response to the recent devastation caused by Cyclone Haruna, our teams acted immediately to bring emergency supplies to affected communities. To prevent the spread of waterborne diseases that exacerbate malnutrition, we worked with local residents to decontaminate drinking water wells.
Long term commitment to saving lives
Although the effects of the cyclone have lessened, thousands are still in need of assistance. We will continue to serve populations affected by both sudden emergencies like natural disasters and chronic problems like malnutrition and food insecurity. Our goal is to help people in Madagascar regain self-sufficiency as quickly and effectively as possible.