People Helped in 2017: 129,646
Though Madagascar’s economy benefits from ecotourism, ecological research, and a growing agricultural sector, the unequal distribution of wealth has left nearly 80 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. The last political crisis in 2009 to 2013 has had very negative impacts on the economy and health systems. More than half of all children in Madagascar suffer from chronic malnutrition, and over half of the country’s population struggles with food insecurity.
Between 1980 and 2010, the country suffered 35 cyclones and floods, five periods of severe drought, five earthquakes and six epidemics. This vulnerability has been intensified by increased migration to large cities, deteriorating road infrastructure and very poor security conditions. Some villages have exceeded the emergency threshold for global acute malnutrition (10 percent) established by the World Health Organization and, nationally, the country has one of the highest rates of chronic malnutrition in the world at 47 percent.
The health system strengthening project set up in 2015 is continuing and health care support activities are underway. Since November 2010, we have been implementing an urban prevention and treatment project to moderate under-nutrition in the capital among vulnerable families from disadvantaged neighborhoods. In addition, to mitigate the situation of nutritional insecurity declared in 2016, emergency programs have been launched in the south, focused on treating acute under-nutrition and ensuring access to drinking water. Action Against Hunger, a major actor in emergency responses, intervened in 2017 following Cyclone Enawo in the north, and in the Bubonic plague epidemic that hit the country at the end of the year.