Human Development Index
162 (out of 189 countries ranked)
People Helped in 2020: 127,960
People Reached by Nutrition and Health Programs
People Reached by Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programs
People Reached by Food Security and Livelihoods Programs
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 below the poverty line. 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.
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.
Madagascar’s Grand Sud region faces a food security and nutrition crisis, with 135,476 children under five years old suffering from acute malnutrition. The years-long drought has created urgent water, sanitation, and hygiene needs: just 30% of the populations has access to drinking water services. The 2019-2020 rainy season was the lowest observed since 2014, and has contributed to weakened agricultural harvests. In addition, COVID-19 restrictions have created disruptions in the supply chain and reduced household income, making basic food items both scarce and expensive and increasing the already-high risk of malnutrition.
Action Against Hunger carries out multisectoral humanitarian interventions in Madagascar, aimed at reducing mortality and morbidity rates among people affected by drought. In 2020, our mobile teams admitted a significant number of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition for treatment, highlighting the needs in hard-to-reach areas. We implemented a community-led water, sanitation, and hygiene program to help improve hygiene practices. We also supported disaster risk reduction projects to strengthen local capacities to prepare for and respond to climate risks.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we trained 307 health center staff on triage and infection prevention and control protocols, as well as another 93 people on psychological first aid. Action Against Hunger also provided emergency cash distributions to meet the growing needs of 15,000 families in urban areas.