Madagascar

Photo: Pierrot Men for Action Against Hunger, Madagascar
Population
24.2 million
Human Development Index
162 (out of 189 countries ranked)
Our Team
102 employees
Program Start
2011

People Helped in 2019: 85,195

66,667
People Reached by Nutrition and Health Programs 
15,924
People Reached by Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programs 
2,604
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. 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 (15%) established by the World Health Organization and, nationally, the country has the fourth-highest malnutrition rate in the world.

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Madagascar's extreme weather conditions have intensified due to climate change, increasing food vulnerability. Food insecurity affects all regions of the island nation, and particularly those in the south, which have a semi-arid climate and are particularly exposed to severe and recurrent droughts. In 2019, a lack of rainfall and a powerful El Nino phenomenon led to the loss of 90% of the harvest and pushed more than 60% of the population into food insecurity.

Action Against Hunger's work in Madagascar focuses on an integrated approach to combating undernutrition, particularly by strengthening the health system. We provide treatment for acute malnutrition and quality psychosocial care, as well as nutrient supplementation, to the most vulnerable populations in urban areas, including children under five years old and pregnant women. 

To help people survive and build resilience against worsening climate change-related shocks, our teams implemented a multi-sectoral program that works to improve health, nutrition, access to water and sanitation, hygiene, and food security. Action Against Hunger also works to strengthen and sustain both local and national resilience capacity.

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