When it comes to natural disasters, Madagascar is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world. The impoverished Indian Ocean island sees more frequent and severe weather events every year: millions of people are regularly at risk of a dangerous mix of cyclones, floods and drought. Climate change and environmental degradation are making things worse: the country’s wildly diverse ecosystem is increasingly fragile. Widespread poverty and political instability – and now the COVID-19 pandemic – push already vulnerable people to the brink.
Of people live in disaster zones
Of kids under 5 live with chronic malnutrition
Access to clean water is 4th lowest in Africa
Madagascar’s 26 million people face daunting and deadly challenges:
Despite vast natural resources, Malagasy incomes have stagnated - and poverty has risen - over the past few decades. More than 90 percent of people live on less than $2 per day.
The island nation suffers more and more devastating climate events every year. And deforestation is wreaking havoc: 90 percent of Madagascar’s original rainforests have been lost to logging, charcoal, and slash-and-burn agriculture.
Madagascar has suffered waves of disruptive political crises, including coups and violent unrest, since its independence in 1960. The latest - between 2009 and 2019 - further destroyed government capacity, economic growth and basic services infrastructure.
The world’s fourth largest island, Madagascar boasts a unique ecosystem, with thousands of species of plants and animals found nowhere else. Farming, fishing and forestry form the backbone of the Malgasy economy. But most farmers rely on small, rain-fed parcels of land, and struggle to produce in the face of climate shocks, instability, and lack of access to equipment and land.
In the past 20 years, Madagascar has seen:
- 35 Cyclones
- 8 Floods
- 5 Periods of Drought
With your help, WFP feeds and uplifts millions across vulnerable southern Madagascar through a combination of training programs, school meals, farmer support and more.
Angelet & Nestellah
The pair hold bags of cassava flour produced by their mothers as part of the Cooperative Mitambatrasoa Bevala, a women’s group supported by WFP.
Vola is President of the Cooperative Mitambatrasoa Bevala. “Our production has increased 100% thanks to WFP,” she says. “Our children go to school, and we can buy them school supplies.”
Sandra takes math lessons at Beabo Public school in Ambovombe. It’s one of 1,100 primary public schools in southern Madagascar receiving daily hot meals thanks to WFP. The meals are made from the harvests of small-scale Malgasy farmers.
Building Resilience in Madagascar
WFP is on the ground across Madagascar, delivering food and creating programs to help people withstand an otherwise devastating cycle of floods, droughts, cyclones, and instability.
WFP supports more than 300,000 children with school meals, helping food-insecure families impacted by drought or the lean season. The meals program links small-scale farmers to schools.
WFP feeds more than 35,000 young kids (along with pregnant and breastfeeding mothers) working to prevent malnutrition while distributing nutritious food across the country.
WFP helps farmers with technical assistance, high-quality seeds, and by increasing their access to markets. They’re even able to sell their surplus crops to WFP.
WFP helps disaster-affected and food-insecure communities, working with them to increase their resilience to shocks, and strengthening national disaster preparedness.