Madagascar is the second-largest island nation in the world after Indonesia. Of its 30 million inhabitants, more than 25 million live on less than $2 a day.
Madagascar is struggling with the negative effects of climate change, which is affecting the southern part of the island the hardest. The last six years have seen endless drought. The rainy season is becoming shorter and more unpredictable. What is certain is cyclones, which over just a few days can cause damage which is then repaired over months and years.
Residents of the southern part of the island have to walk many kilometers to fetch enough water for their basic needs: drinking and cooking. However, there is not enough water to water the vegetable gardens, which are the main source of food for local communities. In the absence of a harvest, often the only food becomes the fruits of cacti growing in the bush. This has a negative impact on many aspects of life – children, for example, miss lessons because they spend hours scavenging for food for themselves and their families.
Nearly half a million children in southern Madagascar are severely malnourished, and 2.5 million are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Its delivery is extremely challenging, not only because of the scale of the needs, but also because of access to the places where these needs exist. In the southern regions of the island, transportation infrastructure is virtually non-existent.
According to CARE, the humanitarian crisis in Madagascar is one of the most forgotten crises.
PHA began working in Madagascar in 2022. We are building wells, coordinating reforestation programs in deforested areas and a school feeding program. We also conduct other activities for local communities. In 2023, PHA will also implement the construction of the first sand dam.