Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world. Malnutrition is pervasive; over 70 percent of households lack enough food to eat at some point during the year. In addition, Madagascar is one of the countries most exposed to climatic shocks. Over the past 35 years more than 50 natural disasters have struck the country; cyclones, droughts, floods and locust infestations have affected over half the population. These natural disasters have in turn led to epidemics, including malaria, and food shortages.
USAID responds to severe chronic and transitory food insecurity in 600 vulnerable communities in eastern and southern Madagascar by creating jobs and jobs and income opportunities for rural households. It also reinforces maternal and child nutrition during the hungry season in targeted areas by providing pregnant and lactating women and young children with extra food. The program trains thousands of community health workers to conduct household visits during which they promoted nutrition and hygiene best practices. In addition, USAID works with farmer groups, who now use improved agriculture production techniques to increase food production and productivity.
USAID technical assistance, training and commodities support social protection centers in three major cities, and extremely vulnerable heads of household (mostly women) receive a monthly supplementary food aid ration and job training that help them meet some of the economic challenges facing Madagascar.
USAID has also rehabilitated hundreds of miles of rural feeder roads that improved access to markets, social services and schools and is restoring irrigation canals and irrigation systems that irrigate hundreds of hectares of farmland.
Last updated: May 10, 2013