Humanitarian Action for Children
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal helps support the agency’s work as it
provides conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition,
education, health and protection services. Return to main appeal page.
Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world – nearly 78 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line of US$1.90 per day – and is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters.
Due to its low vaccination rates and poor sanitation and hygiene, Madagascar is regularly hit by epidemics. Following a plague epidemic in 2017, the country faced an unprecedented measles outbreak in 2018–2019, with more than 204,000 registered cases and over 900 measles-related deaths. While the measles epidemic is now mostly under control, there is a high possibility that a new epidemic could begin at any time, especially during the rainy season.
In the south of the country, prolonged drought has hindered access to water and worsened food insecurity and acute malnutrition. Nearly 12 per cent of the population lacks adequate access to water; 42 per cent of children under 5 years are suffering from malnutrition; and more than 916,000 people are affected by acute food insecurity.
Madagascar is also extremely vulnerable to seasonal cyclones. An average of 1.5 cyclones affect Madagascar every year – the highest rate in Africa – with each event affecting an average of 700,000 people.
Key planned results for 2020
16,000 children under 5 years with SAM admitted to treatment services
241,000 children aged 6 months to 9 years immunized against measles
40,000 children accessing formal or non-formal education, including early learning
Funding requirements for 2020
In 2020, UNICEF will increase disaster risk reduction capacities in Madagascar to enable a more efficient emergency response. This will involve supporting the Government to build national and regional disaster contingency plans; raising public awareness through communication campaigns and other activities such as life-skills education; and integrating disaster preparedness into regular activities.
When disasters strike, UNICEF will provide life-saving assistance through timely and effective interventions, in collaboration with the Government, other United Nations agencies and nongovernmental organizations, and as co-lead for the nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and education clusters. UNICEF-supported mobile teams will provide health, nutrition and WASH interventions in remote areas affected by disasters.
UNICEF will also support access to basic education through temporary learning spaces, teaching and learning materials and school rehabilitation. Protection services for vulnerable children will include psychosocial support and child-friendly spaces. UNICEF will strengthen national capacities to prevent and mitigate risks for vulnerable people exposed to gender-based violence in emergencies, and ensure continued access to comprehensive quality support for all survivors of gender-based violence in emergencies. To strengthen the linkages between humanitarian action and development programmes, UNICEF will also promote longer-term responses in emergencies, rather than short-term measures.
Humanitarian Action is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate to realize the rights of every child. This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children in Madagascar; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.