© UNICEF/HQ05-0898/Crowe

Nadia and Lanee walk home from school in Majakandrina District in Madagasgar. Some 75,000 primary schoolchildren benefit from UNICEF-supported education initiatives.


Madagascar is prone to natural disasters, including endemic drought, flooding and recurrent cyclones, regularly causing damage to local communities and setbacks to economic growth and making some parts of the country especially vulnerable to food insecurity. The nutritional status of under-five children is precarious under normal situations. According to the latest Demographic and Health Survey, 13 per cent of children suffer from acute malnutrition and, among them, 3 per cent are severely malnourished. In 2005, 69 per cent of the population was living in poverty and 27 per cent in absolute poverty. The scope and frequency of emergency situations remain a major challenge. Large structural problems, such as the remoteness of some towns and villages (making it difficult to reach disaster victims) and poverty (vulnerability in contingency situations due to the impossibility of accumulating resources), weaken the resilience of the populations as much as rapid response capabilities.


UNICEF is cluster lead for water, sanitation and hygiene and co-chairs consultative groups on education and health and nutrition. UNICEF-supported programmes are expected to reach at least 6 million children and 4 million women in 2008.

Health: UNICEF will protect 150,000 people affected by natural disasters through the following activities: distribute insecticide-treated nets/artemisinin-based combination therapy, oral rehydration salts (ORS) and emergency health kits; rehabilitate basic health centres; conduct outreach services for expanded programme on immunization (EPI); reinforce hospital services with equipment, specific drugs and therapeutic food; restore cold chain.

Nutrition: UNICEF will screen 150,000 children affected by emergencies on malnutrition and follow up with nutrition rehabilitation services.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): UNICEF will prevent the outbreak of communicable diseases for up to 60,000 displaced persons through the following activities: distribute water- and hygiene-related non-food items; disinfect/rehabilitate community/family wells and equip them with manual hydraulic pumps; construct/improve emergency latrines; conduct hygiene education activities; train and sensitize on WASH principles mayors, school directors, health centre directors and heads of Fokontany (village chiefs).

Education: A total of 75,000 primary schoolchildren will benefit from a ‘Back to School’ campaign, tents, school-in-a-box kits, recreational kits and additional school supplies. UNICEF will construct temporary school/classroom structures; rehabilitate schools and build latrines in affected localities; train education officials in emergency preparation/response; and train primary schoolteachers, with particular attention to HIV/AIDS and peace education.

Child protection: UNICEF will improve local capacity to ensure protection of children’s rights and provide psychosocial support by creating child-friendly spaces; and offer proper modes of recreational activities that act as positive stress or trauma reduction mechanisms for children.

Shelter and non-food items: UNICEF will provide up to 60,000 people with emergency shelter and other basic household items (tents, plastic sheeting, cooking sets etc.); and deliver relief goods in the most isolated municipalities by airlift operation (using helicopters).

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2008
Sector US$
Health 1,700,000
Nutrition 1,300,000
Water, sanitation and hygiene 550,000
Education 1,200,000
Child protection 60,000
Shelter and non-food items 300,000
Total* 5,110,000

*The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.


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