A month after a spate of deadly cyclones ravaged the southern regions of Madagascar, people whose lives were upended by the storms continue to suffer.
In response, the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are providing an additional $5 million for food assistance, housing, and medical and sanitation services to help Malagasy families recover from the devastation.
The new funding will be provided to the World Food Program (WFP), UNICEF, and the International Federation of the Red Cross. It will build upon earlier donations of $500,000 to help people whose homes were damaged and whose lives were affected by the storms.
“With this assistance, the United States has made a tenfold increase in our commitment to people whose homes have been destroyed and livelihoods disrupted by this devastating series of storms that hit southern Madagascar,” U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Amy Hyatt said. “The American people are like ‘Mpirahalahy Mianala’ – standing together with the people of Madagascar during these difficult times.”
With the bulk of the funding – $3 million – WFP will provide 1,200 metric tons of rice, legumes, and fortified vegetable oil to storm victims in the Vatovavy, Fitovinany, and Atsimo Atsinanana regions. This is enough food to feed more than 26,000 people for three months. 17,300 households (about 86,000 individuals) will receive direct cash transfers during the same period.
Another $700,000 will help UNICEF provide lifesaving safe water, sanitation, and hygiene services for 20,000 people in the communities of Nosy Varika, Mananjary, and Vohipeno. This assistance includes providing soap for handwashing, controlling vector borne diseases in vulnerable areas, and distributing hygiene kits and dignity kits for adolescent girls and women. Another 5,000 persons, including 500 children, will receive psychosocial support to cope with the suffering that follows displacement.
The International Federation of the Red Cross will use $600,000 to construct and repair shelters and provide direct cash assistance to assist 25,000 people also in Nosy Varika, Mananjary, and Vohipeno.
Finally, an additional $700,000 will be used by all three organizations to provide a variety of household items such as buckets, tarps, kitchen sets, and water purification products.
The United States is the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance to Madagascar. With this announcement, the United States will be providing more than $85 million in humanitarian assistance since September 2020, including life-saving emergency food and other assistance to address food insecurity in Madagascar’s drought-stricken South and millions of free vaccines and other support for the country’s COVID-19 pandemic response.