On June 19, the Minister of Environment Ralava Beboarimisa, the US Ambassador Robert T. Yamate, and the USAID Mission Director Susan S. Riley visited the village of Kelilalina to witness development activities provided through USAID/Food for Peace’s Fararanoprogram. They spent the morning meeting with mothers and their small children who received nutritious food rations of fortified oil and corn-soy flour and partook in cooking demonstrations to learn how to incorporate local ingredients to nourish their families. .
“Fararano” is a USAID-funded food security program whose goal is to reduce food insecurity and increase vulnerable households’ resilience to shocks in eastern and southwestern Madagascar. The program works in 45 rural communes of three regions, including Atsinanana, Vatovavy Fitovinany, and Atsimo Andrefana, and benefits directly to 364,000 individuals.
The range of activities of Fararano program includes sustainable agricultural production and marketing, natural resource management, non-agricultural income generation, integrated health and family planning programming, nutrition, water and sanitation, disaster risk reduction, vulnerable group feeding, and social safety nets.
“The ultimate goal of our work is to ensure that families, mothers and their children have the means they need to produce quality food for themselves and their communities. Over half of Malagasy children under 5 years of age are stunted and at increased risk for suffering from permanent, irreversible effects of malnutrition throughout their lives,” said Ambassador Yamate during the visit.
Through its Food for Peace (FFP) programs, USAID provides development food assistance to reduce food insecurity among vulnerable populations by addressing underlying causes. USAID also provides emergency food assistance to address needs arising from natural disasters, such as floods or droughts, and complex emergencies often characterized by insecurity and population displacement.
While in Ranomafana, the group also visited a reforestation test plot, planted by Fararano project members in coordination with the Ministry of Environment and Centre ValBio. Fararano aims to reforest over 2000 hectares, focusing on the use of endemic tree species in areas near protected zones and along corridors specified by the Ministry.