ACT Alert - Madagascar No 1/2000

Two Cyclones cause severe flooding in Madagascar
Geneva, March 10, 2000

The flooding disaster in the remote Island of Madagascar off the Mozambique Coast caused by two successive cyclones, Eline and Gloria, has been described as very severe with over 130 reported killed. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports 561,440 people affected, including 282,400 women and 29,200 children. The cyclones first hit Madagascar before devastating Mozambique, which has received good coverage in the last two weeks from the international media attracting some good response of humanitarian aid from the international community. Madagascar, though the first to be hit by the cyclones, received little attention until now. Although UNICEF and the WFP have started mobilizing assistance for the affected people on the island, more assistance of food, water purification tablets, blankets, sanitation facilities, and medicines are desperately needed.

International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) has reported that Madagascar has been struggling to control an outbreak of cholera that has spread throughout the island. In the past year alone, over 1,200 deaths have been reported and 20,000 cases treated. ACT put out an appeal on 1st July, 1999 for assistance to the cholera victims. The flooding situation in the country could worsen the cholera epidemic.

An appeal may or may not be forthcoming depending on further information to be received from the ACT Members. Initial contact with the ACT-Federation of the Protestant Churches in Madagascar indicates that they may submit a proposal to the ACT Coordinating Office by next week.

Thank you for your attention.

ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.

The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland