CARE helps restore livelihoods in Madagascar

Half a million people hard hit by cyclones
ATLANTA (March 17, 2000) -- In Madagascar, more than 500,000 people have been directly affected by the combined impacts of Cyclones Eline and Gloria. In immediate response, CARE has mobilized staff and communities to repair roads, improve water quality and provide supplementary feeding to children under the age of 5.

"The greatest risk for these people is isolation," says Marge Tsitouris, CARE's emergency group director. "Access to affected areas is difficult because there is severe damage to roads and bridges, hampering the movement of food and other relief supplies."

CARE is implementing food- and cash-for-work programs that will clear and rehabilitate 185 miles of roads in the eastern areas of Marolambo, Mahanoro, Vatomandry and Antanambao-Manampotsy, opening access to an estimated 350,000 people who are currently isolated on this island nation located 250 miles east of Mozambique. The road repair effort will provide employment for an estimated 16,000 households.

CARE also will work with local partner organizations to improve water quality in the cyclone-affected areas, decreasing diarrheal and other water-borne diseases. Additionally, CARE's experience in Madagascar has shown that nutritional levels among children under the age of 5 diminish in the wake of cyclones as families are no longer able to afford, nor have access to, nutritious food. CARE is working with Catholic Relief Services to target and distribute a 45-day supply of food for these young children in rural areas.

CARE also is working to organize farmer groups -- providing them with intensive technical support -- so they, in turn, can provide community leadership in agriculture rehabilitation.

About CARE

CARE is one of the world's largest private international relief and development organizations, with projects in more than 60 countries. CARE began its operations in Madagascar in 1992, as the country was experiencing a severe economic crisis. Initial projects focused on increasing agriculture production and improving primary health care services. Currently, CARE also is implementing projects in nature park conservation, urban health, women's small economic activity development and post-cyclone rehabilitation.

CONTACT: Allen Clinton, 404-681-4579, ext. 206