Catholic Relief Services brings emergency aid to flood-damaged Madagascar

Baltimore, March 16, 2000 - Catholic Relief Services is providing immediate assistance to the victims of the massive floods in Madagascar. The island nation was struck by two tropical cyclones last month, causing flooding that wiped out crops and roads and destroyed homes. It is estimated that more than 600,000 people have been affected, with 12,000 people isolated by the flood waters and an additional 10,000 people left homeless.
"Catholic Relief Services has a strong presence in Madagascar and has been working with our local Caritas partners on the island since 1962. We are now redoubling our efforts in emergency relief and will work alongside our brothers and sisters in Madagascar to rebuild the country after this devastating disaster," said Ken Hackett, Executive Director of Catholic Relief Services.

Catholic Relief Services' initial assessment of damage in the most severely affected areas of Marsiky, Tanambao and Mahatsara in the diocese of Tamatave determined that 85 percent of the houses were destroyed and 90 percent of the cash crops and 85 percent of the rice fields flooded. In addition, secondary roads were cut off due to flooding and fallen trees, hampering the distribution of emergency supplies.

Catholic Relief Services is distributing plastic sheeting, candles, matches, soap and 72 metric tons of emergency food supplies to 10,000 people throughout the diocese of Tamatave. Ongoing assistance will be provided in the area of medical aid for the prevention and treatment of cholera and other water-born illnesses as well as long-term assistance in reconstruction of homes and roads and rehabilitation of crops.

Catholic Relief Services is accepting contributions to support relief efforts in Madagascar. To participate in these efforts, send donations, marked "Madagascar," to:

Catholic Relief Services
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, MD 21203-7090

Catholic Relief Services is the official overseas relief and development agency of the U.S. Catholic community. Founded in 1943, the agency provides assistance to people in more than 80 countries. Catholic Relief Services provides assistance on the basis of need, not race, creed or nationality.

For more information about Catholic Relief Services and our programs around the world, visit our web site at


Jennifer Lindsey
Communications Associate - Africa
Catholic Relief Services
Tel. (410) 625-2220, ext. 3256
Fax (410) 234-2992