Cyclone in Madagascar updated Jul 2003

News and Press Release
Originally published
On May 8, Cyclone Manou hit Vatomandry on the east coast of Madagascar with 112 mph winds. Manou battered the area for six hours before moving back out to sea and severely affected some 46,000 people who lost homes, belongings and agricultural property. CRS was working in Vatomandry before Cyclone Manou hit allowing them to quickly establish an emergency response.
Catholic Relief Services Responds

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded CRS a $560,000 grant to provide school supplies such as book bags, notebooks and pens to 20,000 primary school students, and food and necessities to 12,500 people. Seventeen schools were destroyed during the cyclone and others were used as temporary shelters leaving thousands of children without a place to learn.

CRS was also awarded $167,000 from the U.S. Office of Disaster Assistance for Cash-for-Work and seed fair programs to help with agricultural recovery. Three seed fairs were organized during the last week of June and benefited 2,000 farmer families.

The seed fairs are being complemented by Cash-for-Work activities focused on rehabilitating canals that irrigate rice fields. The canals were flooded, blocked up or damaged by Cyclone Manou.

Immediately following the cyclone, CRS began implementing the following two-phase emergency response:

Phase Two - CRS is currently distributing water purification kits, soap and blankets to an additional 12,500 people in villages affected by the cyclone. In addition, families targeted for the distributions are being offered participation in a Food-For-Work (FFW) project. Project participants are rehabilitating roads, bridges and agricultural infrastructure destroyed or damaged by the cyclone in exchange for food. FFW projects often help ensure continued food security following disasters.

Future programs include a seed fair to help re-launch agricultural activities.


Cyclone Manou dropped almost eight inches of rain on Vatomandry in just six hours. The Malagasy government quickly responded to the disaster by donating tents, rice, medicines and food. Aid organizations such as CRS developed additional emergency and long-term activities to help affected Malagasy rebuild their lives.

CRS began working in Madagascar in 1962 providing humanitarian aid in regions with high levels of poverty and malnutrition. For 41 years, the agency has carried out food and nutrition programs for underprivileged mothers, children, disabled persons and victims of natural disasters.

With three expatriate and 102 national staff, CRS/Madagascar has a main office in Antananarivo, sub-offices in Fianarantsoa and Ilakaka, and a logistics office near the port of Tamatave.

Your support is needed.

Donations can also be made by calling:
or by sending checks to:
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, Maryland 21203-7090.

Copyright=A92003 CRS