Humanitarian Action for Children 2020 - Madagascar


Total people in need 2 million

Total children (<18) in need 1.1 million

Total people to be reached 441,000

Total children to be reached 341,000

2020 programme targets


16,000 children under 5 years with SAM admitted to treatment services


241,000 children aged 6 months to 9 years immunized against measles

180,000 people provided with access to essential and life-saving health care services


200,000 people provided with a sufficient quantity of water of appropriate quality for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene

Child protection

3,000 children reached with psycho-social support


40,000 children accessing formal or nonformal education, including early learning

Communication for development

920,000 people reached with key lifesaving and behaviour change messages through mass media, advocacy, social mobilization and community engagement

Cash-based transfers

15,000 households receiving cash transfers in emergencies to access essential goods


Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world – nearly 78 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line of US$1.90 per day – and is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters. Due to its low vaccination rates and poor sanitation and hygiene, Madagascar is regularly hit by epidemics. Following a plague epidemic in 2017, the country faced an unprecedented measles outbreak in 2018–2019, with more than 204,000 registered cases and over 900 measles-related deaths. While the measles epidemic is now mostly under control, there is a high possibility that a new epidemic could begin at any time, especially during the rainy season. In the south of the country, prolonged drought has hindered access to water and worsened food insecurity and acute malnutrition. Nearly 12 per cent of the population lacks adequate access to water; 42 per cent of children under 5 years are suffering from malnutrition; and more than 916,000 people are affected by acute food insecurity. Madagascar is also extremely vulnerable to seasonal cyclones. An average of 1.5 cyclones affect Madagascar every year – the highest rate in Africa – with each event affecting an average of 700,000 people.

Humanitarian strategy

In 2020, UNICEF will increase disaster risk reduction capacities in Madagascar to enable a more efficient emergency response. This will involve supporting the Government to build national and regional disaster contingency plans; raising public awareness through communication campaigns and other activities such as life-skills education; and integrating disaster preparedness into regular activities. When disasters strike, UNICEF will provide life-saving assistance through timely and effective interventions, in collaboration with the Government, other United Nations agencies and nongovernmental organizations, and as co-lead for the nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and education clusters. UNICEF supported mobile teams will provide health, nutrition and WASH interventions in remote areas affected by disasters. UNICEF will also support access to basic education through temporary learning spaces, teaching and learning materials and school rehabilitation. Protection services for vulnerable children will include psychosocial support and child-friendly spaces. UNICEF will strengthen national capacities to prevent and mitigate risks for vulnerable people exposed to gender-based violence in emergencies, and ensure continued access to comprehensive quality support for all survivors of gender-based violence in emergencies. To strengthen the linkages between humanitarian action and development programmes, UNICEF will also promote longer-term responses in emergencies, rather than short-term measures.

Results from 2019

As of 31 August 2019, UNICEF had US$5.3 million available against the US$8.2 million appeal (66 per cent funded). In response to the measles epidemic, UNICEF worked with the Government and other partners to implement a nationwide vaccination campaign that surpassed the target of immunizing 7.2 million children aged 6 months to 9 years. The vaccination campaign was accompanied by communication for development activities, such as advocacy, social mobilization and communication for behavioural change. In the drought-stricken south, the nutrition response included supporting the quarterly nutrition surveillance system; supporting outpatient and inpatient services for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in health facilities and through mobile teams; training parents on the early detection of acute malnutrition; and promoting optimum feeding and hygiene practices for infants and young children. UNICEF also supported water trucking and the construction and rehabilitation of boreholes to provide water to 76,000 people in the south. Pedagogical supplies were donated to vulnerable children, including those living in regions experiencing drought, epidemics and landslides.