Madagascar

USAID Assistance to Madagascar

WASHINGTON, DC 20523
http://www.usaid.gov
(202) 712-4320
2000-224

Contact: Gabrielle Bushman

BUDGET
FY 1999
FY 2000
FY 2001
(request)
Development Assistance, Child Survival & ESF
$16.2 million
$18.1 million
$21.1 million
Food Aid
$ 6.0 million
$ 9.0 million
$ 9.7 million
Disaster Assistance
$ -
$ 5.9 million
-
Total
$22.2 million
$33.0 million
$30.8 million


OBJECTIVES

The goal of the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) program in Madagascar is to help its people to break out of poverty to become one of Africa's emerging market economies. The USAID program helps establish a legal and policy environment that encourages private initiative and investment, fosters greater respect for human rights and the rule of law, and increases decentralized responsibility for decision making. It also helps the Malagasy people to manage effectively one of the earth's most unique sources of biodiversity. U.S. assistance is slowing the spread of the AIDS virus while helping Malagasy families to become smaller and healthier. Following the passage of three cyclones in early 2000, the USAID program is assisting the 300,000 victims to restore their livelihoods.

PROGRAM AREAS

Improved Environment for Private Initiative: With USAID's support, business codes are being revised and judicial reform is underway to protect and promote economic participants' right to invest and employ their resources productively. Arbitration and mediation have been introduced as an option in dispute resolution. USAID provides a critical contribution to expand the access of the poor to sustainable micro-finance. Working with civil society has facilitated greater public participation in economic and legal issues, accountability, and the rule of law. Awareness increased on the adverse impact of corruption and on means to combat it; reforms continue to strengthen the credibility of the justice sector and the analytical capacity in public decision-making. In addition, USAID helps to improve Madagascar's trade and investment regime and its effective integration into the global economy.

Smaller Healthier Families: Madagascar's high rate of population growth of 3.2% is a major contributor to the country's declining standard of living. USAID addresses the health needs of the Malagasy family, specifically through rapid expansion of high quality, accessible family planning and child survival services, prevention and mitigation of HIV and AIDS, and activities which enhance food security and disaster preparedness. In 1999, an innovative in-school "child-to-child" health program, coupled with complementary parent-group activities, achieved impressive 81% immunization levels in pilot rural communities. Madagascar's contraceptive prevalence rate reached 12.7% in 1999. In a country where 49% of the under-five children are malnourished, the food aid program reaches over 321,000 of these most vulnerable citizens.

Biologically-Diverse Ecosystems Conserved in Priority Conservation Zones: Madagascar is a global biodiversity "hot spot" due to the high levels of species diversity and exceptional endemism that are coupled with high rates of destruction. The scale and intensity of deforestation, soil erosion and declines in soil productivity are enormous. USAID's support reinforces Madagascar's commitment to conserve its unique biological heritage by finding ways to balance the resource needs of an expanding population without compromising its unique biodiversity. USAID supports biodiversity conservation by shifting natural resource management responsibility to Malagasy institutions, such as the National Park Service, expanding local community participation, and increasing ecotourism and private sector involvement in conservation enterprises. Environmental concerns are now incorporated into regional planning processes; local communities are empowered to participate in decision-making for the management of natural resources; the National Parks system is improved and expanded and the private sector is increasingly involved in sustainable natural resource use.