Geneva / Antananarivo - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) strengthens its programmes aimed to combat food insecurity in Madagascar, particularly through its relief and recovery operation in response to natural disasters.
Switzerland has allocated a contribution of US$1.1 million (about 2.5 billion Ariary) to this operation. This funding will allow WFP and its partners to provide food assistance to some 46,000 people in the south and south-east of Madagascar. These populations face heightened food insecurity caused by climatic shocks such as floods and droughts.
"This contribution arrives in the midst of the lean season and cyclone season, periods during which people are more vulnerable to food insecurity. The Swiss contribution will allow WFP to work towards the UN Secretary General’s ‘Zero Hunger challenge’, which aims to eliminate hunger in our lifetime" said Willem van Milink, WFP Representative in Madagascar.
WFP’s relief and recovery operation in Madagascar is implemented in coordination with the National Disaster Management Office, the Ministry of Agriculture, United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations and other humanitarian partners.
In the southern and southeastern regions, WFP and its partners implement food or cash for assets programmes, in which participants work on projects such as the construction or rehabilitation of water catchment systems or irrigation canals and dams.
These activities contribute to the rehabilitation of community infrastructures that have been undermined by natural disasters, increasing communities’ resilience to shocks, restoring their livelihoods and boosting agricultural production. Each participant receives a family food ration or money in exchange for his participation in these community activities, thus enabling him to meet his food needs.
In addition to its financial contribution of US$1.1 million, Switzerland will provide and fund a Swiss expert to support WFP projects in Madagascar. The expert will help strengthen WFP’s cash transfer programmes and logistics operations, while boosting local markets. WFP provides assistance under the cash transfer modality when food is available in the markets but households are unable to afford it.
While four million people are food insecure in Madagascar, WFP estimates that it will require nearly US$7 million (about 16 billion Ariary) over the next six months to assist 800,000 children under age two, school-aged children, tuberculosis patients, pregnant/nursing women and vulnerable households. With its current available resources, WFP assists nearly 400,000 people, while also maintaining resource mobilization efforts in order to continue its assistance through school feeding, food/cash for assets activities, and the provision of nutritional supplements for the prevention of malnutrition.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Every year, WFP assist more than 90 million people in more than 80 countries.