Madagascar is an island situated just off the East-African coast. It is home to around 26 million people.
Although Madagascar is rich in fertile soil, the country is frequently hit by natural disasters such as cyclones, droughts and floods. These affect thousands of people who live off farming. Many are already struggling to make a living and feed their families.
Many people do not have access to basic sanitation facilities or clean drinking water, putting them at increased risk of contracting water-borne disease.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing, in Madagascar since 1986.
Madagascar has been facing social and economic challenges for years. The population is growing rapidly, while per capita income is stagnating and poverty is on the rise.
Around 92% of people in Madagascar live in poverty. As a direct result of the dire economic situation, many families do not have access to basic housing, sanitation facilities or clean drinking water.
Malnutrition is a widespread problem in Madagascar, as inconsistent weather conditions destroy crops and many people living in poverty are unable to provide their families with plenty of nutritious food.
Around two million Malagasy children under the age of 5 are affected by malnutrition and are not growing healthily. This often has a permanent impact on their physical growth and intellectual development.
Although the number of Malagasy children in education has increased over the past years, more than 900 000 do not go to school. Furthermore, only 1 in 3 children completes primary school, meaning that very few have minimum competencies in reading and maths. Many of these children do not attend school or drop out for economic reasons, because they have to work and contribute to the family income. Almost a quarter of children under 18 are working, often in exploitative and dangerous conditions.