Last February, Cyclone Giovanna and Tropical Storm Irina, swept through the African island-nation of Madagascar, causing major damage in many communities. According to local officials, there were over 330,000 people affected by the storms, including 111 deaths, 299 people injured, three reported missing and 55,060 who were displaced. As the cyclones coincided with the period between harvests, seasonal food insecurity was heightened in many communities. Families lost their sources of income, including those from the sale of their harvests, the sale of local products, from fishing and from forestry.
For most households, food supplies were eaten within 15 to 30 days of the storms and 80% of field crops were destroyed. In addition, 25% of homes located in the areas struck by the storms were flooded. Most families left their homes to take refuge in shelters, with family members or with neighbours.
In response to this situation, Caritas Madagascar has launched an emergency appeal throughout the Caritas network to help provide food and hygiene supplies to households affected by the cyclones and organize activities that will help them generate some income (food- and cash-for work programs, seed fairs, distribution of agricultural kits and house repairs). This program, which is scheduled to last a year, will finish in March 2013. Development and Peace has contributed $50,000 towards this program, which will cost a total of $1 million.
Development and Peace has been supporting sustainable development projects in Madagascar for many years now. One of the main goals of our program is to ensure that the country’s many natural resources contribute to the local and national development of the country. This work is done mainly with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Madagascar and Catholic Relief Services (CRS).