Over the last few years, we have consolidated our programming in Madagascar around strategic partnerships aimed at supporting civil society organizations (activist networks, monitoring bodies, etc.) and communities that are organizing themselves around issues related to natural resources and their environment with the help of trained local facilitators.
Through our approach, we support various actors in taking charge of their own development through a process of empowerment which is facilitated by close accompaniment and capacity-building based on their hopes and needs.
Although initiatives supported by Development and Peace – Caritas Canada cover almost the entire country, our program is focused particularly on the island’s central region, from west (Maintirano) to east (Toamasina) and covering the regions of Bongolava, Analamanga, Atsinanana and Alaotra-Mangoro. This area includes communities that are extremely vulnerable and isolated and tend to be forgotten in aid responses.
The autonomy of the community is at the heart of our programming, which is built around two major complementary areas:
- Enhancing local governance so that communities can have greater control over the natural resources in their environment and benefit from greater economic, food, land and climate security.
- Strengthening citizen participation in all formal and informal decision-making spaces involving governance of natural resources, the environment and public life.
The large island has more than 20 million inhabitants of whom 80 percent subsist on less than 1 dollar per day even though the country has significant natural resources (sapphire, rosewood, nickel, cobalt, oil, etc.).
Free and transparent elections were held in 2013 following a serious crisis that had persisted since 2009 and which dramatically impacted the living conditions of the vast majority of the population. As soon as he took office, the transitional president, Andry Rajoelina, called upon foreign investors to relaunch the country’s economy, appeals directed primarily to mining and oil companies, which have since resumed exploration activities.
In 2014, the country regained institutional stability thanks to the election of Hery Rajaonarimampianina, the ex-finance minister of the former transitional power. Despite a weak economy and a very high unemployment rate, agriculture remains the key sector of the Malagasy economy and is the livelihood of over 70 percent of the population.