Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Madagascar

Madagascar – the untold crisis

A political rally in Madagascar in 2009Due to a volatile political situation, draught, floods and cyclones the Republic of Madagascar, an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa is facing a humanitarian crisis. In this weeks’ In Focus we look at what is happening in Madagascar and speak to Natascha Paddison acting Deputy Representative for UNICEF about what the organisation is doing on the ground.

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1 Madagascar – the untold crisis
2 From Coup d’état to Roadmap

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"Every few weeks UNRIC shines the spotlight on forgotten stories or themes that are on the UN's agenda."

3 questions to Natascha Paddison


F
acts:

  • Madagascar, a former French colony, is the world’s fourth-largest island. Located in the Indian Ocean, its 22 million people are a unique product of historical migrations from Africa, Arab countries, Southeast Asia, and Polynesia.

  • Madagascar ranks among the world’s poorest countries, with more than two-thirds of the population living below the poverty line.

  • The country suffers from a lasting political crisis since 2009. The origin of Madagascar's political crisis was the forced resignation of the elected president, Marc Ravalomanana, on March 17, 2009, in an effective military coup. Since then, Rajoelina, the former mayor of Antananarivo, has acted as the unelected head of state and of the High Transitional Authority (HAT).
     
  • The economy has declined since the political crisis. Unemployment, food, insecurity, crime and corruption are on the rise.

  • The country has reduced maternal mortality since 1990, but the ratio remains high.

  • The number of child labourers has risen to 2,000,000 children under the age of 15.

  • Over the last two decades, Madagascar has been one of a handful of countries to reduce its child mortality rate by 60 per cent. However data indicates a downward trend due to the political crisis.