Washington, DC, November 29, 2012 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved two emergency projects to tackle the tremendous deterioration of socio-economic conditions in Madagascar, due to the combined impacts of the protracted political crisis and repeated natural disasters.
This emergency funding is being provided on an exceptional basis, and does not mark a return to normal relations, which remain governed by the World Bank's operational policy OP 7.30 (dealing with de-facto Governments) which came into force in March 2009.
Madagascar was already among the poorest countries in the world before the onset of the crisis, and the political crisis has only made matters worse. The compounded impacts of the political crisis and successive natural disasters are putting the welfare of current and future generations at risk.
Social indicators have steadily worsened since the onset of the crisis three and a half years ago. About 77 percent of households are currently living below the poverty line, one of the highest poverty rates in Africa. The number of out-of-school children has increased dramatically, from an estimated 590,000 in 2005 to over 800,000 children in 2010. In some areas, acute child malnutrition has increased by more than 50 percent. Child mortality has increased by 30 percent in Androy, one of the country's poorest regions. Some critical infrastructure may collapse, and needs to be repaired or reconstructed. The last cyclone alone reportedly damaged over 2,000 classrooms.
The US$102 million Emergency Infrastructure Preservation and Vulnerability Project will restore all-weather access to key national roads; rehabilitate primary schools and health centers; distribute improved seeds and fertilizers, and rebuild micro-irrigation systems for agriculture; and provide short-term employment opportunities to very poor people. The funds will also support improvements to Early Warning Systems and other disaster response capacity in the parts of Madagascar that are highly exposed to floods and cyclones.
The US$65 million Emergency Support to Critical Education, Health, and Nutrition Services Project will fund subsidies for community teachers, provide grants for schools, and boost delivery of basic health services at schools. Two other components will fund a comprehensive basic health program for pregnant women and children at facility level, and provide support community nutrition sites.
The funding is provided by International Development Association,* the Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.