World Bank Approves a Social Safety Net Project for Madagascar

September 17, 2015

More than 162,500 vulnerable people are targeted 

WASHINGTON, September 17, 2015 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a US$40 million credit for a social safety net project in Madagascar.

“This operation will support the government in increasing the access of extremely poor households to safety net services and in laying the foundations for a social protection system,” said Andrea Vermehren, Lead Social Protection Specialist at the World Bank.

The economic and political crises in Madagascar coupled with the country’s recurrent exposure to natural disasters have had adverse effects on food security and human development. The enrollment rate for children between 6 to 10 years old dropped sharply from 80 percent to 75 percent between 2005 and 2010, and over 40 percent of Malagasy children under the age of 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition, one of the highest prevalence rates in the world. “In response to this situation, the Government’s General Policy (Politique Générale de L’Etat) has made it a priority to develop the social protection sector” reminded Onitiana Realy, the Minister of Population, Social Protection, and Promotion of Women.

This three-year project will focus on five regions selected jointly by the Malagasy Government, the National Nutrition Office and the Intervention Fund for Development (FID), based on data related to the poverty level, malnutrition rates, school attendance rates, food security, productive potential and complementary programs/interventions. Following this process, the project will be implemented in Atsinanana, Atsimo Andrefana, Haute Matsiatra, Vatovavy Fitovinany and Vakinankaratra. It will target 32,500 extremely poor households, thus reaching more than 162,500 individuals, with an overall equal participation of men and women.

The Social Safety Net Project will help establish a systematic and programmatic approach to social protection, focusing on investing in the human capital and productive assets of Madagascar’s extreme poor in addition to supporting the government’s leadership capacity.

“This project is in support of the Malagasy Government’s goal to promote inclusive growth by giving work opportunities to the poorest families and helping them in sending their children to school. The World Bank shares this goal which is at the core of its mission to eradicate extreme poverty and is proud to help the poorest gain livelihood and dignity” said Coralie Gevers, World Bank Country Manager for Madagascar.

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