Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries. People with disabilities often live in extremely challenging circumstances.
HI's mobile rehabilitation team visits Anie, 12 years old, at her home in Tuléar. | © Nicolas Früh / Handicap International
HI has been working in Madagascar for more than 30 years. After setting up several orthopedic centers and rehabilitation projects, the program is now facilitating access to healthcare for people with disabilities, promoting their social inclusion and defending their rights.
HI runs various projects, always placing people with disabilities and vulnerable people at the center of its activities. For example, the organization is engaged in developing an "education-training" continuum to ensure that children and young people with disabilities have the same opportunities to pursue educational and learning pathways as everyone else.
HI supports the mental health of people in psychosocial distress and/or living with mental health disorders, notably in Madagascar's prisons. The program also supports the care and treatment of people with epilepsy and their social and educational participation.
HI Madagascar contributes to the emergency humanitarian response, with a focus on adapting the behaviors of vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, while strengthening their response capacity, preparedness and economic and psychological resilience. HI is also building capacity to prepare for and respond to climate hazards through an integrated and inclusive multi-sectoral approach, and supporting vulnerable families affected by the current drought with food aid and stimulation therapy to prevent disabilities in children suffering from acute and severe malnutrition.
Madagascar is still one of the poorest countries in the world, with 81% of its population still living below the internationally recognised poverty line of US$1.90/day.
It is the fourth poorest country in the world in terms of per capita wealth and is currently facing a situation of food insecurity due to climate change and prolonged drought. 1.64 million people were acutely food insecure and 309,000 children acutely malnourished in 2022.
The fallout from the conflict in Ukraine, the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and extreme weather events in 2022 have led to a slowdown in growth. Unemployment remains high and the situation of people with disabilities is particularly difficult. They experience significant discrimination in their communities. Marginalized, their economic and social inclusion remains complicated. Mental disorders are particularly taboo on the island.
Number of HI staff: 176
Date the program launched: 1986