Madagascar crisis: this is Haova’s story

Stories | December 1, 2021

The island country of Madagascar off the coast of East Africa is in the grips of a double headed disaster. The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting lives and livelihoods and the worst droughts in 40 years are creating a humanitarian crisis that has forced thousands to the brink of famine.

About 1.3 million people need urgent assistance and tens of thousands are experiencing critical food insecurity, according to the United Nations’ World Food Programme.

Already, three out of every four families are starving in some regions of Madagascar, and others are eating locusts and raw cactus fruits to survive. Tragically, the crisis is predicted to worsen due to insufficient food supplies and the increasing price of essentials due to Covid-19.

People with disabilities – like single mother Haova – are more likely to be deeply impacted in times of disaster.

Even before the current disaster, Haova said her greatest challenge in life is to provide for her three children. She has a physical disability and resultant pain in her foot, which is a barrier to completing daily activities and engaging in the local community. Even fetching water is something Haova cannot do independently, and requires the help of her children.

Haova and her family, as well as about three-quarters of Madagascar’s population, live in poverty. Financial problems mean their staple diet is sweet potato and cassava leaves.

The family was already struggling to make ends meet before drought struck, leaving thousands of people across Madagascar in catastrophic conditions.

The team from CBM’s country office in Madagascar says that before the crisis, people with disabilities already faced complex barriers to access aid.

Now, people with disabilities are dealing with food distribution points that are not accessible to people with physical impairments, and some humanitarian aid delivered in a way that is not suitable for people with intellectual, hearing or vision impairments.

People like Haova and her children need support to be able to access food, water, medication and other essentials to make it through this crisis, and lead positive and healthy lives.

Can you provide an urgent gift to CBM today to help provide life-saving supplies directly to people with disabilities? Donate here.

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