Madagascar Poverty

Many of the world's poorest countries are heavily dependent on foreign humanitarian aid in order to meet the food, health and educational needs of their people. In Madagascar, such aid was switched off lfollowing the military backed coup which has led to swinging cuts of between 50-70% across all aspects of Madagascar life and left an already impoverished country on the precipice, but, as ever, its those already in poverty in Madagascar who are affected most, not the ruling elite.

Since the coup the number of children leaving school to work to stay alive has risen by 25% with an estimated two million children now working instead of receiving education.

Although child labour is illegal in Madagascar, biting poverty makes it a survival necessity. Many of these children work as labourers in the fishing industry, as domestic servants or in stone quarries. One seven year old boy stated "I have to crush two big bags of gravel per day to make my mother happy."

Even before the recent political and economic difficulties, nearly 70% of Madagascar's population was living below the poverty line with the country coming in at 143 out of the poorest 177 countries in the world. Poverty rises to 85% in rural areas, which is home to 80% of the country's 20 million population. Most families rely on subsistence farming from a plot barely larger than 1.3 hectares and such farm land is becomingly increasingly stretched as the population rises.

Since the political crisis unfolded a quarter of all health care centres have had to close their doors due to a lack of funding and women are abandoning their newborns in hospital because they simply cannot afford to feed them.

Poverty in Madagascar is also effected by Malagasy culture whereby there are rigid social structures based on age, gender and ethnicity leaving the country's richest 10% in control of over a third of the country's wealth. This video documentary explores poverty issues in Madagascar.


Madagascar Poverty

Madagascar Poverty

Madagascar Poverty

Madagascar Poverty



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Life in MadagascarHuman Development Index Madagascar

Human Development Index for Madagascar 1980 - Present

The HDI (Human Development Index) is measured by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the World Bank and is based upon the life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and living standards of a country. Madagascar is in 151st place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 and the chart above shows that Madagascar is slightly above the norm for low human development but significantly lower than average world development.


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