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Cyclone Jade adds to Madagascar's misery

Madagascar has suffered three cyclones since the beginning of the year, with the last, Cyclone Jade, affecting over 60,000 people. Jade struck just weeks after Andry Rajoelina, the former mayor of the capital city, Antananarivo, forced out elected President Marc Ravalomanana with military backing. As a result, Madagascar has been suspended from the African Union and Southern African Development Community, while the US and Norway have frozen all non-humanitarian aid. Aid agencies have warned that the political crisis is overshadowing the humanitarian disaster, calling for greater international engagement. However, despite an emergency appeal for US$36 million, international donors have been slow to respond, and aid agencies have raised concern that a lack of funding is jeopardising the humanitarian response. According to a statement by Christian Action Research and Education (CARE), "Madagascar is facing an evolving humanitarian crisis of proportions unprecedented in its history." The south of Madagascar is also currently facing a severe drought and chronic water shortages after three consecutive years of poor rain, leading to poor harvests and deepening vulnerability.

Date published: May 2009

 

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