AMCHAM

AMCHAM

American Chamber of Commerce in Madagascar .

ANTANANARIVO – The U.S. government donated 302,750 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to Madagascar as part of the Administration’s global effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccines are part of the U.S. pledge to provide at least 25 million of 80 million doses globally to Africa. The U.S. government coordinated closely with the African Union, Africa CDC, and COVAX on the country allocations. COVAX supported delivery of these vaccine doses, which arrived in Antananarivo on July 27, 2021.

“Sharing these vaccines will not only help protect the Malagasy people from COVID-19, but also begin reducing barriers to building back the Malagasy economy,” Amy Hyatt, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires to the Republic of Madagascar and the Union of the Comoros, said.

These 302,750 doses are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to share U.S. vaccine supply with the world. As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic at home and work to end the pandemic worldwide, President Biden has promised that the United States will be an arsenal of vaccines for the world.

“From the beginning of my presidency, we have been clear-eyed that we need to attack this virus globally as well. This is about our responsibility — our humanitarian obligation to save as many lives as we can — and our responsibility to our values. We’re going to help lead the world out of this pandemic, working alongside our global partners,” President Biden said.

Throughout the pandemic, the United States has worked closely with the Government of Madagascar to protect public health and strengthen the response to COVID-19. The United States has provided $2.5 million in emergency funding to support the Government of Madagascar’s COVID-19 response, supported the delivery and rollout of vaccines, and contributed $5 million to the Tosika Fameno cash transfer program to ensure vulnerable families in the most affected cities had enough to eat.

Press Release by the U.S. Embassy Antananarivo

The U.S. government funding is feeding 683,000 people in the south and southeast.

ANTANANARIVO – For the past eight years, a series of droughts have devastated southern Madagascar, and this year the situation is especially severe. Many people are struggling day-to-day to find enough food to eat. Farmers are experiencing sandstorms instead of rainstorms and the outlook for the current harvest is not optimistic.

That is why, barely a month after announcing a commitment of $40 million in emergency aid for the south and seven months after launching three new emergency and development programs worth a combined $100 million in the region, the U.S. government is announcing more desperately needed food, health, and agricultural assistance for southern Madagascar.

“Today, we’re announcing another $7.5 million that will go towards feeding people, treating children and pregnant women with malnutrition, and trying to get farmers back on their feet,” John Dunlop, Mission Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), said.

“Our projects will deliver food, drinking water, and health care to 46,000 people. We will provide treatment for 13,000 children with malnutrition. And 41,000 farmers will get seeds and other support, along with the hope that the next harvest season will be better,” USAID Mission Director Dunlop added.

The money announced today will fund activities by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in the hard-hit Ampanihy region and Action Contre la Faim (ACF) in Atsimo Andrefana, Androy, and Anosy regions.

“The sad reality of the situation is that the crisis is deepening and continuing to pull in more and more families,” said the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Amy J. Hyatt. “That’s why we are acting again to bring more assistance. The United States will continue to stand by the Government and people of Madagascar to respond to this crisis, to try and prevent starvation and famine, to help those who desperately need it.”

Projects funded by the U.S. government are feeding 683,000 people, improving water access for 50,000 people, and preventing and treating malnutrition in 159,000 children and pregnant women. This assistance will continue until the end of September.

From October 2021 to March 2022, USAID food assistance, funded by June’s $40 million announcement and today’s $7.5 million announcement, will be delivered to 489,000 people, and activities to prevent and treat malnutrition will help 357,600 children, pregnant women, and new mothers.

The two new five-year development projects announced in December, designed to introduce long-term solutions that prevent and reduce acute food insecurity among some of the most vulnerable people, have begun operations in the regions of Atsimo Andrefana, Androy, Vatovavy-Fitovinany, and Atsimo Atsinanana.

“Unfortunately, all the money we’ve dedicated to this emergency isn’t enough to feed and care for everyone who needs it. That is why we continue to see reports of people eating leaves or locusts,” USAID Mission Director Dunlop said. “More needs to be done. Some donors have recently announced contributions. This is very welcomed, but even more help is necessary to meet the tremendous need that exists.”

More than 1.1 million people are currently facing high levels of food insecurity and that number is expected to rise. At least 14,000 people are already at the point of famine, the upcoming harvests are projected to be very poor, and access to food will likely worsen heading into 2022.

The U.S. government continues to stand by the Government and people of Madagascar like “mpirahalahy mianala” to respond to this crisis, to try and prevent starvation and famine, and to help those who desperately need it.

Last year, USAID assistance to Madagascar totaled $133.5 million. That amount included $74.5 million in activities for the health sector, where the United States is the largest single-country donor, and $48.5 million for food security. Since 2015, the U.S. government through USAID has been the leading provider of assistance to the south, committing more than $236 million to respond to the urgent needs of families in hunger and provide long-term solutions to food insecurity.

Press release by USAID Madagascar - U.S. Embassy Madagascar

Sports can divide. Boston Red Sox versus the New York Yankees, the New Zealand All Blacks versus the South Africa Springboks, or Manchester United versus Liverpool – all passionate sports rivalries with the capacity to turn friend into foe at the mere mention of the “wrong” team.  But sports can also unite. At the U.S. Department of State, we harness the near universal passion for sports as a way to transcend differences in language, culture, and socioeconomic status and bring people together. 

Through our Sports Envoys program, we call upon a cadre of U.S. professional and collegiate athletes and coaches to travel around the world to lead programs developed in partnership with U.S. embassies and consulates. We send non-elite athletes and coaches to the United States for two-week exchanges through our Sports Visitors program. And we use sports to help underserved youth around the world develop leadership skills and achieve academic success through our International Sports Programming Initiative.

We recognize the power of sports on an international stage. We are pleased to see that the National Basketball Association (NBA) does as well. 

The NBA is a professional basketball league established in the United States in 1949 after the merger of the National Basketball League and the American Basketball Association. At the time of the NBA’s founding, all of its players came from within the United States. Now, more than a quarter of its players come from outside the United States.

As the number of international players has increased, so have the NBA’s efforts to reach beyond the United States.Through its social responsibility program, NBA Cares, the league operates a basketball development and community outreach program called Basketball without Borders and brings U.S. competition to international audiences through NBA Global Games. More recently, the NBA has launched two programs right here in Madagascar: Jr. NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL).

Jr. NBA is the league’s youth program, which seeks to “develop a lifelong passion for the game in boys and girls...while instilling core values including teamwork, respect, and sportsmanship.” (Source: https://jr.nba.com/jr-nba-faq/). The Jr. NBA boasts more than a dozen international programs in sub-Saharan Africa, including one right here in Madagascar.

In November 2019, NBA officials, alongside U.S. Ambassador Michael Pelletier and Malagasy Minister of Sport and Youth Tinoka Raharoarilala, launched Jr. NBA Madagascar in collaboration with the Malagasy Basketball Federation. Jr. NBA Madagascar brought together 30 boys’ teams and 20 girls’ teams from public and private high schools alike for four months of basketball training and competition. Players ranged in age from 13 – 16 years-old.  The global COVID-19 pandemic unfortunately cut the competition short, but the plan is to continue the program for at least another three years.

BASKET FINAL The Jr. NBA program brought together 30 boys’ teams and 20 girls’ teams from schools across the capital region including (at left) a game between CEG Andoharanofotsy and Mary Mpanampy and (at right) @Miora Reazhel for Sekolintsika Analamahintsy.

 Led by Tsimbina Andrianaivo, an alumnus of U.S. universities Waldorf College and Hamline University, Jr. NBA Madagascar also made an important decision to not only focus on sports education, but to also integrate the innovative More Than Basketball curriculum, which includes English language, life skills, and leadership training into Jr. NBA Madagascar’s program.

This May, the NBA also partnered with the International Basketball Federation to debut BAL, the NBA’s first collaborative effort to operate a professional basketball league outside of North America.  Madagascar’s own Gendarmerie Nationale Basket Club (GNBC) was one of only 12 teams from across the African continent to qualify to compete in the inaugural BAL championship tournament by winning its region in the Road to BAL qualifying rounds.  Formed in 2012, GNBC was the youngest of all the teams competing in the BAL championship.  Ultimately, Egypt’s Zamalek took the crown as BAL’s first-ever champions, while GNBC ended the tournament fourth in its group.  The Road to BAL 2022 has already begun, and a Malagasy team has again earned a spot.  The ASCUT (Association Sportive de la Commune Urbaine de Toamasina) basketball club qualified to represent Madagascar in the second Road to BAL qualifying tournament by winning national and regional competitions.  The Road to BAL will culminate next year in the 2022 BAL final championship tournament of twelve teams.  Good luck ASCUT!  

Linkages between the Madagascar and the NBA could strengthen even further on July 29 when Malagasy player Sitraka Raharimanantoanina participates alongside 353 other players from all over the world in the 2021 NBA draft, potentially leading to him joining the roster of an NBA team. 

All of these initiatives should give Malagasy sports fans pride in the fact that the NBA sees Madagascar’s basketball potential and is investing its resources here in Malagasy basketball and Malagasy youth.  They also point to exciting possibilities for leveraging sport’s unifying power to build stronger bonds of friendship, teamwork, and mutual understanding between the United States and Madagascar. 

By Tsimbina Andrianaivo, National Coordinator, Jr. NBA and Ryan Bradeen, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy in Madagascar and Comoros

The donation will strengthen the Court of Account’s operational effectiveness, enhance their ability to conduct in-depth investigations and evaluations, and transparently share findings with the public.

ANTANANARIVO – The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), donated computer and teleconference equipment in partnership with the Ministry of Justice to enhance management at Madagascar's Court of Accounts and improve oversight of public funds. Like “mpirahalahy mianala,” the United States is supporting Madagascar in its efforts to foster prosperity by building effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions.

“Through improved records management, the Court will ensure that its findings, reports, and judgements can inform future management and policy decisions,” USAID Mission Director John Dunlop said. “A fully independent, capable Supreme Audit Institution is an essential component of democratic governance.”

The Court of Accounts is Madagascar’s supreme audit institution, responsible for auditing and judging all public expenditures, as well as conducting policy evaluations for the national assembly. The equipment -- including laptops, mobile telephones, and video conferencing equipment -- will improve the Court’s records management system and enhance the Court’s ability to conduct fieldwork, liaise with the regional Financial Tribunals, and share experiences and best practices with other Supreme Audit Institutions across Africa and the world. The equipment, combined with ongoing technical assistance from USAID, France, Morocco, and Norway, will empower the Court of Accounts to conduct audits and review policies more efficiently, improving government transparency and citizen engagement in government functions.

During the ceremony, the President of Madagascar’s Court of Accounts, Mr. Jean de Dieu Rakotondramihamina stated, “The ability of the Court of Accounts to conduct fieldwork is essential to ensuring every citizen feels their voice will be heard.”

The five-year ‘TANTANA’ program is funded by USAID and will improve the Court’s internal governance, strengthen communication and public engagement and enhance the quality and impact of the audits and judgements produced by the Court. USAID’s partner, the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions’ Development Initiative (IDI), will implement the records management system.

USAID has worked for 37 years to help the Malagasy people accomplish their development goals in the face of ongoing challenges. Last year, USAID assistance totaled $133.5 million, including $74.5 million in activities for the health sector, where the U.S. is the largest single-country donor. Since 2015, USAID has committed more than $229 million for emergency and development assistance to southern and southeastern Madagascar.

Source: Press Release by U.S. Embassy Antananarivo - USAID Madagascar

A new project on infectious diseases strengthens public health diagnosis and surveillance and builds the capacity of local laboratories.

ANTANANARIVO – The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance (IDDS) project, is helping Madagascar fight COVID-19 and other infectious diseases through the donation of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing equipment to the PZaGa public laboratory at Mahajanga Hospital in northwestern Madagascar.

“PCR testing is a fast and inexpensive method to test for infectious diseases and an important way to identify diseases that threaten public health. Clearly, this is much needed as we seek to control the COVID-19 pandemic,” said USAID Health Office Director Sophia Brewer.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health, the IDDS project has trained local laboratory staff on the proper use of PCR equipment and other tests for infectious diseases, including correct sampling methods and safe handling, storage, and transportation of specimens.

In June, USAID’s IDDS project donated two new sterilization machines (or autoclaves), worth a total of more than $4,000, to two hospitals in Antananarivo. Autoclaves kill pathogens, decontaminate materials, and ensure the safety of laboratory technicians at these facilities. These donations support the IDDS project’s objective to improve Madagascar’s ability to identify and track disease outbreaks. “Our goal is to help the Ministry of Public Health improve their monitoring and diagnostic system so that they have reliable data to inform decisions,” stated IDDS Country Director Dr. Herindrainy Perlinot.

IDDS is a five-year USAID-funded project that is strengthening public health diagnostic networks and surveillance systems to effectively detect and monitor outbreaks of infectious diseases in more than 20 countries in Africa and Asia, including Madagascar.

This is the latest example of how the U.S. and Madagascar governments are like “mpirahalahy mianala” in preventing, identifying, and containing infectious disease outbreaks in Madagascar. Through USAID, the U.S. Government has been a leading partner to Madagascar, standing side-by- side in responding to outbreaks of plague, measles, malaria, and COVID-19. USAID also lent extensive support to the Ministry of Public Health’s recent national polio vaccination campaign. In February 2021, USAID also donated a GeneXpert machine to the Ministry of Public Health, which provides COVID-19 diagnostic test results within 45 minutes.

Last year, USAID assistance to Madagascar totaled $133.5 million. The U.S. Government is the largest single-country donor to Madagascar's health sector, providing $74.5 million in 2020 alone to fund USAID’s health projects. These projects reduce Madagascar's maternal and child mortality, provide access to potable water and sanitation, protect communities from malaria, improve access to family planning, ensure a reliable supply chain of vital health care provisions and medications, and reinforce the national community health policy.

Source: USAID Madagascar - U.S. Embassy Madagascar

 

His Excellency, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Madagascar.

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for joining us today and welcome to the U.S. Embassy in Madagascar and Comoros’ celebration of the 245th anniversary of the independence of the United States. July 4th is a joyful time in the United States. It is a time of patriotic pride, but also a time of picnics, barbecues, parades, and fireworks. Most of all, it is an opportunity for friends and families to be together and reflect on the ties that unite us as a nation. For a second year running, the world is confronting the devastating effects of a global pandemic that continues to disrupt people’s lives, our economies, and our sense of well-being. Though Covid may interrupt many of our time-honored traditions, we can still join together virtually and celebrate the world’s longest-standing democracy and Madagascar’s recently celebrated 61st birthday.

I arrived in this wonderful country in the midst of the first wave of the pandemic. As the pandemic recedes, I look forward to discovering the natural beauty and amazing biodiversity that makes Madagascar unique. But I also look forward to getting to know the Malagasy people better and to experiencing Madagascar’s culture and traditions.

As we celebrate July 4th, I want to take a moment to remember all those we have lost in the last 18 months. This pandemic has deprived our communities of the wisdom of our elders and the energy of those who departed before their time. They are irreplaceable and we must bear the burden of their loss. But we must also continue to move ahead.

Moreover, how can we thank our first responders enough? Whether in Madagascar the United States, or elsewhere, doctors, nurses, paramedics, and all the front-line health care workers have shown us the meaning of selflessness, dedication, and devotion to duty.

All this, while risking infection and the fear of separation from their own families. They are the heroes of our time and I salute them. While this pandemic has interrupted our day-to-day lives, we must also acknowledge that it has upended economic prospects everywhere.

Here in Madagascar, the United States is uniquely placed to assist during this time of need. Our humanitarian and development assistance through USAID totaled one hundred and thirty-three and a half million dollars in 2020 alone and supports several critical sectors. The United States is the largest bilateral donor in Madagascar’s health sector, providing seventy-four and a half million dollars in 2020.

Our health projects help reduce maternal and child mortality, provide access to safe water, protect communities from malaria, improve access to family planning, ensure a reliable supply chain of medications, and reinforce the national community health policy. U.S. assistance has been critical in national efforts to address health crises such as plague, measles, malaria, and COVID-19.

In 2020, the U.S. government provided two and a half million dollars in additional funding for specific COVID-19 interventions such as disease surveillance, public health education, and ensuring the supply of essential medical provisions.

The U.S. government also contributed five million dollars to the Tosika Fameno cash transfer program to ensure vulnerable families had enough to eat. I would like to note, as well that the United States is the biggest donor to COVAX, which just delivered two hundred and fifty thousand doses of the vaccine to Madagascar.

Last year, we provided forty-eight and a half million dollars in emergency food aid and assistance to the south. We recognize that extreme drought has pushed many communities in southern Madagascar to the brink. In response, we have provided emergency food assistance for hundreds of thousands of people and treatment for sixty-four thousand children suffering from malnutrition.

Working side-by-side with the Government of Madagascar like “mpirahalahy mianala,” USAID is also implementing projects totaling one hundred and forty million dollars in support of the government’s strategy for overcoming the immediate food shortages in the south, while at the same time implementing long-term economic development to reduce the root causes of food insecurity.

Some of our best work is in helping communities help themselves. Whether it is helping farmers increase productivity with environmentally friendly techniques, or working with communities to rehabilitate wells, farm-to-market roads, and canals, our projects seek to build resilience and sustainable skills amongst the most vulnerable people. Likewise, our commitment to help preserve the environmental and ecological heritage of Madagascar puts local communities in the lead, so that they both manage and benefit from their own natural resources. Our goal is to create activities that are income generating, sustainable, bolster governance of natural resources, and stop international wildlife trafficking.

Our efforts in Madagascar extend well beyond aid and humanitarian assistance. We also work with the government, private sector, civil society, and others to promote good governance, to fight corruption, and to support fair and free elections. Human rights issues like child labor and human trafficking remain a top priority.

We look forward to more opportunities to advance commercial ties and economic development through our Embassy Deal Team, facilitating trade and investment in key sectors. We will continue to support the Malagasy government as it seeks to improve its maritime security and embrace its vast marine resources. We await the return of our Peace Corps volunteers, whose collaboration with Malagasy communities fosters peace and friendship between our two countries.

This year, we also celebrate the seventy fifth anniversary of the Fulbright program. Since 1946, Malagasy scholars who have studied in the United States under the Fulbright program have gone on to impressive careers in academia, government, civil society, and the private sector. They have also helped create mutual understanding between American and Malagasy societies.

In closing, as the world reaches for solutions to eventually eradicate the COVID-19 virus, as improved treatments and vaccinations give us hope of a return to normalcy, we must re-dedicate ourselves to helping those who are the most affected amongst us.

Businesses need help to recapture their lost clientele; students need help to catch up on missed educational opportunities; the poorest of the poor need help to find their feet again. This is true in the United States, in Madagascar, and in many other countries around the world.

While this last year has brought more than its share of challenges, let us remember the saying that it is darkest before the dawn. Our nations have lived through many periods of uncertainty before, and we have come through them with stronger spirits.

Together, we can achieve much more than we can accomplish on our own.

This unusual July 4th, let us pledge to work together to a better and brighter future. Mpirahalahy mianala isika; ianao tokiko, izaho tokinao!

Source: U.S. Embassy Madagascar

No matter where you live, the simple act of buying a product can affect the human rights of someone you have never met. It can also lead to the extinction of a plant or animal. Business activity – from producing to selling, to investing, and buying – impacts the lives of billions of people worldwide. Every day we engage in some sort of business activity. We pay for gasoline to get to work. We eat corn or peanuts. We send text messages on a new phone. 
  
Imagine that phone is made using mica produced by a company that uses child labor or forced labor. Imagine the corn and peanuts were planted in an area that was illegally deforested, replacing a forest once rich in biodiversity, including critically endangered animals, that previously sustained local people and helped moderate the climate. Imagine that workers mining mica or harvesting corn or peanuts were forced into dangerous conditions. That the workers might have labored for long hours for little or sometimes no pay.  They may have been child laborers who did not go to school or were victims of human trafficking or sexual abuse. When communities protest the labor conditions, they are often threatened and sometimes attacked.
 
Scenarios like this happen every day in Madagascar and around the world, across industries, and with almost every imaginable product. They show the effect businesses can have on human rights and the environment. Whether it is a multinational conglomerate with complex supply chains and business relationships spanning the globe or a small family-owned shop, every business has a responsibility to prevent and address human rights abuses and environmental degradation.
  
The good news is that, as U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said, “Businesses can provide crucial support for democratic principles, including respect for human and labor rights. They have the capacity to help shape society and the environment – raising local wages, improving working conditions, building trust with communities, and operating sustainably. As a result, businesses have a key role in addressing human rights abuses, including throughout their value chains.”  But who is responsible for making sure that human rights are not overlooked in the drive for profits?
  
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), which were unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council ten years ago, say the responsibility is shared. The UNGPs created a common understanding of the positive role businesses can play in promoting respect for human rights and remedying abuses in the context of business activities. The guidelines outline three pillars:  1) governments have a duty to protect human rights; 2) businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights; and 3) victims affected by business- related human rights issues should have access to remedy.
  
In response to the UNGPs, over the past decade many governments have created National Action Plans on business and human rights and adopted legislation to counter corporate abuses and enhance accountability, including the United States.  Madagascar has developed a National Action Plan specifically to address the issue of child labor in mica mining. Many businesses are strengthening corporate policies and practices on human rights and conducting due diligence to avoid directly or inadvertently supporting human rights abuses through their operations, investments, contracts, or supply chains. Businesses that respect human rights have a competitive advantage by mitigating operational, legal, and reputational risks. These businesses know that respecting human rights is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do. Companies thrive and economies prosper when businesses and governments work together to ensure strong rule of law; respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; respect for national and international labor, environmental, and technical standards; good governance; and effective and accountable institutions. 
  
The U.S. government supports and works to advance global standards to ensure that companies – and communities – benefit from conducting business responsibly and in a rights-respecting manner. U.S. companies are among the global leaders in responsible business conduct based on their commitment to promoting respect for human rights, respecting the rule of law, and strengthening local communities through long-term investments and human capital development. We endeavor for American businesses to live up to expectations that associate the American brand with respect for human rights and strong governance.
 
We are eager to do more to improve on this record. We look forward to working with partners in Madagascar as we begin to build back better from a global pandemic through equitable and sustainable development. Companies, including U.S. firms, should further strengthen their engagement on human rights issues and partner with governments, workers, and civil society on shared solutions. The UNGPs point us in the right direction but are not sufficient alone.
  
The United States is proud to support these efforts in Madagascar. For example, Madagascar is one of the world’s leading suppliers of mica, which is used in the semiconductor industry to make mobile phones and other electronics. But an estimated 10,000 children work in these mica mines. To help reduce child labor in Madagascar, the United States Department of Labor awarded a $4.5 million cooperative agreement to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The award will bolster the resiliency of vulnerable families in mica-producing communities; build the capacity of government officials to address child labor in the mica supply chain; and increase engagement of non-governmental stakeholders to combat the practice. The project will provide direct educational services to 3,380 children and livelihood services to 1,575 families. Likewise, USAID is supporting peanut farmers to help them grow their crops sustainably without destroying any forests and is partnering with the private sector to establish traceability and certification mechanisms that will reward those businesses that grow maize, peanuts, and spice in ways that do not harm the environment.

These projects, and others like them in other sectors and countries, are important steps forward. And we can and should note the progress made over the last ten years under the framework set out in the UNGPs and in comparable provisions in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, which were updated ten years ago as well. However, there is still much work to be done to foster a world in which businesses see that economic success includes respect for people and the planet. This outcome is only possible when governments are strong partners in ensuring businesses respect human rights and comply with host government laws.
  
In addition, promoting respect for human rights is best accomplished by working with allies and partners across the globe.  The success of future efforts to advance respect for human rights by businesses, in line with the UNGPs, will depend upon the collaboration of government, business, and civil society. The U.S. government is ready to continue to support this effort. To demonstrate our commitment, on June 16, Secretary of State Blinken announced the U.S. government will soon begin the process of updating and revitalizing the United States’ National Action Plan (NAP) on Responsible Business Conducthttps://www.state.gov/10th-anniversary-of-the-un-guiding-principles-on-business-and-human-rights/

Let’s work together to advance respect for human rights and protect the natural resources we depend upon – because sending a text message shouldn’t contribute to the abuse of someone’s human rights and eating peanuts shouldn’t destroy entire forests.

Source: U.S. Embassy Madagascar

This donation will improve services in 190 basic health centers and district hospitals in the Atsimo Andrefana region.

ANTANANARIVO — The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) ACCESS health program, and in partnership with Project C.U.R.E., an American non-governmental organization that supplies medical equipment to developing countries, has donated 336 hospital beds and modern medical equipment for childbirth and surgery to 190 basic health centers and district hospitals in the Atsimo Andrefana region. The value of the donation is $825,000, more than 3.1 billion Ariary.

“Health workers need modern, reliable equipment in order to provide quality health services to patients,” said USAID Mission Director John Dunlop. “This equipment will help Madagascar strengthen its health system and be able to better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This delivery of three shipping containers full of hospital beds, mattresses, and medical equipment to the Atsimo Andrefana region is the latest in a series of shipments that began arriving in early 2020. Already four containers of medical materials have been handed over to the Ministry of Public Health to equip health centers in the Atsinanana, Analanjirofo, Vatovavy, and Fitovinany regions. Twenty-one other containers are expected to arrive in Madagascar in the coming months for the Menabe, Boeny, Sofia, Melaky, DIANA, and SAVA regions.

Through the USAID ACCESS program, the U.S. Government is working with the Government of Madagascar to rehabilitate and reequip regional health facilities so that patients feel confident going to their local medical center. “Donations like these support ongoing efforts by the Ministry of Public Health to encourage citizens to seek out health care,” said Dr. Serge Raharison, USAID ACCESS Program Director.

At the official handover ceremony in Tulear, Dr. Louisette Rasoanandrasana, the Regional Director of Public Health for Atsimo Andrefana, declared, “These items come at the right time to support our efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthen our health system, and ensure our care centers are ready to receive all patients. We are proud to ally with the USAID ACCESS program and to be able to count on them as our strategic partner working towards a common goal: saving lives.”

The U.S. Government and the Government of Madagascar are working together like “mpirahalahy mianala” to improve the capacity and quality of health care in Madagascar. Last year, USAID assistance to Madagascar totaled $133.5 million. The U.S. Government is the largest single-country donor to Madagascar's health sector, providing $72 million in 2020 alone to fund USAID’s health projects. These projects reduce Madagascar's maternal and child mortality, provide access to potable water and sanitation, protect communities from malaria, improve access to family planning, ensure a reliable supply chain of vital health care supplies and medication, and reinforce the national community health policy.

Press Release by USAID Madagascar / U.S. Embassy Madagascar

U.S. Embassy in Madagascar and Comoros is proud to announce that the following young leaders will participate in the 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship: Alexandre Manamamonjy, Henintsoa Rakotoarison, Heriniaina Andriamalala, James Rakotomalala, Jannie Nadia Ratsimba, Lova Randrianasolo, Misa Rasolofoarison, Nabeza Razafindrakala, Tojosoa Ramarlina, Tsiry Randrianavelo, and Vony Randrianonenana from Madagascar; as well as Aincha Aboubakar Oumadi, Chamsoudine Ali Abderemane and Hassan Fatma from Comoros.

Launched in 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and embodies the U.S. commitment to invest in the future of Africa. YALI was created in 2010 and supports young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. Since 2014, nearly 4,400 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and with the health, safety, and well-being of Fellows and Partners as the highest priority, the U.S. Department of State is planning a virtual Fellowship for 2021. While remaining in their home countries, Fellows will participate in virtual Leadership Institutes between June 21 and July 30, which will include leadership training, mentoring, and professional development.

After their Leadership Institutes, Fellows will participate in a virtual Summit. Additionally, up to 100 competitively selected Fellows from Sub-Saharan Africa will virtually engage in professional development with U.S. organizations in the public, private, or non-profit sector. Fellows can participate in Alumni Programming after their Fellowships to further build their professional skills and networks.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit mandelawashingtonfellowship.org.

Source: Press Release by U.S. Embassy Antananarivo

As food insecurity worsens, new funding will provide emergency food assistance for more than 729,000 people.

ANTANANARIVO – With recent assessments showing that the food security situation in southern Madagascar continues to worsen, U.S. Ambassador Michael Pelletier announced today that the U.S. Government would contribute nearly $40 million in additional support to the drought-stricken south. This urgently needed funding will provide emergency food aid; treat malnutrition in young children, pregnant women, and new mothers; improve hygiene; and rebuild wells to ensure access to clean water.

President Andry Rajoelina joined Ambassador Pelletier for the announcement, underscoring how the U.S. Government and the Government of Madagascar are like “mpirahalahy mianala” responding to the dire needs of families in hunger and providing long-term solutions to food insecurity in the south and southeast of Madagascar.

Ambassador Pelletier signaled that, while this new funding would bring relief to many people, it would not meet the needs of everyone. He called upon other donors to also contribute, saying, “I am pleased to see the international community turning its attention towards the urgent situation in southern Madagascar, but more help is needed. Over 1.1 million people are currently facing high levels of food insecurity and that number is expected to rise. I urge the international community and the Government of Madagascar to increase their efforts to prevent a worsening famine.”

Recent analyses, including by two food security experts from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at the end of May, have clearly shown that the food security situation is at its most alarming levels since the start of the droughts in 2014. At least 14,000 people are already at the point of famine; the upcoming harvests are expected to be very poor; and access to food will likely worsen heading into 2022.

The near $40 million provided by the U.S. Government through USAID will fund ongoing programs operated by USAID partners the World Food Program (WFP), UNICEF, and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). A portion of the funding for WFP will, from August to October this year, provide immediate food assistance for 465,000 people and supplementary food to prevent acute malnutrition for 19,800 pregnant women and new mothers as well as 63,400 children. Other funding will be used by WFP and CRS to prepare food assistance for the coming lean season, expected to start in October. CRS will also rebuild and repair wells in targeted communities. WFP and UNICEF will provide treatment to 57,000 children suffering from either moderate or severe acute malnutrition. UNICEF will also deliver access to safe drinking water and hygiene promotion for over 100,000 people, while WFP will also operate flights bringing in additional supplies and humanitarian staff. These projects complement or extend other USAID-funded emergency and development assistance currently being delivered in the south.

Since 2015, the U.S. Government through USAID has been the leading provider of assistance to the south, having committed more than $229 million to respond to the urgent needs of families in hunger and provide long-term solutions to food insecurity. In December 2020, U.S. Ambassador Pelletier, alongside President Andry Rajoelina, launched three USAID food security programs to provide immediate food relief and long-term development in the south and southeastern regions.

Last year, USAID assistance to Madagascar totaled $133.5 million. That amount included $74.5 million in activities for the health sector, where the United States is the largest single-country donor, and $48.5 million for food security, where U.S. food assistance has helped more than 1.5 million Malagasy citizens survive through the devastating series of droughts that have struck southern Madagascar.

Source: Press Release by U.S. Embassy Antananarivo / USAID Madagascar

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