Madagascar's disaster stricken population

Press Release, Paris, March 9, 2000: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has chartered a humanitarian assistance cargo plane to carry 35 tons of materials. Composed of medicines and first aid, specialized foods, blankets, shelters and water sanitation materials, the provisions will permit the initiation of emergency programs following the passages of hurricanes Eline and Gloria in Madagascar. The Malagasy population is once again being hit hard by the bad weather affecting southern Africa. According to the National Relief Center (NRC) in Madagascar, 700,000 people have already been affected. "Several cities are cut off from distribution lines of food provisions, and some villages are completely flooded. MSF, in collaboration with the NRC, will concentrate its efforts on the most isolated villages, to aid 10,000 families, or 50 to 60,000 people, who require immediate assistance" explained Pierre-Pascal Vandini, Assistant Director of Operations at MSF. Other evaluations are currently being undertaken. In addition to the nutritional consequences, this new hurricane could aggravate the cholera epidemic that has been rampant in Madagascar for nearly a year. MSF is reinforcing its team already on the ground to intervene in the regions of Morolambo, Anosibe An'Ala, and Antanambao Manampotsy (on the eastern coast). Present in Madigascar since 1987, MSF provided disaster assistance once before to the Malagasy population, after the passage of hurricane Gretelle devastated the south-east of the island in 1997.