|Posted by Charlotte Baker on June 3, 2020 at 7:00 AM|
SSFA director Charlotte here with an update on SSFA's efforts to provide Covid-19 relief to our partners in Madagascar. It's been a busy two months coordinating our response, which is constantly evolving.
Madagascar has very poor health infrastructure and would be ill-equipped to deal with the level of pandemic seen in Europe and the US. Additionally the close living conditions for many Malagasy communities makes social distancing incredibly difficult.
The Malagasy government closed its borders and imposed a lockdown early on, as part of a raft of preventative measures. Currently a curfew is still in place, requiring most people to be home by 1pm each day. Schools are only open to exam year groups, meaning most children won't be returning until November.
So far, there have been 845 confirmed cases and 6 deaths in Madagascar - but testing is patchy so it's hard to know the true extent of the virus's prevalence. This number is rising daily and it's estimated that the virus is nowhere near its peak in Madagascar.
SSFA's relief efforts
Our Covid-19 appeal was met with a phenomenal response from our supports and has raised over £2,000 to date. It is still open for much-needed donations: virginmoneygiving.com/fund/madacoronavirusappeal
Together with our local partners, we have funded the following:
- Direct support grants to families in Ambohidratimo facing financial hardship to help support them with food costs (they usually rely on the school canteen feeding their children breakfast and lunch, but with these closed it is very hard for them to manage)
- Provision of face masks to all sponsored children and their parents - these were made by the girls at Akany Avoko Faravohitra
- Extra support to families facing particular hardship, in the form of one-off food parcels and other essential items such as mattresses, blankets and candles
- Grants to Akany Avoko Faravohitra to help with food and hygiene costs