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Mary’s Meals feeds 88,569 children every day in Madagascar!

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Where we work

Life in Madagascar

Madagascar is currently ranked 173 out of 189 countries and territories in the Human Development Index (HDI).  Over 70% of the population live below the income poverty line ($2.15 USD a day).  Despite having a wealth of resources from a unique ecosystem, Madagascar is one of the poorest and most aid-dependent countries in the world.

Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean off the coast of southern Africa, where farming, fishing and forestry form the backbone of the economy.  Despite being a vital element of the country’s economy, agriculture is primarily made up of small-scale subsistence farmers – seven in 10 smallholder farmers own no more than 1.2 hectares of land. The main exports of the country include coffee, tea and spices.

By area, Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, with around 26 million inhabitants.  Chronic malnutrition is considered as one of the major public health concerns. Madagascar’s geographical isolation also contributes to the high levels of poverty found in the country.  As the world’s water levels continue to rise, Madagascar's location makes it very susceptible to cyclones and other climate driven disasters.

More than 80,000 children of primary school-age are estimated to be out of school, and more than one third of children do not complete primary school.

The main languages spoken in Madagascar are Malagasy and French.

children in a line smiling as they wash their hands from a communal tap

Mary's Meals in Madagascar

Mary’s Meals has been serving school meals in Madagascar since 2019.

We feed children in the north, central and southeast regions of Madagascar, working in partnership with Feedback Madagascar and Grandir Dignement.

Mary’s Meals currently serves school meals to 88,549 children in in Madagascar.

Four of our programmes in Madagascar operate in detention centres. The children we feed are enrolled in prison education programmes, and our nutritious meals give them both vital nourishment and the capacity to learn. 

Children in detention centres face terrible conditions – some of them are as young as eight years old and many are still awaiting trial.  Educators from Grandir Dignement work with the children from Monday to Saturday, teaching literacy, numeracy, and vocational skills.  Normally, within the centres, there is no consistent provision of food, so our special feeding programme supports some of the country’s most vulnerable children.

Food Changes the Story

Help us reach the next hungry child

How many children do we feed in Madagascar?

Mary’s Meals currently serves school meals to 88,569 children in 400 schools in Madagascar

What meal do we provide?

A typical school meal is rice with pinto beans/ lentils/ peanuts and greens. Children in detention centres receive rice with vegetables and meat or fish

Where are we based/where do we operate?

North, central and south east regions of Madagascar

What is the capital of Madagascar?

The capital city of Madagascar is Antananarivo

What language(s) are spoken in Madagascar?

Malagasy is the main language of Madagascar with French also widely spoken

What currency is used in Madagascar?

Malagasy Ariary (MGA)

What is the population of Madagascar?

The population of Madagascar is 29,037,756