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Mary’s Meals serves meals to more than 83,000 children every school day in Madagascar.

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Where we work

Life in Madagascar

Madagascar is currently ranked 173 out of 191 countries and territories in the Human Development Index (HDI).  Despite the countries unique ecosystem providing a wealth of resources, Madagascar is one of the poorest and most aid-dependent countries in the world.

Madagascar is located in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of southern Africa. Farming, fishing and forestry are the key drivers of the country's economy. The country's agriculture is primarily made up of small-scale subsistence farmers and its main exports include coffee, tea and spices.

Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, with around 26 million inhabitants. It has the fourth highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world, affecting almost half of all children under the age of five. Natural disasters are a severe threat to Madagascar and its people. In early 2022, the island was hit by numerous cyclones that caused widespread damage to infrastructure and livelihoods, and a loss of life, heightening economic pressures and food insecurity for families across the country. 

Education levels among children are extremely low. More than 80,000 children of primary school-age are estimated to be out of school, and more than a third do not complete primary school.

Children sit to eat food in school

Mary's Meals in Madagascar

Mary’s Meals has been serving school meals in Madagascar since 2018.

Our school feeding programme is delivered by our partners, Feedback Madagascar and Money for Madagascar (MfM). Feedback Madagascar provides nutritious daily meals to more than 80,000 children in over 450 primary schools across four regions. MfM make it possible for us to reach a further 3,500 children in 30 places of education (a mix of primary schools in the Itasy region and children’s centres in Antananarivo).

We also operate a special feeding programme together with our long-standing partner, Grandir Dignement. Together, we bring hope to more than 300 vulnerable children in six places of education within five detention centres and one reintegration centre.

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, teaching literacy, numeracy and vocational skills. There is no consistent provision of food in the centres, so our special feeding programme is a lifeline for those being detained.

How many children do we feed in Madagascar?

Mary’s Meals currently serves meals to more than 83,000 children in primary schools, education centres and detention centres in Madagascar while they learn.

What meal do we provide?

A typical school meal is rice with beans or lentils or rice with peanuts and greens. Children in detention centres receive rice with either vegetables, meat, beans or pulses.

Where are we based/where do we operate?

Our school feeding programme operates in the Amoron’i Mania and Haute Matsiatra regions in central Madagascar and Vatovavy and Fitovinany in southeast Madagascar. Meals are also served to children in the Itasy, Analmanga, Diana and Sava regions, as well as the city of Antananarivo.

What is the capital of Madagascar?

The capital city of Madagascar is Antananarivo.

What language(s) is spoken in Madagascar?

Malagasy is the main language spoken in Madagascar. French also widely used to communicate.

What currency is used in Madagascar?

The Malagasy Ariary (MGA).

What is the population of Madagascar?

The population of Madagascar is 29,963,000.