© Helvetas / Felana Rajaonarivelo


Madagascar is known for its unique and highly diverse wildlife and ecosystems. Yet many inhabitants of this paradise island live in abject poverty. The country is regularly hit by intense and destructive cyclones. Helvetas supports small producers in increasing their crop yield and gaining better access to foreign markets. We also focus on securing a steady supply of clean drinking water and protecting natural and water resources.
© Helvetas / Felana Rajaonarivelo
  • Capital
  • Area
    587,295 km²
  • Poverty rate*
    75% of the population live under the poverty line of $1.90 per day
    Rank: 173 out of 191
  • Population
  • People supported per year
  • Thematic focus
    WASH & Water Governance
    Market Systems Development
    Education and Vocational Skills
    Climate & Disaster Resilience
* Source: UN Data

Helvetas began its involvement here back in 1982, initially concentrating efforts on forestry and protecting natural resources. Today, poverty reduction is at the heart of its concerns, in order to achieve improved access to services, resources and income.

Thanks to its isolation from Africa, Madagascar possesses a one-of-a-kind diversity of flora and fauna. But despite the fertile soil, the population lives in great poverty.  Most of them are subsistence farmers. Helvetas supports smallholders in increasing crop yields by adapting more effective farming methods. The object is to enable them to feed their families and sell the surplus to earn some money.

Water supply and sanitation

Contaminated drinking water and poor hygienic conditions give rise to diarrheic diseases and, as a result, high infant mortality in Madagascar. This is why Helvetas focuses on water supply and sanitation. In the 1990s, state tasks such as the supply of drinking water were decentralized to local authorities. Helvetas supports the local authorities, many of which are still inexperienced and ineffectual, and involves them in planning and implementation.

From hand pumps to improved water points

In practical terms, existing water sources are inventoried and household water requirements determined. Appropriate solutions are developed, ranging from hand pumps to improved solar-powered water points managed by private companies. Our holistic approach includes measures to prevent sources from drying up and encourages the equitable distribution of water resources, sustainable water supply management, efficient field irrigation and improved hygiene practices.

Visit the website of Helvetas Madagascar.

The country programme in Madagascar is co-funded by the SDC programme contribution.

Our Projects in Madagascar

 If you would like to know more about our work in Madagascar, click on each project for details.

Education and Vocational Skills

Lack of education perpetuates inequality because poor countries cannot compete economically without a skilled workforce.

WASH & Water Governance

The most vulnerable communities suffer from dirty and scarce water. Annually we help up to 500,000 people get new access to drinking water and basic sanitation.

Private Sector Development

Youth need access to reliable, fairly paid jobs to break the cycle of poverty. Helvetas creates partnerships and promotes policies that build more inclusive economies.

Lot VJ 2 Ter A Ambohimiandra
BP 3044
101 Antananarivo

Phone:+261 20 76 611 73
E-Mail: madagascar@helvetas.org