Christian-majority Madagascar is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. Despite the island’s considerable natural resources, more than three-quarters of the population live in extreme poverty.
Madagascar used to be known as “the Green Island”. Now it is turning red as vegetation disappears, leaving bare red sand. Years of drought followed by destructive tropical storms have devastated parts of the island, transforming swathes of land into a dust bowl.
Many have died of starvation, particularly in the south of the island where hunger is most acute. In 2022 around 1.47 million people were in need of emergency food assistance in the south and around 309,000 children were at risk of acute malnutrition. Desperately hungry families have been reduced to eating cactus leaves that provide little nutrition and cause stomach pains, or to mixing ashes flavoured with tamarind, just to put something in their stomachs.
Tuberculosis (TB), easily treatable by modern medicine, has raged through the population whose immune systems are weakened by malnutrition.
Barnabas has helped to feed hungry Malagasy Christians by delivering to them 126 tonnes of nutrient-rich ePap porridge – enough for 4,158,000 meals. Fortified with vitamins, minerals and protein, ePap restores health and strength to the malnourished and helps their bodies resist TB.
We also helped islanders in the aftermath of Cyclone Batsirai, which killed more than 120 people in February 2022. We provided construction materials to enable them to rebuild churches, pastors’ homes and schools destroyed by the high winds.
Barnabas saved more lives in Madagascar by giving seeds to 6,831 poor Christian families to enable them to grow food. Recipients, who live in an area where rain had fallen, reported 80% yields after planting the maize, bean and pumpkin seeds, which they could not afford to buy. The crops gave them food to eat and surplus to sell.
Pray that the Lord will work mightily to provide for the hungry at this time of need. Pray also that the faith of our Malagasy brothers and sisters will not fail.