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BUILDING BACK BETTER


TWO YEARS AFTER A SERIES OF CYCLONES DEVASTATED MADAGASCAR, WHAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED THANKS TO EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT’S EMERGENCY SUPPORT?


When disaster strikes, children are the ones that lose out the most.

In March of 2017, Cyclone Enawo hit the coast of Madagascar with gale-force winds that gusted up to 180 miles an hour. The destruction displaced some 240,000 people, and the damage to school infrastructure was unprecedented. Over 3,900 classrooms were damaged, with 2,300 totally destroyed. The devastation in Enawo’s wake left over 120,000 children without a safe space to learn.

"Our two classrooms were destroyed to the ground and we could not go to class for two months. We were unhappy but there was nothing we could do,” said Faniriantsoa, a young girl who was ready to complete her last year of primary school before her life and her future were interrupted.

As a result of climate change, the world is seeing an increase in severe weather like cyclones, droughts and floods. When these life-changing events hit, families struggle to access food and water. For girls like Faniriantsoa, risks of gender-based violence increase, and without access to the relative safety and stability of schools, young lives are put in limbo.

To respond to the crisis, Education Cannot Wait – a global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises that seeks to mobilize US$1.8 billion by 2021 to reach 8.9 million children – invested US$400,000 in a fast-acting 12-month programme in the Sava Region of Madagascar. The programme closely aligned with the Flash Appeal issued by the Government and humanitarian organisations after the cyclone, and was implemented on the ground by UNICEFUNESCO and the Regional Education Authorities.


 

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Photo: RATSIMBAZAFY Olivas Josias

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