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United Nations System Madagascar

June 2010


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The UNDAF update exercise reinforced the five UNDAF effects, which remain relevant and valid as a whole; this is justified essentially by the fact that the UNDAF is aimed to accompany national efforts to reach the MDGs and the implementation of the Millennium Declaration. The UNDAF outputs have been adjusted to take account of the current context as well as the new challenges linked to the transition. Thus, in line with the UNDAF outcomes, the Strategic Vision of SNU defines priority lines of action to meet context specific needs. The Vision also takes into account the conclusions of the paper on the impact of the suspension of development assistance and of some international trade agreements, which has been communicated to the International Contact Group (ICG) in October 2009.

In the framework of the negotiations, facilitated by the joint international mediation team under the aegis of the African Union (AU) and headed by Joaquim Chissano on behalf of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and with the participation of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) and the United Nations (UN), the four main national political movements signed the Maputo Agreements and the Addis Ababa Additional Act between August and November 2009. These texts advocate non-violence, tolerance, forgiveness, reconciliation, mutual respect and the respect of human rights and of fundamental freedoms; furthermore, they establish a framework for the management of a 15 month transition, which will allow the return to a constitutional order in Madagascar through the holding of credible and transparent elections.

During the updating (annual review) of Madagascar's 2008-2011 UNDAF (United Nations Development Assistance Framework) in November 2009, the UN Country Team made the decision to develop a strategic vision for the period 2010-2011. This unprecedented arrangement was adopted in view of the difficult programming environment in which the United Nations System is operating since the unconstitutional change of power on 17 March 2009. The targeted goal is to enable the United Nations agencies to effectively fulfill their respective mandates in the crisis context and during the transition phase, once a political agreement accepted by the international community is reached.



Taking into account the situation of crisis, the strategic vision of the UN System aims at: 1) The promotion of human rights which are universal, indivisible, interrelated, interdependent and mutually reinforcing rights, through the implementation of international human rights instruments; 2) The progressive attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly for vulnerable populations.

The vision is articulated around the following five areas: 1) Assistance to the transition and national reconciliation processes according to the process adopted and recognized by the international community, and support to the respect of the rule of law and the promotion of a culture of peace and conflict prevention; 2) Access to basic social services in the areas of education and health; 3) Protection of vulnerable and at-risk populations, including disaster management; 4) Support to the economy; 5) Strengthening of information, monitoring/evaluation and communication.

By doing so, the United Nations would contribute to a peaceful and stable environment which will be necessary for a concerted commitment of national stakeholders in their efforts towards a fourth Republic and the resumption of economic and social development.

The political crisis deteriorated the functioning of basic public services. As a consequence, there has been a drop in public finances, conflicts within the administration, disagreement within the defacto government on key aspects of public sector management and migration of public workforce towards the private sector or abroad. Tax and customs revenues have dropped following the decline in economic production. A US$ 350 million freeze was applied to foreign aid; this situation weighs heavily on the State budget since it funds 50 percent of public operating budget exclusive of the wages of civil servants and 75 percent of public investment budget. Thus the freezing of the aid allocated to public investments has had negative impacts on public infrastructure sector. The drastic fall in public revenues could affect the payment of the debt service, which has allowed maintaining a minimal level of commitment from the international community. The State budget for 2010 remains unknown as of end November 2009, thus preventing planning. Even though Madagascar is party to most international human rights instruments, the monitoring, information collection and analysis capacities of both public institutions and the civil society in the area are weak. The lack of an independent national monitoring system capable of ensuring the application of international human rights standards remains a challenge for the society. Despite weak monitoring capacity, national and international nongovernmental institutions could observe a gradual deterioration of the human rights situation, including not only civil and political rights but also socio-economic and cultural rights. Thousands of jobs have been lost in the secondary and tertiary sectors. Although it was already problematic before the crisis, a higher frequency of arbitrary arrests, restrictions of freedom of opinions, expressions and gatherings as well as the excessive use of force was noted in 2009. The situation in prisons and detention conditions are also affected by budget cut. The number of incidences of violence including sexual violence and exploitation and violence against children is increasing. 2) Political governance, democracy and state of law


Madagascar faces several challenges linked to the attainment of the MDGs and to the current institutional context. Prior to the crisis, Madagascar was considered "on track" for three out of the eight MDGs (primary education, empowerment of women, and the fight against HIV, malaria and other diseases). State Budget



Madagascar is also on the decline in the annual ranking of press freedom according to "Reporters Sans Frontires", with the country ranking at 134th in 2009. Finally, the last report of "Transparency International" reveals a regress of fight against corruption in the country. With a Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of 3 out of 10 in 2009, Madagascar fell from the 85th place to 99th out of the 180 countries covered by the survey.

In a context of budgetary constraint and major organizational challenges, a budget of US$ 10 to 20 million for each election and an operating budget of US$ 5 to 7 million per month are necessary for the new institutions. Electoral registers need to be reviewed in a context of poor performance of registry offices.

In 2009, the budgets allocated to the Ministries in charge of health and education were cut by 20 to 30 percent. The weaknesses in human resources and the difficulties in maintaining them weakened the public sector even more. Less than 3000 general practitioners are employed in the public sector for a population of nearly 20 millions, with a falling trend being observed. 40 percent of health facilities do not receive sufficient supplies of drugs and other health inputs from the national supply system via the central buying agency, SALAMA, hence their services are not sought out. The Ministry of Health budget for 2010 is likely to be even more reduced, which will further affect the supply chain and entail a possible collapse of the health system. 2010 orders have been already affected. In addition, the isolation of some localities affects geographical access of the population to healthcare, with 40 to 60 percent of the populations being without access depending on the regions. In the area the fight against HIV and AIDS, 9/10 of the funding of priority national needs depend on the support of technical and financial partners. The suspension of funding may cause impacts that are difficult to make up for both on the institutional and social level and also in terms of case management.


Health and education system

If the enrollment in primary education has nearly doubled since 2002, it is thanks to a considerable effort from the government to allocate national resources as well as significant foreign financing. Nevertheless, the Education For All (EFA) plan endorsed by technical and financial partners in February 2008 - for which an allotment of US$ 85.1 million for 2009-2011 was received from the Fast Track Initiative-Catalytic Fund (FTI-CF) - is at times questioned, resulting in a significant confusion at the deconcentrated levels of the education system.

This year, the donors already intervened through the Fast Track Initiative (FTI) funds to avoid losing the abovementioned resources and to start disbursing US$ 15 million through UNICEF in order to, inter alia, cover subsidies for the first 4 months of 2010 of 38,585 FRAM teachers who ensure the schooling of approximately 2 million primary school children. Additionally the reallocation to WFP of US$ 1.9 million in the framework of the debt reduction contract between France and Madagascar made it possible to continue school canteen activities in the South during the 2009/2010 school year. As for the allocation of the remaining US$ 70.1 million, US$ 21.10 million have already been cut further to the loss associated with implementation in 2009, and the remaining US$ 49 million to be requested in July 2010 will depend on the commitment of the new government.

Although part of the funds (US$ 15 million) has been secured for the period of January to June 2010, it is crucial to restore coherence and continuity in the education sector to avoid not only the loss of resources, but above all the loss of achievements in schooling rate, success rate and other quality indicators. In addition to the efforts to support continuity, the ongoing programs targeting vulnerable children and elimination of illiteracy need to be scaled-up. Whereas Madagascar's annual growth rate was estimated at 7.2% in 2008, the perspectives for 2009 have been confirmed to be negative. The overall vulnerability levels are said to be quite high: approximately 69 percent of the population lives under the poverty threshold, a rate that has remained almost unchanged since 1993 despite modest but constant economic growth. It is estimated that 44 percent of the population, i.e. 8.3 million of people, lives in a situation of extreme poverty. Madagascar is also among the 18 countries where the prevalence rate of chronic malnutrition exceeds 45 percent. 4) Vulnerability and economic growth

The increasing vulnerability of the population, whose means are too limited to cope with the situation, may become more pronounced due to: (a) a rise in unemployment rate (more than 200 000 jobs have already been lost in 2009 due to the crisis and the slowing global economic demand); (b) a decline in agricultural production due to the lack of inputs, which are usually supplied by the government but were missing in 2009; and (c) a possible inappropriate regulation of foodstuff prices on the market. Even though a marked deterioration of the food security situation was not observed among the capital city's population in 2009, due in part to a drop in the price of basic foodstuffs, the trends should be continually monitored, as was the case during the socio-economic crisis of 2001/2002 during which poverty indicators increased by 20 percent in urban areas against 10 percent in rural areas, given that the capital had been most affected by the crisis. Much depends on the subsequent development of the agricultural sector and the job opportunities in the already negatively impacted secondary and tertiary sectors. Madagascar is the country that is most exposed to cyclones in Africa (3-4 major cyclones per year) and this situation causes devastating effects on its population and its economy. The damages, losses and rehabilitation and reconstruction needs assessment exercise conducted in 2008 estimated the damages and losses at US$ 333 million, i.e. 4 percent of the GDP. 25 percent of the Malagasy population lives in at-risk areas. Between 121 000 and 353 000 people have been affected in the past three years. Simultaneously, periods of drought affect the southern regions of the country, i.e. 1.3 million people. Approximately 9 500 cases of severe malnutrition among children have been recorded in 2009. The national mechanism to respond to such emergency situations has been disrupted as a result of the crisis.

Poverty affects primarily the populations living in rural areas (representing 80 percent of the population) where the indicators are the highest. At some places, particularly the Southern and South-Eastern parts of the country, food insecurity and chronic malnutrition rates are remarkably high and acute nutritional crises often occur following recurring natural disasters. Similarly, in urban areas, more than 50 percent of the population lives under the poverty threshold. The surveys undertaken end 2008 also revealed that almost half of the urban poor faces food insecurity issues and that chronic malnutrition rate in the capital is higher than the national average.


In the light of the new context and challenges, the United Nations will focus their efforts on five priority areas:


1) Support to the transition process and the restoration of the rule of law. Once a consensual transition accepted by the international community is in place, the UN can provide political assistance and technical support (support to transition institutions and activities) including strengthening national capacity and citizen participation in the organization of election (according to modalities yet to be defined), in collaboration with local and international partners. The UN agencies will also strengthen their ongoing programmes in the areas of human rights promotion and protection, culture of peace and conflict prevention.

2) In the light of the progressive erosion of some public services and in order to guarantee access to healthcare and education to the population, the UN System will support supply of minimum health and education services, particularly in the areas of 1) health through i) support to supply chain and distribution of essential drugs and health inputs; ii) extension of mobile and outreach strategies for health and nutrition services, iii) support to the supply of quality basic services and iv) supply of drinking water and sanitation services to basic health centers (CSBs) and targeted rural and urban communities ; 2) education where the UN System will play a leading role in assisting basic capacities to attain sustainable quality, inclusive and accessible education in

3) Protection of vulnerable groups including people living with HIV and at-risk populations and protection of these groups from natural or humanitarian disasters through targeted interventions to support social security nets, increase food crops production and increase emergency preparedness, coordination and response through the cluster mechanism which will be strengthened by the "inter-cluster"1.

the framework of the EFA. The implementation of UN development programmes in these two areas will also continue.

4) Specific actions to support economic recovery are also taken into account, with special focus on women, youth and the victims of the crisis, including businesses. Such actions will support i) establishment of measures to promote employment and self-employment; ii) emergency and special assistance measures for Small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), which are the driver of the country's economy; iii) the establishment of mechanisms aimed at developing inclusive markets; and iv) improvement of access to financial services, particularly microfinance.

5) In order to increase awareness of the situation and improve preparation of any future development planning process, activities aimed at improving information collection, monitoring/evaluation and communication will also be promoted. III.1 Political governance, democracy and rule of law

(i) The implementation of the transition in general, through facilitation and mediation according to a monitoring mechanism, whose modalities are yet to be defined;

In the framework of the implementation of the Maputo and Addis Ababa agreements and according to the schedule that will be determined, the United Nations is committed to support :

(ii) The electoral process which will take place at several levels (creation and operationalization of the Conseil National de Rconciliation "CNR" and the review committees - for the electoral code and the Constitution -, the Independent National Electoral Commission; establishment of electoral registers; implementation of voter registering operations; logistics; support to the legal institutions to control and approve votes; the High Court of the Transition, etc.) and will be consistent with internationally-recognized best practices. (iii) The establishment of a new constitutional order and the rebuilding of the Malagasy State, particularly through the revision of the Constitution and the support to the different institutions of the transition (the Congress of the Transition, the High Council of the Transition, the National Reconciliation Council, etc.) to enable the latter to fully play their respective roles in accordance with international human rights norms and standards, particularly the right to information and the right to participation;

(iv) The national reconciliation process, fair transition and the resolution of the triggers of the crisis : support to the reconciliation and amnesty process resulting from the Maputo and Addis Ababa Agreements in order to lay the foundation for sustainable resolution of recurrent sociopolitical issues.

The intercluster is an entity aimed at arbitrating priorities among humanitarian interventions.

Additionally, the United Nations will strengthen their ongoing programmes in the following two areas:

(v) Assistance to the establishment of the rule of law and strengthening of the national system for the protection and the promotion of human rights, by building the human right capacity of the judicial power and law enforcement actors, by encouraging the authorities to collaborate with the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations and eventually set up the National Commission of Human Rights, and by building the capacity of the civil society in terms of human rights promotion and protection; (vi) Culture of peace and conflict prevention : the United Nations will place a special focus on building the capacity of national media and on strengthening community dialogue mechanisms in the fight against violence and conflict prevention by using the existing networks. A special emphasis will be laid on the positive role the media can play in building social cohesion, and on the essential role young people play in the institution of a culture of peace and conflict prevention through a participatory approach.

While pursuing their development activities and in the framework of UNDAF Outcomes 3 and 5, the United Nations will provide an increased support to the functioning of basic social services in the areas of education and health by guaranteeing access to the most vulnerable. In view of the context of increased fragility and vulnerability, and the importance of education for the consolidation of peace, security and good governance, the United Nations system will: (i) Education

III.2 Access to basic social services

Assume a leading role in promoting further harmonization among technical and financial partners in order to ensure that the educational system works, that education resources are secured, that achievements are capitalized and that the objectives of the EFA plan are reached, particularly those related to the reform of the education. Raise awareness among the population with regard to the integrity of the education sector: educational institutions must not be used for political purposes. Ensure that monitoring and response means and strategies to cope with the impacts of the crises on the education of the vulnerable population are in place (food insecurity, vulnerability of families, increasing costs, loss in values, political violence, impacts of climate change, etc.).

Play a key role in ensuring inclusive education (unschooled children and youth, victims of social exclusion, illiterate people, etc.) and in ensuring that inclusive education is integrated in the EFA-FTI collaboration for a comprehensive discussion of the educational system (full SWAP).

Assume a leading role in building basic capacities with the aim of reaching sustainable quality education for all in a safe, healthy and friendly setting for children, who are the agents of behavioral change in communities.

In addition to their regular development programmes, the United Nations agencies will support three critical interventions to guarantee access of the populations to healthcare services while avoiding total collapse and significant disruption of the health system consequently to the crisis:

(ii) Health

Assistance to the supply chain and the distribution of essential drugs and other health inputs: the United Nations will support the supply chain and the distribution of essential drugs and health inputs through the central buying office, SALAMA, including reproductive health (heath essential commodities) (drugs, vaccines, syringes, contraceptives, antiretroviral drugs, childbirth kits, surgery kits, HIV testing reagents) in order to enable public health services in general, and public and private health institutions to maintain their operations in the country and to deliver basic health services. In the priority areas, the United Nations will also support free distribution of some essential health inputs to the most vulnerable. Support to service supply for the populations with least access in the priority areas, by implementing mobile and outreach strategies for health, reproductive health and nutrition. The United Nations will also support the extension of mobile and outreach strategies for health and nutrition services targeted at mothers, children and youth in order to ensure that essential services are made accessible to the communities with least access. Activities will include distribution of mosquito nets, identification of high-risk pregnant women to refer them to qualified services, maternal and reproductive health services, provision of youth-friendly services, integration of HIV and tropical diseases, strengthening of community services and promotion of hygiene. Support to quality service offer: the United Nations will support the supply of quality services by improving delivery of community healthcare services, through NGOs and the civil society. Activities will include supplying drinking water and sanitation services to basic health center and targeted rural and urban communities, and providing integrated surveillance, epidemic disease response, supervision and reinforcing human resources.

III.3 Protection of vulnerable and at-risk populations

The United Nations will intensify their efforts aimed at protecting vulnerable and at-risk populations2. These interventions will be even more critical to the extent that they will contribute to reduce greater economic and social tensions in the coming months, which could compromise the successful outcome of the transition process, with a particular attention on urban and periurban areas. (i) While ensuring access and functioning of basic services, social safety nets should be immediately strengthened in order to protect vulnerable and at-risk populations and prevent extreme, even irreversible, degradation of their food security, nutritional and health situations, which were already quite precarious before the crisis. In urban areas, this will require the launching of a set of complementary activities that could include a combination of targeted money and/or food transfers, supply of fortified food to women and children, scaling-up of HIMO (high intensity of labour) programmes and agricultural production support programmes in urban and periurban areas.

At-risk populations include people living with HIV

(ii) Considering the importance of agriculture in the economy, the UN will support targeted interventions aimed at a rapid increase of food crops production, through: - Advocacy for the establishment of a mechanism to facilitate access to inputs (seeds and fertilizers) and financing for farmers; - Revitalization of seed sub-sector (ongoing) and constitution of a seed capital to cope with agricultural emergencies; - Setting-up of local product procurement program for food aid; - Contribution to the establishment of an appropriate and credible institutional framework for natural resources governance.

The interventions of the United Nations will include specific actions to support economy recovery for all, with special focus on women, youth and the victims of the crisis, including businesses, while supporting social development. The United Nations will: (i) Support the establishment of employment and self-employment promotion measures;

III.4 Support to the economy

(iii) In a situation where the government disaster management capacity is reduced, the United Nations will also strengthen their role in the preparation, coordination and implementation of emergency responses through the humanitarian cluster system. The United Nations and its partners will ensure both the pre-positioning of essential products for immediate assistance to the populations and the assistance to preparation, mitigation and reconstruction activities for early recovery. The scaling-up of these activities will depend more on the existing community networks and the partnership with the NGOs that supervise them.

(ii) Provide necessary technical assistance to partners so that urgent measures for special assistance to SMEs, the drivers of national economy, are initiated to avoid that faltering businesses fall into a bankruptcy situation, with the objective of saving jobs. Special attention will be given to the establishment of mechanisms to develop inclusive markets and to standardize products. (iii) Support increased access for all to financial services, particularly microfinance. In this respect, the sector's technical and financial infrastructure will be improved. Subsequently, financial products will be extended, particularly to vulnerable groups (youth, women). Finally, venture capital products will be tested in growth pole areas.

(iv) Support sustainable mobilization of water resources and access to sanitation for poor urban and rural populations. Water and sanitation interventions will also include technical support for water supply through the construction/rehabilitation of community facilities, strengthening of access mechanisms for urban poor in the 5 major cities, establishment and improvement of service management and supply chain in 5 regions, as well as promotion of environmental hygiene, hand cleaning practices and support to solid waste management.

III.5 Information management, monitoring/evaluation and communication This cross-cutting component includes two parts: (i) Information management, programme monitoring/evaluation

The United Nations System will continue to support the information systems to improve the availability of reliable information on the response to the population needs and vulnerability. UN assistance will consist in promoting and improving collection and use of data from administrative sources to safeguard the information systems of sectoral ministries such as the ministries of education, health and agriculture on one hand, and in organizing periodical surveys or studies particularly to monitor and assess the increased vulnerability of the population (such as the 2010 household poverty survey), and the periodical McRAM urban surveys, on the other hand. Additionally, a special attention will be given to data collection in emergency humanitarian situation and to the improvement of the early warning system in areas exposed to natural disasters. It consists in carrying out a joint action for human rights-based communication, with a focus on youth and human dignity ; a component on HIV and Aids is also included. Communication will also promote founding themes such as democracy and fauna and flora protection in order to preserve Madagascar's heritage. (ii) Mobilization and advocacy


The context of the implementation of the United Nations assistance involves the following major risks:


The conjugated impact of the drop in tax and customs revenues and the suspension of international aid would lead to a shortage in the overall supply of basic social services, to the non-respect of human rights, to the increased poverty and vulnerability level of the most disadvantaged groups, to a reduced preparation and a reduced ability to respond to disasters, and to the impossibility of carrying out several development activities. The risk of using violence should not be completely put aside.

Administrative and operational risks associated with the disruption of the government's administrative apparatus, which impacted on the coherence of structures, the stability of organic frameworks and the respect of the command system. These risks would increase with the expected collapse of tax revenues starting from 2010.

Political risks inherent to transition situation: risks marked by the fragility of the political framework of the transition and the pre-electoral context. The vulnerability of the political framework would increase in the absence of social safety nets, considering the degradation of economic conditions.




In the light of the risks enumerated above, the agencies of the United Nations system will adopt the most appropriate modalities of implementation. The recourse to service providers and third party partners, including the civil society (NGOs) and the communities themselves will be increased, particularly in the area of basic services delivery. Moreover, and still with a view to optimize assistance delivery, the UN agencies will use the modalities of direct implementation and direct payment or reimbursement, which are authorized under a Special Development Situation. Advance payments may be made on a case-by-case basis to governmental partners at the central or decentralized level, with a reinforced control and monitoring system. Following an assessment of the situation and when the situation will allow it, the United Nations system could consider the progressive application of the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.

The United Nations will also assume a coordination role through the platform of technical and financial partners, the sectoral groups, and the humanitarian clusters Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC). Finally, and particularly in this delicate political transition stage, the United Nations will strive to remain a neutral, efficient and unifying go-between for national parties and the international community, with a view to maximize the possibilities of returning to social peace and political stability in order for Madagascar to reach the MDGs.

The leadership of the United Nations will be necessary in the areas where it has recognized comparative advantages such as governance, humanitarian response in collaboration with international NGOs, basic social services, protection of the most vulnerable and reduction of poverty, in the framework of the achievement of the MDGs and the respect of human rights. In the current context of Madagascar, good governance for the preservation of the country's protected areas and biodiversity capital is also an essential point.