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Ambitious Action Plan sees satisfactory progress in human development

The Government of Madagascar prepared its first Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) in 2003. The indicators showed that the country qualified for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative. The overall objective defined in the PRSP was to reduce the poverty rate by half in 10 years, beginning in 2003.

In July 2005, the PRSP was updated to take account of Madagascar’s long-term plan through 2020, which projects a transition from a subsistence economy to an economy that is market-oriented, making the best possible use of its domestic resources while recognizing the importance of protecting the environment.

By end-2005, the government realized that the PRSP was not sufficiently far-reaching to enable the country to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The government therefore designed a more ambitious, MDG-based, development strategy, known as the Madagascar Action Plan. This Plan, which was formulated with the support of national partners and the United Nations system, is intended to build on the PRSP, and started in January 2007. Its main objectives are to reduce the percentage of individuals living on less than $2 a day from 85.1 per cent in 2003 to 50 per cent in 2012, and to increase the rate of growth to 10 per cent by 2012.

During the period 2002-2006 Madagascar recorded satisfactory progress in human development. Poverty has gone down to 67.5 per cent in 2006, largely as a result of improvements in education and health. This progress has been confirmed by the fact that Madagascar has for the first time joined the group of countries with average human development indicators according to the 2006 Human Development Report of UNDP.

Other encouraging results include: the net rate of primary school enrolment increased from 67 per cent in 2000-2001 to 87 per cent in 2005-2006; the under-five mortality rate went down from 159 (EDS 1997) per 1,000 in 1997 to 94 in 2004; immunization coverage increased from 70 per cent in 2002 to respectively 92.2 (DPT3) and 83.8 per cent (measles) in 2006; and the prevalence of HIV has held steady at 0.5 per cent. Ongoing economic reforms have resulted in a per capita growth rate that is positive in real terms.

The main challenges that the country faces are in capacity-building and mobilizing resources to ensure the implementation of the Madagascar Action Plan.

Last updated 1 November 2007

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NOTE: The MDG data presented here is the latest available from the United Nations Statistics Division. The World Bank has recently released new poverty estimates, which reflect improvements in internationally comparable price data. The new data estimates set a new poverty line of US$1.25 a day and offer a much more accurate picture of the cost of living in developing countries. They are based on the results of the 2005 International Comparison Program (ICP), released in first half of 2008. Country-specific poverty estimates will be released by the World Bank in late 2008