General info about Madagascar
One of the most beautiful and at the same time one of the poorest and most distressing countries on earth.
It is the fourth largest island in the world after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo, but the largest with its own state. Known and sought after by travelers, Madagascar is mainly due to its scenic diversity and its special flora and fauna. Many plant and animal species are endemic – that is, they are originally found only on Madagascar. Climatically Madagascar offers everything from tropical rainforest to temperate highlands – in wide areas up to 3 rice harvests are possible. Besides there are cocoa and fruit plantations among other things many spice plants.
According to the World Bank, Madagascar is nevertheless one of the 10 poorest countries in the world. 92% of the inhabitants have to get by on less than 2€ a day, and this not for lack of resources, but because of 150 years of catastrophic political exploitation.
Life expectancy is only 64 years for men and 67 years for women. 50% of the population of 28 million is under 15 years old. Infant mortality is very high at 53.6/1000 live births.
Due to the poor infrastructure, most villages are neither supplied with electricity and water, nor can they be reached by car or truck. Only footpaths through sometimes dangerous areas lead to the often remote villages. It is unbelievable how far sick people have to walk or be carried to find a doctor. In the Malagasy health care system, all care must be paid for in advance – if you don’t have money, you don’t get treatment – not even in an emergency.