Donors Urged to Reconsider Aid Sanctions on Madagascar

The international community should reconsider the sanctions it imposed on Madagascar, particularly the pullout of foreign aid because of the political crisis there, according to a longtime Africa-based journalist.

Donors should not punish the the poorest and most vulnerable people in Madagascar for the wrongdoing of the country’s political elite, Alex Duval Smith writes on the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters” blog.

Smith was paraphrasing Bruno Maes, the UNICEF country director in Madagascar, who has also called for a rethink of international aid sanctions on the island country.

Smith says donors can use an aid delivery model in Madagascar patterned after the system used by the U.K. Department for International Development in Zimbabwe, where donor channels were kept open by bypassing government systems and providing aid through a multidonor trust fund, an education transition fund and a protracted relief program.

Smith notes that the system is far from perfect and has had its share of criticisms.

“But at least, unlike Madagascar, the donors have not abandoned Zimbabwe’s poorest people in the name of punishing the excesses of power-hungry politicians,” she argues.

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About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.