Madagascar : malnutrition can turn a prison sentence into a death sentence

Almost one in every two prisoners in Madagascar suffers from moderate or severe malnutrition. In 2015, more than 9,000 inmates were identified as malnourished and treated as part of an emergency food programme aiming to get this extremely vulnerable population back on their feet and prevent malnutrition-related deaths. With more than 4,000 prisoners already treated so far in 2016, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is on track to reach the 2015 figure by the end of the year.

Madagascar was badly hit by the economic crisis and the authorities are finding it increasingly difficult to feed the country’s 22,000 strong prison population. Official ministry of justice orders specify that each inmate should receive a daily ration of 750 grams of cassava but, in reality, they rarely receive more than 300 grams.

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