The ICRC regional delegation in Antananarivo

20-08-2013 Overview

The ICRC has been in working in Madagascar since 2002. In 2011 the ICRC opened a regional delegation for the Indian Ocean, covering the four island States of Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and the Seychelles. Its main activities there are visiting persons deprived of their freedom, coordinating operations with the region’s National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and promoting international humanitarian law.

Protecting prisoners

The ICRC has been visiting individuals held in detention in Madagascar with the support of the authorities since 2002. The delegation focuses on detention conditions, prisoner treatment and respect for prisoners’ legal rights.

The political crisis that shook Madagascar in 2009 also had an impact on its prisons. In 2011 the ICRC decided to bolster its prison-visit programme and work with the authorities by boosting medical and food aid and providing technical support to improve access to health care and clean drinking water.

Working with the Malagasy Red Cross

The ICRC works with the Malagasy Red Cross to provide training courses on first aid, disaster preparedness and communication.

Promoting international humanitarian law

The ICRC provides support to the national committee of international humanitarian law and runs a training programme for police forces on human rights principles applicable to the use of force in law-enforcement operations.

Physical rehabilitation

The ICRC’s special fund for the disabled provides financial and technical support to the rehabilitation and prosthetic centre in Ambositra run by the Madagascan NGO Akanin' Ny Marary.

Other countries covered by the regional delegation

In Comoros, the ICRC is visiting detainees and carrying out a large sanitation programme in Moroni prison. The ICRC works with the authorities to answer any questions they might have on international humanitarian law. The ICRC has also helped to boost the Comoros Red Crescent’s capacity to cope with emergency situations.

In Mauritius and the Seychelles, the ICRC supports the National Red Cross Societies and their national committees on international humanitarian law.

The ICRC coordinates its operations with the other regional components of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, such as the Indian Ocean Regional Intervention Platform (PIROI), which was set up by the French Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help National Societies cope with natural disasters.


A detainee in the main building of Antanimora prison. 

A detainee in the main building of Antanimora prison.
© ICRC / G. Binet


Antananarivo, August 2009. Malagasy Red Cross staff lift a casualty into an ambulance during anti-government demonstrations.
© ICRC / Malagasy Red Cross Society / mg-e-00007


Antananarivo. Impoverished residents of the Malagasy capital scrape a living on one of the city's rubbish heaps.
© ICRC / B. Heger / mg-e-00027