News release

Madagascar: Tsiafahy inmates to be given zebu for end-of-year feast

Antananarivo (ICRC) – As it does every year just before the festive season, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is giving the inmates at Tsiafahy maximum security prison an entire zebu, which will be slaughtered, butchered and cooked on the premises. The ICRC will also take advantage of this opportunity to distribute soap to detainees experiencing particularly harsh living conditions.

"Prisons are very tough places, where it's an everyday challenge to meet even such basic needs as food and hygiene," said Romaric Ferraro, an Antananarivo-based ICRC delegate in charge of organizing the event. "The budget allocated to the prison administration often falls short of what is needed to provide each inmate in the overcrowded prisons with adequate and balanced food rations. What makes things even worse is that many detainees are already undernourished when they enter prison. To reduce the death rate stemming from this problem, the ICRC has set up a programme in cooperation with the justice ministry to fight malnutrition."

The ICRC has been working for over 20 years in Madagascar, where it carries out its activities primarily in detention facilities. In 2014, it has visited more than 13,500 detainees and carried out repairs and upgrades to kitchens, sanitary facilities, storerooms, and water and sanitation systems at six prisons. It has also run nutrition programmes in 20 prisons and campaigns to rid eight facilities of insects. In addition, it has provided support for court liaison services in 10 prisons and organized a number of information sessions to raise awareness among prison staff of detainee rights.

For further information, please contact:
Narindra Rakotonanahary, ICRC Antananarivo, tel: +261 33 37 303 30