MIA Supports Projects to Combat COVID-19 in Madagascar

Chocolate brand MIA, short for Made In Africa, commits £500 of its 1 for Change impact fund to help communities in Madagascar combat the devastation of COVID-19 with handwashing stations, local production of face masks and free meals for vulnerable families.

According to a recent BBC report, Africa has thus far avoided the devastation that COVID-19 has reaped on other parts of the world but the continent faces the risk of serious economic impact. For their part, fair trade CEOs have already called on the G20 Group to support cocoa farmers in developing countries from the worst effects of
the COVID-19 crisis.

MIA, a challenger brand with a range of chocolates made bean-to-bar in Madagascar to create more value for local communities, wants to help fight the coronavirus at this relatively early stage when interventions can have the biggest impact. The brand is responding to urgent warnings like the one issued by the British Ambassador to Madagascar, Phil Boyle, who warned in early April that, “The island has minimal health infrastructure, with 10 doctors for every 100,000 people…. If developed countries don’t step up, the humanitarian consequences could be considerable.”

MIA Co-founder Sarah Lescrauwaet explains the project to combat COVID-19: “Africa is the poorest continent in the world and most countries do not have even a fraction of the health and social security means that we have in Europe. In Africa, people have to do their shopping at outdoor markets and many live day-to-day, so stocking up on essential food items is impossible. Needless to say, Amazon home deliveries are not an option. Worse yet, many vulnerable families find themselves sacrificing daily meals because they cannot earn their daily wages.

It’s great that Money for Madagascar and its partners in Madagascar are taking initiative. We’re proud to support their work. Women who are unemployed due to COVID-19 now have jobs making masks, and these same masks will protect first line responders. Additionally, handwashing stations will be set up outside markets to reduce the likelihood of infection where human contact is unavoidable for purchase of staple foods.”

Money for Madagascar also supports vulnerable families that now have face a dual challenge; their children no longer receive a complimentary school lunch and parents now only have half a day to earn a living due to partial COVID-19 lockdown in Madagascar. Sarah: “We know that the COVID-19 problem is bigger than any single effort but we believe that working together we can make a real difference to people in need, and this
is exactly why we created the 1 for Change impact fund when we launched MIA. If bigger brands with significantly more revenue also step up to do their part then we can make a big impact in producer countries!”

For more information about our work with MIA, click here.

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