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Madagascar has the plague every year, and people die of hunger. You must help them, Ulstein

Increasingly lower share of of the world's children die before the age of five. Ever-fewer women died in childbirth. More and more people get access to clean

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Madagascar has the plague every year, and people die of hunger. You must help them, Ulstein

Increasingly lower share of of the world's children die before the age of five. Ever-fewer women died in childbirth. More and more people get access to clean drinking water and toilet. It goes ahead. But not in Madagascar. Why is it so, and what can we contribute with?

Columnist Karl-Eric, the Anguish

is a lecturer and teacher in high school. He is also lærebokforfatter and author of the book "The great skolesviket". He has a degree in political science, and has among other things conducted research on immigrants ' turnout at the Institutt for samfunnsforskning.

Last published posts To hold the middle class underclass down the Good reasons for Erna not to pat To drop the mocking is not the way to reduce pupils ' stress on the Responsibility for their own luring Fraværsgrensa is some of the best that has happened in the Norwegian schools for many years

In Madagascar die 120 children under five years of age every day, the vast majority of diseases that modern medicine can easily be treated. 3000 women die every year in childbirth. The country has pest each year, and people die of hunger. Only three countries in the world have a larger proportion of the population suffering from chronic malnutrition, according to UNICEF. Half of all children in Madagascar are veksthemmet.

And the country has a population changes that is extreme. The growth is 2.7 per cent per year. 40 per cent of the population is under 15 years of age. In 1960, lived there around five million people on the island, today nearly 25 million. If it continues as now, will the island have 50 million people within 30 years.

After two visits and a few months stay on the island in all the major cities and some of the smallest villages I sit again with an impression of extreme contrasts: from transittbyen Fianarantsoa full of beggars, distress and misery in the south to the village of Saint Augustin in the south-west without a single beggar, and with smiles, laughter and joy. A village where people do excellent with fish and easy access to fresh water, a paradise for children and the elderly – as long as they are healthy, fishing and syklonene not wasting.

when syklonene comes, the village is isolated and the sea is too dangerous to be fishing. The road that connects Saint Augustine with the rest of the world is not really a road, but a few tracks that are run in the terrain, and as the rain turns to impassable mud. The village could gather together the money for a TV, solar cells and batteries so that they could follow the world cup in football. But some paved road lies far beyond their reach. And from the state, it is no help to get.

In the 1960s (when Madagascar liberated itself from France) the country had a well-developed road and jernbanenett, ports, hospitals and schools. Today, large parts of the road network broke, the child stands along the roads and skyfler soil and rocks down the holes – as becomes larger and larger from year to year – in the hope that drivers in passing cars and buses through the window to throw out some ear. The railway is as good as closed.

Let me take one example: the Road between Tuléar in the south-west and Morombe 200 kilometres farther north, was paved and fully executable for quite a while after the French had pulled out. In the 1960s could one with a 2CV run the stretch of 4.5 hours. In the day, use a powerful all 7.5 hours, and the local "bus" uses 16 hours (a powerful truck built on to the bus that stops in several villages with the download). Today there are only remnants of the old asphalt.

In the 1960s had gasserne an income above the african average. From the 1960s to the present day is the purchasing power reduced by one-third and the regular gassere earn one quarter of the africans most south of the Sahara. In the nearly 60 years since the 1960s have realveksten per capita averaged minus 0.9 per cent.

Speaking of contrasts: last summer I sat around the fire so the people sat in hundreds of thousands of years in a daily kveldsrituale before the children will be in bed (though the bed is there, they sleep directly on the floor) with my mother and father, five children, and grandmother. (The TV is locked in a closet at school and can be taken only up for special occasions.) And this I could communicate directly to my friends in Norway via the phone.

this is also Madagascar: all cities have a super fast 4G network, the less places the 3G and this little village with a few hundred individuals had E-network (edge), slowly, but fast enough to upload text and an image. A mobile network powered by solar cells and batteries.

That one on a relatively short time has managed to create cover for the mobile phone on the large parts and for most of the world's fourth largest island, promises well. Add to that the Madagascar is a country very rich in natural resources: arable land, minerals, precious stones, petroleum. It is, in other words, it is not the resources it skorter on. But what?

Madagascar have 18-20 different ethnic groups, and malagasy policy is characterized first and foremost by elites who compete for positions and resources and with little ability to cooperate. The political system works so that those who at any time have the power, make sure to draw the most possible resources to its own. The country lacks also stable, durable institutions that can facilitate an economic development that can meet the population explosion in a good way. And the country has a korrupsjonskultur that affects all levels of society.

Add to that the gassere most like to spend significant resources on the dead, with likvending (removal of likrester) and processions. The dead spirits to being attended to and respected. And should any gases be successful with making money in the business, many believe that it is thanks to the fate and ancestral spirits. Then the extended family get to get parts of the profits. Something that gives bad circumstances for investment and development of the economy.

What can the hope be? One can say a lot about kinesernes presence in Madagascar, that most of the money they invest, go in elitenes pockets. But the builds such as roads, and roads provide opportunities for economic development. To a country like Madagascar get to a turnaround in order to get the most out of fattigdomsfella, there are two things in particular that apply: roads and schools.

Education is the answer to many of the Malagasy challenges. But the country has a school system with major weaknesses. Two of the three teachers lacking formal education. And his salary is so low that many people use some of the days in the week to do other things than to teach, they simply can't afford to go to work. Some of what I experienced, was still that the children could French much better than their parents, and what they had learned in school.

Of the 38 billion crowns Norway is going to spend on aid this year, almost nothing, less than 100 million to go to Madagascar. Now that it's going so much better for the vast majority of the countries the Uk provides aid to, perhaps we should reconsider which countries receive how much of our assistance? Maybe we should start using bistandspenger to build roads and schools and pay teachers in Madagascar? You hear, development minister Dag Inge Ulstein?

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