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In 2018, with funding from USAID, Pact launched the Hay Tao project, the U.S. government’s largest environmental investment in Madagascar in nearly a decade. Madagascar is one of the world’s highest priority countries for biodiversity conservation because of its exceptional species richness, high number of unique plant and animal species and the magnitude of threats facing these ecologically, culturally and economically valuable resources. Meaning ‘Know How’ in Malagasy, USAID Hay Tao focuses on empowering local communities to lead the way in the management of their own natural resources. The project is using a systems approach to improve the enabling environment for effective, lasting community-based wildlife management and conservation of biodiversity.
Pact’s past work in Madagascar has combated HIV/AIDS, encouraged corporate-community engagement and reduced corruption. Pact helped to extricate more than 9,000 Malagasy children from exploitative labor in commercial sex work, domestic servitude and mining. Pact helped those children return to school and access psychosocial support and mentoring, and supported their families to increase their income.