2021-05-12

The UN calls attention to the risk of famine in southern Madagascar

By yqqlm yqqlm

China News Service, Beijing, May 12th. The two major United Nations agencies, the World Food Program and FAO, issued a serious warning on the 11th local time that the hunger problem is increasing in southern Madagascar, and more and more lives are at stake, calling on the international community. The society pays attention to this neglected humanitarian crisis and takes action to expand food aid and agricultural livelihood support to avoid the worst.

In southern Madagascar, about 1.14 million people are facing high-level sudden food insecurity, and nearly 14,000 of them are in a “catastrophic” level of sudden food insecurity (“catastrophic” The level is the highest level among the five levels of the Comprehensive Food Security Classification). This is the first time this situation has been discovered in Madagascar since the comprehensive classification of food security was adopted in 2016.

The UN calls attention to the risk of famine in southern Madagascar

The picture shows the hungry people in Madagascar taken by the World Food Program on April 29. Photo courtesy of the World Food Program

Due to drought, sandstorms, animal and plant pests and diseases, and the new crown epidemic, as many as three-quarters of the population in the most severely affected Amboasary Atsimo area are facing dire consequences. The global rate of sudden malnutrition is alarmingly high, exceeding 27%, which means that children will suffer irreversible harm.

“The situation is very bad. The children are starving until they die. I met a mother whose 8-month-old child seemed to be only 2 months old, and the older child died.” Amer Daoudi, Senior Operations Director of the World Food Program, said during a recent visit to Sihanamaro, one of the worst-hit areas.

The UN calls attention to the risk of famine in southern Madagascar(1)

The picture shows the hungry people in Madagascar taken by the World Food Program on April 29. Photo courtesy of the World Food Program

This once in 40 years drought lasted for three years, causing crop failures and preventing people from getting food. Previously, years of deforestation caused soil erosion, and climate change exacerbated this problem, and the environment was destroyed as a result. The unprecedented sandstorm turned large tracts of farmland into wasteland.

As the livelihoods of vulnerable households have been severely lost and their access to food reduced, the provision of seeds, tools and other necessary inputs to agricultural communities is essential to start local food production, generate income, and build resilience. This support for agriculture and rural livelihoods can supplement emergency food and prevent families from selling production materials such as agricultural equipment and even cooking utensils in order to survive.

The UN calls attention to the risk of famine in southern Madagascar(2)

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p >The picture shows the hungry people in Madagascar taken by the World Food Program on April 29. Photo courtesy of the World Food Program

It is reported that Madagascar’s humanitarian food reserves are decreasing. The World Food Program is delivering supplies, but due to weak infrastructure and road networks, roads to the worst-hit areas are blocked. In order to prevent and control the new crown epidemic, all flights to the island country have been suspended, which means that important humanitarian supplies can only be transported by ships.

Since October 2020, the government and the World Food Program have provided assistance to 750,000 people, but the food insecurity crisis has been rapidly intensifying, and the current support is not enough to offset the impact of the famine And risk. The World Food Program urgently needs to raise $74 million in the next six months to avoid disaster in southern Madagascar. (End)