Thousands of people in southern Madagascar may die of hunger, as the country experiences the worst drought witnessed in 40 years. The severe drought, which is driven by climate change, has dried up riverbeds and farmlands, leading to an almost total disappearance of food sources.
Landry Ninteretse, 350Africa.org Regional Director said:“We stand with the people of Madagascar who are enduring untold suffering from the effects of climate change. We support the call by humanitarian agencies to support the provision of food and nutrition, and other forms of aid to the affected people. The climate impacts and disasters we are seeing today in Madagascar give us a glimpse of what may soon become a sad reality: prolonged droughts, extreme weather events and terrible flooding , if we do not actively work towards averting this. Developed countries and global finance institutions must end their fossil fuel-intensive investments and support vulnerable countries like Madagascar in their low-carbon transition that prioritizes renewable energy for the better of the planet and humanity”.
According to the World Food programme, 1.14 million people in the Grand Sud are in need of emergency food and nutrition assistance. In Amboasary, one of the southern districts, the number of people in “Catastrophe” food insecurity, referred to as IPC Phase 5, currently stands at 14,000. WFP warns that the number of people in “Catastrophe” is likely to double by October 2021, unless urgent action is taken. The humanitarian organization says it needs $78m to respond to the crisis and save lives.
The situation in Madagascar puts the spotlight on the disproportionate nature of the climate crisis, where the countries that contribute the least to the climate crisis, suffer the most from its devastating effects. According to the WFP, Madagascar is the only place in the world where climate change, and not conflict, is driving severe hunger.