Madagascar Food Crisis: A Million Face Starvation Amid Record Drought Caused By Climate Change

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The UN World Food Programme (WFP) hit out hard at the industrialized nations for not doing enough as the Madagascar food crisis threatens to create a situation similar to the famine seen in Southern Sudan in the latest crisis linked to climate change.

David Beasley, the executive director of WFP said that 1.14 million people were on the edge of starvation. He said that women and children were being forced to trudge for hours to reach food distribution points. And they were the healthy ones.

The WFP chief used words like ‘horrific’ and ‘heartbreaking’ to describe the situation and said it was the worst humanitarian crisis in Southern Sudan in the late 90s. He spoke horrific images of emaciated children, just skin and bones. The WFP has blamed climate change for the famine. Industrial nations have a moral obligation towards these people, the WFP chief. They are not getting the support they need.

The Madagascar food crisis had forced people to eat clay and termites to stifle their hunger. Their worst drought in 4 decades has led to an unprecedented shortage of food after years of continuous drought.

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Total Lack Of Rain Aggravating Madagascar Food Crisis

The emergency coordinator for Medecins Sans Frontieres, Julie Reverse said that people were resigned to their fate as the lack of rain forced them to stay in the fields. Most farming communities have been forced to turn foragers and the only food found in the drylands are wild plants and leaves that are either dangerous or difficult to eat. Tamarind mixed with clay and termites is some of the food that people have been forced to rely on.

The problem of the Madagascar food crisis has been compounded by violent sandstorms that cover the fields and even the edible forms of cactus that are the only source of edible food for many.

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The only source of sustenance is aid and many would have died of starvation. The times, as the sandstorms are known locally have become more frequent over the years, destroying farming land and the sparse crops that were planted. Their cattle have been killed in the storms.

The Madagascar food crisis has doubled acute malnutrition among children and there are warnings of grave food insecurity in the southern region of Madagascar in the second half of this year. The problem has been compounded by the lack of drinking water that has led to diseases like malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory diseases.

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