Famine crisis looms in Madagascar after worst drought since 1981


Famine crisis looms in Madagascar after worst drought since 1981

More than 500,000 Madagascan children are at risk of malnutrition during the course of the next year

Kamlesh Bhuckory

Southern Madagascar is on the brink of a severe humanitarian crisis as hundreds of thousands struggle with the impact of a prolonged drought, according to UN officials.

“The hunger season is coming,” Issa Sanogo, the UN resident coordinator on the Indian Ocean island nation said on Saturday. “People may be left without the means to eat, without money to pay for health services, or to send their children to school, to get clean water, and even to get seeds to plant for the next agricultural season,” he said.

Insufficient rains since 2019 in the Grand Sud or the Big South of Madagascar have caused the most severe drought since 1981. People have resorted to desperate survival measures such as “eating locusts, raw red cactus fruits or wild leaves”, according to ReliefWeb, an information service provided by the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs...

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