The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has shared that southern Madagascar is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis. A drought has caused massive famine and the risk of malnutrition is real, the UN agency reports.

This is another year of consecutive drought in the area. Over 1.35 million people are in desperate need of food and water, WFP reports. Many families have also gone through food supplies and seed stocks, which leave nothing for the planting season.

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“If we don’t reverse this crisis, if we don’t get food to the people in the south of Madagascar, families will starve and lives will be lost”, Amer Daoudi, WFP’s Senior Director of Operations, said, after visiting one of the worst affected areas, Sihanamaro.

Five of the last six years in the country have faced below-average rainfall. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and length of extreme weather events, including drought. Madagascar is the fourth most vulnerable country to climate impacts, the 2020 Global Climate Risk Index reported.

Deforestation and soil erosion have contributed to the desertification of the land that was once fertile for food. Drier soils and higher temperatures are also byproducts of climate change.

Due to COVID as well as the island’s geography and infrastructure, it’s quite difficult to deliver aid. Furthermore, because of limited resources, people have only been receiving half-day rations from food aid organizations, if they receive anything at all.  You can donate to the World Food Programme, Money For Madagascar, and Action Against Hunger.

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