Africa’s Madagascar on the brink of world’s first climate change-induced famine: UN

Changing weather patterns as a result of climate change have wreaked havoc on 1.14 million people in Madagascar who are on the brink of starvation. Details here.

Gaon Connection
| Updated: August 26th, 2021

For several months, families have been living on raw red cactus fruits, wild leaves, and locusts.

A United Nations (UN) blog published on August 21 stated that the island nation of Madagascar is facing acute food shortages due to two consecutive crop failures as a direct consequence of climate change. 

“This is what the real consequences of climate change look like, and the people here have done nothing to deserve this,” Issa Sanogo, the UN Resident Coordinator in Madagascar, wrote in the blog.

Also, the World Food Programme (WFP), had stated on June 23 that southern Madagascar is experiencing its worst drought in four decades with more than 1.14 million people food insecure. Of those, an estimated 14,000 people are already in catastrophic conditions and this will double to 28,000 by October.

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It also informed that for several months, families have been living on raw red cactus fruits, wild leaves, and locusts.

“There have been back-to-back droughts in Madagascar which have pushed communities right to the very edge of starvation”,  WFP Executive Director David Beasley explained.  

Drawing attention to suffering families and people dying from severe hunger, Beasley underlined that “this is not because of war or conflict, this is because of climate change”.  

Also Read: Severely malnourished under-5 children consumed by hunger in the pandemic

While this area of the world has contributed nothing to climate change, they are “paying the highest price”, he added. 

Children worst affected

WFP stated that the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) level in children under-five in Madagascar had risen to an alarming 16.5 per cent.  

The African island nation’s district of Ambovombe is among the worst affected, where GAM rates of 27 per cent indicate a life-threatening scenario for many children.  

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