Madagascar Drought Crisis in Southern Region: 1.5 Million face Hunger

Michiyo Tanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

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The United Nations (UN) is warning the international community about the dire situation in Southern Madagascar where hunger is stalking the nation. According to the UN, approximately 1.5 million people face severe hardship because of the drought that is blighting this part of Madagascar.

Staple food production is drastically down in Androy, Anosy, and Atsimo-Andrefana. These areas are all located in Southern Madagascar, therefore, support is needed immediately. Otherwise, social tensions will arise based on various knock-on effects of the severe drought.

Not surprisingly, vulnerable people now face food hikes because of the alarming situation. Staple food production of maize is down by 80 percent in Androy and this follows on from a negative 2015. Therefore, the drought in 2016 and the consequences of El Nino – along with negative results last year – means that the central government of Madagascar faces severe problems.

The BBC reports, More than half of those affected are acutely food insecure, the UN adds, meaning that they need urgent humanitarian assistance.”

Another important staple food is cassava but this is down by roughly 50 percent in Androy and Atsimo-Andrefana. Likewise, Anosy is facing major problems. On top of this, rice production is down to various levels throughout the nation and in hardest hit areas it is down by approximately 60 percent.

Naturally, families and individuals are reducing the consumption of food. At the same time, nutrition is suffering because of scarcity and other factors like price hikes. In other words, strategies of survival are being implemented by the poorest in society. This also includes selling farming tools and animals, thereby setting the longevity of the crisis once it is contained, provided international help is given to the people of Southern Madagascar.

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