Madagascar hunger crisis threatens hundreds of thousands, especially children

Madagascar’s worst drought in 40 years puts the lives of hundreds of thousands of people on the island off the east coast of Africa – children in particular at risk. That says the aid organization ‘Save the Children’ today.

One in six children in the south of the ravaged island suffers from acute malnutrition and is teetering on the brink of starvation, the organization said, warning that that figure could soon rise to one in four children.

However, the Madagascar hunger crisis has received little international attention due to the corona pandemic. The organization, therefore, makes an urgent call for donations.

“This is a forgotten and underfunded crisis, hitting children the hardest – not only do they lack the nutrients they need to thrive, but they also don’t go to school because of hunger and their parents’ inability to pay school fees,” explains Regional Director Yvonne Arunga of Save the Children.

In a recent report, the United Nations World Food Program classified the situation in southern Madagascar as a “highly alarming” hotspot.

Of the 1.1 million people facing acute food shortages, 28,000 are at risk of starvation by the end of the year. According to the World Food Programme, the crisis has been caused by years of drought, sandstorms that have dried out the fields, pests that affect basic crops, and rising food prices.

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