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  • A child undergoes a malnutrition test in Madagascar, 2020.

    A child undergoes a malnutrition test in Madagascar, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @WFP_Africa

Published 27 November 2020
Opinion

The Southern area of the country is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster, with 1.5 million people in need of emergency food and nutrition assistance.

The UN World Food Program (WFP) warned of serious famines in Madagascar, a country which has been ravaged by three consecutive years of droughts.

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Approximately 1.5 million people are experiencing extreme food emergency conditions. They are being forced to eat insects and sell kitchen utensils and other basic items.

The  WFP warned that the number of people in need of help is three times higher than they forecast in June, as the situation has worsened faster than expected in ten districts in the country's south.

Almost half of those under the age of five suffer from chronic nutritional deficiencies, and hunger has forced three out of four children to drop out of school to help find food at home.

"Most of the women we have spoken to say that they have nothing to feed their children except some plants that grow alongside the roads," WFP spokesperson Tomson Phiri said.

The situation of women in rural areas of Madagascar is of particular concern, as most times they are prohibited from owning land and doing certain jobs.

WFP humanitarian assistance began at the end of September, but due to the seriousness of the situation, they want to increase these operations in order to reach more people in more territories.

In the next six months, the WFP predicts it will need US$56.5 million to deal with the situation in Madagascar. The UN agency appealed to the international community to intervene before it's too late.

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