Nothing to eat but cactus in Madagascar’s hunger capital
16 January 2017 | 4:01 am
The World Food Programme says close to a million people are facing starvation in southern Madagascar, as an ongoing drought causes harvests to fail, leaving whole villages dependent on food aid.
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Communities in Madagascar are on the verge of starvation, with women and children walking for hours to reach food after the worst drought in four decades devastated the south of the island, the World Food Programme said.
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Famine is devastating the south of Madagascar, the first country in the world to experience such conditions due to climate change, according to the UN. The current situation -- brought on by years of persistent drought -- prompted World Food Programme executive director David Beasley, who recently visited the country, to say it was akin to "something you see in a horror movie."
The Indian Ocean island nation's worst drought in 40 years has left hundreds of thousands of people fighting for survival as the crisis gets more dire by the day.
Madagascar has been hit by one of the worst droughts in the region in 40 years, affecting over 1 million people the United Nations has said, warning that the country is facing a severe humanitarian crisis that needs urgent attention.
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Some days, all Tsimamorekm Aly eats is sugary water. He's happy if there's a handful of rice. But with six young kids and a wife to support, he often goes without. This is the fourth year that drought has devastated Aly's home in southern Madagascar. Now more than one million people, or two out of five residents, of his Grand Sud region require emergency food aid in what the United Nations is calling a "climate change famine."
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While countries from all over the world gather for COP26, "climate change famine" shows no sign of abating in southern Madagascar, where crippling droughts have left families starving, paying what the United Nations describes as the "highest price" of malnutrition induced from climate change. Africa, responsible for just 3% of global emissions, is seen as the most vulnerable region to climate change, as evidenced by Madagascar's droughts this year . African leaders demanded at the Glasgow conference that wealthy countries responsible for the bulk of carbon emissions make good on an earlier pledge to provide $100 billion a year to help poorer countries cope. Climate change is battering the Indian Ocean island and several U.N. agencies have warned in the past few months of a "climate change famine" there. Rainfall patterns in Madagascar are growing more erratic – they've been below average for nearly six years, said researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
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