United Nations seeks $75 million for Madagascar as hunger bites
31 August 2021 | 6:07 am
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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17 Oct 2021
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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In northern Kenya, the ribs of dead sheep and donkeys stretch towards the blazing sun as parched herders trudge past, a day's march from water. The value of their skinny goats is falling as fast as the prices scrawled on the sacks in the market are shooting up. "Goats are unsellable, cows are even worse to sell and our children are starving," Moses Loloju, an Isiolo herder who volunteered to help distribute food donations from the county government. More than 465,000 children under five and over 93,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women are malnourished in the northern region, the U.N. says.
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Afghanistan's Taliban government launched a programme to tackle hunger on Sunday, offering thousands of people wheat in exchange for labour.
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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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Since the Taliban returned to power in August, life in Afghanistan has become more and more difficult. The country, which was already beset by an economic crisis, is now confronted with a worsening humanitarian catastrophe. Billions of dollars in aid money have dried up, funding for hospitals is non-existent and nearly half the population faces acute hunger. Our team on the ground reports.
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Germany's chancellor-in-waiting, Olaf Scholz, has met two climate activists who staged a hunger strike to demand more radical climate policies. The pair ended their action after a preelection promise from Scholz.
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The island of Madagascar is on the brink of a famine the UN says is caused by climate change. Farmers are forced to forage for food as their crops fail to grow.
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