“If we don’t reverse this crisis, if we don’t get food to the people in the south of Madagascar, families will starve and lives will be lost”, Amer Daoudi, WFP’s Senior Director of Operations, said, after visiting one of the worst affected areas, Sihanamaro.
most districts in the South are in the throes of a nutrition emergency with Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) levels in children under five, nearly doubling over the last four months – touching an alarming 16.5 per cent – the Ministry of Health reported.
Children with acute malnutrition are four times more likely to die than healthy youngsters.
Meeting needs, saving lives
State of peril
since last September, the start of the lean season, the situation had turned critical as families had already depleted their food supplies and gone through vital seed stocks, leaving nothing for the November/December 2020 planting season.
WFP said that food production this year is expected to be “less than 40 per cent of the last five-year average”, which only adds to the difficulties faced by communities already on the brink of survival to feed themselves.
At the same time, semi-arid conditions in southern Madagascar, combined with high levels of soil erosion, deforestation and unprecedented sandstorms, have transformed arable land into wasteland across the region.