Millions face hunger in Madagascar

2016-12-06 19:01


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Antanarivo - Some rain fell in southern Madagascar last week, a rare piece of good news for a drought-hit region where nearly 1 million people face severe hunger because of failed harvests. But aid groups warn that more rain is needed for the current crop-planting season to succeed and they expect the dire humanitarian situation to stretch into 2017.

Farmers in the south started some seed-planting because of the recent rainfall, but those seeds could be wasted if there is no more rain to help crops grow, Joshua Poole, the Madagascar representative for Catholic Relief Services, said Tuesday.

"In a situation like this, we kind of grab onto any hope that we can," Poole said.

Many households in southern Madagascar are begging and selling land and belongings to survive, according to the UN World Food Programme. The agency said funding shortages have compelled it to cut rations to people receiving aid. People in some villages have been eating cactus fruit because there is no other food available, according to aid workers.

Southern Africa has been experiencing its most severe drought in about 35 years because of the El Nino climate phenomenon, leaving millions of people across the region in need of food aid.

Southern Madagascar, which had already suffered drought for several years, is one of the hardest-hit areas. Maize, cassava and rice production has dropped by up to 95% since last year, according to the United Nations.

Nearly 14 million people in southern Africa need humanitarian aid, reflecting rising needs in Madagascar, Malawi, and Zimbabwe, the UN said.

Read more on:    madagascar  |  drought

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.