1.8 million people staring at hunger in Madagascar

Nearly 1.8 million people in Madagascar are food insecure, officials said.
The UN and local officials said at a press conference on Tuesday that those affected represented 46 per cent of the island nation’s population.
They were in eight of Madagascar’s 22 regions.
“Of the affected groups, 450,000 individuals were facing severe food insecurity,” said the government.
The highest rates of food insecurity were registered in three southern regions – Androy, Anosy and Atsimo Andrefana.
About 380,000 residents – nearly 30 per cent of the regional population – were experiencing food shortages.
Survival strategies
The precarious food situation was being attributed to a significant decrease of annual yields over the last three years.
“Persistent droughts have resulted in huge upheavals in agricultural activities,” the experts observed.
Households had reportedly resorted to faulty survival strategies, including selling off production tools and livestock.
The affected population were also said to depend on wild drought resistant plants – which were abundant in the affected areas.
“Relying on such measures could further weaken the resilience of the communities. It is thus crucial to assist them in order to allow them to recover their livelihoods,” the World Food Programme’s representative, Mr Willem Van Milink, told reporters.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s resident representative, Mr Patrice Talla Takoukam, emphasised on the need for speedy intervention to limit the damage.
“The assessments undertaken since 2014 haven’t been followed by the required actions to timely deal with the prevailing situations,” he regretted.
Global warming
Various programmes in favour of the vulnerable communities in southern Madagascar were announced to cope with the climate-related issues.
They include preventing serious impacts of the El-Nino phenomenon that was expected to affect weather patterns across the island nation.
Madagascar remains one of world’s most exposed countries to the bad effects of global warming.
Costs of any climate actions on the island for 2015-2030 were estimated at $42.099 billion, according to a country document called Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC).
The INDC was submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) last month.
It was submitted ahead of the climate summit in Paris (COP21) in December.
Of the total amount, $28.713 was to go into the adaptation to climate change.