Hunger stalks vast numbers in Madagascar
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Madagascar continues to face an enormous humanitarian crisis where hunger blights untold numbers. According to the World Food Program, over one million people in southern areas are “marching toward” the horrendous result of starvation. This includes hundreds of thousands of children.
Earlier this year, the United Nations (UN) began an appeal of $76 million to help this embattled nation. However, since then, the situation is even more severe. Therefore, with reports of tens of thousands of people already in the grip of famine-related conditions, the international community must help the people of Madagascar.
Voice of America reports, “The country has suffered a series of successive droughts since 2014, leading to poor harvests. Last year, swarms of desert locusts swept through East Africa. Earlier this year two tropical storms appeared to bring some drought relief, but the rainfall, combined with warm temperatures, created ideal conditions for an infestation of fall armyworms, which destroy maize.”
The people of Madagascar in southern regions – like Venezuelans who have fled their country – are not in the grip of war or sectarianism. However, unlike Venezuela which is blighted by political failure, the crisis in Madagascar is related to natural disasters.
David Beasley, the Head of the World Food Program, said, “There is no conflict driving these hunger numbers in the south… It is strictly climate change; it is strictly drought upon drought upon drought.”
America recently announced the funding of approximately $40 million in emergency support to help the people of Madagascar. This money is being channeled to the Catholic Relief Services, WFP, and UNICEF.
It is hoped that other nations will also support Madagascar at this critical moment.
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