WFP: Rising hunger in drought-stricken southern Madagascar forcing families to eat insects

WFP: Rising hunger in drought-stricken southern Madagascar forcing families to eat insects

Hunger is increasing in southern Madagascar due to consecutive years of drought, affecting half the region's population or 1.5 million people and forcing most families to eat insects, the Global Program reported. of Food (PMA).

Hunger is increasing in southern Madagascar due to consecutive years of drought, affecting half the region’s population or 1.5 million people, and forcing most families to eat insects, the Program reported. Food World (WFP) in Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday.


The figure is three times the projected mid-year figure, and women and children comprise the majority of those who experience “crisis” or “emergency” hunger conditions.

The UN agency noted that Madagascar already has the 10th highest rate of stunting in the world, with nearly half of all children under the age of five suffering from chronic malnutrition.

“As the number of hungry people increases, so does the proportion of families that turn to mechanisms to cope with crises. Most of them have to eat insects. They are selling life-saving livelihood assets, farm implements, kitchen utensils, ”said Tomson Phiri, WFP spokesperson in Geneva.

Hunger and malnutrition stem from three years of failed harvests, hampering access to food and affecting people in 10 districts.

WFP has described the situation as “extremely worrying”.

A UN statement said last month that WFP conducted an assessment in Amboasary, the hardest-hit district, which revealed that three-quarters of children were forced to drop out of school in order to help their families find food.

“Most of the women we spoke to said they had nothing to feed their young children except the red prickly pears that grow by the side of the road,” Phiri said.

As part of its response to the drought, WFP began life-saving emergency food assistance in September, reaching more than 100,000 people in Amboasary.

This support has included in-kind food distributions and also hot meals for especially malnourished children and the elderly.

Some 576,000 people in nine other districts are also receiving assistance during the lean season, which runs through December.

Phiri said that given the seriousness of the situation, the agency plans to continue expanding operations until next June.

“In addition, we seek to help the challenges faced by rural women, who are often prevented from owning agricultural land and assets, as well as discriminatory customary practices,” he added.

The statement said that WFP was asking the international community for $ 37.5 million to allow it to continue response efforts.

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