Aid groups warn of looming drought, food shortages in Madagascar

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Severe drought conditions are making a humanitarian crisis in Madagascar ever more likely, warned Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Tuesday, calling for food to be gathered quickly to aid the country.

The World Food Programme (WFP) recently had to halve its daily portions due to a lack of supplies.

Some villages aren’t receiving any aid at all at the moment.

The WFP has recently warned that the worst drought in 40 years was putting more than 1 million people at risk on Madagascar.

A combination of drought and sandstorms was making multiple crop fields unusable. There has also been little rain this year.

“We are seeing people with no means, who literally have nothing to eat and are fighting for bare survival,” said Julie Reverse, the regional MSF director. She warned that food supplies could grow even worse, since not much of a crop is expected this year.

Bad roads are further complicating the job of distributing food.

Marlene Mueller of Welthungerhilfe, a German charity whose name loosely translates as World Food Aid, said that Madagascar is one of the countries in the world worst affected by climate change and noted that her group is also expecting major crop collapse.

Complicating aid work further, the government has set up travel restrictions as it tries to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Madagascar has a population of about 28 million.

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