African Development Bank makes grant to WFP to tackle hunger in Madagascar

The African Development Bank (ADB) has made a grant of $686,000 to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to provide relief to about 72,000 people on the brink of drought-caused starvation in southern Madagascar, the UN body said on Thursday.

The grant came as southern Madagascar “is suffering its worst drought in 40 years,” the WFP said, adding that at least 1.14 million people in Madagascar’s Grand Sud “need emergency food and nutrition assistance and have been suffering from hunger since the start of the lean season last September.”

“In Amboasary Atsimo, about 14,000 people are estimated to be in IPC Phase 5 (defined as Catastrophe category), according to the last number of the Integrated food security Phase Classification of May 2021. This number is expected to double over the next lean season,” it added.

Due to the crisis, people in southern Madagascar “have had to resort to desperate survival measures such as eating locusts, raw red cactus fruits or wild leaves. For the first time ever, pockets of IPC phase 5 or Catastrophe have been recorded signalling deepening hunger,” the WFP said.

“We are very grateful for the generosity of the African Development Bank. Their kind support affirms their commitment to ensure the food and nutrition security of the Malagasy people, which is vital for the development of the country and saving lives,” Moumini Ouedraogo, WFP country representative in Madagascar, said.

The WFP stressed it urgently needs $74 million over the next six months in order to provide life-saving food relief “to those most vulnerable in southern Madagascar.”

“The government contribution and the half ration currently provided by WFP and partners keeps people alive but does not meet their nutritional needs,” the WFP said, stressing that urgent funding is necessary to ensure adequate food reaches those most in need.

Climate change is expected to raise the frequency of extreme weather events in Madagascar, including droughts in southwestern regions and cyclones in the southeast of the country, the Climate Home News website said last week.

Projections regarding the climate change impacts on Madagascar show that the southern areas of the country are most vulnerable to rising temperatures in addition to increased variability in the distribution of rainfall, according to the report.

Source: Anadolu Agency