Madagascar is facing a historic catastrophe in the form of famine, which came after 4 years of low rainfall. The main cause is climate change. The UN says it is the first famine caused mainly by climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions. The most affected is the south of the island (Grand Sud). Lack of food affected 1.14 million people and 110,000 children are at risk of malnutrition and irreversible damage to their bodies.
The first famine caused by climate change
Most famines are caused by a catastrophic disaster or war, but in this case, leaders blame the situation for climate change.
“This is not because of war or conflict, this is because of climate change,” explained David Beasley, executive director of the UN World Food Program (WFP).
Likewise, Issa Sanogo, the UN Resident Coordinator in Madagascar, said that “this is what the real consequences of climate change look like, and the people here have done nothing to deserve this.” Interestingly, Madagascar produces less than 0.01% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It is therefore unfair that Madagascar is the victim of climate change. As Sanogo points out, “[These] communities [are] suffering daily from the disastrous consequences of a crisis they did not create.”
“Families have been living on raw red cactus fruits, wild leaves and locusts for months now,” said Beasley.
Meanwhile, WFP spokesperson Shelley Thakral says that “the number of children admitted for treatment for severe acute malnutrition in the Grand Sud between January and March was quadruple the five-year average, according to the latest government figures.”
Drought after drought after drought.
Southern Madagascar is the only place in the world with famine-like conditions that are NOT driven by conflict, but the #ClimateEmergency.
— UN Humanitarian (@UNOCHA) July 26, 2021
The problem of food shortages will worsen in the future
Worryingly, things are likely to get considerably worse in the immediate future, as Thakral explains that “the next planting season is less than two months away and the forecast for food production is bleak. The land is covered by sand; there is no water and a little chance of rain. ”
Climate change is becoming more pronounced and needs to be stopped ignored. Their influence affects the lives of an increasing number of people who are hungry or forced to leave their homes and move to another place.