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Emergency appeal: “invisible crisis” in Madagascar puts thousands at risk of starvation

Posted on: Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

Families in southern Madagascar are on the verge of starvation, with people resorting to eating insects, leaves and cactus plants to survive. The UN World Food Programme has called this an “invisible crisis” that is getting worse every day. CBM has launched an urgent fundraising appeal to support the most vulnerable people in Madagascar.

Back-to-back droughts in southern Madagascar have left more than a million people at severe risk of hunger, as the country faces its worse drought in 40 years.  14,000 people are already living in “catastrophic conditions” – this number is likely to double by October without urgent help, according to the UN’s World Food Programme. 

Crops have failed, livestock died and thousands of people have left their homes in a desperate search for food. Up to 80% of the population has resorted to desperate survival measures, such as eating locusts, raw red cactus fruits or wild leaves. And acute malnutrition in children has doubled in the last four months.

Satry Ramaroson, Programme Manager for CBM in Madagascar, says:

“People with disabilities are already marginalised but with this crisis their situation is getting from bad to worse. With our partner in the southern regions of Madagascar we are now already working to reach out and respond to this humanitarian situation. Since the situation is getting worse, we urgently need to do more to enable people with disabilities to access food, water and medicines. If we do not do more, people with disabilities in these regions of will remain left behind from all responses and they are more at risk of starvation.

Watch this video to find out more about CBM’s response in Madagascar (open link in new tab).

In times of crises, people with disabilities and their families are among those most vulnerable – and the least likely to access emergency help. Already often among the poorest in their communities, they may be unable to walk long distances to access emergency food distribution or find out about what help is available.

Kirsty Smith, Chief Executive of CBM UK, says:

“The UN World Food Progamme has highlighted that the situation in Madagascar is the result of climate change. The women, men and children of this region are paying the devastating price for a climate crisis they have done nothing to create.  People are already dying – and if the world continues to ignore this “invisible crisis”, many more will lose their lives.”

“Since June, CBM has been working with local partners in the region to provide emergency relief to the most vulnerable families, especially those with disabilities, to help them survive this crisis.  But as the scale of the crisis grows, we urgently need your help to reach more women, men and children facing life-threatening hunger.”

Please donate today to provide urgent support to the most vulnerable people. 

Image © CBM / Viviane H.Rakotoarivony  – Children in southern Madagascar stand in fields now covered in sand, following sand storms caused by the prolonged drought.