In Madagascar, the United Nations was the first famine in history caused by global climate change

UNICEF Photo / S. Andriananten

According to the World Food Program, more than a million people in southern Madagascar are actively trying to escape the first famine caused by global climate change.

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“In some areas people can still cultivate something, but every year they face more and more difficulties. In other areas nothing is growing now, so people survive by eating locusts, fruits and cactus leaves. Cactus leaves were only used before. As food for livestock, people I never ate it, ”said Alice Rahman, spokesperson for the World Food Program (WFP).

“If everything stays as it is, the number of hungry people will increase exponentially in the years to come. This applies not only to Madagascar, but to a large number of other countries and entire parts of the planet, ”he said.

The region has suffered heavy losses due to drought in recent years.

Under current climatic conditions, the situation is complicated by the fact that even cacti gradually die of drought.

In order to survive, people abandon their own agricultural products and sell livestock, fields and even their homes.

“To earn at least something, they put all the energy of the family, or even stop taking the children to school, and this has a negative impact on the level of education of the island”, explains Alice. Rahmon.

The World Food Program, in collaboration with humanitarian partners and the government of Madagascar, serves the country in two key areas.

First, around 700,000 islanders are already receiving the food they need to survive.

“The second area involves long-term activities that allow local communities to better prepare, respond and change faster,” said Rahmun. Loss of harvest.

In a week’s time, world leaders will meet at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, which United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called “the last chance to change the situation on the planet. sick”.


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