The severe drought afflicting southern Madagascar has left 330,000 people on the brink of famine, a senior UN official has warned.
Three successive years of failed rains have left the island nation wrestling with crop failure and a chronic lack of food and clean drinking water, with agencies warning last month that nearly 850,000 people are experiencing “alarming” hunger levels.
“Three hundred and thirty thousand are on the verge of a food security catastrophe, next step being famine,” said Dominique Burgeon, director of emergencies and rehabilitation at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
“People go from one lean season to the next, resorting to negative coping strategies. People are eating anything to fill their stomachs, selling most of their belongings, cattle and land. It shows the severity of the situation and the need for us to act.”