More than 90 percent of Madagascar’s people live below the poverty line. The country is so drought ridden, that even in the best of times almost half its children are chronically malnourished.
The country is now three years into a drought being called catastrophic by the United Nations. Crops have failed and water is so scare twenty-percent of households, 850,000 people, are nearing famine.
The drought has been exacerbated by El Nino—when ocean temps in the equatorial Pacific are warmer than usual spawning extreme weather events—and climate change. In Madagascar and the nations of Botswana, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, droughts that used to occur every decade are now occurring every three to five years.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization, UNICEF and the World Food Programme put a $140 million price on aid to Madagascar. To learn more about food insecurity and how you can help, visit the World Food Programme website.