MADAGASCAR. Antananarivo: The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said that around $76 million is needed to contain a food crisis that has hit the southern part of Madagascar. The impoverished island country has seen its agricultural season being ruined by the ‘worst drought of the decade’. Along with that, the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns implemented to halt the spread of the virus have amplified the hit from the drought
A spokesperson for UN body Jens Laerke reported that over one million people need humanitarian assistance in Madagascar. “Many rely on sending family members to work in cities but the movement has been restricted to contain the pandemic,” said Laerke.
A recent study revealed that over 135,000 children in Madagascar will suffer from malnutrition if necessary measures are not taken to deal with the food crisis.
The assistance would help improve food security for one million people, provide water access for over 400,000 people and give nutritional support to 300,000 children under the age of five, he said.
It would also help provide essential health services to nearly a quarter of a million people.