from MARIO RAJOMAZANDRY in Antananarivo, Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, (CAJ News) – AT least 500 000 children under the age of five are expected to be acutely malnourished amid the drought in Madagascar.
This includes 110 000 in severe condition south of the country where more than 1,14 million people are food insecure.
The number of acutely malnourished children is likely to increase fourfold since the previous assessment conducted in October 2020.
“What is currently happening in southern Madagascar is heartbreaking. We cannot turn our backs on these children whose lives are at stake,” said Moumini Ouedraogo, WFP’s representative in Madagascar.
Four consecutive years of drought have wiped out harvests and cut off people’s access to food.
With the lean season imminent, the crisis is expected to drastically worsen.
Michel Saint-Lot, UNICEF’s Representative in Madagascar, said there was an urgent need to invest in the prevention and treatment of malnutrition in children to prevent the situation from becoming even more critical.
“By providing families with access to safe water and treating malnourished children with therapeutic food, lives can be saved. But we have to act now,” the UN envoy said.
– CAJ News