Madagascar on throes of famine after climate crisis


Malagasy children

from MARIO RAJOMAZANDRY in Antananarivo, Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, (CAJ News) MORE than 1 million people are on the brink of famine in Madagascar, in a grim reminder that climate change is already causing great suffering and claiming lives.

The southern parts of the Indian Ocean island is worst affected, prompting a call by a human rights organisation to appeal to global leaders to intervene, save lives and protect rights threatened by climate crises.

In its report, “It will be too late to help us once we are dead”, Amnesty International documents the drought’s impact on the enjoyment of human rights for people in Madagascar’s “Deep South” region.

About 91 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.

The organisation urged the international community to take immediate action to tackle the climate crisis and protect people in countries like Madagascar, which are acutely vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

“Madagascar is on the frontline of the climate crisis,” said Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“For 1 million people, it means a drought of catastrophic proportion, and violations of their rights to life, health, food and water. It could mean dying of starvation.”

Callamard said current climate change projections indicated that droughts are expected to become more severe, disproportionately affecting people in developing countries.

“Ahead of the UN climate negotiations at COP26, this is a wake-up call for world leaders to stop dragging their feet on the climate crisis,” the rights advocate said.

The climate change conference is scheduled to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, between October 31 and November 12, under the co-presidency of the United Kingdom and Italy.

The south of Madagascar has experienced four consecutive droughts, which have wiped out harvests and hampered people’s access to food.

– CAJ News

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