When the whole world is hit by the Corona virus, people in the African country of Madagascar have been hit by double drought. Thousands of people are forced to eat hunger by eating wild leaves and grasshoppers. Due to the frequent droughts and dust storms, crops have been destroyed, people are on the verge of starvation. The United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) senior director Amer Dawoodi has warned that children’s lives in Malagasy are in shambles. Malnutrition has reached alarming levels, especially among children below five years of age.
Forced to eat grasshopper-leaves
Speaking from Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo, Dawoodi told the United Nations that he had gone to villages where people are forced to eat grasshoppers, raw fruits of cactus and wild leaves to stay alive. There is a drought in South Madagascar and no food sources. He said that he has seen the horrific scenes where children are malnourished and not just children, their mothers, families and entire villages. He warned that there is a fear of famine here and he has never seen such situations before in the world.
Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world. There are many problems here from health employment to poverty and climate change, due to which crores of people here have been victims of disasters. The WFP has stated that yields are expected to be 40% below the five-year average. Malnutrition in children under five has reached 16 percent. There have been drought-like conditions here for five consecutive years, which have become worse this time.
At least 13.5 lakh people in this region need food assistance but the WFP has reached only 7.5 lakh. It needs financial assistance of at least $ 75 million by September to get relief in this emergency.