Jakarta: Three consecutive years of drought coupled with a sharp recession triggered by the covid-19 pandemic will leave a third of the population in Southern Madagascar struggling to put food on the table, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday.
"To survive, families are eating tamarind fruit mixed with clay,”"said Moumini Ouedraogo, WFP’s Representative in Madagascar, in a press release.
"We can’t face another year like this. With no rain and a poor harvest, people will face starvation. No one should have to live like this," Ouedraogo added.
According to the United Nations (UN) agency, the covid-19 pandemic has added to the hardship, causing seasonal employment to dry up.
Many families relied on this income to get through the lean season, which peaks between January and April.
WFP currently provides food assistance for almost 500,000 severely food-insecure people in the nine hardest hit districts in the South.
Given the rapidly deteriorating situation, by June 2021, WFP intends to scale up its assistance to reach almost 900,000 of those most vulnerable.