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Climate change causes increased famine in Madagascar – Report

By Nneka Nwogwugwu

Food experts have said there is no single factor behind Madagascar’s crisis, but that worsening droughts linked to climate change, alongside a fragile food system and the economic impacts of Covid-19 have all played a role.

While droughts are not new to Madagascar, the severity of the current drought has been heightened by extreme climate shocks, the experts said.

The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, in its first U.N. science report, said in August 2021, that the country has experienced increased aridity and that human-induced climate change is the main driver of Africa’s rising surface temperature.

Humanitarian agencies say that the Covid-19 pandemic has interrupted supply chains, increased unemployment and curbed access to food markets. Subsistence farmers have been so badly affected that aid charity Médecins Sans Frontières has said that many are eating insects and cactus leaves to survive.

Inadequate health facilities, poor sanitation and scarce, unsafe drinking water supplies have exacerbated an already vulnerable situation, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.

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