Hunger in the news

25 February 2013

National disaster authorities and aid agencies are struggling to reach remote areas of Madagascar’s southwestern coast where thousands of people are thought to have been made homeless by Tropical Cyclone Haruna, which made landfall on 22 February as a powerful category two cyclone. (..) “Today [25 February], we reached another 4,800 people. Our emergency food supplies have come in, so now we can also hand out biscuits and rice, so people can get through the first five days,” Willem van Milink, the World Food Programme's (WFP) country representative, told IRIN.

14 February 2013

After years of underfunding its locust management programme, Madagascar is threatened by a major swarm that could infest most of the island country. “If nothing is done this year, there is a risk that almost the whole country, except for the extreme north and the eastern coast, will be invaded by locusts,” Alexandre Huynh, country representative for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), told IRIN. Locusts breed in the southwestern regions of Madagascar during the rainy season, from October to April. According to a 2012 World Food Programme (WFP) survey, an estimated 676,000 people in the 104 southern municipalities are considered at risk of severe food insecurity.

15 January 2013

The dry, spiny forests of southern Madagascar comprise one of the most unique ecosystems in the world, but they are becoming increasingly endangered as residents of the arid, food-insecure region cut down trees to make way for cultivation and to produce charcoal. In an effort to slow the rapid deforestation and to address chronic food insecurity, the World Food Programme (WFP), in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), is replanting 1,000 hectares of trees through food-for-work projects reaching 60,000 beneficiaries.

31 December 2012

The provision of school lunches to 215,000 children in 1,200 primary schools in southern Madagascar could be suspended by the end of January 2013 if the World Food Programme (WFP) fails to make up a funding shortfall of US$4.84 million. “Normally, we send out enough food to the schools for three months, but since the stock is so low, we are planning to send out only for a month,” said Enrique Alvarez, head of the WFP sub-office in Ambovombe, on Madagascar's southern coast. (..) Alvarez added that, in the past, when WFP had shortages, parents brought food to the schools themselves, but the severity of this year's lean season makes that impossible.

19 September 2012

About half of Madagascar's children under the age of five are stunted - the irreversible effect of undernourishment during the first 1,000 days of life. Children who suffer from stunting are at greater risk of illness, impaired cognitive development and death.

13 April 2012

When officials asked everybody in the commune (sub-district) of Talata in Madagascar's central Amoron'i Mania region to register their land in 2007, it was to be the beginning of a national programme of far-reaching and much needed land reforms aimed at recognizing local land rights and decentralizing land management. (..) EFA is now one of three NGOs working on land reform in the country. With funding from the National Land Programme, which continues to function at a slow pace and with minimal resources, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), it gives technical assistance to 39 local land offices in the Northern Atsinanana region

23 February 2012

The result of under-nourished babies is children and adults who never grow to their full potential. (..) The Madagascar Demographic Health Survey 2008-09 found that stunting affects half of all Malagasy children under five, the sixth highest rate of stunting in the world, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Poverty is a major factor, particularly more than two years into a political and economic crisis that began with Andry Rajoelina's ousting of President Marc Ravalomanana in 2009 and the withdrawal of all but emergency donor aid to the country.

14 July 2011

Up to 200,000 people in southern Madagascar will be involved in a food production initiative by the World Food Program (WFP), a source from this organization in Antananarivo told Xinhua on Thursday.

3 February 2011

In parts of Madagascar's drought-prone south people have resorted to eating cattle-feed, as successive years of crop failures and the current lean season give food insecurity a firmer grip on the region. (..) The World Food Programme (WFP) in Madagascar said drought had caused the widespread failure of maize crops in the southern regions of Atsimo Andrefana, Androy and Anosy to fail. The lean season, when the previous harvest has been consumed and the new crops are not yet ready, runs from October to about March.

14 December 2010

The United States is giving $3 million in emergency food aid to the World Food Program to try to prevent widespread famine in southern Madagascar. The United Nations agency predicts 720,000 people in three regions could be severely affected in the next few months by a drought and lack of basic resources.