Farmers at work in Madagascar. ©FAO/Yasuyoshi Chiba

Southern Madagascar: Government and UN sound the alarm on famine risk

11/05/2021

With each day that passes, more lives are at stake as hunger tightens its grip in southern Madagascar. This is the stark warning from two United Nations agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), as they seek to draw international attention to a humanitarian crisis that risks being invisible.

Around 1.14 million people in the south of Madagascar are facing high levels of acute food insecurity, of which nearly 14 000 people are in ‘Catastrophe' (Phase 5 - the highest in the five-step scale of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).

This is the first time that people have been recorded in Phase 5 in Madagascar since the IPC methodology was introduced in 2016. Unless urgent action is taken now, the number of people in the ‘Catastrophe' category is expected to double over the next lean season starting in October 2021.