Winners of "Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium 2021" Announced    Jordan Records 6,392 New Cases of COVID-19    Saudi Stock Exchange Main Index Ends Trading Higher at 11,108.20 Points    Aramco and Larsen & Toubro to Collaborate on Manufacturing Sector Development    KSrelief Launches Food Security Project in Ma'rib, Yemen    Ministry of Health Reports 42 New COVID-19 Cases, 59 Recoveries in Saudi Arabia    OIC Strongly Condemns Houthi's Launch of Ballistic Missiles towards Riyadh and Khamis Mushait    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Chairs Cabinet's Virtual Session    Egypt Condemns Houthi Militia's Targeting of Riyadh with a Ballistic Missile    Saudi Press: Saudi Arabia Always Seeks to Enhance its Relations With GCC Countries in Various Fields    Bahrain strongly condemns launch of ballistic missile by terrorist Houthi militia towards Riyadh city    Saudi Aramco Announces $15.5 Billion Landmark Gas Pipeline Deal with Global Consortium    UN deplores conviction and sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi    Dr. Al Rabeeah inaugurates launch of first 154 aid trucks to Yemen    Crown Prince embarks on Gulf states tour    SWCC shares initiatives in realizing Saudi Green goals in London Forum    King Abdullah Port sponsors SMME reinforcing commitment to maritime sector    Saudi Export Development Authority Organizes Saudi Trade Mission to USA    Coalition forces shoot down two Houthi-fired drones    Saudi Arabia's new COVID-19 cases continue its slight rise    Saudi and GCC entrants set to dominate motorcycle and quad battles in Hail    LuLu group and EFAA group make kindness and support priority on World Disability Day.    10 days to go until Riyadh comes alive with MDLBEAST'S majestic shows    World Directs Attention to Final Round of FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup in Hail    Saudi ministry stresses need for wearing masks, social distancing in mosques    Pakistani education minister lauds Saudi e-learning success during the pandemic    Next pandemic could be more lethal than Covid, says vaccine creator    5-day Jeddah international motor show starts Today at 6 PM    Lewis Hamilton wins thrilling Saudi Arabian Grand Prix    Crown Prince attends inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix    Deputy Governor of Hail: Hail International Rally is a practical translation of the wise leadership's support    Hail International Rally to Kick off Tomorrow    Hamilton sets pace in free trials in Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix    Red Sea Immersive to provide enthralling experience: Liz Rosenthal    Invest in Saudi Arabia Initiative Announces its Partnership with Formula 1 Saudi Grand Prix    Duchess of Sussex wins latest court battle with Mail on Sunday publisher    Trolls join UN campaign for healthier eating, sustainable living    BIENALSUR Exhibition Arrives in Jeddah at Historic Site of Qasr Khuzam    Saudi Hind Al-Showaier Elected Regional Director of World Federation of the Deaf    Saudi Film Commission launch its strategy to develop film and cinema sector    Bollywood superstar Salman Khan to dazzle Riyadh Season on Dec. 10    Bollywood star's 'India got freedom in 2014' remark stirs controversy    23 Saudi women obtain favorable verdicts in 'adhl' lawsuits    Bride's fingerprint not required in revised e-marriage contract    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Severe drought in Madagascar could spur world's first climate change famine
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 22 - 10 - 2021

More than one million people in southern Madagascar are struggling to get enough to eat, due to what could become the first famine caused by climate change, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).
The region has been hit hard by successive years of severe drought, forcing families in rural communities to resort to desperate measures just to survive.
Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, has a unique ecosystem which includes animals and plants found nowhere else on the planet. The country experiences a dry season, usually from May to October, and a rainy season that starts in November.
However, climate change has disrupted the cycle, affecting smallholder farmers and their neighbors, said Alice Rahmoun, WFP Communications Officer in the capital, Antananarivo, speaking to UN News on Thursday.
"There is of course less rain, so when there is the first rain, they can maybe have hope and sow some seeds. But one little rain is not a proper rainy season," she said.
"So, what we can say is that the impacts of climate change are really stronger and stronger....so harvests fail constantly, so people don't have anything to harvest and anything to renew their food stocks."
Rahmoun was recently in southern Madagascar, where WFP and partners are supporting hundreds of thousands of people through short and long-term assistance.
The impact of the drought varies from place to place, she said. While some communities have not had a proper rainy season for three years, the situation might be even worse 100 kilometers away.
She recalled seeing villages surrounded by dried-out fields, and tomato plants which were "completely yellow, or even brown", from lack of water.
"In some areas they are still able to plant something, but it's not easy at all, so they are trying to grow sweet potatoes. But in some other areas, absolutely nothing is growing right now, so people are just surviving only eating locusts, eating fruits and cactus leaves," said Rahmoun.
"And, just as an example, cactus leaves are usually for cattle; it is not for human consumption."
The situation is even more dire because, she added, "even the cactus are dying from the drought, from the lack of rain and the lack of water, so it's really, really worrying".
The plight of families is also deeply troubling. "People have already started to develop coping mechanisms to survive," she said.
"And that means that they are selling cattle, for example, to get money to be able to buy food, when before, they were able to get food and feed themselves from their own field production, so it's really changing the daily life for people."
Valuable assets such as fields, or even houses, are also put up for sale. Some families have even pulled their children out of school.
"It's also a strategy right now to gather the family's forces on finding income-generating activities involving children, so this has obviously a direct impact on education," Rahmoun said.
WFP is collaborating with humanitarian partners, and the Malagasy Government, to provide two types of response to the crisis. Some 700,000 people are receiving life-saving food aid, including supplementary products to prevent malnutrition.
"The second one is more long-term response to allow local communities to be able to prepare for, respond to and recover from climate shocks better," said Ms. Rahmoun. "So, this includes resilience projects such as water projects. We're doing irrigation canals, reforestation and even microinsurance to help smallholder farmers to recover from a lost harvest, for example."
WFP ultimately aims to support up to one million people between now and April, and is seeking nearly $70 million to fund operations. "But we are also involving more partners to find and fund climate change solutions for the community to adapt to the impacts of climate change in southern Madagascar."
In just over a week, world leaders will gather in Glasgow, Scotland, for the COP26 UN climate change conference, which UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called the last chance to "literally turn the tide" on an ailing planet.
Rahmoun said WFP wants to use the conference to shift the focus from crisis response, to risk management.
Countries must be prepared for climate shocks, and they must act together to reduce severe impacts on the world's most vulnerable people, which includes the villagers of southern Madagascar.
"COP26 is also an opportunity for us to ask governments and donors to prioritize funding relating to climate adaptation programs, to help countries to build a better risk management system, and even in Madagascar, because if nothing is done, hunger will increase exponentially in the coming years because of climate change," she said, adding: "not only in Madagascar, but in other countries." — UN News


Clic here to read the story from its source.