The phenomenon is recurring in this area, and this year it promises to be even more difficult. The latest food insecurity study (April 2020) estimates that 1.6 million people in the Great South are having difficulty accessing food due to drought, including 500,000 who are facing severe food insecurity and in need of urgent help.
Earlier this week, an emergency mission was deployed to Amboasary Atsimo, and a meeting was held on Wednesday, September 30, between local authorities and organizations fighting hunger following a call for help from the mayor of a municipality in this district.
In the municipality of Ifotaka, in fact, as in other villages in the district of Amboasary Atsimo, the culture has hardly yielded anything. An area in the extreme south usually quite untouched by drought and famine (Kere in Malagasy). This is explained by the governor of the region Anosy Jerry Hatrefindrazana, who went there.
“There are municipalities in the Amboasary district that were productive and that supplied other municipalities, but at the moment the district is also affected by this drought. The reason, as we already know, is climate change. There has been no rain for nine months here. The first strategy we adopted was to help people with urgent actions, but we also looked at long-term solutions to avoid the recurrence of Kere in this Amboasary district. According to the report by the mayor of Ifotaka, there were eight children who died due to lack of food, but it is not yet certain that it was famine that killed these children. This is also the reason why we are in the process of setting up mobile clinics and doctors to closely monitor the health of these people and children affected. ”
Food and supplements were distributed to 750 people without food and without resources to survive in Ifotaka and Marovahatsy by teams from the National Office of Risk and Disaster Management and the World Food Program. Moumini Ouedraogo is the representative of this organization in Madagascar.
“The information was not collected early enough, perhaps neither at the authority level nor at our level, but as soon as we were seized, a team went on the scene. These are people who, over time, perhaps last year, were almost on the brink. They could not produce, and also this year. So they sell everything from their house to the pot. One of the elements of field research is when women bring the pots to market to sell, it means there is nothing left in the house. We sold the last chickens. We sold the goat. This is what we see in such situations. ”
Censuses are underway to assess the needs of other municipalities in the district. WFP plans to help 300,000 residents of the Great South through the distribution of food or cash. In addition to the drought effects, the constraints associated with the Covid-19 epidemic are exacerbating the situation in this area by restricting households’ access to various foods in local markets, the organization specifies.