The World's First Famine Caused Entirely By Climate Change Is Being Experienced In Madagascar

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The World's First Famine Caused Entirely By Climate Change Is Being Experienced In Madagascar

Following four years of remarkably low rainfall due to climate change, a vast number of people are on the brink of starvation.


While famines have occurred throughout history mainly because of natural disasters, pests, political corruption and human conflict, this is the first famine on record to be caused strictly by the climate effects that greenhouse gas emissions have had throughout the years, according to the United Nations.


The famine is more acute in the south part of the island 'Grand Sud', where at least 1.14 million people are experiencing food insecurity.


The UN reports that as many as 28,000 people could be living in level 5 'catastrophic' conditions by October, and as many as 110,000 children face the danger of being malnourished and experiencing 'irreversible damage' to their growth.


Executive director of the UN World Food Program (WFP), David Beasley, explained:


"This is not because of war or conflict, this is because of climate change."



UN Resident Coordinator in Madagascar, Issa Sanogo, added:


"This is what the real consequences of climate change look like, and the people here have done nothing to deserve this. [These] communities [are] suffering daily from the disastrous consequences of a crisis they did not create."


Madagascar emits less than 0.01 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.


The south side of the country has been largely dependent on monsoon rains to grow crops but the change in weather patterns has resulted in rainfalls becoming more and more unpredictable. A series of successive dry years has caused crops to fail, leaving hundreds of thousands to starve.


The lack of food in the Grand Sud area is so severe that families have to go to extreme lengths to nourish themselves. Beasley said that:


"Families have been living on raw red cactus fruits, wild leaves and locusts for months now."


WFP spokesperson Shelley Thakral said that:


"The number of children admitted for treatment for severe acute malnutrition in the Grand Sud between January and March was quadruple the five-year average, according to the latest government figures."


He added:


"The next planting season is less than two months away and the forecast for food production is bleak. The land is covered by sand; there is no water and little chance of rain."


[h/t: IFL Science]


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Thinking Humanity: The World's First Famine Caused Entirely By Climate Change Is Being Experienced In Madagascar
The World's First Famine Caused Entirely By Climate Change Is Being Experienced In Madagascar
Following four years of remarkably low rainfall due to climate change, a vast number of people are on the brink of starvation. While famines have occ
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