Four million people in Madagascar are food insecure, say UN agencies

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Small Malagasy farms are hard hit

As many as 4 million people in rural areas of Madagascar don't have enough food as a result of this year's reduced harvest, according to United Nations agencies.

A report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) says the food shortages have been caused by a combination of factors.

They include erratic weather conditions last year and cyclones early this year which caused flooding followed by a period of poor rains, the report says.

David Orr, WFP Spokesperson in Johannesburg, South Africa, says the agencies conducted a crop and food security assessment in Madagascar in June and July.

"We have just released the results, four million people estimated to be food insecure following this year's very poor harvest as a result of bad weather and a locust invasion. We estimate in fact that  nearly ten million more people could be at risk of food insecurity as the so-called lean season progresses. This is the period between now and the harvest which is expected in March of next year." (27")

David Orr says WFP and its partners are responding to the situation and hope to assist nearly one million people who are the most vulnerable section of the population on the island this year.

However, he adds, lack of resources doesn't make it easy to respond to the food insecurity in Madagascar.

Donn Bobb, United Nations

Duration: 1’22″

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