UNICEF Stresses Impacts of Climate Change on Child Malnutrition in Madagascar

© UNICEF27 July 2009: The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has reported that farmers have lost their crops in the drought-affected regions of southern Madagascar.

The UN agency indicates that droughts have now become the norm, preventing families to harvest their traditional crops of sweet potatoes and maize, and increasing child starvation and malnutrition levels.

UNICEF estimates that malnutrition is affecting 80% of children under five, with 70% suffering from moderate malnutrition and 10% from severe acute malnutrition. To mitigate the effects of climate change on children, UNICEF has partnered with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Malagasy Ministry of Health to put into place an early warning system, and with the help of community volunteers is providing doses of fortified ready-to-use therapeutic food to malnourished children in the affected regions.

UNICEF has cautioned that, due to climate change, the malnutrition crisis in Madagascar risks becoming a way of life. [UNICEF press release][UNICEF video]