As a devastating drought continues in southern Madagascar, food insecurity is on the rise. Humanity & Inclusion is providing food assistance to households with the most acute needs.
Year after year of insufficient rainfall in southern Madagascar has caused one of the worst droughts in the country’s history. And communities are facing a food crisis.
“Life is not like it used to be,” says Nahy, 66, who lives in a village classified as severely impacted by the drought. “Things are getting harder. Before, there were abundant rains and we could cultivate crops. Today, there is no more rain and we’re suffering from it.”
Nahy has six children and 10 grandchildren.
“I take care of the entire family of 16 people alone because my husband and other family members have all passed away,” Nahy explains. “The youngest children live with me in my tiny house, and we all eat and sleep together on the floor.”
Critical food assistance
“We need to cook 10 kapoaka of rice (about 7 pounds) per day to feed everyone,” Nahy continues. “We don't have enough food, and we run out of what we can afford after just one week. We have to walk over a half-mile away to get water. My wish is that we can have enough food to last us each month so that we can have a better life.”
During a door-to-door evaluation, Nahy met with Victor, a partner community agent for Humanity & Inclusion living in her region. He learned about Nahy’s situation and connected her with Humanity & Inclusion to receive monthly food provisions for her family.
“During the distributions I receive 66 pounds of rice, 2.5 liters of vegetable oil, and 10 pounds of beans each month,” Nahy says.
People living with disabilities, low incomes or facing situations of extreme vulnerability face even more difficulty providing for themselves and their families during times of crisis. As crops fail to grow, food becomes scarce and prices increase. Nahy lives with a disability that affects the use of her hands and prevents her from working.
“Due to my disability, I cannot cook meals by myself and I need help for small tasks like getting dressed in the morning,” she explains. “My children and grandchildren are the ones who cook for us, because it causes me too much pain. I am not able to work, and my children cannot find jobs here, so we cannot afford the little food available.”
Humanity & Inclusion provides monthly food assistance to people with disabilities and their households living in the Atsimo Andrefana region of Madagascar to alleviate the negative impacts of the drought, reaching approximately 7,000 individuals. Teams also offer stimulation therapy to children, a rehabilitation service that helps prevent developmental delays and disabilities associated with a lack of nutrition. 320 children have already received stimulation therapy, and 350 others have been identified for the coming months.
Humanity & Inclusion is committed to reducing the adverse effects of climate change on populations worldwide. We help communities prepare for and adapt to climate shocks and stresses, and we respond to crises magnified by environmental factors. Applying a disability, gender and age (DGA) inclusion lens across all our actions, we advocate for practitioners and policy-makers to embed DGA in their climate work as well. Humanity & Inclusion is also determined to reduce its own ecological footprint by adapting and implementing environmentally conscious approaches to humanitarian action.