Madagascar drought is climate call for rich nations to act: Amnesty

MADAGASCAR (BLOOMBERG) – Wealthy nations need to cut emissions and help fund climate change adaptation among developing countries to avert further climate-driven humanitarian crises, like the one experienced in Madagascar, Amnesty International said in a report Wednesday (Oct 27).

Madagascar is one of ten countries considered most vulnerable to climate risks, according to the 2020 Global Climate Risk Index. Droughts are expected to become increasingly severe in the nation famous for its lemurs.

Its southern region is currently experiencing its worst drought in 40 years with one million people on the brink of famine.

“We can no longer accept that the poorest, most marginalised groups in society are the ones paying the highest price for the actions and the failures of the world’s biggest emitters of carbon dioxide,” Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard said in an emailed statement accompanying the report.

Over the past six years, the island nation’s semi-arid southern region has seen higher temperatures and increasingly erratic rainfall leading to smaller harvests and livestock.

Several people have reported deaths in their communities caused by hunger, Amnesty said.

Lower food production has also led to increased food prices, a situation made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic, it said. One in three people are struggling to find enough food in what could become the first ever famine caused by climate change, the United Nation’s World Food Programme Executive said Oct 21.

“This is an area of the world that has contributed nothing to climate change, but now, they’re the ones paying the highest price,” WFP’s Executive Director David Beasley said earlier this year.

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