Climate Change and the Food Crisis in Madagascar: How the Actions of the Richer countries Affect the Poorer Ones
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(Photo Credit: WFP/Tsiory Andriantsoarana)

Scientists have consistently warned about the disastrous effects that climate change would have on the environment. Human beings have not only been the facilitator of environmental destructions but have also been disadvantaged by it.

Nonetheless, countries and the people who contribute less to greenhouse gas emissions suffer the most including Sub-Saharan Africa whose countries do not have huge industrial productive capacities.

Southern Madagascar currently faces a food crisis which the World Food Programme (WFP) attributes to the effect of climate change. The country has faced a back-to-back drought that has ruined peoples harvest and caused food insecurity in the lives of over 1.14 million people.

The WFP reports that this has led to thousands of people either leaving their homes in search of places with food or forage in the wild for things that they can survive on.

In an interview with CNN, David Beasley Executive Director of the WFP paints a picture of the devastation in Madagascar stating that “little children, mothers and grandmothers were all emaciated with the skin hanging from their bones”. He calls out the international organizations and industrialized nations saying that they all have a moral obligation to step up and help the southern region of Madagascar.

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The WFP is the “world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change”.

To be able to avert an even further tragedy, the WFP has stated that they will need $78.6 million to be able provide food to Southern Madagascar.


The actions of the richest regions in the world are facilitating threats to the environment most of which have impacted poorer regions. Greenhouse gas emissions have largely come from the Global North— US, Canada, Europe, Japan and newly industrialized economies—China, India, Brazil, Mexico and Taiwan  just to mention a few. Poor regions are disadvantaged as they do not have adequate capacity necessary for mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Climate change makes the poor ever poorer, and its impacts exacerbate the levels of inequality between the richer and poorer regions because of its impact on lives and livelihoods.

In a 3-day G7 summit on June 11-13, in Cornwall, England, the leaders committed not only to cut emissions and seek to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees but also pledged to halve “our collective emissions over the two decades to 2030”. 

However, it remains to be seen how G7 countries would make good on their promises toward reducing GHGs, especially when they are among the biggest per capita public financer of fossil fuels, second only in total numbers to China.

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