Antananarivo — Members of the European Parliament who visited drought-stricken southern Madagascar to see how front-line communities and responders are dealing with the protracted humanitarian emergency there noted that a steady flow of assistance has helped avert catastrophe and ease widespread hunger. But they warned that much remains to be done to meaningfully restore lives and livelihoods in a region particularly prone to the intensifying impacts of climate driven crisis.
Accompanied by Malagasy regional authorities, EU delegation in Madagascar and World Food Programme officials, five members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Development met vulnerable villagers in the districts of Amboasary and Ambovombe, epicentres of a four-year drought where famine-like conditions were declared in 2021.
That designation has been lifted, thanks in part to support from the European Commission from the European Union – through the EU’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO) – and other donors for WFP’s work across Madagascar’s Grand Sud. The backing has enabled the consistent provision of both life-saving emergency assistance and longer-term help to withstand the impacts of extreme weather.
“It was very valuable for us as Parliamentarians to get an unfiltered picture of the situation on the ground. We were humbled by the resilience of the people and their capacity to cope with the consequences of the drought. “, said Karsten Lucke, head of the parliamentary delegation, of his visit to southern Madagascar. “We’re impressed by what WFP and its partners such as the EU have achieved and appreciate especially the school-feeding projects linked to local food production in support of a women’s’ association because such programmes enhance local people’s agency and help them step out of dependence on aid. We are determined to help ensure that WFP and its partners have what they need to do what they must”.
WFP and EU are committed to continue working hard to build the resilience of vulnerable communities in Madagascar through judicious investments in water conservation, reforestation and other relevant initiatives.