Madagascar Famine

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Madagascar Famine


Please act now to help vulnerable families in southern Madagascar, especially those with disabilities, who are facing life-threatening starvation.


  • Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (SAF)
  • Fiangonan’i Jesoa Kristy eto Madagasikara (FJKM)
  • National Office for Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC)
  • Platforme Des Federations Des Personnes Hadicapees (PFPH)


Right now, over 1,000,000 people are on the verge of starvation in southern Madagascar, off the southeast coast of Africa. People have resorted to eating insects, leaves and cactus plants to survive.

Southern Madagascar has had back-to-back droughts since November 2020, leaving the region’s people facing acute hunger. And this largely unreported crisis is getting worse every day!

The number of children who are severely malnourished has doubled in some areas over the last four months. According to the UN’s World Food Programme, as the scale of the crisis grows, the situation will rapidly deteriorate further in the coming months into a famine. 

cbm-funded partners are getting ready to provide urgent humanitarian relief to the most vulnerable children and families, especially those with disabilities. But as the scale of the crisis grows, your help is urgently needed to reach more children and adults facing life-threatening starvation.

“The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.” – Proverbs 22:9

Most people living in the southern part of Madagascar rely on their harvest for food and income. But, because of the lack of rain and drought, people cannot cultivate their crops to provide for their families or to sell at the market. Families are now facing major food shortages that threaten their lives and well-being. This is especially true for children, women, and people with disabilities, who are most affected in times of crisis.

Families are unable to meet their daily food needs, and are facing acute malnutrition. 

Most families rely on foraging for wild foods and leaves, which are difficult to eat and can be dangerous for children and pregnant women. There are reports of desperately hungry people eating termites and mixing clay with tamarind, something that is unheard of in New Zealand.

Sadly, it appears that this food crisis is not going to go away anytime soon, with the UN along with other agencies reporting that the south of the island will produce less than half its usual harvest in the coming months because of low rains, prolonging the hunger crisis.

This is a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis. People are in desperate need of urgent support from generous people like you.

Please respond to this growing humanitarian crisis by sending your generous gift to help feed vulnerable people today. Thank you.


Your generous gift today will help provide much needed food and other basic items to individuals and households (including family members living with a disability), who are most at risk in the Anosy region in the south of Madagascar.

Your gift will also help households of those with disabilities to strengthen their livelihood and ensure that people living with all forms of disabilities, and their representative bodies are included in the planning, design, implementation and monitoring of disaster risk assessment.


The world’s fourth largest island, Madagascar boasts a unique ecosystem, with many species of plants and animals found nowhere else. However, the country has faced challenges in its socio-economic development and in recent decades it has experienced a stagnation in per capita income and a rise in people living in poverty. Political instability undermines government institutional capacity, economic growth and development efforts. It also reduces people’s access to basic services and their ability to prevent and recover from frequent shocks such as climate-related disasters.

Madagascar is ranked 161st out of 189 according to the Human Development Index. Affecting almost half of all children under the age of 5 – the world’s tenth highest rate – chronic malnutrition is considered a major public health concern in Madagascar.

Farming, fishing and forestry form the backbone of the Malagasy economy. Agriculture is dominated by rain-fed small-scale subsistence farming: seven out of 10 smallholder farmers own no more than 1.2 hectares of land. Rice is the main staple food and the island’s main crop, but not enough is produced to satisfy the national demand. Agricultural production remains low due to factors such as: limited access to agricultural productive assets, credit and markets; gender inequality limiting women and girls’ access to land; poor post-harvest techniques; inadequate natural resources management; and lack of adequate access to markets for smallholder farmers.

Madagascar is among the ten countries most vulnerable to disasters and is considered to be the most cyclone-exposed country in Africa. A quarter of the population lives in areas highly prone to cyclones, floods or drought. Climate change and environmental degradation exacerbate these risks while the increasing fragility of the ecosystem intensifies vulnerability to shocks and food insecurity. Deforestation has become a major concern: 90% of Madagascar’s original rainforests have been lost to logging, charcoal-making and slash-and-burn agriculture.

The Southern regions are the less populated in Madagascar but have the highest prevalence of poverty and malnutrition. The area is also insecure with increased criminal activities. Climate hazards with changing rain patterns, drought and heat waves exacerbates the living situation. The Grand Sud (south) region of Madagascar has suffered several consecutive years of inadequate rainfall; as a result it is estimated that an average of 750,000 people per year are severely food insecure. Water infrastructures are missing, and no sustainable agricultural program has been developed in the past.

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Maharavo & Mara

Please send an urgent gift to help feed a child with a disability in Madagascar and give them hope for a better future.

To us, a bowl of white rice is a side dish. To the people of Madagascar, it’s the most prized food of all. But after numerous cyclones in the last few years, after floods that tore the soil away, and droughts that turned it to barren dust…

...rice no longer grows.

Just imagine the situation there... a mother or father whose children are waking up hungry and there is nothing to give them!

There are stories of people going without food to try and keep their children alive…

Sadly this is what is continuing to happen to families, like Mara’s, in Madagascar right now.

Madagascar drought and famine

But we believe the Lord works through the hands of caring people like you.

Please will you prayerfully consider answering the call to give hope to children and families by making a life-saving gift today.

Your kind and generous gift will rapidly be translated into the very help people with disabilities and other vulnerable people in Madagascar need access to right now...

…food so they are not at risk of starvation, but instead receive essential nutrition.

…safe water so they do not dehydrate or fall prey to waterborne diseases like dysentery and cholera.

…mobility aids like crutches, walkers, and wheelchairs, so they can reach crisis distribution points.

Mara’s young son, Maharavo, was born with a physical and intellectual disability. He is unable to sit up on his own, speak or chew food. His diet consists exclusively of porridge and rice soup, the latter being a luxury for the family who already live in a precarious situation.

Maharavo needs constant care. One of his parents must be with him at all times. This makes it virtually impossible for the family to work, earn money, and queue for humanitarian support.

Madagascar drought and famine

This is always what happens in a crisis. The most vulnerable people – those trapped in the cruel cycle of disability and poverty – are always found at the back of every queue. They are pushed aside, left behind, forgotten.

Just because they have a disability! But not by cbm – and not by kind people like you.

Thank you for your compassion for people living in the most vulnerable situations – today please will you reach out with a loving heart and prayerfully consider giving a life-saving gift.

We have previously written about the food crisis in Madagascar.

And sadly, today, the situation has not changed for the better.


Because – as is tragically common in far too many poverty-stricken island nations – changing weather patterns are hitting Madagascar incredibly hard.

BACK-TO-BACK DROUGHTS year after year since November 2020, have turned much of the country into dry wasteland.

NUMEROUS CYCLONES of category 4 or higher have battered the same extremely disadvantaged regions of the country with torrential rain, flooding and winds of 190km/h to 210km/h – all since February 2022.

And this has led to an unprecedented food crisis in what is already one of the poorest nations on Earth. In fact, right now…

  • More than 1 million people are affected by this catastrophic humanitarian crisis.
  • 92,000 children have Severe Acute Malnutrition.
  • 600,000 children have little access to safe water.
Madagascar drought and famine

As one of our kind supporters, you have helped people trapped in the cruel cycle of poverty and disability. And right now, the one thing people like Mara and Maharavo need most, is kind hearts like yours.

Please will you make an URGENT gift to help provide rapid access to food and water supplies for a family like Mara’s - plus mobility aids to help people with disabilities reach distribution points before it’s too late.

We have already identified households, including those with children and adults with disabilities, who need our IMMEDIATE help now.

Families just like Maharavo’s. Where parents spend every waking hour either caring for their children, looking for work, or searching for water and food – cactus fruits and cassava leaves – to make a meagre meal once a day.

But it’s never enough.

Maharavo – like thousands of other children, including children with disabilities – is wasting away right now.

We honestly don’t know how children like Maharavo and their families can survive on the little they have left. We only know that we must send him, and all the other children like him and their families, the urgent aid they need... access to food, water, and mobility aids, as soon as we can!

Madagascar drought and famine

Please will you prayerfully consider sending an urgent, life-saving gift today. The more you give, the more people who can be helped!

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” - Hebrews 13:16

cbm teams are on the ground in the most drought-stricken regions of Madagascar, ready and able to provide people with access to crisis support immediately.

But cbm can’t reach out to everyone who needs help without the caring support of good people like you. Please partner with cbm to provide a life-saving gift to give hope to children and their families in Madagascar.

Please act with the love we know you have in your heart.

A child, like Maharavo, needs your urgent help to survive this crisis. Please will you send a gift to help feed children and adults in Madagascar at risk of starvation. If you’re unable to give at this time, please will you keep the people of Madagascar in your prayers. Thank you for your kind and caring heart.