Target: Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme
Goal: Immediately deliver aid to 200,000 starving and malnourished children and pregnant and nursing mothers.
Hundreds of thousands of people are starving in Madagascar, where a years-long drought has decimated crops and caused widespread malnutrition. The drought has left 20 percent of families in the country experiencing emergency levels of hunger. Over 200,000 of those suffering malnutrition are pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children under the age of 5. While not yet starving, hundreds of thousands more people throughout Madagascar have been labeled food insecure.
Agents with the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) report that nursing mothers have resorted to feeding their babies the fruit of the red cactus, which grows wild in many areas of the country. Though eating this fruit can result in severe constipation, thousands of children throughout the country are estimated to be surviving on the plant. Other families have resorted to eating their stocks of seed, meaning they will have nothing to plant in the upcoming growing season.
This is the worst drought seen in three decades. According to experts, the disaster has been exacerbated by climate change and El Nino. Approximately 14 million people in many countries throughout Southern and Eastern Africa are suffering from hunger. Without aid, this hunger will only worsen.
In order to protect children, pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as the general population, the United Nations must immediately draft and implement an aid plan. This could include providing food and funds to those in need as well as more long-term solutions such as helping farmers create drought resistance strategies. Sign the petition below to ask the U.N. to immediately secure funding to deliver aid to the hundreds of thousands of people starving in Madagascar.
Dear Mrs. Cousin,
Several hundreds of thousands of people are malnourished and starving in Madagascar due to a drought that has resulted in extremely sparse harvests for the past three years. This drought, labeled as the worst seen in decades, has resulted starvation and food insecurity for nearly 14 million people throughout Africa. Some of the worst affected are children under 5 as well as pregnant and nursing mothers.
Without immediate aid, the situation could become a catastrophe. Not only do these residents need food and water, but they need help forming future strategies to mitigate the effects of drought. We, the undersigned, ask that you work to secure immediate funding for an aid mission in Madagascar.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Karen Arnold