1.4 million in Madagascar need food aid due to drought, WFP says

13 Jan 2021 / 19:02 H.

    NAIROBI, Jan 13 (Reuters) - More than a million people in southern Madagascar will need food aid this year as the effects of drought have been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.N. World Food Programme said.

    WFP said 1.35 million people, or just over a third of the south's population, will require such aid, almost twice the number that needed it in 2020.

    "With drought conditions persisting into 2021 and a poor last harvest, weary communities have few resources to fall back on and many have had to leave their homes in search of food and work," WFP said in a statement on Tuesday.

    "The COVID-19 pandemic has added to the hardship, causing seasonal employment to dry up. Many families relied on this income to get through the lean season, which peaks between January and April."

    As of Jan. 12, Madagascar had confirmed 18,001 cases of the coronavirus and reported 267 deaths with 17,447 recoveries, according to a Reuters tally. (Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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