Washington, DC | Feb. 6, 2022 – Our hearts go out to those impacted by Cyclone Batsirai, which made landfall on the east coast of Madagascar on Saturday evening with wind gusts of 146 mph. At least six people are confirmed dead and nearly 50,000 displaced to date. Whole villages are reported to be almost completely wiped out. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that as many as 150,000 could be forced to leave their homes. In a double whammy for vulnerable communities, the cyclone comes hot on the heels of Storm Ana two weeks ago, which severely damaged livelihoods, agricultural land, and key infrastructure in Madagascar, Mozambique and Malawi.

World Food Program USA is closely monitoring the unfolding crisis and stands ready to support the U.N. World Food Programme’s emergency response. In anticipation of Cyclone Batsirai, the U.N. World Food Programme pre-positioned 50 metric tons of food to quickly provide assistance. The U.N. World Food Programme is also strengthening its supply chain and IT capacities to support the government’s emergency response.

“We stand committed to the people of Madagascar and will do everything we can to reach vulnerable families in their time of need,” said Barron Segar, President and CEO of World Food Program USA. “But we can’t do it without the support of donors. Please join us as we work to provide urgent relief to storm victims.”

In Southern Africa, where livelihoods and economies are highly dependent on weather fluctuations, frequent climate extremes like cyclones are driving hunger and eroding development. With no time or means to recover, communities rely on humanitarian assistance. In Madagascar, the U.N. World Food Programme helps communities build resilience so they can withstand shocks and protect development. This work is key to mitigating the impacts of increasingly frequent and destructive storms that increase food insecurity.

#  #  #

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and 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.

World Food Program USA, a 501©(3) organization based in Washington, DC, proudly supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme by mobilizing American policymakers, businesses and individuals to advance the global movement to end hunger. Our leadership and support help to bolster an enduring American legacy of feeding families in need around the world. To learn more about World Food Program USA’s mission, please visit wfpusa.org/mission-history.

Media Contact:
Toula Athas
Director, Communications
tathas@wfpusa.org
202-627-3940

ROME – Golden Globe-nominated actor and director Daniel Brühl was today appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). As conflict, climate change and the impact of the pandemic increase global hunger, Brühl joins the world’s largest humanitarian organization in its mission to reach a world with Zero Hunger.

“The climate crisis is no longer a glimpse into the future but the daily reality for millions of people around the world. It is compounding existing global problems such as conflict and the devastating impact of the pandemic,” the German-Spanish actor said as he accepted his new role.

Without urgent global action, the world could face an exponential increase in hunger fueled by the climate crisis. A 2 degrees Celsius rise in average global temperature from pre-industrial levels will push an additional 189 million people into hunger. In a 4 degrees Celsius warmer world this figure could rise to a staggering 1.8 billion.

Increasing climate extremes are eroding development and putting lives and livelihoods on the line, Brühl noted. “I believe it is our shared responsibility to work towards a world with Zero Hunger. I would like to do my part and, as a Global Goodwill Ambassador, I have joined the U.N. World Food Programme in this fight.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Daniel Brühl as a U.N. World Food Programme,” said David Beasley, Executive Director of the U.N. World Food Programme. “Daniel has been an incredible supporter of our lifesaving work for more than five years. His commitment to ending hunger shines through and we are excited to work with him to build global support for our cause. But with up to 45 million right on the brink of famine, time is fast running out. We need everyone on board to avert this looming hunger catastrophe.”

With a career spanning more than 25 years, Daniel Brühl has become not only an internationally acclaimed actor, director and producer but also a role model both on and off-screen. Since 2015 he has supported the U.N. World Food Programme by starring in several advocacy campaigns.

In his role as U.N. World Food Programme Goodwill Ambassador, Daniel Brühl will help raise awareness for the millions of people going to bed hungry every night and engage his supporters in advocacy for a Zero Hunger world.

In addition, Brühl will use his platforms to inform his supporters about the main drivers of hunger and to showcase the U.N. World Food Programme’s efforts to tackle both immediate needs and root causes of hunger.

#                 #                   #

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are 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.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA and @wfp_media

ANTANANARIVO – As climate talks get underway in Glasgow, families in southern Madagascar, where climate is driving famine-like conditions, brace themselves for yet another harsh year ahead as the ongoing drought shows no signs of abating, signaling deteriorating hunger.

Severe hunger has touched over 1.1 million people with 14,000 of them one step away from famine. The situation, already alarming, is set to worsen by the end of year with the number of people in famine-like conditions expected to double.

“The changing climate has meant that many families who were able to live off the land 15 years ago have now fallen into severe hunger. Families are scavenging for survival and many are living only on the food assistance they receive,” said Menghestab Haile, the U.N. World Food Programme regional director for southern Africa. “I recently met a mother who told me that she had lost her 8-month-old to seeds from cactus fruit that had accumulated in his stomach. The face of hunger in southern Madagascar is horrific.”

The drought has led to the complete disappearance of food sources leaving families visibly famished and resorting to survival measures such as eating locusts, wild leaves and cactus leaves which are usually fed to cattle. Vulnerable children are bearing the brunt of the crisis with severe hunger for children under the age of 5 expected to quadruple, crossing the half million mark by April 2022.

“The number of malnourished children coming to health centers in southern Madagascar has doubled compared to this time last year. Many of them are too weak to laugh or cry, let alone play and learn,” said Anna Horner, the U.N. World Food Programme’s chief of nutrition innovative financing who recently visited southern Madagascar. “The physical and mental damage to children due to malnutrition can be irreversible. It is heart-wrenching to see so many young minds and bodies unnecessarily suffering from hunger and malnutrition.”

Amidst the hottest decade on record, Madagascar has suffered from exceptionally warm temperatures, deficits in rainfall and unexpected sandstorms that have covered fields, left crops wilted and harvests well below average. By April 2021, 70 percent of the Grand Sud was in drought with food production only a third of the last five-year average. The forecasted dry start to the upcoming planting season means families will not be able to sow their fields immediately and their access to food and an income hangs in the balance. Adding to an already dire situation, a recent upsurge of locusts is expected to affect nearly 1 million acres of land.

The U.N. World Food Programme has been reaching around 700,000 people monthly with emergency lifesaving food as well as supplementary nutrition products for pregnant and nursing women and children. Moving beyond emergency support, the U.N. World Food Programme together with the government, is implementing long-term resilience building activities that help communities adapt to the changing climate. These include access to water, reforestation, sand dune stabilization and economic support like access to microinsurance schemes in case of crop failure.

In September, 3,500 households received a payout of $100 each to recover losses from the failed corn crop. The payout helped families sustain themselves despite a lost harvest.

The U.N. World Food Programme aims to scale up its response in southern Madagascar and urgently needs $69 million over the next six months to do so. The U.N. World Food Programme  is increasingly concerned about the situation in Madagascar and has been ringing the alarm bells over the climate-induced hunger crisis, one of the potentially many in the world.

Note to the editor:
High resolution photographs available here
Broadcast quality footage available here
More about WFP’s microinsurance programme in Madagascar here

#                 #                   #

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are 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.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA, @wfp_media and @PamMadagascar

It looks like you're outside of the United States.

Are you alright with going to the

Continue Continue

Follow us on Twitter for the latest news on Ukraine.

Follow @wfpusa