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Children bear brunt of food shortages

[Madagascar] Food distribution in southern Madagascar
Some 600,000 people are in need of emergency assistance (IRIN)

The World Food Programme (WFP) in Madagascar on Monday said that despite interventions, drought victims in the south of the country continue to live under "extremely harsh conditions".

WFP said current seasonal crops had been insufficient.

"While health workers have not reported any hunger-related deaths, many people - mainly children - are believed to be at risk due to a combination of disease, inadequate diet and unsafe drinking water," the UN food agency said.

The south of the country has not had a successful harvest in the past two years, which has led to an increase in the number of severely malnourished children arriving at government-run nutrition centres.

Last month WFP extended its emergency appeal for food aid in Madagascar until the end of 2003 as a result of drought and the recent cyclones.

WFP said it had distributed 376 mt of food to 1,573 food-for-work (FFW) beneficiaries in the drought-affected areas.

Meanwhile WFP's implementing partner, CARE, has requested an additional 600 mt of rice for urban FFW.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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