Food insecurity in African countries is a well known issue. The main causes of vulnerability lie in the continuity of climate disruption, high rates of poverty, lack of infrastructure and appropriate policies, not to mention wars and political crises.
Although Madagascar has no real war, but it undeniably suffered from serious problems like all other African countries. The political crisis, that Madagascar endures since two years now, particularly obscures other issues and diverts the attention of the International Community. This year was particularly difficult for the Malagasy population. The drought combined with cyclones have severely affected not less than 53 municipalities. These have subsequently suffered from severe food shortages. The risk remains high whereas neither hurricane seasonnor hunger gap are finished yet.Thesituationis particularlycritical inthesouthern partof the countrywheredroughtandlanddesertificationareendemic problems.
The population, unable to find a solution to climatic and economic vagaries or even eat properly, often ingest plants considered as toxic as the "Raketa", the fruit of a cactus, which can cause serious digestive problems. Population even comes to eat seeds thus making their future even more uncertain. This is the situation in different parts of the island where the uncertainty of survival is the daily bread of the Malagasy people. The political crisis do not benefit to the population. The coup d’état in March 2009 of the current self-proclaimed president of the HTA (high transitional authority), Andry Rajoelina,caused the immediate suspension of all development assistance.
The current situationconfined in many case during in between crops and hurricanes periodsis a seriousproblem andcouldbe transformed soonintoastructuralfood problem. Over 70% of Malagasy live below the poverty line. The highest rate of poverty lies in the south where most people depend on subsistence farming.
Soaring food prices certainly does not help and price control policies have not produced the results promised by politicians. The country is isolated. It suffered from an embarrassing silence and unloading of responsibility difficult to accept. Madagascar is completely frezzed politically and economically. The social situation is tense while the environmental situation is alarming.
Not acting today will have serious consequences for the future.
InMaLanka urges the International Communitytorealizethe politicalinstabilitythat has already lasted sincetwo years. TheWorldBank reportpublishedon March 14th2011, clearly showsthatthehumanitarian emergency help is notmanagedefficiently. Thus, thepoverty ratehas increased by9% compared to2005despitethe$ 260 millionreleasedin 2010. The resolution of thiscrisisdeservesanothertype ofpolicyof developmentandnotby closingthefundingtapsthat causeisolationanddestructionofthe social network. Corruptionis plaguing theMalagasy administrationand is clearly involved in this disaster and is reinforced by this political transition.Thus, the resultof the corruptionperceptionindex(CPI) in 2010, presentedby TransparencyInternational,isof 2.6which is a decreasecomparedto 2008(3.4).
Mostof public areas are affected by this blight. According to Faly Rabetrano, Director of independent anti-corruption organisation, "the decentralized authority or municipality, the justice, the police and the public services, are the tops five of the most corrupt State agencies"1. But time is taking its course on the island and the Malagasy people suffers every day from the greedy control of power.
But, for how long?
Fabrizio De Angeli