The Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin, has arrived in Madagascar for a three-day visit, as the country comes to grips with the devastating impact of three years of drought.
The Government of Madagascar recently expressed solidarity with other countries in the region afflicted by this year’s El Niño weather event.
Cousin will stay until Wednesday, 5 October. She leaves today for the south of the island, where she will visit communities in two of the worst drought-affected districts, Tsihombe and Ambovombe. On her return to Antananarivo on Wednesday, Ms. Cousin will meet H.E. Hery Rajaonarimampianina, President of Madagascar, and H.E. Beatrice Attalah, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as representatives of the donor community.
Some 1.2 million people are food insecure in the south of Madagascar – half of them severely so, according to Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission last month. The Mission was conducted jointly by Madagascar’s Ministry of Agriculture, WFP and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
Journalists will have the opportunity to interview Cousin and to learn about WFP activities in Madagascar. These include drought relief, school feeding, and nutritional support for orphans and malnourished children.