CBM launches emergency appeal to support 'invisible crisis' in Madagascar


Cambridge-based international disability charity CBM is warning that families in southern Madagascar are on the verge of starvation, with people resorting to eating insects, leaves and cactus plants to survive. The UN World Food Programme has called this an “invisible crisis” that is getting worse every day. CBM has launched an urgent fundraising appeal to help.

Back-to-back droughts in southern Madagascar have left more than a million people at severe risk of hunger, as the country faces its worse drought in 40 years.  14,000 people are already living in “catastrophic conditions” - this number is likely to double by October without urgent help, according to the UN’s World Food Programme. 

Crops have failed, livestock died and thousands of people have left their homes in a desperate search for food. Up to 80% of the population has resorted to desperate survival measures, such as eating locusts, raw red cactus fruits or wild leaves. And acute malnutrition in children has doubled in the last four months.

In times of crises, people with disabilities and their families are among those most vulnerable – and the least likely to access emergency help. Already often among the poorest in their communities, they may be unable to walk long distances to access emergency food distribution or find out about what help is available.

Satry Ramaroson, Programme Manager for CBM in Madagascar, says:“Southern regions of Madagascar are now facing the most severe drought and food crisis in decades. Back to back droughts have left more than 14,000 people in catastrophic conditions; they have no food, no water and they are on the verge of starvation with people resorting to eating insects, leaves, and cactus plants to survive.”

“People with disabilities are already marginalised but with this crisis their situation is getting from bad to worse. With our partner in the southern regions of Madagascar we are now already working to reach out and respond to this humanitarian situation. Since the situation is getting worse, we urgently need to do more to enable people with disabilities to access food, water and medicines.If we do not do more, people with disabilities in these regions of will remain left behind from all responses and they are more at risk of starvation."

CBM is appealing for funds to provide urgent support to people with disabilities, who are often unable to access emergency aid provided by the Government or other organisations. For more information visit: www.cbmuk.org.uk/foodcrisis/

Kirsty Smith, CEO, said: “The UN World Food Progamme has highlighted that the situation in Madagascar is the result of climate change. The women, men and children of this region are paying the devastating price for a climate crisis they have done nothing to create.  People are already dying -  and if the world continues to ignore this “invisible crisis”, many more will lose their lives.

“Since June, We have been working with local partners in the region to provide emergency relief to the most vulnerable families, especially those with disabilities, to help them survive this crisis.  But as the scale of the crisis grows, we urgently need your help to reach more women, men and children facing life-threatening hunger.”

To donate to CBM’s emergency appeal or find out more about CBM’s work call 0800 567 7000 or email info@cbmuk.org.uk


Driven by Christian values, CBM works in the world’s poorest places to reach those whom others leave behind. Working in partnership with Governments and local partners, we create long-term positive change: treating and preventing conditions that can lead to disability and supporting people with disabilities to access education and healthcare, earn a living and be included in their communities.

CBM UK - The Overseas Disability Charity