World Food Programme (WFP)

Tropical Cyclone Emnati that made landfall in Madagascar on Wednesday, the fourth tropical storm in as many weeks to hit one of Africa’s most storm-prone countries, threatens food security and is an example of how weather extremes will trigger runaway humanitarian needs if we do not tackle the climate crisis, warns the United Nations World Food Programme just days ahead of the launch of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Crashing into vulnerable communities already at breaking point, Cyclone Emnati is bound to deepen hunger including in southern Madagascar, which has been reeling from years of severe drought – another manifestation of the country’s vulnerability to climate extremes. Given how dry the land is in these areas, there are now concerns regarding the risk of flash floods.

The storms - Emnati, Dumako, Batsirai and Ana - have wrecked the island nation, causing widespread damage to agricultural land including the rice crop that was just weeks away from harvest. Cash crops like cloves, coffee and pepper have also been severely affected. In a country where the majority of people make a living from agriculture, an estimated 90 percent of crops could be destroyed in some areas of affected regions. The back-to-back storms have impacted market supplies with the potential to send food prices soaring and food insecurity spiralling in the coming months. Forecasts predict another tropical system already forming in the south-west Indian ocean. 

“What we are seeing in Madagascar is extreme climate impacts – a series of storms and prolonged drought affecting hundreds of thousands of people,” said Brian Lander, WFP’s Deputy Director of Emergencies. “While WFP is providing essential food in the aftermath of the storms, we need to be equally fast in thinking about how these communities are going to adapt to this new reality.”

As it did to alleviate the impacts of the other recent storms, WFP has stepped up to support the government-led response to Emnati with food and cash assistance, prioritizing displaced families in the worst-off locations as well as with IT and logistics support. The WFP-run United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) is operating damage-assessment flights and an airbridge between the capital, Antananarivo, and hard-hit, hard-to-reach areas for aid workers and their equipment.

While WFP is in a race against time to assist those affected, our longer-term climate adaptation work helps communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from climate shocks and stresses. For example, WFP’s integrated risk management in the districts of Ambovombe and Amboasary last year reached 3,500 smallholder farmers with insurance, savings and climate-adapted agriculture practices training. The programme saw a US$350,000 payout during the rainy season and a US$157,500 payout during the dry season in 2021. Such programmes need to be scaled up, especially for communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

The world over, the climate crisis continues to drive global hunger. In 2020, extreme weather contributed to most of the world’s food crises and was the primary cause of acute food insecurity in 15 countries. WFP’s effective and scalable solutions, especially in fragile environments, help vulnerable communities adapt to the harsh reality of the climate crisis and preserve development gains.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).

Send us your press releases to

© Press Release 2021

Disclaimer: The contents of this press release was provided from an external third party provider. This website is not responsible for, and does not control, such external content. This content is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis and has not been edited in any way. Neither this website nor our affiliates guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views or opinions expressed in this press release.

The press release is provided for informational purposes only. The content does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the suitability, value or profitability of any particular security, portfolio or investment strategy. Neither this website nor our affiliates shall be liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the content, or for any actions taken by you in reliance thereon. You expressly agree that your use of the information within this article is at your sole risk.

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, this website, its parent company, its subsidiaries, its affiliates and the respective shareholders, directors, officers, employees, agents, advertisers, content providers and licensors will not be liable (jointly or severally) to you for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, incidental, punitive or exemplary damages, including without limitation, lost profits, lost savings and lost revenues, whether in negligence, tort, contract or any other theory of liability, even if the parties have been advised of the possibility or could have foreseen any such damages.