Madagascar Drought Leaves 840,000 People Facing Hunger, UN Says

(Bloomberg) -- At least 840,000 people in southern Madagascar face “alarming” levels of food insecurity because of a drought in the region, United Nations agencies said.

A third consecutive widespread crop failure aloong with “extremely low” water availability means humanitarian agencies require urgent addditional resources to provide an adequate response, the Food and Agriculture Organization said in an e-mailed statement.

People in the south of the Indian Ocean island nation are being forced to survive on wild fruits and the food security and nutrition situation could deteriorate further in 2017, the agency said.

Madagascar is the world’s biggest producer of vanilla, which is produced mainly in the northeast of the country.