In Madagascar, three-quarters of the country’s population is living on less than $3 per day. Recent drought has meant people have resorted to eating cassava leaves and the fruits from cactuses that grow locally.
The Suffering in Silence report released on Tuesday by aid agency CARE found the severe drought in Madagascar was the least-reported major humanitarian crisis of 2019, with the United Nations estimating a global humanitarian funding gap of $28.8 billion, showing a correlation between under-reported crises in Africa and a lack of humanitarian funding.
The report found nine of the 10 most under-reported humanitarian crises are located in Africa, many of which have been caused or worsened by climate change.
The brutal conflict in the Central African Republic is the second-least reported crises on the list, followed by climate change issues causing drought in Zambia. Other crises in Burundi, Lake Chad Basin, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have all been reoccurring more than once over the last four years of CARE‘s reports.
Nairobian writer and award-winning political cartoonist Patrick Gathara believes the under-reporting of Africa in Western media in general is an important but complex issue. Paying attention to crises in Africa can often be about charity rather than justice, Gathara believes, which he said also raises issues with the media’s portrayal of the region. “There is little money to be made in reminding Western audiences that their privileged lifestyles are underwritten by the suffering in other parts of the world,” he told the ABC.