Sustained efforts to contain East Africa’s worst invasion of desert locusts in decades are forging ahead, despite limits on the flow of personnel and equipment stemming from the global COVID-19 pandemic, the UN food agency said Friday.
Deaths from COVID-19 have more than doubled in the past week and will soon reach 50,000 worldwide, while the global caseload is heading towards one million, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) told journalists on Wednesday.
Along with climate shocks, conflict and acute food insecurity, the East Africa region now faces a hunger threat from desert locusts, top UN relief officials warned on Tuesday, saying action now, will avert a major food crisis later.
Locust swarms of a magnitude not seen in decades are devastating crops and placing millions at risk of hunger in the Horn of Africa.
Keith Cressman, Senior Locust Forecasting Officer with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), told Dianne Penn the agency is seeking $76 million to scale-up aerial spraying against the “voracious” locusts and protect livelihoods in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.
With the rainy season fast approaching, countries in the Horn of Africa are in a race against time to tackle a Desert Locust invasion amidst ongoing humanitarian challenges, the United Nations warned on Monday.