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World East Africa famine warning amid locust plague

15:51  14 february  2020
15:51  14 february  2020 Source:   bbc.com

Africa locust invasion spreading, may become ‘most devastating plague’ in living memory, UN warns

  Africa locust invasion spreading, may become ‘most devastating plague’ in living memory, UN warns As an outbreak of billions of locusts continues to swarm parts of East Africa and devour its vital farmland, the United Nations warned Monday that the region, already suffering from extreme hunger, “simply cannot afford another major shock.”

The East African region could be on the verge of a famine if huge swarms of locusts devouring crops and pasture are not brought under control, a top UN official has told the BBC. It would create a food crisis, Dominique Burgeon, director of emergencies for the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation

It is the worst invasion of desert locusts in a quarter of a century. The food supplies and livelihoods of millions across East Africa and South Asia are

The East African region could be on the verge of a famine if huge swarms of locusts devouring crops and pasture are not brought under control, a top UN official has told the BBC.

a insect on the side of a banana: There are fears the locusts - already in the hundreds of billions - will multiply further© AFP There are fears the locusts - already in the hundreds of billions - will multiply further

It would create a food crisis, Dominique Burgeon, director of emergencies for the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), said.

Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are affected.

Efforts to control the infestation have so far not been effective.

Aerial spraying of pesticides is the most effective way of fighting the swarms but countries in the region do not have the right resources.

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The United Nations has expressed deep concern over the swarms of locusts that have invaded East Africa , saying there is a risk of a catastrophe.

360 Billion & Growing: Locust Plague Of "Biblical Proportions" Destroys Crops Across Middle East (3) UN warns of ‘major shock’ as Africa locust outbreak spreads https 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines , and pestilences, and earthquakes

There are fears that the locusts - already in the hundreds of billions - will multiply further.

The FAO says the insects are breeding so fast that numbers could grow 500 times by June.

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The UN body has now called on the international community to provide nearly $76m (£58m) to fund the spraying of the affected areas with insecticide.

"If it doesn't, the situation will deteriorate and then you will need to provide massive food assistance for a humanitarian situation that may even get out of control," Mr Burgeon said.

The locust invasion is the worst infestation in Kenya for 70 years and the worst in Somalia and Ethiopia for 25 years.

Somalia has declared a national emergency in response to the crisis.

The Ethiopian government has called for "immediate action" to deal with the problem affecting four of the country's nine states.

Kenya has deployed aircraft to spray pesticides in several regions, while Uganda plans to send soldiers to northern regions to spray the affected areas.

The locusts are thought to have spread from Yemen three months ago.

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