Written by: INcontext
Article source: www.incontextinternational.org

On Thursday 12 March, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation warned that more swarms of hundreds of billions of locusts were beginning to form in the Horn of Africa. Desert locusts have been swarming through parts of East Africa and South Asia since January in the worst infestation for a quarter of a century, threatening food security and livelihoods. Crucial maize crops due to be harvested in March and April, and other staple food crops, are at risk as governments battle to contain a second wave of the insects and protect critical agricultural regions from infestation. The UN has said that the food security of as many as 25 million people in the region hangs in the balance.

In January, the UN appealed for $76 million to tackle the crisis, that figure has now risen to $138 million. According to the World Food Program, it will cost 15 times more to feed those whose food sources are destroyed by swarms than it will cost to prevent the swarms from forming now. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the insects are breeding at such a rate that the numbers could grow 500 times by June.

The countries that are directly impacted by the plague is Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Somaliland, South Sudan, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Other hot spot countries include Sudan, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Currently, the main needs are pesticides, vehicles, planes, personal safety equipment, radios, GPS units, and camping equipment. This can have a huge impact on the region as the world focuses on dealing with the Covid-19 coronavirus – extensive travel bans could dramatically slow down the dispatching of much-needed pesticides and other equipment.

Please join with us in praying for East Africa.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” – (Psalm 46:1-2)

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Date published: 21/03/2020

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