The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) thanks the Netherlands for their additional contribution of EUR 3.5 million to help mitigate impacts on food security and livelihoods in Ethiopia as a result of the desert locust upsurge. The new top-up funding brings the country’s total contribution to contain desert locust and respond to the upsurge’s food security impacts to EUR 4.5 million. The current funding already supports activities in Djibouti, Eritrea and Uganda.
In Ethiopia, the top-up funding will support the deployment of two surveillance helicopters from January to July 2021. This will sustain the current surveillance capacity in Ethiopia ensuring early detection of desert locust, facilitating effective control operations. Funding will also be used to procure biopesticides and insect growth regulator.
In Djibouti, current funding is supporting support continuous surveillance for early detection and complement ongoing control efforts to reduce locust populations. This will include the procurement of surveillance and control equipment, training and conducting impact assessments on human health and the environment.
In Eritrea, current funding is supporting surveillance activities in view of targeted control operations and the treatment of affected areas with biopesticides. It will also support the establishment of operations centres in desert locust breeding hotspots, enhance information management, facilitate the conducting of impact assessments, and fund the delivery of training in desert locust control.
In Uganda, current funding is supporting the establishment of a national surveillance system linked with control activities, the procurement of surveillance supplies as well as equipment to complement control operations, the conducting of impact assessments and the strengthening of national capacity and preparedness through the updating of contingency planning.
Targeted community sensitization and awareness activities will take place in each country as part of these efforts.
The outbreak in East Africa is the worst to strike in a generation. With FAO’s support, nearly half a trillion locusts are estimated to have been killed in the Horn of Africa and Yemen in control operations since January and 2.4 million metric tonnes of crops – enough to feed nearly 16.1 million people – have been spared from devastation.
Despite the success of control operations spanning 1.2 million ha, continued vigilance is required. Winter breeding has seen swarms throughout the Red Sea coastal areas in Eritrea and Yemen. It is critical at this time to ensure that the efforts made by FAO and government partners are not compromised as we move into the predicted second wave of the upsurge.
Funding has also been received from the Governments of Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America, the African Development Bank, the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the European Union, the Louis Dreyfus Foundation, the Mastercard Foundation, the Central Emergency Response Fund, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the World Bank Group.