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Desert locust upsurge: Progress report on the response in the Greater Horn of Africa and Yemen, September–December 2021

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This sixth and final progress report details FAO’s work to mitigate the effects of the desert locust upsurge – an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods – across the Greater Horn of Africa and Yemen between September and December 2021, while outlining the outcomes of the response in all of 2021.

Overall, resource partners contributed USD 230.5 million towards FAO’s desert locust crisis appeal for the Greater Horn of Africa and Yemen between January 2020 and December 2021. The fully funded appeal allowed ground and aerial operations to treat nearly 2.3 million ha of desert locust-infested land in the targeted countries during this period. These efforts averted 4.5 million tonnes of crop losses, saved 900 million litres of milk production, and secured food for 41.5 million people. The commercial value of the cereal and milk losses averted through the response is estimated at USD 1.77 billion. By the end of 2021, FAO had completed the delivery of livelihood packages reaching over 305 000 households, providing them with the means to meet their immediate needs and to restore their productive capacity.

Given the combination of human intervention and changing weather conditions, which were unfavourable to breeding, there were positive signs that desert locust populations were declining by the end of the year. While a few hotspots requiring continued surveillance remain, the upsurge is finally coming to an end.