African Development Bank (ADB) has approved 1.5 million USD emergency grant to curb desert locusts ravaging East and Horn of Africa.
A press release issued by the bank stated that the grant will help nine countries in the East and Horn of Africa to control swarms of desert locusts that are threatening livelihood and food security.
The nine beneficiary countries are Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.
Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia have been particularly hard hit by the outbreak and widespread breeding of locusts that is expected to create new swarms in the coming weeks, the release added.
In Ethiopia and Somalia, the outbreak is the worst in 25 years, and in Kenya, in 70 years.
Locust swarms are also reportedly threatening Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Sudan and Eritrea.
According to the statement, the assistance will be channeled through the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which has been mandated to mobilize resources on behalf of the African Union.
The funds will be used to control the spread of the current locust invasion, prevent potential next-generation swarms and to conduct impact assessment and monitoring to enhance preparedness and awareness.
It was pointed out that efforts to control the infestations will require around 147 million USD, of which 75 million USD has been provided by governments, donors and UN agencies, including FAO and the World Food Program (WFP). However, a significant funding shortfall remains.
Source: Ethiopia News agency