Locust menace attracts UN’s attention, funds dispatched to counter tragedy

A swarm of desert locusts spotted in Kenya
A swarm of desert locusts spotted in Kenya [Photo/Africanews]

The United Nations has come to the rescue of the East African region through its release of $10 million aimed at boosting aerial pesticide spraying against the arguably worst locust outbreak to hit the region in decades.

The funds, according to Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesperson of the UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, have been drawn from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). Haq spoke during a daily address to the press.

The current outbreak has adversely hit the Horn of Africa, Southwest Asia, and the Red Sea. It has been described as the worst of its kind in 25 years for Ethiopia and Somalia, and in 70 years for Kenya.

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The funds will be channeled to the Food and Agriculture Organization to effect a boost in aerial pesticide spraying missions. Without the timely intervention, the situation was found to have had the potential of extending to more East African countries with far-reaching consequences.