African and Middle East countries to fight locust swarms

Middle East

African and Middle East countries to fight locust swarms

May 22, 2020 (MarketLine via COMTEX) —

Countries in Africa and the Middle East are set to fight the locust swarms that are threatening local crops and jobs with a $500m programme approved by the World Bank Group.

The Emergency Locust Response Program (ELRP) aims to provide assistance to help poor and vulnerable farmers, as well as herders, in overcoming the swarms.

World Bank Group president David Malpass said: “Locust swarms present a double crisis for countries that are also battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Together, this food supply emergency combined with the pandemic and economic shutdown in advanced economies places some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people at even greater risk.”

Under the ELRP programme, the effected households will receive immediate support such as cash transfers. The programme will also invest in the medium-term recovery of agriculture and livestock production systems.

The World Bank will initially offer financial assistance to countries, including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, with a total financing package of $160m.

As part of this initiative, Djibouti will use $6m to strengthen its institutional capacity for ‘Early Warning’ preparedness and response against future locust outbreaks while Ethiopia will get $63m for seed and fertiliser packages, which will be delivered to more than 150,000 farmers.

On the other hand, Kenya will receive a $43m financial grant for an estimated 70,000 pastoral households and 20,000 farmers to quickly rehabilitate crop and livestock production systems.

Uganda will be awarded $48m to finance surveillance and control measures.

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