FAO and Russia have signed a $10 million contribution agreement aimed at boosting efforts to control and eliminate desert locusts in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda.The agreement was signed on Tuesday by FAO Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol and Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Russia to the Rome-based UN Agencies Victor Vasiliev during a virtual ceremony.
In Ethiopia, the contribution will support aerial surveillance and control operations through the contracting of charter flights and helicopters and the procurement of pesticides.
East Africa is experiencing its largest invasion of desert locusts in decades, according to FAO.
The east Africa region has been hit by the worst invasion of desert locusts in 25 years, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said early this year.
The invasion poses an unprecedented threat to food security in the entire sub region, where more than 19 million people in East Africa are already experiencing a high degree of food insecurity, the agency said.
In Kenya, it is the worst invasion in 70 years, and the government is spending $5 million to manage the swarms of locust and prevent spreading.
Invasions of desert locusts are irregular in the region, the last instance occurred in 2007 at a much smaller scale.