The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing an additional $10 million in humanitarian assistance to support regional operations to control desert locusts in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Republic of Kenya, and the Federal Republic of Somalia. This announcement brings the U.S. Government’s humanitarian response to the infestation of locusts to a total of $19 million. By helping to reduce the size of the swarms, this aid is expected to have a positive impact on affected communities throughout the Horn of Africa.
The current outbreak of desert locusts is the worst to hit East Africa in decades: billions of pests are infesting the region and devastating vegetation and livestock pastures. The new funding will finance ground-based and aerial operations to detect and control locusts across the region. These programs are critical to mitigating a potentially larger impact on people’s ability to earn a living and provide food for their families in the future.
USAID has disaster experts throughout the region who are evaluating humanitarian needs and coordinating response efforts with local governments and aid organizations. They will work closely with these groups to determine whether additional assistance is necessary, based on assessments made on the ground of need and impact. The United States also calls upon other donors to contribute funds to address the immediate needs of communities throughout the Horn of Africa.
In addition to supporting immediate locust-control efforts, the United States also provides long-term funding to protect food security and livelihoods for the people of East Africa, as well as to strengthen governments’ capacity to detect, track, report on, and monitor locusts and other agricultural pests.