locust crisis

Somalia and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on Thursday appealed to the international community for additional resources to intensify operations against desert locusts.

In a joint statement issued in Mogadishu following a day-long meeting in the city, the participants said Somalia is experiencing a devastating locust upsurge, especially in the southern states where swarms have migrated and destroyed crops.

“The delegation has issued an urgent appeal and call to action to the international donor community for additional resources to continue crucial operations and address the increasing needs and vulnerabilities of affected communities,” it said.

The meeting which brought together ministry of agriculture and irrigations and member states’ ministers requested for rapid scale-up of response to the ongoing locust threat to mitigate the potentially devastating impact on farmers, pastoralists, and agro-pastoralists in the affected areas.

“Funding is needed to increase control efforts over the coming months, with sustained efforts needed in northern and central Somalia as we monitor the development of potential new swarms,” FAO said.

The meeting highlighted the need to continue ongoing surveillance and control operations in Puntland, Galmudug, and Somaliland whilst boosting the capacity of southern states of HirShabelle, Southwest and Jubaland to combat the threat.

The participants acknowledged the need to amplify efforts in the coming weeks and months, to mitigate damage in food security and livelihoods in Somalia due to desert locust infestation.

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