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Food Crisis Threatens One Million People in Ethiopia after Locusts Invasion

Food Crisis Threatens One Million People in Ethiopia after Locusts Invasion
folder_openAfrica... access_time6 months ago
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By Staff, Agencies

One million people in Ethiopia are facing a food crisis following an invasion of locusts that damaged 500 acres of cropland, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] in a statement.

This number adds to the 8.5 million people in Ethiopia who are already in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

The development comes as the African nation and its neighbors brace for a second wave of locusts. The first infestation was described by officials as the worst in 70 years, with swarms reaching the size of a megalopolis.

Meanwhile, UN experts said the upcoming wave could be 20 times larger than the first one.

Locusts also devastated other countries in Africa, including Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda. The United Nations has called for $75 million to tackle the insect crisis in the region.

In Ethiopia, the pests caused widespread losses of corn, wheat, and sorghum as well as devastated land for cattle grazing. Fatouma Seid, one representative for the organization, said that the infestation poses an “unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods” in the country as it has not only caused a shortage of food, but hampered the planting season.

The situation in the nation has been exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak. Ethiopia is Africa’s second-most populous country. Although there are only 74 confirmed cases and three deaths, testing is limited and health experts say the country could be soon inundated with new cases.