One million people are in need of emergency food assistance in Ethiopia after the worst desert locust outbreak in decades.
Nearly 200,000 hectares of cropland were damaged by the insects, leading to the loss of over 356,000 tons of grain including sorghum, maize and wheat, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said Monday. An additional 1.3 million hectares of pasture have been affected, reducing the area by as much as 61% in the Somali region.
The battle against the locust invasion has been exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis. Following ample rain in March, new swarms of the pest are forming and threaten not only Ethiopia, but Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Yemen, Iran and Saudi Arabia, the UN agency said.