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US Pledges $8m for Locust Outbreak Fight

February 18 , 2020

Locust Outbreak

The United States has committed eight million dollars to tackle the outbreak of desert locust in East Africa, an amount almost one tenth of what is needed. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is in Addis Abeba for a three-day visit, announced the support at a joint press conference he gave with Gedu Andargachew, minister of Foreign Affairs, at Sheraton Addis Hotel. The aid will be used to fight locust swarm invasions in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, which experts say are the worst to strike in 25 years. For Kenya, it is considered the worst infestation it experienced in 70 years. Pasture and croplands have already suffered damage in the three countries, and nearly 12 million people are struggling to cope with severe food insecurity, according to the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), a UN body. It estimated a total of 76 million dollars is required to fend off the locust. So far, it has mobilised 15.4 million dollars.

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