The World Bank has approved a record $500m in grants and low-interest loans to help countries in Africa and the Middle East fight swarms of desert locusts that are eating their way across vast swaths of crops and rangelands.
Four of the hardest-hit countries – Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda – will receive $160m immediately, Holger Kray, a senior World Bank official, told reporters. The affected countries have mobilized USD $130 millions since the launch of respond plan in January 2020 (Source: foa.org).
The Locusts threatens food supplies in East Africa where nearly 23 million people are facing food shortages. The World Bank estimates the Horn of Africa region could suffer up to $8.5bn in damage to crop and livestock production by year-end without broad measures to reduce locust populations and prevent their spread. Even with the measures, losses could be as high as $2.5bn.
Source: Al Jazeera.com