FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

Technical regional meeting on combating desert locust in the Near East and North Africa

14 September 2020, Cairo, Egypt – FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa and the Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Central Region (CRC) have hosted today a virtual technical regional meeting to discuss efforts to control desert locust in the region.

The meeting comes amid an upsurge of desert locust, one of the most destructive migrant pests and the most serious threat to food security and livelihoods.

The current locust upsurge is one of the biggest in recent decades, affecting the Horn of Africa, the Arab Peninsula, and southwest Asia, and threatening the Sahel region in west Africa. Despite huge control efforts by the countries of the region, which included extensive areal and land operations covering more than 1 million hectares so far this year and 1.8 million hectares in 2019, the situation is still critical in many countries of the region.

The desert locus current upsurge is expected to continue considering the favorable breeding conditions in some Horn of Africa countries, Yemen’s central region, and the border region between India and Pakistan.

It should be noted that combatting the spread of desert locust in eastern Africa, Yemen, and southeast Asia helped save approximately 1.5 million tons of cereals in 10 countries, valued at $460 million and enough to feed more than 9 million people for a year. The control efforts also managed to reduce the infested area.

In light of FAO’s mission to achieve food security and maintain livelihoods, and as part of the organization’s continuous efforts to provide the necessary technical and financial support to curb the negative impact of desert locust on affected countries,  FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa called on the member states to hold this virtual meeting to discuss the situation of desert locust in the region and come up with recommendations on how to combat this devastating pest. The recommendations will be forwarded to the Regional Conference that will be held on 21 and 22 September.


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