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Southwest Asia | Desert locust crisis appeal (May–December 2020)

Southwest Asia | Desert locust crisis appeal (May–December 2020)
May 2020

The desert locust is the world’s most dangerous and voracious migratory pest, with a geographical range that could cover the equivalent of 20 percent of the earth’s surface. Swarms of desert locust can travel up to 150 kilometres per day in search of food, migrating across long distances and even spreading from one continent to another. The current outbreak is affecting IndiaIran (Islamic Republic of) and Pakistan, as well as the Greater Horn of Africa and the Red Sea area and threatening Southwest Asia. As the rainy season begins, another generation of breeding will take place that is expected to cause a dramatic increase in locust numbers in Eastern Africa, which could then migrate to Southwest Asia. This is expected to be followed by several waves of swarms coming from spring breeding areas in Iran (Islamic Republic of) and Pakistan in June.

Breeding is ongoing in the spring breeding areas of Iran (Islamic Republic of), where the situation remains worrying and more hopper bands continue to form along the southern coast. Meanwhile mature adult groups have moved north in Sistan and Baluchistan to South Khorasan, where they are laying eggs. In Pakistan, desert locust breeding is ongoing across 38 percent of land area (60 percent in Baluchistan, 25 percent in Sindh and 15 percent in Punjab), with the entire country under threat of an invasion if the pest is not contained.

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