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Ethiopia - Desert locust situation report April 2020 (Updated)

Ethiopia - Desert locust situation report April 2020 (Updated)
Apr 2020
  • The current desert locust situation remains extremely alarming as more swarms form and mature in southern Ethiopia (Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region (SNNPR)) and disperse northwards in to the Somali region.
  • Mature and young swarms are crossing from Somalia to the Somali region and Dire Dawa city. Hoppers are hatching in Shinele and near Dire Dawa city. Control operations in these areas have been launched.
  • The desert locust invasion represents an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods as it coincides with the February – May rains and planting season.
  • Although ground and aerial control operations are in progress, rains will allow the new swarms to mostly stay in place, mature and lay eggs while a few swarms could move from Kenya to EthiopiaUganda and South Sudan.
  • During May 2020, more eggs will hatch and form new swarms in late June and July 2020, which coincides with the start of the harvest Belg-grown crops and the Meher season.
  • Starting mid-September 2020, the locusts that will hatch in the summer breeding areas and migrate south, towards the winter breeding areas in eastern Ethiopia and Somalia.
  • joint assessment on the Impact of desert locust on food security and livelihoods in Ethiopia carried out by the Government of Ethiopia, FAO, the Agriculture Taskforce, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Technical Working Group and the Food Security Cluster found that an estimated one million people in Ethiopia are in need of emergency food assistance due to the ongoing desert locust invasion. The locusts have damaged about 200 000 ha of cropland and caused a cereal loss of over 356 000 tonnes.
  • According to the last IPC analysis, an estimated 8.5 million people were already in severe acute food insecurity in Ethiopia prior to the invasion, a figure that is expected to rise following the locust crisis and COVID-19, which is hampering deliveries and travel.
  • There is an urgent need to scale up control operations and livelihood support for affected communities in Ethiopia (and the region as a whole) to prevent the situation from further deteriorating.

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