World, Africa

African Development Bank approves $1.5M for East Africa

Emergency grant to help 9 countries control desert locusts threatening livelihoods, food security

Felix Tih   | 02.04.2020
African Development Bank approves $1.5M for East Africa


The African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a $1.5 million emergency grant to curb desert locusts ravaging East and Horn of Africa since 2019, the bank announced on Thursday.

"The proposed assistance will be channeled to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which has been mandated to mobilize resources on behalf of the African Union," the AfDB said in a statement.

The beneficiaries of the emergency grant are Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania, according to the statement.

The AfDB said the funds will be used to control the spread of the current locust invasion, prevent the potential future invasion of swarms, conduct an impact assessment and monitoring to enhance preparedness and awareness.

"Efforts to control the infestations will require around $147 million, of which $75 million has been provided by governments, donors and UN agencies including the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] and the World Food Program (WFP). However, a significant funding shortfall remains," it added.

According to the UN, locusts traveled to Africa from Yemen, invading Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia decimating pasture and affecting livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of nomadic pastoralists.

The East Africa region is already facing food insecurity with the crisis affecting 19 million people, the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group said in January.

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