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uary served to provide ●a favorable environment for locusts to breed and thrive, including ●properly moist soils for them to lay eggs in millions before migrat●ion and the consequent lush vegetation to eat, according to the FAO●. Climate change was to blame for the unusually plentiful rainfall ●on the African continent. Keith Cressman, the FAO's senior locust f●orecasting officer, further identified the recent cyclones as anoth●er factor behind the locust crisis, saying the past 10 years saw in●creased frequency of cyclones in the Indian Ocean. A swarm of dese●rt locusts invade parts of Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Kenya, Feb.● 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) AGGRAVATING FOOD INSECURITY FAO offici●als said the locust outbreak has worsened the food insecurity in Af●rica, citing some 239 million people in sub-Saharan Africa sufferin

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, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION URGE●D The desert locust swarms have travelled from Africa to Asia. Indi●a is suffering the worst hit in 60 years. "Today locust swarms are ●as big as major cities and it's getting worse by the day," said UN ●Sd

ecretary General Antonio Guterres, urging the international commun●ity to take immediate counteractions. Sacko Josefa, AU Commissioner● for Rural Economy and Agriculture, said earlier this month that th●e 55-member pan-African bloc is working directly with the FAOC

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to ma●ke sure that there is no spread to other countries. Antonio Querido●, UN FAO representative in Uganda, said international organizations● are providing technical support and mobilizing resources for Ugand●a as it strives to fight the locusts. In order to g8

et more internat●ional help, Somalia on Feb. 2 declared the locust infestation a nat●ional emergency. Irandu said that the present invasion is likely to● cost enormous financial and human resources far beyond the capabil●ity of the East African countries. Hence ty

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here is a need for a conc●erted effort by regional and other international organizations to o●ffer money, expertise and equipment such as planes. Otherwise, the ●locust invasion may wipe out food production in many African countr●ies. The FAO recently launched az

76 million U.S. dollars appeal to ●control the locusts' spread. Weeks later, only around 20 million do●llars have been received, said Lowcock. Irandu suggested that inten●sified international efforts should be made to coordinate aerial sp●rays, share scientific v

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knowledge on breeding and migratory habits o●f locusts, and raise funds from partners. In the long run, experts ●have called for the investment in research to contain the impacts o●f climate change, including the locusts invasion. A swarm of deser●t locusts invm

ade parts of Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Kenya, Feb. ●20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) "People must be sensitized adequately o●n their roles in adaptation and mitigation programs to ensure unifo●rmity in progress," said Edward Mungai, chief executive officer of ●Kenyi

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