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EU contributes €4mn to fund desert locust operations in Ethiopia


The European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) has contributed €4.1 million to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s desert locust control programme in Ethiopia.

This has enabled FAO to lease two fixed-wing aircraft and two helicopters and procure fuel, vehicles, and trucks.

It will also facilitate the construction of storage facilities for the Ministry of Agriculture’s most strategic locations for desert locust operations, including the central storage in Addis Ababa.

“The funding is timely and will boost our efforts to enhance preparedness while maintaining ongoing field operations for the next nine months. Although the operations have succeeded in limiting widespread breeding of desert locusts, it is paramount to sustain the concerted efforts to reduce invasion and breeding.”

Fatouma Seid, FAO Rep. in Ethiopia

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Since 2019, with funding from several donors including ECHO, FAO has been supporting the Government of Ethiopia to respond to the worst desert locust invasion in the country in 25 years.

Jemal Ahmed, 38, chases a swarm of locusts with machete after it stormed his sorghum and sweet cane farm in Jawaha village near Kamise town Amhara region, Ethiopia October 15, 2020. Picture taken October 15, 2020. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

FAO estimates that to date, control operations in Ethiopia have prevented the loss of 2 513 290 MT of cereal, with a market value of USD 754 million.

This achievement is equivalent to the annual cereal needs of 16.3 million people.

The livestock feed loss prevented is substantial, although not systematically quantified.