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Ethiopia gets $63m World Bank grant to fight desert locust

The World Bank on Friday approved a $63 million in grant and low-interest loan to help Ethiopia fight desert locust swarms and scale up surveillance and control measures.In addition to the scale up of surveillance and control measures, the $63 million grant will provide seed and fertilizer packages to more than 150,000 farmers.

The grant is also aimed to ensure planting during the upcoming cropping season and, in pastoralist areas, emergency fodder to more than 113,000 households to safeguard their productive assets, according to the World Bank.

The new World Bank programme will help farmers, herders and rural households by providing fertilizer and seeds for new crops, and cash transfers to pay for food for people and livestock.

It will also fund investments to strengthen surveillance and early warning systems to make the region more resilient over the medium- to longer-term, Mr Kray said.

Desert locusts can travel up to 150 kilometers (95 miles) a day, sometimes in swarms as large as 250 kilometers (155.34 miles) across, eating their own body weight in greenery.

The World Bank estimates the Horn of Africa region could suffer up to $8.5bn in damage to crop and livestock production by year-end without broad measures to reduce locust populations and prevent their spread.

Published on 28.04.2020

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