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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Kenya

05 Jan 2021

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A farmer in Katitika Village, Kitui County, Kenya, attempts to save his crop from desert locusts, January 2020. ©FAO/Sven Torfinn

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 5 January 2021

Kenya

UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock allocated US$1.5 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for desert locust control operations in Kenya.

The funds will go to FAO response, including air and ground surveillance and pesticide spraying.

Since early 2020, locust control operations in eastern Africa and Yemen, partly funded by CERF with $10 million, have prevented the loss of an estimated 2.7 million tons of cereal, worth nearly $800 million and enough to feed 18 million people for one year.

Numerous immature swarms started to form in eastern Ethiopia and central Somalia following Cyclone Gati. The swarms have been entering into north-east Kenya since 21 December and are likely to spread throughout northern and central counties.

If not controlled, locusts’ swarms could destroy crops and pasture and threaten the livelihoods and food security of 3.6 million people across the region and in Yemen, including 173,000 people in Kenya.

In response, FAO has extended its locust response plan until June 2021. However, further donor funding is urgently needed to contain the threat from desert locusts in eastern Africa.