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Pakistan: Further desert locust damage forecast in coming agricultural seasons

15 Jun 2020


Credit: FAO

The Government of Pakistan’s preliminary estimate of monetary losses due to desert locusts over the two coming agricultural seasons in 2020 and 2021 may range from US$3.4 billion to $10.21 billion.

Locust damage has significantly affected many farmers already, with further significant locust damage forecast at the end of summer.

In late January, the Government of Pakistan declared the desert locust a national emergency and set up the National Action Plan for Desert Locust Control and Surveillance and a high-level National Locust Control Centre.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is providing technical advice and procurement support to the Government for locust surveillance and control activities, including locust threat forecasts and control operation strategies.

FAO and the World Food Programme and partners, in coordination with the Government, will access needs in the worst-impacted districts, which have also experienced multiple shocks over the past 18 months, including drought, flash flooding, a cold wave and COVID-19.

The Government of Pakistan needs $372 million over the coming three years in additional funding to survey, control and recover from the locust damage.

FAO launched the Desert Locust Upsurge Global Response Plan 2020, which includes $12.5 million for Pakistan for crisis response, of which only $1.9 million has been funded.

More than 3 million people in Pakistan are facing severe acute food insecurity, with the situation particularly precarious in Balochistan.

It is estimated that approximately 34,000 households will need of emergency livelihood and food-security assistance due to crop losses. Many more people may be indirectly affected by crop losses leading to price rises in key commodities.