East Africa Locusts

Speeches Shim

Billions of locusts have infested East Africa. USAID is working to control the outbreak now to help mitigate future impacts.
Sven Torfinn/FAO

Key Developments

USAID is responding to the worst locust outbreak in East Africa in decades, providing more than $26 million to scale up pest control operations through direct interventions and local capacity building in EthiopiaKenyaSomalia. Control operations include ground and aerial pest control, training pest control experts and scouts, and providing protective equipment - all critical to preventing a potentially larger impact on crops and pastures, which people rely on to feed their families.  

Locust populations have steadily declined across Ethiopia and Kenya in recent months as a result of sustained control operations and limited breeding opportunities due to below-average rainfall. Swarms and hopper bands persist in northern Somalia.

Projected below-average rainfall between March and mid-2021 will limit locust breeding opportunities and curtail the size of new locust generations in East Africa, possibly leading to a significant reduction in the current locust upsurge in East Africa. 

USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance-supported response efforts have treated more than 4.8 million acres of infested land in East Africa and Yemen since January 2020, safeguarding the food security of approximately 26.8 million people.  

Last updated: March 31, 2021

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