A state of emergency was declared in Pakistan to tackle the biggest locust attack in decades. The insects are destroying crops in Punjab province. The Punjab province in Pakistan is the main region for agricultural production. Prime Minister Imran Khan approved a National Action Plan (NAP) that requires a sum of Rs 7.3 billion to overcome the crisis. Minister for National Food Security Khusro Bakhtiar informed the National Assembly about the gravity of the situation. Khan ordered the formation of a high-level committee to be headed by Bakhtiar to take decisions at the federal level for the elimination of insects. He has directed the authorities concerned to take immediate measures on the basis of damage of ripened crops.
Southwest Asia and the Red Sea area also affected
Numerous desert locust swarms have been breeding in India, Iran and Pakistan since June 2019. And some have migrated to southern Iran where recent heavy rains have nurtured a breeding ground that could generate swarms in the spring. Egypt, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen are also seeing substantial breeding activity that could see locust bands expand into swarms in the coming months, FAO added. The agency concluded that it stands ready to leverage its expertise and facilitate a coordinated response. UN
Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are dealing with desert locust swarms of “unprecedented size and destructive potential” that could spill over into more countries in East Africa, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned on Monday. Destroying hundreds of thousands of acres of crops, the outbreak is impacting the region’s food insecurity. The UN agency urged for a collective campaign to deal with the crisis, concerned over the risk that the swarms spill over into more countries in East Africa, “if efforts to deal with the voracious pest are not scaled up across the region”. South Sudan and Uganda are not currently affected but are at risk.
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