Bonn/Berlin, 18/02/2020. East Africa and South Asia are currently suffering from one of the worst plagues of locusts in the last 25 years. In Kenya, Ethiopia, Somaliland and Uganda, locusts are threatening the survival of pastoralists and small farmers in affected areas. According to the UN, about 13 million people are at risk of losing their livelihoods, leaving them threatened by hunger. Welthungerhilfe is providing 500,000 euros of immediate assistance as a first step.
The massive swarms of locusts can eat entire tracts of land bare in a matter of hours. This represents an enormous threat, particularly for the rural population: Pastoralists can hardly find anything for their animals to eat, and small farmers are concerned about their harvests. Seed is due to be sown in many areas over the coming weeks. The disaster is hitting regions that have already been suffering for years from the effects of droughts, cyclones and floods. People have very little reserves and cannot support themselves independently. “The outlook is apocalyptic, as the swarms of locusts will continue to grow dramatically. It is estimated that 100,000 hectares of land will be affected in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somaliland alone. Alongside state measures to counter this issue, it is vital that we offer concrete assistance. Pastoralists need additional feed for their animals, and farmers need seed. Many families will also need food in order to survive until the next harvest. Immediate assistance is therefore just the first step”, explains Matthias Späth, Country Director for Welthungerhilfe in Ethiopia.
Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest private aid organisations in Germany; politically independent and non-denominational. It is fighting for “Zero Hunger by 2030”. Since it was founded in 1962, more than 9,300 overseas projects in 70 countries have been supported with 3.71 billion euros. Welthungerhilfe works on the principle of empowering people to help themselves: from rapid disaster relief to reconstruction and long-term development cooperation projects with national and international partner organisations.