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UN calls for help against locust plague in East Africa

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The UN has called for foreign aid to combat the locust plague in East Africa. The food emergency for 13 million people is at great risk from the plague, said UN emergency coordinator Mark Lowcock in New York yesterday.

If the world community does not react immediately, food supply in the region will become a “huge problem” later in the year. Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are particularly affected by the locust plague.

The swarm of locusts recently reached Uganda. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates the cost of a plan to combat the plague at $ 76 million, according to Lowcock. So far, the UN has only collected 20 million euros.

According to the FAO, the desert locusts are multiplying at an extraordinary rate thanks to the current weather conditions. The insects usually live as loners. Under certain conditions, however, they form huge swarms and begin to migrate. According to the FAO, the grasshoppers can cover up to 150 kilometers a day and devastate entire regions due to their urge to feed and multiply.