Traveling locust swarms in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, that had reached the size of Manhattan in some places, are still growing in East Africa, and the problem is now compounded by the coronavirus pandemic.
Driving the news: New cases of coronavirus have been discovered in much of the region this month, and the pandemic also is slowing the delivery of pesticides that can kill the insects.
“In Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia widespread breeding is in progress and new swarms are starting to form, representing an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods at the beginning of the upcoming cropping season,” the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said last week.
The organization added: “Along with climate shocks, conflict and acute food insecurity, the East Africa region now faces a hunger threat from Desert Locust. This is a scourge of biblical proportions.”