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Locust plague panic: Alert issued as swarm heads to one of Earth's most vulnerable regions

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Billions of desert locusts could create a food crisis in an area were millions of people rely on for food, the United Nations has warned. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, said in a statement: “We have witnessed the unprecedented desert locust threat to food security and livelihoods in East Africa, and we are doing everything we can to prevent a similar crisis repeating in the Sahel region, which is already experiencing several ongoing crises.” The Sahel region periodically faces bouts of famine and food shortages every few years.

It has been predicted that global warming will affect this region the worst.

The area has already experienced widespread desertification and because of climate change causing increasingly unpredictable rainfall.

As well as having ecological insecurity, the political situation in the region is precarious.

Jihadist groups range across Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad, displacing millions.

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The influx of insects could make the situation far worse.

The locusts have already plagued vast swathes of Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Yemen since the start of the year.

One swarm can contain 80 million locusts.

They can devour as much food as 35,000 people and fly 30 to 80 miles in one day.

The Food and Agriculture added: “Unless it rains more in Sudan’s desert, providing favourable breeding conditions for the pests, the locusts will not stay in Sudan for long.

“They would instead move west through the Sahel of West Africa in search of food and favourable breeding areas.”



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