100,000 euros to combat locust plague in Yemen
Belgium is supporting the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in its efforts to contain a locust plague in Yemen.
War-torn Yemen is already facing a major humanitarian crisis which has left as many as 15.9 million people - 53 percent of the country’s total population - facing severe food insecurity (figures December 2018). For 64,000 of them, the situation is extremely critical.
On top of that, locust swarms have been descending on Yemen that affect not only the production of maize, but also vegetables and fruit (date palm, lemon tree, etc.). The locust plague, which could have an estimated economic impact of hundreds of thousands of dollars, puts an extra heavy burden on the already catastrophic levels of food insecurity.
That is why Belgium decided to invest 100,000 euros to combat locust swarms through the FAO's Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA). This fund uses ultra low volume (ULV) pesticides, both manually by means of backpack-sized sprayers and with bigger equipment mounted on vehicles. In the past, this ULV approach proved to be very effective in controlling locust infestations in rural areas.
The project aims to secure the income and food security of 100,000 people, especially farmers, livestock breeders and nomads who live in locust infested areas.
Yemen’s neighbouring countries around the Red Sea will also benefit from the project. Indeed, locust control in Yemen is key to avoid that these countries become invaded by locust swarms as well.