Algeria calls for more international aid to fight locusts in Africa
In an interview with local media, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Said Barkat said that in accordance with the estimate of UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the fight against locusts in Africa needs 100 million US dollars.
So far, only 30 million dollars have been assured, half of which are only promises, Barkat said.
More than 2 million hectares of cultivated land in Africa's Sahel region are under the attack of locust swarms but anti-locust measures cover only 250,000 hectares, added the minister, who also expressed his concern that the crisis on the continent will be even worse next year.
According to the FAO, the next two months in the battle against locusts are "extremely crucial" and the world community needs to come up with the funding and equipment needed to prevent the crop- devouring insects from developing into a full-scale plague in the region.
During an anti-locust meeting held here in July, agriculture ministers from Chad, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Mauritania, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya and Algeria agreed to take joint actions to combat locust swarms in the region.
They also urged the international community to do more in helping bring the crisis under control.