France’s mobilization to combat the locust crisis in the Sahel (July 10, 2012)
Groups of desert locusts have been identified in recent weeks in the northern part of the Sahelian strip by the surveillance system set up by the countries of the region. These groups were notably found in northern Niger and Mali where insecurity could hamper the necessary survey and control operations.
The spread of this locust invasion to the southern part of the region would have disastrous consequences, resulting in the loss of crops and the prospect of a worsening food crisis.
Given the seriousness of the situation, France has mobilized its efforts to respond to the appeal launched by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which is responsible for coordinating the fight against desert locusts. France has therefore released emergency funding of €850,000 in order to:
respond to the immediate needs of Niger, the country currently most affected, by supporting the National Center for Locust Control (€400,000);
contribute to a regional response, thanks to the emergency fund set up by the FAO (€450,000) which will notably fund the survey and control operations in Mali.
The swift mobilization of donors, chief among them France and the EU, has already made it possible to cover, within a few days, the immediate needs, estimated by the FAO to be $2.5 million. France will remain particularly attentive to developments in the situation in the weeks and months ahead.