Some 80% of the refugees are women and children, driven out by the extreme brutality of rampaging militias, with reports of civilians being killed, women being raped, private property looted and houses torched.
Normal to above-normal rainfall is predicted for January to March 2018. While conducive to agricultural production, the rains will inevitably lead to flooding, and tropical cyclones will likely affect Indian Ocean countries.
International community must act swiftly, and on a large scale. The worm reportedly has a foothold in 28 nations in Africa, and it feeds on crops that include maize, consumed by more than 200 million Africans.
Over 500 Congolese asylum-seekers were received on 30 August through border entry points in the north, bringing the 2017 cumulative total to over 3,000, with August alone accounting for some 1,000 people.