Executive Brief: Desert Locust threat in the Sahel 2012 (4 October 2012)


• The Sahel in West Africa currently faces the most serious Desert Locust threat since 2005. More than 50 million people could be affected in Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

• A second generation of breeding is underway in Mali, Niger and Chad due to unusually favourable ecological conditions. If control operations are not effective, numerous swarms could leave the Sahel when vegetation dries out (late October onwards), migrating to Algeria, Libya, northwest Mauritania and perhaps Morocco while a few may remain and threaten cropping areas in Mali and Niger.

• The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) requested USD 10 million in June 2012 for urgent action to coordinate the emergency campaign and allow national locusts control units to undertake the required operations.

• With the USD 3.1 million received so far, FAO ensures overall campaign coordination and technical support through:

  • Regular update of the Regional Action Plan.
  • Elaboration of a Regional Strategic Response Framework for the Desert Locust threat in the Sahel.
  • Strengthened the operational capacity of national survey and control teams in Niger, Chad and Mali.
  • Triangulation of pesticides (airlifting pesticides from a country in the region with available stocks to a recipient country).
  • Enhanced preparedness for potential upscale of interventions in Niger, Mauritania, Chad and Mali.

• Bilateral assistance of USD 1 million to Niger has allowed the country to further strengthen its survey and control capacity.

• Current funding gap is USD 5.9 million. Consequences of unmet requirements: reduction of field survey teams, less control, increased risk to crops, and more locusts will move to other countries.