Mature swarms of locusts have been located in Yemen, Somalia and Sudan, already causing substantial crop damage.
In Yemen, the impact of widespread hopper band infestations is of particular concern, adding to an already dire situation after over four years of conflict. Desert Locust threatens agricultural production in a country where 20 million people are food insecure.
In Somalia, locust hopper bands are forming along the northwest/northeast coats from eggs laid by the swarms, which could result in new massive swarms by late August. The Gu harvest is already projected to be at 50% of a normal year. Swarms of millions of locusts can fly up to 150 km a day and even though the main cropping areas are further south in Somalia Desert Locusts pose a significant risk that may detrimentally decimate the Gu harvest even further.
In Sudan, the States of Red Sea, Nile, Khartoum and North Kordofan are the most affected by the Desert Locust. The number of locust is expected to increase rapidly by the end of August and reach a higher figure than in the previous years, while response measures like spraying have been delayed due to lack of transportation capacity. This is of particular concern in a country where at least 6.4 million people are estimated to be food insecure and while the agricultural season in Darfur is also at risk due to insecurity.