The Russian Federation has donated one million US dollars to support the fight against desert locust in South Sudan.
This is after the World Food Program warned last week that food insecurity could more than double in East Africa within three months as a result of the COVID-19 spread.
The UN agency also estimates that some 20 million people are facing food insecurity across nine countries in the region, namely: Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda, and South Sudan.
The region is already fighting the second wave of desert locusts. The first swarm was the largest swarm that east Africa had seen in over 30 years.
“The Russian Federation pledged $ 10m to support these countries to combat this pest out of it one million has been given to South Sudan to be implemented through FAO of the United Nations,” said Mathew Gordon, the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Agriculture.
For his part, the Representative of the Russian ambassador to South Sudan and Uganda, Dr. Ahmed Noah, stressed that the fund is meant to purchase machinery, fuel and to cater for employment and training of personal.
“Russian donation of $10m to food and agricultural organization is to fund their effort to address the catastrophic desert locust invasion in the East African region,” he said.
In February, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security confirmed the arrival of desert locusts in Magwi County, Eastern Equatoria State.
Last month, another swarm of the desert locusts invaded Magwi County.
Experts have raised the alarm over the unprecedented swarms of locust that poses serious threats to food security and livelihoods in the Horn of Africa, including South Sudan.
According to the recent Integrated Phase Classification reports, more than half of South Sudanese are already facing hunger.
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