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U.S promises assistance to cushion E.A from locusts, Covid-19

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Thursday, May 7, 2020

The U.S Assistant Secretary for Department of State's Bureau of African Affairs,Tibor Nagy and President Salva Kiir at the State House in Juba on 24 Jan, 2020. Photo/ Presidential Press Unit.

The United States has promised to respond with assistance to East African countries that are experiencing disasters coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is after the World Food Program warned on Wednesday 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 Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda, and South Sudan.

That figure could increase to 43 million over the next three months, it warned.

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.

During a telephonic press briefing on COVID-19 in Africa and the U.S. Response, the Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, Ambassador Tibor Nagy said on Wednesday that the East African region will need emergency food assistance as a result of the deserts locusts and the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says the region should count on the United States which can come up with hundreds of thousands of tons of food relief.

“Some places have now excessive rainfall and flooding and we all know full well that this will lead to hunger in the future, unfortunately, so some countries will obviously need emergency food assistance,” said Ambassador Nagy.

“I think we can count on the United States as the one country in the world which can literally come up with hundreds of thousands of tons of food relief.”

He added: “I don’t think anybody else can – and get it on the scene very quickly.  That’s one of the other that we’re looking at or looking ahead into the future.”

Ambassador Nagy further said the future will be brighter because the US will take a systematic approach to work with each of the countries “to make them able to get back on the road to recovery.”

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