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Locust Emergency. A Race Against Time to Head Off a Food Disaster

An unprecedented invasion of locusts is swarming across Africa. To tackle the emergency, the African Solidarity Trust Fund (ASTF), has donated $1 million dollars to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Through this contribution, the Solidarity Trust Fund, established in 2013 to support African development initiatives, will help the affected countries to combat the Desert Locust upsurge in the Horn of Africa.  

The decision, issued in a statement by the FAO, was taken at a meeting of the ASTF Steering Committee last Wednesday at FAO headquarters in Rome.

Maria Helena Semedo, FAO’s Deputy Director-General for Climate and Natural Resources, who is currently attending ministerial briefing on Desert Locusts on the margins of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, said that there is a window of opportunity before the next planting season.

“We must act now. Flexible funding, like that of the ASTF, helps us move fast,” she stated.

The contribution from the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund presents a timely response to the emergency but all African countries and resource partners were called upon to support the outbreak. The ASTF Steering Committee Chairperson, Maria De Fatima Jardim, who is also the Permanent Representative of Angola to FAO, asks that all support go through the ASTF platform.

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