Global locust damage could cost $8.5 billion, according to the World Bank, if swift action is not taken to control the invasion. Currently, locust swarms have already affected 23 countries around the world. While East Africa is the main outbreak with 4 countries affected (Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda), the phenomenon does not spare regions such as the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa. The control of these insects is hampered by Covid-19 due to the delay in the delivery of control equipment and the low availability of aircraft for aerial spraying. Indeed, the World Bank says the insect population could increase 400-fold by next June and spread to new regions such as West Africa, where it would destroy crops ready for harvest.
Source: Agence Ecofin