In addition to the 13 million people currently at risk, the FAO this week warned that a further 20 million are at risk if the locusts continue to spread. The UN agency, in conjunction with national governments, are working to spray the locusts to control them. However it is a race against time.
The current hot, wet conditions are perfect for the locusts to breed and the next wave of locusts are already hatching on the ground and are expected to swarm by March or April, causing further damage, unless they are controlled by spraying. The FAO estimates that the number of locusts could be 500 times greater by June unless effective control measures are taken.
Concern CEO Dominic MacSorley urged the Irish public to support the appeal. “With donations from the Irish public, Concern is working with communities which were already extremely vulnerable after years of drought and recent floods, to prevent the current locust infestation becoming a major humanitarian crisis,” he said. “We urgently need the public’s support over the coming months as we face this massive challenge.”
To donate visit www.concern.net or phone 1850 211 844.
For media queries contact Eamon Timmins, Media Relations Manager, Concern Worldwide, at 01 417 7712, 087 9880524 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org