Locust swarm: UN warns of food crisis in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Somalia

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LocustImage copyrightAFP
Image caption There are fears the locusts – already in the hundreds of billions – will multiply further

The East African region could be on the verge of a food crisis if huge swarms of locusts devouring crops and pasture are not brought under control, a top UN official has told the BBC.

A massive food assistance may be required, Dominique Burgeon, director of emergencies for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), said.

Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are affected.

Efforts to control the infestation have so far not been effective.

Aerial spraying of pesticides is the most effective way of fighting the swarms but countries in the region do not have the right resources.