New York —

As if the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t enough, at least 23 countries battle these enemy insects

The World Bank will allocate $ 500 million dollars to help countries in Africa and the East to overcome the plague of locusts.

The financial institution indicated that, with the beginning of Lobster Emergency Response Program (ELRP), seeks to control the crisis that could generate financial losses amounting to $ 8, 500 million dollars, according to a statement on its website. At least 23 countries have been affected by “the greatest plague in 70 years”.

Since the beginning of the year, various international organizations and the media have been warning about the locust infestation.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) listed the invasion of these species as the worst pest in many years. Estimates indicate that 13 million people are exposed to malnutrition because of these insects.

“A swarm spread over a square kilometer can eat the same amount of food in a day as 35,000 people,” the agency said.

David Malpass, President of the World Bank, noted that the locust swarms “present a double crisis for countries that are also facing the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Together, the provision of emergency food combined with the pandemic and the economic shutdown in places of advanced economies places the world’s poorest countries and most vulnerable people at greater risk, “the spokesperson argued.

The main beneficiaries of the ELRP will be farmers, as well as families in rural areas. According to the statement, the first countries to receive aid are expected to be: Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Djibouti.

Although the injection of money seeks to mitigate the impact of the crisis, the World Bank acknowledged that despite the aid, the losses would be $ 2.5 billion.