Yemen Faces Food Shortage At the Hands Of Locusts Attack

July 13, 2020

Besides being hit by the worst humanitarian crisis, Yemen has suddenly seen a huge locust invasion that has heightened the food insecurity issues in the country. The colony of locusts have said to have devoured or destroyed the seasonal crop.

Concentrated over central, southern and eastern parts of Yemen, they have said to have created unrest amongst the general farming population. Yemen has been reeling under medical and food shortage for the last few years, more so due an ongoing civil war.

The war has stopped under the precarious pandemic created conditions; but the resulting damage has been long term in the sense of economical, psychological and physical losses.

Seasonal crop of dates has been most affected in the provinces of Marib, Hadramout, Mahra and Abyan. Other things being damaged include all green trees, lemon crops and alfalfa farms.

Additionally, the country has been hit by heavy rains and flash floods devastating the slow building progress of several provinces over the last couple of months. This is one reason as to why there has been a surge of locusts that has found fruitful conditions to reproduce. Farmers complained that locusts had wiped out entire seasonal crops that are grown after rains.

Strangely, the locusts attack coincides with the World Food Programme (WFP) sending out an urgent request for humanitarian aid not to be stopped for Yemen that has depended on it for the last few years, due to a collapsed economy.

Currently, the Yemeni government is finding it difficult to fight the locust invasion. Yemeni government officials have said that the lack of funding has obstructed vital operations for combating the insects.

According to Ashor Al-Zubairi, the director of the Locust Control Unit at the Ministry of Agriculture in Hadramout’s Seiyun city, the ministry is trying its best to fight out the attack, mostly through a combat operation funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization in Hadramout and Mahra. But lack of funding and equipment might hamper the speed and effectiveness.

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