UN calls on developed countries to help East Africa fight locust plague

2020-02-09 17:38
Locusts swarm from ground vegetation as people approach at Lerata village, near Archers Post in Samburu county, approximately 300kms north of Kenyan capital, Nairobi on January 22, 2020.

Locusts swarm from ground vegetation as people approach at Lerata village, near Archers Post in Samburu county, approximately 300kms north of Kenyan capital, Nairobi on January 22, 2020. (TONY KARUMBA / AFP)

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres has bemoaned developed countries' contribution to climate change, commending Africa for its political and moral leadership on the climate emergency. 

Speaking at the ordinary session of the African Union at its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Sunday, Guterres said more ambition on mitigation, financing and adaptation to build the resilience of African countries was needed to allow for effective recovery and reconstruction. 

Guterres' assertion come as some African countries bore the brunt of climate-related disasters that cost the lives of thousands and displacing many. 

On Monday, Al Jazeera reported Somalia became the first country affected by the locust infestation to declare a national emergency. 

Somalia's government said food sources and livestock in the country were at risk.  

The Food Security and Nutrition Working Group believed East Africa was already experiencing a high degree of food insecurity, with more than 19 million people facing acute hunger, saying the infestation was the worst in 25 years.

"The past 10 years have been the hottest recorded and globally, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. Africa is the least responsible for climate change disruption yet is among the first and worst to suffer. Its nations need assistance to build resilience to adapt to the inevitable impacts to come," Guterres said. 

He told heads of state in attendance, the UN was expanding its work to respond to the challenge with a development of analytical and programmatic guidance to address security risks in the horn of Africa, central Africa and the Sahel. 

"COP25 was a disappointment. It is imperative that we work together to make COP26 a success so Africa can receive the support and resources it needs to minimise and adapt to climate impacts." 

Linking climate change to the locust crisis in East Africa, Guterres said he was requesting the international community to respond with speed and generosity.

Read more on:    united nations  |  somalia  |  east africa
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