On 3 February 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Federal Government of Somalia, Federal member state (FMS) ministers from Jubaland, Hirshabelle and South West States, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) held a meeting in Mogadishu to deliberate and agree on immediate actions to address the critical desert locust situation in the country.
Somalia is experiencing a devastating locust upsurge, particularly in the southern states where swarms have migrated and destroyed crops. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and Member states urgently request for a rapid scale up of response to the ongoing locust threat to mitigate the potentially devastating impact on farmers, pastoralists and agropastoralists in affected areas.
During the meeting, delegation members acknowledged the need to amplify efforts in the coming weeks and months to mitigate damage towards food security and livelihoods in Somalia due to desert locust infestation. Funding is needed to increase control efforts over the coming months, with sustained efforts needed in Northern and Central Somalia as national institutions and FAO monitor the development of potential new swarms.
The meeting highlighted the need to continue ongoing surveillance and control operations in Puntland, Galmudug, and Somaliland whilst boosting the capacity of southern states (Hirshabelle, Southwest and Jubaland) to combat the threat. Substantial and timely funding is needed to scale-up operations to reduce desert locust populations. Increasing needs for livelihood support are emerging, especially in the south.
Finally, all parties recognized that the risk for desert locust crop damage in 2021 remains high and alarming. The Federal Government of Somalia, together with State Governments, FAO and other partners are strongly committed to coordinating emergency efforts and reinforcing their partnerships to rapidly scale up and sustain the response to the desert locust crisis.
The delegation has issued an urgent appeal and call to action to the international donor community for additional resources to continue crucial operations and address the increasing needs and vulnerabilities of affected communities.