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Strengthening early actions and rapid response to mitigate impacts of the desert locust invasion on food security and livelihoods in the frontline countries of West Africa and the Sahel










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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Anticipatory action to mitigate impacts of the desert locust invasion on food security and livelihoods in the front-line countries of West Africa and the Sahel
    Project profile: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, the Niger and Senegal
    2021
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    The impact of a desert locust invasion may cause nearly 13.4 million people to suffer from acute levels of food insecurity in the targeted countries. This situation would add further strain to the livelihoods of vulnerable people already facing sanitary and socio-economic consequences of coronavirus disease 2019, the impact of climate change and conflict. In accordance with Scenario 1 of FAO’s regional appeal for desert locust launched on 21 May 2020, the project will target six countries, namely: (i) the frontline countries: Chad, Mali, Mauritania and the Niger; and (ii) Burkina Faso and Senegal.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Desert locust upsurge
    Progress report on the response in West Africa, May–December 2020
    2021
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    By the end of December 2020, about 18 percent of the USD 50 million appeal has been mobilized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in preparedness and anticipatory actions to control desert locust swarms and safeguard livelihoods in West Africa and the Sahel following the release of its crisis appeal in May 2020. FAO’s Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Western Region (CLCPRO) secretariat and the countries at risk including Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, the Niger and Senegal activated their respective contingency plans to cope with the threat of a desert locust invasion from East Africa. Monitoring teams were deployed, trainings were conducted and procurement was launched. Although the imminent threat of an invasion from East Africa has significantly reduced since June 2020, FAO must remain vigilant and the capacity to conduct surveillance and coordination activities must be maintained. Early action to enhance preparedness in West Africa is especially important considering that 17.2 million people were projected to face acute food insecurity (Cadre Harmonisé Phase 3 and above) during the lean season (June–August 2020) in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, the Niger, Nigeria and Senegal according to the Cadre Harmonisé analysis released in March 2020. If an upsurge of desert locust had occurred in West Africa, this could have led to a significant decline in food security given compounding vulnerabilities (e.g. climate, conflict and COVID‑19 impacts). FAO is continuing to monitor the potential desert locust threat in the Sahel. FAO’s CLCPRO, together with FAO’s Regional Resilience, Emergency and Rehabilitation Office for West Africa/Sahel (REOWA) based in Dakar, is working closely with at-risk countries in anticipatory actions such as training, pre-positioning of resources and initiating impact assessment scenarios as well as ground and aerial surveillance operations.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    West Africa | Desert locust crisis appeal, May–December 2020
    Anticipatory action and rapid response
    2020
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    Recent forecasts by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have indicated a risk of locust invasion in West Africa from June 2020. From East Africa, some swarms could reach the eastern part of the Sahel and continue westwards from Chad to Mauritania. Surveillance and control teams will be mobilized across the region with a focus on Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and the Niger, and extended to Senegal. Countries such as Cameroon, the Gambia and Nigeria are also on watch in the event that desert locust spreads to these highly acute food-insecure countries. Since the region could be threatened in the coming months, FAO is strongly encouraging no regret investments in preparedness and anticipatory action to control swarms and safeguard livelihoods, given already high levels of acute food insecurity. Therefore, cost estimates for preparedness, anticipatory action and rapid response have been assessed. FAO’s Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Western Region and FAO’s subregional resilience team for West Africa and the Sahel are already working together with potentially affected countries for the implementation of anticipatory actions, such as training, pre-positioning of resources, initiating surveillance activities and control operations. The countries of the subregion most exposed to the threat of a locust invasion are Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, the Niger and Senegal. All of these countries are already facing the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which presents significant further risks to food security. Applying lessons from the 2003–2005 desert locust upsurge in West Africa and from the implementation of resilience programmes in the region, including its Early Warning Early Action approach, FAO is focusing on anticipatory action to avert a full blown food crisis, mainly by: scaling up support to governments to monitor and control the pest; and safeguarding livelihood interventions.

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