Desert Locust Joint Response

Goal: Providing life-saving assistance to people in Ethiopia and Somalia facing severe food insecurity.
Lead Organisation: SOS Children’s Villages The Netherlands
Organisations: Cordaid, Dorcas, ICCO Cooperation, Oxfam Novib, Save the Children, Tearfund, ZOA
Duration: April 22, 2020 –
October 21, 2020
Whilst dealing with the locusts, the communities in Ethiopia and Somalia are also threatened by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Type of response:

About the crisis

The desert locust is considered one of the most destructive migratory pests in the world: the pest is hypermobile and feeds on vast amounts of almost any kind of vegetation. The wind allows them to travel as much as 150 km on a normal day and a small swarm (about 40 million locusts per km2). The plague has a devastating effect on agriculture and grasslands (leaving no food for livestock) and thus the food security and economy of the region. Especially in areas where food security was already poor. The plague has not only destroyed the first crop of 2020, but is also endangering the following two crops.

In Ethiopia, an estimated 8.5 million people face severe food insecurity and in Somalia 6.7 million people face acute food insecurity. The current plague of locusts in the Horn of Africa is one of the worst outbreaks ever in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya and also threatens countries such as Uganda and South Sudan.

The corona pandemic is only making the situation more difficult.

The Dutch Relief Alliance response

The response is being implemented by 8 DRA members and 8 local counter parts, with SOS Children’s Villages The Netherlands leading the consortium. The project focuses on the provision of Food Security and Livelihoods (66.080 beneficiaries) and Multipurpose Cash Assistance (37.762 beneficiaries) in response to the locust. This contains, for example, trench digging to eradicate the locust as a cash for work activity. In response to Covid-19, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene interventions (142.315 beneficiaries) and Health activities (training on Covid for health workers) have been added to the response. The protection and inclusion of the most vulnerable people is given attention throughout the response. The response is targeting the population in locust affected and food insecure areas of Somaliland, Somalia and Ethiopia. Women and children are disproportionately affected, and special efforts will be made to reach the most vulnerable women and children including pregnant and lactating women and children under the age of 5. With the project we want to jointly reach 215,455 people.



Contact lead organisation SOS Children’s Villages The Netherlands
Helene Boeser
T: +31 6 17 098975