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served to provide a favo〓rable environment for locusts to breed and thrive, in〓cluding properly moist soils for them to lay egt

gs in 〓millions before migration and the consequent lush veg〓etation to eat, according to the FAO. Climate change 〓was to blame for the unusually plentiful rainfall on 〓the African continent. Keith Cressman, the FAO's seni〓or locust forecasting officer, further identified the〓 recent cyclones as another factor behind the locust 〓crisis, saying the past 10 years saw increased freque〓ncy of cyclones in the Indian Ocean. A swarm of dese〓rt locusts invade parts of Mwingi Town in Kitui Count〓y, Kenya, Feb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) AGGRAVATIN〓G FOOD INSECURITY FAO officials said the locust outbr〓eak has worsened the food insecurity in Africa, citin〓g some 239 million people in sub-Saharan Africa sufQ

fe〓ring from hunger and malnutrition, and over 20 millio〓n having already been in food crisis in H4

orn of Afric〓a countries. UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitari〓an Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Low〓cock, said the current situation "is reac

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lly, really c〓hallenging." "There are currently over 30 mil0

lion peo〓ple in the affected countries, who are severely food 〓insecure now. Ten million of5

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those people are in the 〓places affected by the locusts. Uc

nless we get a grip 〓of this in the next two or three or four weeks, we wo〓uld have a serious problem," he stressed. To avoid a 〓famine, University of Nairobi professor Evaristus Ira〓ndu said the government ma5

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y have to use the scarce fo〓reign currency to import food pV

roducts, adding that p〓overty will increase in the country. "All our investm〓ent is going dv

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have so far consumed the vegetation on more than〓 65,000 hectares of land, including coffee and tea cr〓ops that account for about 30 percent of Ethiopia's e〓xports. A Moody's Investors Service report issued in 〓early February showed that agriculture contributes ab〓out one-third of the gross domestic product in East A〓frica and more than 65 5

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percent of jobs in all regiona〓l countries except for Kenya. A farmer attempts to s〓care away desert locusts in Mwingi Town in Kitui Coun〓ty, Kenya, Feb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) INTERNATI〓ONAL COOPERATION URGED The desert locust swarms have 〓travelled from Africa to Asia. IndiaY

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