FAO Desert Locust Emergency Response in the Horn of Africa Region

Project completed

To control the spread of the worst outbreak of desert locusts in decades in the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya) and safeguard livelihoods of thousands of affected vulnerable households, Switzerland intends to contribute to the regional desert locust crisis appeal by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Horn of Africa
Agriculture & food security
Plant protection & pest control
Household food security
20.02.2020 - 19.06.2021
CHF  2’000’000

The Horn of Africa region is affected by the worst outbreak of desert locusts in decades. Thousands of hectares of cropland and pasture have been damaged so far in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia with severe consequences for livelihoods of millions of households in already fragile food security situation. The Desert Locust is considered the most destructive migratory pest in the world as it is highly mobile and feeds on large quantities of any kind of green vegetation, including crops, pasture and fodder.

Currently, over 11.9 million people in these three countries are considered severely food insecure. Majority of these food insecure populations are women, children and minority groups that are excluded in resource sharing within their societies. The food insecurity situation is exacerbated by conflicts and other climate fragilities.

The regional office of FAO launched the desert locust crisis appeal on 28th January 2020 for rapid response and anticipatory action in the Greater Horn of Africa. It aims to support the control of desert locusts and support initiatives that safeguard livelihoods and assist in early recovery.

February and April 2020 will be used as a critical opportunity to implement actions to contain the spread of the locusts and protect the food production capacities of the affected households.

Objectives Overall goal of the project is to stop the widespread desert locust outbreak in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, safeguard livelihoods, support early livelihood recovery efforts and support coordination in the region.
Target groups
  • Larger population affected by the crisis in the three Countries - Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.
  • 80'000 households (including women and children) across the three countries that are worst affected by the desert locust invasion for livelihood support interventions.
  • National fovernment officials for capacity strengthening; the number of beneficiaries will be confirmed during the project implementation in the three target countries. 
Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: Curb the spread of desert locust to new areas and stop the devastation of vegetation (including crops and pasture) in the already affected areas.

Oucome 2: 80'000 disaster affected households' livelihoods safeguarded through the provision of timely humanitarian assistance.

Outcome 3: 80'000 disaster affected households' early livelihood recovery supported through provision of productive sector inputs for agriculture and livestock based livelihoods.

Outcome 4: Effective coordination between different response actors is achieved to stop desert locust invasion and realize timely recovery of affected areas to safeguard and restore livelihoods. 


Expected results:  

  • Curb the spread of desert locust; aerial and ground control operations supported and national preparedness capacity enhanced.
  • Interventions to safeguard livelihoods and early livelihood recovery efforts provided including cash transfers, supplementary livestock feed, faming input packages.
  • Coordination of different actors supported by providing technical support, corss-border response plans and national officials trained. 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Humanitarian aid
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Food and Agricultural Organisation

Other partners
Coordination with other projects and actors
  • Government Ministries in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia (mainly Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, local Authorities including Regional and County Governments);
  • Desert Locust COntrol Organization of East Africa (DLCO-EA). 
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    2’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    2’000’000 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF   0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   1’000’000
Project phases

Phase 1 20.02.2020 - 19.06.2021   (Completed)