Compassion International and Local Church Partners Respond as Desert Locusts Devour and Destroy

An Ethiopian girl attempts to fend off desert locusts as they fly in a farm on the outskirt of Jijiga in Somali region, Ethiopia January 12, 2020 Giulia Paravicini/REUTERS

A problem of biblical proportion is munching its way across East Africa. The UN warns of regional famine as desert locusts devour and destroy, moving in swarms the size of major cities. What are desert locusts?

“I’m 35 years old and I’ve never heard of any invasion like [this]. It’s new to all of us; it has never occurred [here] for the past 25 years,” Compassion Internationals Girum Getachew tells MNN. Getachew serves as Public Relations Specialist for Compassion Ethiopia.

“In one kilometer square [of a locust swarm] you find 150 million individual locusts, and it destroys what 35,000 people can eat per day.”

Compassion and its local church partners are meeting needs in Christ’s Name. Learn more here.

Desert locusts add insult to injury

If not contained, desert locusts can quickly spread to South Sudan and Uganda in the weeks to come. As explained here, the outbreak primarily affects Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya right now. According to the World Food Program, the upcoming rainy season would prompt another breeding cycle and the crisis could spread even further.

Between 13 and 25 million people in the region already suffer from severe food shortages. Now, locusts are destroying any vegetation left standing. The laws of supply and demand lead to drastic price increases on basic food items, putting a strain on struggling families.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth


  • Ask the Lord to intervene in this situation and stop locusts from spreading.
  • Pray Compassion’s church partners will have wisdom and discernment concerning aid distribution and needs assessment.