Swarms of locusts are set to hatch in East Africa in June - destroying crops just when they're ready to be harvested. Families who are already suffering due to flooding and the impact of coronavirus are now at increased risk of hunger.
The highest rainfall in 40 years in parts of the region has caused severe flooding, forcing half a million people from their homes and destroying crops and livelihoods.
Lydia Zigomo, Oxfam's Regional Director in the Horn, East and Central Africa said "In a grim coincidence, the recent rains have created the perfect breeding conditions for locusts while restrictions introduced to contain coronavirus have hampered efforts to control their spread."
There are fears that the new swarms could be 400 times larger than the original swarms - already the biggest locust outbreak in East Africa in 70 years. The floods and the new wave of locust infestation will lead to increased food shortages in a region where over 33 million people are already severely food insecure.
Oxfam is working closely with local partners in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Somalia, to provide cash assistance to more than 6000 households to buy food. Oxfam is also distributing soap, hygiene kits and clean water to hospitals and communities to help people protect themselves from coronavirus.
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