CNA Staff, May 13, 2020 / 13:00 pm
Members of Congress are calling for urgent U.S. action to fight locust swarms in East Africa, which they say could cause mass starvation during a pandemic. Early action now could save lives and resources in the near future, supporters of a new resolution claim.
Locust attacks in the early months of 2020 devastated crops and are threatening mass hunger in East Africa, said Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Karen Bass (D-Calif.) as they introduced a resolution calling on the president to lend U.S. air support to the region to spray against the swarms.
"A measured intervention by the United States now can make an enormous life-saving impact. More than 25 million are already facing severe food insecurity," said Smith, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa and global health.
Smith's resolution H.Res. 962, co-authored with Africa subcommittee chair Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), asks that President Trump use air support to fight locust swarms in the region by spraying areas to kill and deter their spread. It also directs the administrator of USAID to mobilize personnel at the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.