Giving Compass’ Take:
• ClimaCell is an organization working to address the issues of locust swarms and weather in East Africa, the Middle East, and West Asia that devastate crops and bring about the threat of hunger in many communities.
• How can donors help communities that are facing compounding crises across the globe?
• Read more about the threatened food security in Africa.
For millions of people living in East Africa, the Middle East, and West Asia, the coronavirus pandemic may not be the most severe setback of 2020. Instead, it’s locusts. Since the beginning of the year more than 450 billion of the grasshoppers have ravaged homes and devastated crops in these regions. In fact, the situation is so dire that up to 10% of the world’s population is under threat of hunger and more than $8.5B in direct damages is expected by the end of the year. For people living in poverty who are less able to weather these types of setbacks, they now find themselves between the pandemic and the plague.
While the global response to the pandemic has been seismic, the response to the huge swarms of locusts currently destroying the livelihood of tens of millions of people has been decidedly underwhelming. Most responses from major development organizations such as the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization have left many segments of societies underserved. For instance, many farmers, pastoralists, and frontline emergency responders managing distribution of food aid still don’t have access to predictive data capabilities to help them plan accordingly. But one organization with innovative weather technology, ClimaCell, is focusing its efforts on mitigating the locust problem with state-of-the-art technology and localized community-based insights. ClimaCell’s solution has the potential to not only alleviate the suffering many in the region are enduring due to locusts, but also provide actionable insights to solve myriad problems related to the weather. In doing so, ClimaCell can put many on a path to prosperity.
Read the full article about focusing on locusts by Efosa Ojomo at Christensen Institute.
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