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The Executive Secretary of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) underscored that fighting against COVID-19 pandemic and desert locust infestations are the top priority areas of the regional block.
In an interview with East Africa News Paper, the Executive Secretary of IGAD, Workneh Gebeyehu said the regional block is currently more concerned about the challenges posed by corona virus pandemic and the devastating desert locust outbreak in the region.
Workneh noted that IGAD should focus on issues related to COVID-19 and desert locust infestation, which have regional impact, and reinforcing collaboration among the member states to curb the threat posed in the region.
“Currently, my immediate priority is to ensure that member states collaborate in combating Covid-19 and mitigating its negative impacts today and its fall-outs of tomorrow,” he said.
The Executive Secretary has also stressed the need for member states to stand together in order to tackle the looming danger of desert locust before it affects the food security of the region.
“It is also vital to prepare together for the imminent desert locust invasion in such a way it does not hamper food security in the region and beware of the climate predictions and the potential floods in May.” he added.
He pointed out that IGAD is doing a lot for the betterment of the region in various fields ranging from ensuring the well-being of Pastoralist to the protection of the environment and natural resources.
To ensure regional food security and encourage and assist efforts of member States to collectively combat drought and other natural and man-made disasters as well as natural consequences are some of the objectives of IGAD.
The Horn of Africa and beyond is facing the worst desert locust infestation in more than 25 years since June and the COVID-19 impact added up.