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A desert locust outbreak that’s the worst in 25 years is threatening pastures and crops on both sides of the Red Sea and could spread to Uganda and South Sudan, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization said.

A potentially threatening situation is developing along both sides of the Red Sea with locust numbers increasing on the coasts of Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the FAO Locust Watch said in a statement on its website.

“There is a risk that some swarms could appear in northeast Uganda, southeast South Sudan and southwest Ethiopia,” it said. While control operations are going on in all affected countries, insecurity and a lack of national capacity have limited efforts in Somalia, FAO said.

Locusts can cover as much as 150 kilometers (93 miles) a day and an average swarm will destroy crops sufficient to feed 2,500 people for a year, according to the UN.

To contact the reporter on this story: Samuel Gebre in Abidjan at sgebre@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Malingha at dmalingha@bloomberg.net, Helen Nyambura, John Viljoen

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