The Russian government will allocate $10 million from the federal budget to help African countries that are facing the threat of famine due to the locust invasion.
The funds will go to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in the form of a voluntary target contribution from the Russian Federation, according to the decree of April 24 which has been published on Kremlin’s website
Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia will each receive $3 million and $1 million will be allocated to South Sudan.
The money will be allocated "from the allocations provided to the Russian Foreign Ministry in the federal budget for 2020," the order reads.
According to the Russian Ministry of Finance, in 2020, the Russian Foreign Ministry has received 263.7 billion rubles ($3.5 million USD) from the federal budget. This is about 1% of all budget expenditures (20,796 trillion rubles or $275.87 million USD). As of the end of March, a third - 90.7 billion rubles ($1.2 million USD) - was spent out of the allocated amount.
By early April, locusts had destroyed 200,000 hectares of food crops in Ethiopia. At the same time, according to UN experts, the Horn of Africa region is waiting for the second, even more powerful wave of pest infestation.
Billions of insects have already passed over large areas of East Africa, including Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda. Experts attribute the unusual number of locusts to the unprecedented rainy season over the past 40 years.