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Locust invasion threatens underfunded Madagascar

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After years of underfunding its locust management programme, Madagascar is threatened by a major swarm that could infest most of the island country. “If nothing is done this year, there is a risk that almost the whole country, except for the extreme north and the eastern coast, will be invaded by locusts,” Alexandre Huynh, country representative for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), told IRIN. Locusts breed in the southwestern regions of Madagascar during the rainy season, from October to April. According to a 2012 World Food Programme (WFP) survey, an estimated 676,000 people in the 104 southern municipalities are considered at risk of severe food insecurity.