Locusts plus pandemic: Must Europe help East Africa?

The measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic are impeding the fight against the plague of locusts in East Africa. In recent months swarms have been flying mainly over Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, devouring crops and leaving swathes of land bare. Each insect is capable of eating its own body weight in plants each day. Commentators say the time has come for Europe to act.

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Večernji list (HR) /

Explosion will be felt here too

The countries of Europe should think carefully about whether to refuse to support African countries in their fight against the corona pandemic and the locust infestation, Večernji list stresses:

“If they fail to help the Africans in their countries, the Europeans will find them knocking at their own front door. Then they'll start to discuss who should take care of whom and whether to take care of anyone at all. Many politicians in Western Europe prefer to satisfy the expectations of their online followers, instead of thinking about what would be better for the future. That's why we can expect a social explosion with repercussions across Europe.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Solidarity needed now

De Volkskrant is concerned about how Europe and European companies could help the states of the southern hemisphere:

“This won't be possible without large-scale debt relief, which is something the IMF and G20 have already made a case for. One can expect international companies not to shift the burden entirely onto the poorest section of the production chain. Day labourers in Bangladesh's textile factories are already being robbed of their income because fashion companies are cancelling orders en masse. ... Right now rich countries can prove that they are loyal allies by securing investments, jobs and humanitarian aid funds in the short and long term.”