Asha Khalif Ali, 35, an internally displaced Ethiopian, carries her son in her wheat field that was damaged by heavy rains and desert locusts [File: Giulia Paravicini/Reuters]

Some one million people in Ethiopia require emergency food aid after swarms of desert locusts damaged 200,000 hectares (half a million acres) of cropland in a region already struggling with food security, the United Nations has said.

The announcement on Monday from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which recently concluded a joint assessment with the Ethiopian government, came as parts of East Africa are bracing for new swarms that could be even more devastating.

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Billions of desert locusts, some in swarms the size of Moscow, have already chomped their way through much of the

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