Adult locusts flying over wheat fields in the foothills of the Anti Atlas mountains near Rich. - - Desert Locust Control Campaign in North-West Africa. In 1988 the Maghreb countries of north-west Africa experienced a massive invasion of desert locust swarms - the worst plague to affect the region in 30 years. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) appealed to the international donor community to assist in the control campaign to eliminate the threat posed to crops. The ECLO Office (Emergency Centre for Locust Operations) of FAO-coordinated donor assistance and liaised with the affected countries. Between January and July approximately 5 million hectares had been sprayed in the Maghreb with vigorous aerial and ground control by individual governments with bilateral and multi-lateral assistance.