World Bank approves $20 million for social assistance programs
WASHINGTON, December 6, 2016 – Lesotho’s drought response efforts got a boost today following the approval of $20 million in additional financing by the World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors. The added funds will help the Government of Lesotho improve the shock responsive function of its ongoing social assistance programs as parts of its emergency response to the El Nino drought.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Favourable rainfall forecast for 2016/17 cropping season
Cereal production declined significantly in 2016 on account of El Niño-related drought conditions
Maize meal retail prices declined, but still remained above their year-earlier levels
Food security conditions worsen in 2016 reflecting impact of drought, with just under 0.5 million people requiring emergency assistance
Above-average rainfall conditions forecast for 2016/17 cropping season
MASERU – Lesotho is losing 1.9 billion Maloti (US$200 million) a year to the effects of child undernutrition, according to a new, country-specific Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) study released today. This amounts to more than 7 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The money is lost through increased healthcare costs, additional burdens on the education system and lower productivity of the workforce.
By Mamonehela Masupha, Volunteer, Lesotho Red Cross Society
September marks the start of the cropping season in Lesotho, bringing with it the hope of a new harvest that could ease the food shortage in the country caused by worst drought in over four decades. Consecutive poor harvests since 2014, escalating food prices and the severe drought conditions have left hundreds of thousands of people in need of food.
By: Mamonehela Masupha, Lesotho Red Cross Society volunteer
Sebongile is pregnant with her second child. Her first, a 17-month-old boy, still cannot walk. She lives alone in an old house in drought-stricken Lesotho, and is not working. Her mother has a job in neighbouring South Africa and comes home to help whenever she can. But for the most part, Sebongile is alone, relying on the generosity of others to cope with the lack of food.
Tzu Chi’s effort to reduce the food shortage situation in Lesotho
In order to reduce the food shortage situation In Lesotho, Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation hold rice distributions to help the impoverished. The distributions took place over the course of five different days during May and July in 2016, with the help of local volunteers and community members. The rice from Taiwan was given to students of two schools as well as residents of four communities. As the residents live far apart from one another, the community aid distributions were held at 14 different points.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
- Production of cereals decreased steeply in 2016 on account of El Niño‑related drought conditions
- Food prices continued to rise reflecting impact of drought on domestic and regional food supplies
- Reduced harvest and higher food prices caused 53 percent increase in number of food insecure in 2016/17
Crop production declined significantly in 2016
Risk rises as women and girls turn to sex to survive and hungry patients miss treatment, UNICEF says
By Magdalena Mis
ROME, July 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Drought exacerbated by the El Nino weather pattern could lead to a spike in new HIV infections in southern Africa as women and girls turn to sex to survive and patients miss treatments, the United Nations childrens' agency UNICEF said on Tuesday.
MATSIENG, Lesotho – Lesotho’s digital Population and Housing Census 2016 kicked off successfully with the ‘first enumeration’ of the Royal Homestead, the Head of State His Majesty King Letsie III and his family, in Matsieng on Sunday 10 April.
The launch also included the enumeration of the household of the Deputy Prime Minister, Mothetjoa Metsing, and his family in Mahobong, Leribe. The Prime Minister, Dr. Pakalitha Mosisili, is expected to be enumerated today.
By: Thea Rabe, Norwegian Red Cross
When the Ntsoa family realized they were not going to get any harvest from their land in southwestern Lesotho this season, Mathabo Ntsoa’s daughter had to leave to find work in the city. Now, Mathabo, 65, is left alone in the village, taking care of her three grandchildren.
“We have nothing. Nothing to plough, nothing to harvest,” Mathabo says, while her youngest granddaughter Rethabile, aged 3, sits between her legs.
MASERU – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is giving cash assistance to 21,000 vulnerable people in Lesotho’s two districts worst-affected by the El Niño-related drought. This is WFP’s first ever emergency cash relief operation in the Mountain Kingdom.
By Tsitsi Matope — 24 March 2016
Hundreds of thousands of people are facing hunger as an El Niño-related drought takes its toll in Lesotho. To reduce its impact, WFP is giving money to the most vulnerable families in two of the worst-affected districts.
•Over 534,000 people are at risk of food insecurity up to June 2016 (one in every four people in Lesotho) – the number is likely to go up beyond 725,000 people after June 2016.
•Over 377,000 people require immediate food or cash assistance to enable them to access food from the market as well as livelihood support to resuscitate own food production (revised figures will be available after June 2016 once crop forecast is available).
Pretoria, South Africa: 25 February 2016 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today warned that a lack of funding means it is having to scale back activities to address the food insecurity situation facing millions of families across southern Africa.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Poor production prospects for 2016 cereal crops due to El Nino‑associated dry conditions
Maize prices up on year-earlier levels, reflecting higher import costs and reduced 2015 output
Food security situation expected to worsen in 2015/16, on account of an expected production decline, poor livestock conditions and higher maize prices
Reduced seasonal rains severely weaken 2016 production prospects
By Michelle Marrion
UNICEF and its partners help bring health checkups, vaccinations, HIV testing and other services and support to communities in Lesotho, where they have long been out of reach for many residents.
MORIJA, Lesotho, 20 January 2016 – In the mountainous country of Lesotho, a 68-year-old grandmother arrives at the Ha Toloane primary school in the town of Morija. Her 3-year-old grandson is safely tucked in a traditional blanket draped around her shoulders, her stance and attire reminiscent of a caped super hero.
Islamic Relief is distributing food in Lesotho, in Southern Africa, where 650,000 people face hunger caused by widespread drought.
In December, the Government of Lesotho declared a state of emergency and appealed for help from the international community.
By Tsitsi Matope
WFP plans to strengthen colloboration with the government and partners as more than 650,000 people face hunger in Lesotho's worst drought in decades. Struggling from two successive crop failures, the mountain kingdom has been pushed into a state of crisis by the El Niño weather phenomenon which has brought reduced rainfall to much of southern Africa.
By Priyali Sur/Contributor — December 11, 2015
Maseru, Lesotho—“That’s how African men are,” the woman said. She and two others laughed aloud at the infidelity of their husbands. Their hearty, free-spirited laughter resonated in the hotel lobby, attracting disapproving stares from the men in business suits who occupied most of the other coffee tables.
In the prevailing context of climate change and declining food security in Lesotho, the need to raise children, parents and communities’ awareness on Climate Smart Agriculture technocologies including Conservation Agriculture (CA) and improved Home Gardening and Nutrition is essential.
One of Lesotho’s strategies to boost its agricultural growth is to encourage youth participation in agriculture along with promoting CA. CA entails minimum soil disturbance, soil cover at all times and intercropping or crop rotation. This protects the soil and increases its fertility.