This report is produced by Office of the Resident Coordinator in Lesotho in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It is issued by the Humanitarian Country Team. It covers the period from 1 October 2016 up to 17 March 2017
Lesotho is currently experiencing an unprecedented El Niño induced drought, with an almost 62 per cent decline in crop production during the last agricultural season
According to the Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) around half of the rural population are at risk of livelihood and food insecurity between May 2016 and April 2017.
Lesotho continues to face a drought crisis. While the peak of the El Nino weather phenomenon has subsided, its significant effects on the population are set to continue and worsen until at least April 2017.
Below normal rainfall has continued in Lesotho with forecasts predicting this is likely to persist until June 2016.
• A multi-stakeholder Rapid Drought Impact Assessment was completed on February 8, 2016. The preliminary findings confirm that the country is facing a serious crisis relating to food security and water availability.
• The assessment found that 534,502 (more than 1 in 4) people were at risk of food insecurity until June 2016 with the situation expected to worsen in the second half of the year and the beginning of 2017 once the summer crop forecast for 2016 is available (June 2016).
Following extremely poor rains during the first half of the rainfall season, the Lesotho Government has declared a drought emergency and has established an Inter-Ministerial Task Force to oversee the response.
The Government of Lesotho has developed a National Response Plan to address the situation and has issued an Appeal Document.