Emergency Assistance in Response to Crop Failure in Lesotho
Lesotho experienced its heaviest rainfall in the last ten years between December 2010 and February 2011, resulting in major floods which inundated much of the country. The farming sector has suffered heavy losses, including crops and seasonal employment opportunities.
Based on the preliminary analysis of the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) in March April, the United Nations agencies immediately responded through the Central Emergency Response Fund to assist 174,000 people with agricultural inputs, food, water, sanitation and health services. WFP assisted 8,000 people with food for three months (April-June 2011) and extended its ongoing blanket supplementary feeding activity to a further 16,000 people (children under 2 and pregnant and lactating women) in the highland districts from June onwards.
The PDNA mission warned of a food security crisis in late-2011 due to damage and losses in the agricultural sector. The affected households already face food shortages due to loss of employment opportunities, declining household incomes, and the effects of the HIV pandemic. A subsequent report prepared in June by the Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) concluded that poor households face a survival deficit ranging from 9-61 percent, depending on the geographic location, implying that their daily energy requirements will not be met. The LVAC estimates that around 500,000 people will be food-insecure, particularly during the 2011-2012 lean season (November-April).