Lesotho: El Niño-related Drought - Office of the Resident Coordinator Situation Update No. 7 (as of 7 August 2017)

Report
from UN Resident Coordinator for Lesotho
Published on 07 Aug 2017

This report is produced by the 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 31 May 2017 up to 7 August 2017.

Highlights
- The response to the El Niño-induced drought is still ongoing and is scheduled to continue until August 2017. While most humanitarian relief activities have been completed, the outstanding interventions will be terminated in the upcoming weeks and form the transition to the resilience-building dimension.
- The first integrated urban and rural vulnerability assessment undertaken, in June 2017, projects a total of 306,942 people food insecure from September 2017 to March 2018 (224,664 rural and 82,278 urban). The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis predicts Lesotho to be at Phase 1 (minimal) of food insecurity until September. As of October, Lesotho is projected to reach IPC Phase 2 (stressed).
- The food security situation has greatly improved due to the availability of food from household harvests, improved incomes and decreasing staple prices. In 2017, the national crop forecast estimates a total crop production of 239,361 metric tonnes, the highest within the past ten years.
- The June 2017 Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment (LVAC) sees acute food security needs and malnutrition rates reducing, while chronic malnutrition and a considerable residue of food insecure communities remains.
- Humanitarian partners have been able to secure more than USD 40 million for the relief dimension of the response (more than 77% of the requested funds). The drought response in Lesotho is one of the best funded emergency responses in the Eastern and Southern African region against the financial requirements. The Government of Lesotho (GoL) has committed around USD 23 million through humanitarian interventions and a food subsidy program.
- A total of 466,563 beneficiaries have been reached so far through humanitarian interventions by humanitarian partners.
- The GoL together with its partners is currently developing a National Resilience Strategy Framework to address chronic gaps in the climate change adaptation, food security, chronic malnutrition and health emergencies. Further interventions are planned to strengthen emergency preparedness and resilience in Lesotho.
- According to the WMO, there is currently a 35-45% chance of another global El Niño event taking place during the second half of 2017. The likelihood for the region to be affected will be updated during the month of August.