Lesotho Remote Monitoring Update, January 2013
Stressed food insecurity levels expected through March
• The 2011/12 maize harvest was more than 70 percent below the previous year’s below-average harvest, and maize meal prices are at least 30-40 percent above last year.
• The Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee estimated that about a third of the population of Lesotho might be at risk of food insecurity, particularly during the ongoing peak of the lean season between January and March. As a result, the government of Lesotho declared an Emergency Food Crisis in August 2012.
• The onset of rains in Lesotho was three to four dekads late in most of the country, and as of early January, the area planted was 40 percent below the five-year average. The 2012/13 harvest is likely to be below average, though better than last year. Late planting will also result in delayed green harvests.
• Programmed assistance is not sufficient to meet all gaps in minimum needs. However, it is having a significant impact on the ability of the most-affected households to meet their minimum needs. Many poor households will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) until the delayed green harvest arrives in April.