Poor start of agriculture season possible due to forecast normal to below normal rains
Following below-average harvests, most poor households have exhausted own-produced foods and are now reliant on market purchases for staple foods. Staple food prices will continue to gradually increase as the lean season approaches, which will begin to reduce purchasing power for poor, market-dependent households.
Localized Stressed food insecurity to persist with the start of the lean season
Depletion of own stocks, limited income opportunities and increases in staple food prices will likely result in poor households facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes in localized areas. Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity is expected in most of Lesotho through December.
Summary of WFP Assistance:
Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity likely in select districts
The SADC Double Troika decided to establish a commission of enquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Lt. General Maaparankoe Mahao while agreeing to second two pathologists from South Africa to assist with the post-mortem process. Meanwhile, a team of investigators from Zimbabwe and Namibia would be made available to assist with investigation related to the death of Lt. General Mahao.
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Lesotho has experienced a range of climate change shocks ranging from increasingly frequent droughts to unpredictable and heavy rainfall, resulting in an increased rate of soil erosion, desertification and reduced soil fertility which negatively affects agricultural production.
Food stocks from own production, food in exchange with labor, market purchases, and safety nets ensuring basic food and non-food access, maintaining Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes between June and July, while declining purchasing power will result in localized Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes between August to September.
The international community has condemned the killing of the former commander of the Lesotho Defense Force by the military on 25 June. The killing follows the alleged arrest, detention and torture of dozens of soldiers purportedly suspected of plotting against authorities.
26 June 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru.
“The Secretary-General expresses his condolences to the bereaved family and urges the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice,” said a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York.
After the support they were receiving from WFP ended in November 2013, the farmers of Ha-Mohapi village defied the odds and worked to produce a flourishing fruit tree plantation. The proud farmers are today the envy of passers-by who stop to see how the trees have transformed a once barren area.
Farmers supported by WFP defy odds
By Tsitsi Matope
A three-acre plot of fruit trees is flourishing on a remote hillside of Ra-Mohapi Village in Mafeteng District, south of the capital, Maseru.
Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes likely due to poor production and low purchasing power
Own stocks from the recent harvest, stable food prices and ongoing safety nets will maintain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes between May and July. However, increases in food prices, declining incomes, and the end of some safety-net programs will result in the deterioration of food insecurity outcomes for poor households to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between August and September.
Anticipated below-average harvest and rise in food prices to impact food access for 2015/16
The start of main harvests, relative stable food prices supplemented by ongoing safety-net programmes will maintain sufficient food access for most households, resulting in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity outcomes between April to June 2015.
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 7, 2015 – Peace Corps volunteer Evan Brown of Eads, Tennessee, is building a health club in Lesotho to give his community a safe place to exercise and learn about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. The new club will provide nearly 7,000 community members with access to programs that combine exercise and health education in a country where more than 22 percent of the population is living with HIV/AIDS, according to UNAIDS.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission to the Kingdom of Lesotho (SOMILES) has closed down following successful elections in the Kingdom held on 28th February, 2015.
The SADC Double Troika Summit plus Democratic Republic of Congo and the United Republic of Tanzania which was held in Pretoria, South Africa on 15th September, 2014 decided to deploy the SOMILES in order to address the political and security developments in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
Poor rainfall performance suggests below-average crop production likely
Stable food prices, peaking of green consumption, start of main harvest with associated labor opportunities, and ongoing safety-net programming are expected to ensure sufficient food access for most households, resulting in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity outcomes from March to June 2015.
Main harvest and associated agricultural labor to improve food access
According to the latest GIEWS food price data, prices remain high and are at their peak as the lean season continues. The high retail prices for imported maize and limited incomes are constraining poor households’ ability to adequately meet livelihood needs. Poor rural households across the country will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in February.
Lesotho Emergency and Resilience Programme (ERP), implemented by FAO and the Government of Lesotho since 2012, has been retained as Finalist in the “Expo Milano 2015 Call for Best Sustainable Development Practices (BSDP)”. The BSDP is a competition organised by the Universal Exposition taking place in Milan (Italy) from 1st of May to 31st of October 2015 having as a theme “Feeding the planet, energy for life”.
WFP remains committed to the two strategic priorities under its 2012-2017 Country Strategy:
a) Enhancing Resilience and Responsiveness to Food Security Shocks.