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28 Mar 2017 description

Key points:

8 percentage point reduction in households reporting poor food consumption between January and February

Negative coping strategy levels remain stable since January

Price of maize meal is 4 percent lower than the same time last year

Heavy rains hinder access to markets

Situation Update

24 Mar 2017 description


  • In February, WFP assisted 172,443 food-insecure people with cash and food. The assistance covered people in seven districts, most affected by the drought due to the El Nino phenomenon.

  • Under the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), WFP received 66 mt of plumpy nut to provide assistance for Nutrition activities.

Operational Updates

20 Mar 2017 description

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


18 Mar 2017 description

Food access improves as households consume green foods

Key Messages

  • Humanitarian assistance continues in Lesotho in response to acute food insecurity. For very poor and poor households receiving assistance, this is their main cash and food source. As a result, food consumption and dietary diversity have improved due to assistance. Lesotho is currently projected to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2!), in the presence of assistance, from March to May. In the absence of ongoing assistance, the country would be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

18 Mar 2017 description
report UN Children's Fund


• UNICEF, with support from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), continues to provide safe drinking water to drought-affected populations. Preparatory activities such as technical assessment of water sources which require rehabilitation, and communities that need new water sources are underway to provide safe water to 17,000 people.

16 Mar 2017 description
report UN Population Fund

MAPUTSOE, Lesotho – ‘Mankaiseng Motau, 36, hurries as soon as she realizes the mobile clinic has been parked in its usual location near the factory at which she works. She wants to be the first to be served so that she can finish before the end of her lunch hour.

13 Mar 2017 description

Key points:

  • Households resorted less to negative coping strategies in January than in December

  • Rural households are using livelihoods coping strategies more than urban households

  • Purchasing power is lowest in southern districts The prices of maize meal, wheat and pulses have been stable since October

Seasonal Outlook

28 Feb 2017 description

Humanitarian assistance improves acute food insecurity outcomes this peak lean season


  • As the lean season progresses, households face limited options for income and food sources and are relying mostly on casual labor for cash to purchase food and essential non-food items. Food prices remain above average, but have gradually declined since April 2016.

08 Feb 2017 description


  • In January, WFP assisted 153,000 food insecure people through cash and food transfers.

  • Plans are underway to source maize meal for the school feeding programme locally; a proportion of the food is planned to be sourced from smallholder farmers.

  • WFP provided mobile devices to Lesotho Meteorological Services (LMS) to enable the Government to collect and disseminate real time weather data.

Operational Updates

03 Feb 2017 description

Key Points

  • Over half of rural households continue to use the most severe negative coping strategies
  • Over two thirds of socio-economically worst-off households are buying food on credit
  • A little over half the traders have stocks of basic foods
  • Average maize meal prices are 7 percent higher than one year ago

Seasonal Outlook

27 Jan 2017 description


  • Most parts of Lesotho experienced a rainfall deficit during the month, while Maseru and Mohale’s Hoek districts were hit by hail which destroyed some of the crops.

  • In December, WFP scaled up assistance in the seven most affected districts (Maseru, Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek, Quthing, Butha Buthe, Thaba Tseka and Berea) reaching 127,705 food insecure people through cash and food distributions.

Operational Updates

24 Jan 2017 description

Incessant rains likely to disturb farming activities, including weeding and fertilizer application

Near Term: October 2016 - January 2017 Medium Term: February - May 2017

Key Messages

17 Jan 2017 description
report UN Children's Fund


• UNICEF, the World Bank and the Ministry of Social Development disbursed the third tranche of the Cash Grant Top-up to 85,443 children (53% were girls) in 28,481 households, providing unconditional emergency support to families with children negatively affected by food insecurity and other drought related deprivations.

16 Jan 2017 description

Key points

  • Higher use of negative livelihoods coping strategies among households headed by women

  • Twice as many rural households have poor food consumption than urban households

  • Food insecurity increasing among households who buy food

  • Maize meal prices continued to fall in November but remain higher than last year

  • Prices for wheat flour and pulses remain stable

Seasonal Outlook:

05 Jan 2017 description

Casual labor opportunities increase, but labor wages are expected to remain below normal

Key Messages

  • Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity outcomes are expected to continue in Lesotho during this lean season, in the absence of humanitarian assistance. This is due to the compounding effects of one of the worst droughts in Lesotho’s recent history. Affected households continue to face limited food access, small consumption gaps, and do not have the capacity to cope with such a severe situation.

28 Dec 2016 description


  • WFP is scaling up cash and food distributions for the peak of the lean season (January-March) However, WFP’s combined portfolio has a significant funding gap and contributions are needed for all activities to take place.

  • According to Mobile Vulnerability Analysis Mapping (mVam), commodity markets continue to function normally with food commodities available.

Operational Updates

08 Dec 2016 description
report World Bank

World Bank approves $20 million for social assistance programs

WASHINGTON, December 6, 2016 – Lesotho’s drought response efforts got a boost today following the approval of $20 million in additional financing by the World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors. The added funds will help the Government of Lesotho improve the shock responsive function of its ongoing social assistance programs as parts of its emergency response to the El Nino drought.

05 Dec 2016 description

Key points:

  • The average prices for maize meal and wheat flour remained stable over September and October

  • Prices for pulses were also stable in October in most districts.

  • Households are relying more on vegetables from their own production rather than purchasing them.


01 Dec 2016 description

Food insecurity to worsen as the lean season peaks and ongoing assistance is still below needs

Key Messages

  • The peak of the lean season has begun a few months earlier than normal and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will continue in Lesotho throughout the peak period due to below normal off-season incomes, below average wage rates for agricultural labor, as well as high food prices. Very poor and poor households across Lesotho are the most affected.

27 Nov 2016 description


  • Favourable rainfall forecast for 2016/17 cropping season

  • Cereal production declined significantly in 2016 on account of El Niño-related drought conditions

  • Maize meal retail prices declined, but still remained above their year-earlier levels

  • Food security conditions worsen in 2016 reflecting impact of drought, with just under 0.5 million people requiring emergency assistance

Above-average rainfall conditions forecast for 2016/17 cropping season