Tzu Chi’s effort to reduce the food shortage situation in Lesotho
In order to reduce the food shortage situation In Lesotho, Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation hold rice distributions to help the impoverished. The distributions took place over the course of five different days during May and July in 2016, with the help of local volunteers and community members. The rice from Taiwan was given to students of two schools as well as residents of four communities. As the residents live far apart from one another, the community aid distributions were held at 14 different points.
Sephareng, Lesotho | AFP | Saturday 8/13/2016 - 03:03 GMT
by Julie JAMMOT
For farmer Mohlakoane Molise, the view of the enormous Katse dam from his smallholding high in the mountains of Lesotho taunts him daily.
His country is suffering through its worst drought in 35 years, but the vast and vital water reserves remain out of reach, destined instead for export to neighbouring South Africa.
IPC analysis conducted from 24 to 30 May 2016 for all 10 districts of Lesotho based on primary data collected by LVAC and partners in May 2016 and secondary data collected from Jan. 2016 onwards. Projected analysis requires an update in October 2016.
KEY FOOD INSECURITY OUTCOMES AS OF MAY 2016
Despite current analysis corresponding to harvest/post-harvest period, 19% of households had poor food consumption, and 45% had borderline food consumption.
This year, crop production contributed less than 10% of annual cereal requirements.
Compared to last year, maize production declined by 61%, sorghum production by 88%, and wheat production by 38%.
Due to high prices of maize in South Africa, prices of staple food in Lesotho are significantly higher.
The Government has subsidised maize meal and pulses by 30%, effective from 1st June 2016, which is expected to run for twelve months from June 2016 to May 2017.
Lesotho is currently experiencing an unprecedented El Niño induced drought, with an almost 62 per cent decline in crop production during the last agricultural season
According to the Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) around half of the rural population are at risk of livelihood and food insecurity between May 2016 and April 2017.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
- Production of cereals decreased steeply in 2016 on account of El Niño‑related drought conditions
- Food prices continued to rise reflecting impact of drought on domestic and regional food supplies
- Reduced harvest and higher food prices caused 53 percent increase in number of food insecure in 2016/17
Crop production declined significantly in 2016
Food insecurity to persist due to low incomes and high staple food prices
The Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) results show that 680,000 rural people are in need of food assistance and livelihood protection.
WFP is appealing for additional funding for its Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) which targets 263,000 drought affected people. In the broader response operation, WFP will work with communities in resilience building activities.
Risk rises as women and girls turn to sex to survive and hungry patients miss treatment, UNICEF says
By Magdalena Mis
ROME, July 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Drought exacerbated by the El Nino weather pattern could lead to a spike in new HIV infections in southern Africa as women and girls turn to sex to survive and patients miss treatments, the United Nations childrens' agency UNICEF said on Tuesday.
UNICEF provided support for the completed Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC), which revised the number of people requiring humanitarian assistance from 725,000+ down to 679,437.
UNICEF is reaching 69,000 of the most vulnerable children (51% girls), through its Cash Grant Top Up response, which provides relief for families in response to the food price shock during the winter months.
Most areas will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) throughout the 2016/17 consumption year
The new preliminary Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) results show that 680,000 rural people are in need of food assistance and livelihood protection support throughout the country.
WFP is looking for additional funding for its wider response operation targeting 263,000 people affected by the drought. In the broader response operation, WFP will work with communities in resilience building activities.
In early 2016 DMA requested LVAC to conduct a market assessment to determine the functionality of food market systems (for maize, pulses and cooking oil) in Lesotho. The market assessment was undertaken to analyze Lesotho’s food market environment, structure and network. The assessment shed light on financial and physical infrastructure, trader typology, trader limitations and constraints to trade as well as covering market functionality throughout different seasons in a year.
The market assessment was conducted to determine the functionality of the food market systems for maize, beans and cooking oil in Lesotho. The findings demonstrate that markets in Lesotho are well-integrated and are functioning. The report also explores Lesotho’s cereal availability for the 2016-17 season, which remains one of the key food security concerns for the upcoming marketing season especially in light of the soaring food prices in the country as well as across southern Africa.
UNICEF provided support for the now completed Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC), having received preliminary results in mid-May. The process of completing the final data analysis is underway with the final results expected to be released on 6 June 2016.
The preliminary LVAC findings have revised the number of people requiring humanitarian assistance from 725,000+ down to 679,437.
679,437 rural people affected
All 10 districts affected
477,000 people in need of immediate food assistance
4,000 cash-transfer (households)
The results by the Lesotho Vulnerability Committee (LVAC) shows that 679,437 rural people affected by the El Niño drought are in need of livelihood and food assistance.
WFP is appealing for financial assistance to implement its wider response programme targeting 263,000 people in the worst affected areas.
A total of 4,000 families most affected by the El Niño drought received their second tranche of M 1,020 (USD 65) worth of assistance in April. WFP is providing assistance to 20,000 people most affected by the drought in Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek districts.
WFP is providing technical assistance in the collection of data for the Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC). Results will inform longer-term interventions. A nutrition assessment is also underway and results will be incorporated into the LVAC.