Integrated acute food insecurity phase classification May 16/Mar 17 the Kingdom of Lesotho


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.


  • Despite current analysis corresponding to harvest/post-harvest period, 19% of households had poor food consumption, and 45% had borderline food consumption.

  • In Berea, Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek, Quthing and Thaba-Tseka, over 20% of the rural households spent more than 75% of their cash in food purchase. In other districts the same expenditure pattern is experienced by 10-16% of rural households.

  • Generally, 13% of households engaged in crisis and emergency livelihood coping strategies, indicating that households reduced food consumption rather than depleting livelihood assets

  • Global Acute Malnutrition was below 5% in all districts except in Mohale’s Hoek, which had a GAM prevalence of 6.6%.


The current situation (Apr-Jun 2016) reveals that eight districts out of ten, i.e. Mafeteng, Leribe, Berea, Qacha’s Nek, Quthing, Mokhotlong,
Thaba-Tseka, and Butha Buthe are classified as Phase 2 ‘Stressed’. Two districts (Maseru and Mohale’s Hoek) are in Phase 3 ‘Crisis’. There is no district that is classified in Phase 4, although all districts have population ranging from 4 to 15) that are thought to be facing an emergency food insecurity situation (Phase 4). All in all 44% of the total rural population are expected to be in Phase 1 (‘No/Minimal Acute Food Insecurity’), 34% in Phase 2 (‘Stressed’), 13% in Phase 3 (‘Crisis’), and 8% in Phase 4 (‘Emergency’).

With regard to the projected situations, the seasonal calendar indicates that the first projection period (July to October) is a post-harvest period (with harvest usually ending in May-June), whereas the period from November to February typically correspond to the lean season, although harvesting of green maize starts already in January in many districts. This year, due to negligible production of staple food items, the lean season is expected to start earlier, and to be more severe than usually. However, different social safety net programmes and Government food price subsidies are likely to alleviate the severity of the lean season. Nevertheless, prices are expected to remain high, likely affecting poor population with no sufficient income to cover their basic needs, particularly in the absence of assistance.