Lesotho El Niño-induced Drought Briefing – February 2016

News and Press Release
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•Over 534,000 people are at risk of food insecurity up to June 2016 (one in every four people in Lesotho) – the number is likely to go up beyond 725,000 people after June 2016.

•Over 377,000 people require immediate food or cash assistance to enable them to access food from the market as well as livelihood support to resuscitate own food production (revised figures will be available after June 2016 once crop forecast is available).

•The 2016 season is expected to be worse in all aspects than the last food insecurity crisis experienced in 2012 dur e to the current El Niño events. The planting season failed and food prices in the region are rising sharply due to poor production in South Africa and weak Rand-Loti exchange rate against USD.

•Rangeland and water availability for livestock is poor and livestock conditions have deteriorated with reported drought-related deaths in Senqu Valley and Lowlands mainly.

•FAO needs USD 7 million to assist drought-affected people through coordinated support to agriculture and livestock production, nutrition, social protection and resilience-building interventions. Of this, USD 1.1 million has already been pledged by ECHO.