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.
FEWS NET has learned that approximately 90 percent of the population facing survival food deficits this consumption year are receiving in-kind and cash assistance, allowing households to cover their food gaps and non-food needs. As a result, Lesotho is projected to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) from February through April 2017, in the presence of humanitarian assistance. In the absence of ongoing assistance, the country would be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes are expected for the remainder of the outlook period once the harvesting period peaks in May.
Similar to the rest of the region, rainfall in Lesotho continues to be above average. In general, crops are currently in good condition and harvest prospects are positive. Assuming current rainfall conditions prevail, it is expected that an average harvest will be achieved this season. This should improve food insecurity outcomes in Lesotho during the next consumption year.