Lesotho

Lesotho: World Vision, WFP mitigating effects of hunger together

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World Vision Lesotho and the local UN World Food Programme (WFP) office are working hand in hand to mitigate the effects of the on going food shortages that have ravaged the country since June 2002.
According to field reports, a crucial time lies ahead, all resources are exhausted and people will have to cope until the harvesting season arrives in May/June 2003.

In an interview with Viney Jainj, WFP Deputy Country Director in Lesotho, statistics from the field show that this year, an even bigger crisis is inevitable. "Farmers planted less than last year, and due to erratic weather conditions they planted late. This means that farmers will harvest less than last year, and the need for food aid will continue," he says.

WFP is expecting the serious food shortage to continue to 2004. In order to assess the situation, WFP, the Government of Lesotho, and NGO's such as World Vision, will conduct pre-harvest assessments. "This is a contingency plan - we don't want to be caught with a crisis when the last bag of maize is harvested. Agronomists will be able to assess crops while still in the field. This will give us time to launch an appeal," Jainj explains.

World Vision is presently distributing food in two of the hardest hit districts in Lesotho, Mohale's hoek and Quthing.