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.
UNICEF is targeting 69,000 of the most vulnerable children through its Cash Grant Top Up response, which provides relief for families in response to the food price shock during the winter months.
The Government of Lesotho introduced a countrywide 30 per cent subsidy on essential food to help families cope with rising costs.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
Children under 5 children affected
Vulnerable children in need of social safety nets
People currently at risk of food insecurity up to June 2016
People likely to be affected from June
2016 (LVAC preliminary finding)
UNICEF Appeal 2016
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
The Government of Lesotho has reported that the recent April rains will not be sufficient to alleviate drought conditions in the medium to long term. As an example, water aquifers have not been replenished.
The preliminary LVAC results found that an average of 16.6 per cent of households use unprotected water sources. Maseru, Mokhotlong and Thabatseka districts are at the high end, with 22-32 per cent of people using unprotected water sources. Overall, this data shows a decrease from February, when the figure was 56 per cent of people using unprotected water sources. However, UNICEF will undertake verification during ongoing interventions, particularly as the scarcity in access to potable water is expected to worsen during the upcoming winter, which is predicted to be drier than normal (Lesotho Meteorological Service, April 2016).
The Ministry of Health (MoH) is advising that there is a standby alert in place for outbreaks of bloody diarrhoea as a precautionary measure, due to increased use of unprotected water sources.
A total of 6,806 children and 1,737 pregnant and lactating women were screened for malnutrition this year. The proportion of children screened represents 6.3 per cent of the 107,558 children under 5 years of age planned for screening, and 7.6 per cent of the 22,855 pregnant and lactating women targeted for the screening in 2016.