WFP Lesotho Country Brief, May 2018

Situation Report
Originally published


In Numbers

  • US$0.8 m cash based transfers made

  • US$6.6 m six months (May - October 2018) net funding requirements, representing 33% of total

  • 3,237 people assisted in May 2018

Operational Context

More than half (57 percent) of Lesotho’s people live on less than one dollar per day. Lesotho’s GDP stands at USD 2.3 billion while its national gross income per capita is USD 1,270 (World Bank). Revenue from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) contributes a significant proportion to Lesotho’s national budget. The Government allocates seven percent of its national budget to social protection programmes such as school feeding, pension for the elderly, child grants and public works.

The population’s high vulnerability is exacerbated by recurring climatic hazards, including droughts, early frost and a low performing economy. Thus, 29 percent of people below the age of 35 years are unemployed. The country is also characterized by an extremely high HIV prevalence rate (24.6 percent) and should provide care for more than 250,000 orphaned children, most of whom lost their parents to AIDS. Life expectancy stands at 49 years.

Agriculture, which contributes seven percent to the GDP, is a major source of livelihood for 80 percent of the population living in rural areas.

WFP supports the Government’s efforts to build the resilience of communities frequently affected by climatic hazards, with the view to stimulate agricultural production.

WFP has been present in Lesotho since 1962.

Operational Updates

  • Following the launch of the Zero Hunger Strategic Review in March 2018 by His Majesty King Letsie III, WFP hosted a consultative workshop on 03 and 04 May to develop the Zero Hunger Road Map. The workshop was attended by various technical stakeholders from government, UN agencies, NonGovernmental Organisations, civil society and the private sector with a total of 89 participants.

  • On 09 May, WFP together with the Ministry of Education and Training celebrated the third African Day of School Feeding with the theme “Realizing the African Child’s Full Potential through Effective Home-Grown School Feeding” at Bocheletsane Primary School in Thaba Tseka District.

  • WFP Lesotho has embarked on formulating and developing a 5-year (July 2019 – June 2024) Country Strategic plan (CSP) in alignment with the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) and Lesotho UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). WFP held a consultative meeting with government counterparts, UN agencies, NonGovernmental Organisations(NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). This sensitization meeting envisaged to facilitate ownership of the activities by the different stakeholders, especially government ministries on which WFP is intending to anchor its activities.