WFP Lesotho Country Brief, August 2021

In Numbers

• 14,395 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lesotho, including 403 deaths and 6,830 recoveries (26 August 2021)

• US$ 16 million six months (September 2021 – February 2022) net funding requirements

• 343,410 people targeted in 2021

Operational Updates

• Although heavy rains destroyed some crops in January 2021, causing waterlogging in some parts of the country,

Lesotho registered an improvement in crop production this year due to the good seasonal rainfall performance, after three consecutive years (2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20) of poor agricultural production.

Crisis Response- Activity 1

• The period from October – March marks the lean season in Lesotho, when most households are expected to have depleted their produced stocks and increase their reliance on purchases and casual labour for food and income.

Preparations are underway to start the lean season response, targeting 28,900 people in Mokhotlong, Thabatseka, Maseru and Qacha’s districts. The targeted people will be assisted through cash and voucher modalities. The commodity voucher will be distributed through a network of local retailers contracted by WFP while cash will be transferred through Vodacom’s Mpesa mobile money platform.

School Feeding- Activity 2

• WFP continues to provide financial support for the provision of school meals at pre-primary level to 50,000 pre-school children in the country. Following the reopening of schools in August 2021, WFP worked with the Ministry of Education to deliver 324 MT of super cereal plus (nutritious morning porridge) to 2,000 Early Childhood Care Development (ECCD) centres across the country.

Strengthening technical capacity on early warning systems- Activity 3

• WFP is supporting the Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) with the development of a dashboard that will provide real-time data for evidence-based decision making for food security and nutrition interventions. The dashboard will also allow learning by different sectors that are key for food security and disaster risk reduction.

• WFP is also supporting the Disaster Management Authority (DMA) to carry-out capacity needs mapping which will enable development of country strategic plan and prioritise immediate actions to ensure that DMA enhance coordination of disaster risk reduction interventions.

Source: World Food Programme