Lesotho: Acute Food Security Situation May - September 2019 and Projection for October 2019 - March 2020
Nearly a quarter of Lesotho's population faces severe acute food insecurity
01.05.2019 > 31.03.2020


& next steps


Nearly a quarter of Lesotho’s population (around 349,000 people) is facing severe acute food insecurity (Phase 3 and 4) between May and September 2019, and requires urgent humanitarian action. These include around 68,000 people being in Emergency (Phase 4) and nearly 280,000 people being in Crisis (Phase 3). Households in these phases have moderate to large food consumption gaps and above usual acute malnutrition or are only marginally able to meet minimum food needs by depleting essential assets or employing crisis and emergency coping strategies. Almost 470,000 people are also in Stressed conditions (Phase 2) and require livelihood support.

Between October 2019 and March 2020, it is projected that 30% of the population (over 430,000 people) will likely face severe acute food insecurity. The majority of households already lack food stocks due to poor crop production, and the lean season is expected to start earlier than usual. There is also a projected El Nino, that is likely to affect agricultural activities negatively. The purchasing power for the very poor and poor households is also expected to be negatively affected due to the limited agricultural labour opportunities. 

Key Drivers:

Dry spells: There was a late onset of rains coupled with high temperatures, resulting in delayed cultivation of land and poor germination and crop conditions, which led to poor crop production.

High food prices: Prices of staple food remained slightly higher than last year, limiting food access for those who had poor or no crop production and who have low purchasing power.

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