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Lesotho: El Niño-related Drought Situation Update No. 6 (as of 31 May 2017)

The Situation Update highlights the following:

  • The emergency response to the El Niño-induced drought is still ongoing and is scheduled to continue until August 2017. While most humanitarian relief activities have been completed, the outstanding interventions are being terminated in the upcoming weeks.
  • The Disaster Management Authority (DMA) has recently disseminated a memorandum requesting the suspension of humanitarian food and cash distributions in the month of May in view of the upcoming national elections, scheduled 3 June 2017.
  • The final distributions of food and cash grants during the month of June will resume immediately after the elections.
  • Humanitarian partners have been able to secure more than USD 40 million for the relief dimension of the response. The Government of Lesotho (GoL) has committed around USD 23 million through humanitarian interventions and a food subsidy program.
  • The priorities among the remaining gaps are the early recovery and resilience dimensions of the response.
  • The GoL together with its partners is currently developing a National Resilience Strategy Framework to address chronic gaps in the climate change adaptation, food security, chronic malnutrition and health emergencies.
  • 91% of people facing food insecurity received humanitarian support through in-kind assistance, cash grants and top-ups to social protection.
  • Lesotho is currently in IPC Phase 2 (Stressed), due to the extensive humanitarian cash and food assistance and it is projected to reach IPC Phase 1 (Minimal) from June to September 2017, following the harvest.
  • Market prices for staple food prices have gradually declined and are expected to decline further between June and September 2017. Household purchasing power is increased, resulting in improved food security.
  • Due to the preparations of the elections, the conduct of the yearly vulnerability analysis will be slightly postponed. While the rural vulnerability assessment is usually conducted in May/June, the data collection for the rural and urban VA will likely begin in mid-June.
Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
United Nations Resident Coordinators Office
Original Publication Date: 
31 May 2017
Document type: 
Situation Report
Disaster management
Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC)
Natural Disasters