Humanitarianresponse Logo

Lesotho: El Niño - related Drought Office of the Resident Coordinator - Situation Update 05 (as of 17 March 2017)

The Situation Update highlights the following:

  • The response to Lesotho`s unprecedented El Niño-induced drought is ongoing. Humanitarian partners have been able to secure more than USD 39 million for the relief dimension of the response. The Government of Lesotho (GoL) has committed around USD 23 million through direct humanitarian interventions and a food subsidy. The available funding has allowed to exceed the targets in the food security and agricultural sector previously set out in the RIASCO Action Plan.
  • While around USD 11 million have been made available for the agricultural recovery, cash for assets programmes have not received sufficient funding so far, although they bear the potential for in building drought-resilient assets in communities. The priorities among the remaining gaps are the early recovery and resilience dimensions of the response.
  • An update of the LVA C in November 2016, released in February 2017 sees the number of people living with a food security survival deficit to 46,000 from 476,000 prior.
  • The GoL together with its partners is currently developing a National Resilience Strategy to address chronic gaps in the climate change adaptation, food security, chronic malnutrition and health emergencies.
  • 82% of people facing food insecurity are receiving humanitarian assistance through cash grants, top-ups to social protection and in-kind assistance. GoL is contributing to the drought assistance through a 30% food subsidy on basic staple food (maize, beans, peas) for one year. Humanitarian partners are complementing the food subsidy through cash and in-kind assistance to approximately 460,000 people. An urban vulnerability assessment is currently ongoing to establish the number of affected people in urban and peri-urban areas, which is expected to increase the overall number of people in need.
  • Lesotho is currently approaching the final stage of the lean season that is projected to end in April/May 2017 with the next harvest, depending on the livelihood zones.
  • While water levels have recovered slowly, general water levels are still low in Lesotho. So far, approx. 110,000 people have been assisted through distribution of water purification tablets and provision of water through the rehabilitation of sites.
  • Regionally, the El Niño phenomenon has officially ended in July 2016. Lesotho is currently experiencing the La Niña phase – normal rainfall and normal to above normal temperatures are expected for the period March-May 2017.
Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
Original Publication Date: 
20 Mar 2017
Document type: 
Situation Report
Humanitarian Assistance
Natural Disasters
Southern Africa: Food Insecurity - 2015-2017