Key Message Update

Increases in rainfall during December and January improve cropping prospects in Lesotho

January 2020

January 2020

Lesotho is in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in January 2020.

February - May 2020

Lesotho is projected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between February and May 2020.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • Rainfall improved in December 2019 and January 2020, following a delayed and below-average start to the season. This has led to increases in planting, although area planted is reported to be below average. Rainfall since December has facilitated growth of crops, most of which are in good condition but in the vegetative stage, which is behind schedule due to the late start of season. Should favorable conditions persist, households should start to access green foods in March, instead of February as is typical. 

  • Increased cropping activities have driven improvements in the availability of agricultural labor opportunities in January. This has slightly improved households’ access to income through on-farm labor. However, since area planted is below average, opportunities for labor remain low compared to typical years. Nonetheless, some households are engaging in wet season vegetable production which is likely to improve incomes in the coming months.

  • Rangeland and water resources have improved with recent rainfall, although still remain below typical levels. Livestock conditions are also improving although they still need some time to fully recover. Likewise, some agricultural households lost livestock during the peak of dry season, and additional time will be required for households to fully recover their livestock assets. 

  • Maize grain prices have remained generally stable in recent months. Still, lower than normal labor opportunities and a longer reliance on markets than normal following the below average 2019 season are leading to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in Lesotho, which is expected to continue until the onset of main harvests in April/May. 

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics