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Food insecurity to persist due to low incomes and high staple food prices

  • Key Message Update
  • Lesotho
  • July 2016
Food insecurity to persist due to low incomes and high staple food prices

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The majority of households are currently relying on market purchases to access food due to poor production this year. Although food supplies on the market are stable, access is limited by reduced incomes and high staple prices. The low incomes are as a result of below normal self-employment opportunities, as well as domestic work/house smearing activities, and lower levels of remittances.  Many households that are facing limited food access due to their declining purchasing power are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and these outcomes are expected to persist until January 2017.  

    • The most affected household groups are the very poor and poor. This is mainly because on average they produced only enough food stocks to feed households for two months after the harvest. Additionally, other livelihood options or off-season activities are projected to be below normal due to the drought as well. Furthermore, income from wool and mohair is less than normal due to its poor quality this year, another result of the drought on livestock conditions.  As a result, emergency food/cash assistance programs targeting the very poor and poor are required in response to this situation.  

    • Staple food prices remain atypically high in Lesotho due to low production and high import costs. A price projection by the Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) shows that between July and September, staple food prices will fluctuate within 17 – 30 percent above the five-year average. 

    • There is a high likelihood of La Niña conditions during the start of the next cropping season. As a result, agriculture activities are expected to start on time and opportunities should be at normal levels. Land preparation related labor is expected to start around August, and this income will likely bring some relief to very poor and poor households, however though wage rates are still expected to be lower than normal. With the expectation that the season will progress normally, more opportunities for labor are expected to gradually contribute to improved food access among very poor and poor households.  

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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