Key Message Update

Widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will likely persist through January 2021

September 2020

September 2020

October 2020 - January 2021

Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in parts of Lesotho for the majority of the June to September 2020 period.

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

  • More households across Lesotho, particularly in the southern districts, are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes as their own produced food stocks deplete, exacerbated by above-average maize meal prices and below-average income for market purchases. Very poor households are likely to experience marginal food consumption gaps. Agricultural labor opportunities are increasing but remain below-average as preparation for the 2020/21 agricultural season begins. Widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will likely persist through January 2021.

  • According to international forecasts, the 2020/21 rainfall season across southern Africa are likely to be normal, with average cumulative rainfall from October to December 2020 and above-average cumulative rainfall from January to March 2021. More farmers are likely to engage in farming activities as they aim to recover from 2019/20’s below-average harvest; however, the availability of income to pay laborers may be limited.  

  • On September 30, 2020, Lesotho recorded 1,576 cumulative COVID-19 cases, a 45 percent increase in confirmed cases since August 31, 2020. Some COVID-19 restriction measures have been relaxed, in particular public transport returning to pre-COVID-19 operations. This is expected to ease in-country travel for traders and laborers and improve access to income-earning opportunities and livelihood activities. However, Lesotho’s borders remain closed, although the South African government has announced plans to re-open its borders to tourism on October 1, 2020. The resumption of important economic sectors in South Africa could lead to the re-opening of Lesotho’s borders, driving improvements in labor migration and remittance flows.

  • Markets across Lesotho remain well supplied, but maize meal prices remain around 11 percent above the five-year average. The above-average prices are impacting the purchasing power of an increasing number of households’ who are becoming dependent on market purchases as their own-produced food stocks run out. The above-average maize meal prices are attributed to increased demand and general COVID-19 related supply chain disruptions such as border slow-downs and permit requirements.

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.
Learn more About Us.

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