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Minimal food security outcomes expected through December

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Lesotho
  • July 2013
Minimal food security outcomes expected through December

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through December 2013
  • Key Messages
    • Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity is projected to prevail throughout the outlook period as poor households continue to access food from own produced stocks and through market purchases. Market-dependent households are relying on multiple sources of income, including casual labor,livestock herding, remittances, and beer brewing in order to access food.

    • Despite a number of challenges experienced by farmers during the 2012/13 cropping season, cereal production is significantly higher than last year’s below average harvest and the five year average. This increased cereal availability continues to improve household food insecurity outcomes.

    • In general, adequately supplied local markets and stable fuel prices are contributing to affordable maize meal prices and facilitating improved food access among poor rural households. Some poorer households also continue to benefit from humanitarian assistance programming.

    Projected Outlook through December 2013

    Even with a number of challenges experienced by farmers during the 2012/13 growing season, including inaccessibility to agricultural inputs, dry spells, and armyworm infestation, the estimated cereal production has improved significantly when compared to last year’s harvest (83 percent) and the five year average (11 percent). Most households are currently relying on own production for cereals and are making market purchases for other foods. Currently, even households with no land are meeting their food needs through food in exchange for labor for better-off households and market purchases. Compared to the previous two seasons, food availability has improved and households are able to receive income through casual labor, livestock herding, beer brewing, and remittances. Some poorer households also continue to benefit from humanitarian assistance through Cash/Food for Assets programming that was initially planned as a response to the 2012/13 food security emergency that was declared by the Government of Lesotho last year. In June, over 2,400 MT of food was distributed by the World Food Program (WFP) to approximately 300,000 people. From this total, WFP reached 151,000 individuals through Cash/Food for Assets and Targeted Vulnerable Group Feeding (TVGF) programming. An estimated 71,000 individuals participated in supplementary feeding programs and early child care and development programming; additionally, school meals reached approximately 75,000 beneficiaries. Most recently, WFP’s targeted vulnerable group feeding program in the highland districts came to an end in late June.

    Most poor households are projected to harvest normal to above normal food, with stocks expected to last for a period ranging from about two to three months. The poorer households in Mokhotlong, Quthing, Mohale’s Hoek, Thaba Tseka, Mafeteng and Qacha’s Nek districts have continued receiving food assistance, even during the harvest period. It is likely that these poorer households located in the livelihoods zones most at risk to food insecurity will use their own produced food stocks for longer periods than normal.

    Although the Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) is still analyzing its findings, the number of people at risk of food insecurity during the 2013/14 consumption period is likely to be much less than the previous consumption period. Therefore, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes are projected to be maintained through December throughout the country.

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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