According to the results of the IPC Acute Food Insecurity analysis, about 328,000 people (22% of the population) in rural areas of Lesotho experienced high acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) between November and December 2021.
Only three districts (Butha – Buthe, Leribe, Mohale’s hoek) out of the analysed were classified in IPC Phase 2 (Stressed) while the rest are classified in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) in this period.
From January to March 2022, around 338,000 people (23% of the population) are projected to be in IPC Phase 3 or above (Crisis or worse), and require humanitarian action to reduce food gaps, protect, restore livelihoods and prevent acute malnutrition. All areas remain in the same phase classification.
Although heavy rains destroyed some crops in January 2021, causing waterlogging in some parts of the country, Lesotho registered an improvement in crop production this year due to the good seasonal rainfall performance, after three consecutive years (2018, 2019 & 2020) of poor agriculture production. Crop production is therefore expected to boost the economy to a moderate growth of 2.6%. The increase in crop production also resulted in improved household food access.
However, some poorer households across all livelihood zones are already experiencing food consumption gaps during the analysis period, which is normally the lean season in Lesotho. The unfavourable food insecurity status is also as a result of prices of food that remain higher compared to both 2020 and the 5-year average. In the projected period, food prices are expected to remain high.