• On 27 September, Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro announced in his official speech that Lesotho is now in colour purple stage (Clustering Infections Stage), which allows for the partial easing of some restrictions. He also announced the associated regulations on social and economic activities, including opening of schools in line with the Ministry of Education guidelines and tertiary Institutions in accordance with the Risk Mitigation Framework.
• Cash assistance is ongoing in the urban councils of Maseru, Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek, Quthing and Qacha’s nek districts. A total of 8,041 households (representing 32,164 people) have been assisted to date with LSL 831 (USD 66) per household. A contribution of €2.8 million (equivalent to about M55.5 million) has been received from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). The contribution will be used for the ongoing urban response interventions in the five urban councils of Maseru, Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek, Quthing and Qacha’s Nek districts. The contribution to WFP is part of the joint (FAO, IOM, WFP) €4.4 million (equivalent to about M87.3 million) contribution from ECHO in humanitarian support to alleviate the dire food security impacts of three consecutive years of drought, a situation exacerbated by the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. verification and contracting of retailer processes in these two districts have been completed.
• Due to funding constraints, public works activities ended in three southern districts (Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek, Quthing) and three northern districts (Berea, Maseru and Botha-Bothe). A total of 11,632 people, of which 52 percent are women, was reached in August. Currently, WFP is supporting household-level activities.
• An official launch of the Adaptation Fund Project entitled ‘Improving adaptive capacity of vulnerable and food-insecure populations in Lesotho (IACOV)’ is planned for 08 October 2020. IACOV is a four-year project (2019-2023) that is supported by the Adaptation Fund, executed by Lesotho Meteorological Services (LMS) and the Ministry of Forestry, Range and Soil Conservation (MFRSC), while WFP operates as the implementing entity to provide technical backstopping among other key functions to ensure effective implementation of the project.