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WFP Lesotho Country Brief, January 2023

In Numbers

679 metric tons of food planned for distribution in January

US$ 29 m six months (February 2023-June 2023) net funding requirements, representing 85% of total requirements.

205,920 people planned in 2023

Operational Updates

Activity 1: Crisis response

• As part of its lean season support, WFP provide food assistance to 4,614 households in Thabatseka and Mokhotlong districts to address immediate food needs as well as medium-term recovery of the most vulnerable. WFP collaborated with 65 retailers to administer the food assistance and targeted people collected their food items from the identified retailers. Preparations are underway to expand the assistance to an additional district, in which, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, more than 20 percent of the population needs humanitarian assistance.

• To create demand for consumption of diversified foods, WFP secured partnership with district nutrition teams to undertake nutrition education during distributions. Targeted people benefitted from improved knowledge of nutrition, health, hygiene and other care practices that contribute to improved food consumption and nutritional status.

Activity 2: School Feeding

• Schools resumed after Christmas break. WFP successfully completed first quarter deliveries to 2,400 Early Childhood Care and Development Centres across the 10 districts of the country. The commodities delivered include vegetable oil, canned fish, fortified maize meal, super cereal plus and split peas. WFP continues to provide meals to pre-primary learners thanks to support from the Government of Japan.

Depending on the availability of resources, the learners receive two meals a day: 1) breakfast meal of highly nutritious super cereal plus and 2) lunch time meal of maize meal pap, canned fish and pulses or vegetables from school gardens.

Activity 3: Strengthening technical capacity of the Government on early warning systems

• WFP continues to pilot the regional urban preparedness project “Fostering Community Resilience in Southern Africa through Preparedness Activities” funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations. The aim of the project is to enhance disaster preparedness and response in urban areas through the development of tools and methodologies.

• To support the Government to coordinate, manage and utilize geographical data to make informed decisions, WFP developed a geospatial platform for territorial planning. The platform aims to enhance planning across government ministries and allocation of resources for interventions. The platform will be launched in March.

Activity 4: Nutrition

• In 2022, WFP supported the Government through the Food and Nutrition Coordinating office (FNCO) to formulate the national food fortification guidelines, a valuable strategy in managing micronutrient deficiencies, in particular vitamin A, iron and iodine, affecting young children and women of reproductive age. Earlier this year, WFP supported the validation of the guidelines by the Government.

Activity 5: Resilience

• WFP continues to implement food assistance for assets (FFA) programme across 21 project sites in the three southern districts of Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek and Quthing. FFA activities aim to create healthier natural environments, reduce the risks and impact of climate shocks, increase food productivity, and strengthen resilience to natural disasters.

• WFP plans to introduce the humanitarian-development nexus approach by developing an exit strategy from humanitarian to development assistance. Preparations are underway to expand the FFA activities to Mokhotlong district where WFP will target 1,422 people that received food assistance under crisis response to strengthen coping capacities. WFP will use the Community Based Participatory Planning approach to identify priority activities that will significantly improve the food security of the most vulnerable households.

Activity 6: Support to smallholder farmers

• WFP continues to provide training to smallholder farmers and other value chain actors, especially women, in climate smart agriculture, food quality and safety, marketing of nutritious food, and financial services.

• Water scarcity is one of the challenges that affect the yields of smallholder farmers. To combat this issue, WFP engaged an engineer to build a water harvesting tank at Lithakaling project site. This water collection system will provide clean water for everyday needs and will be used for irrigation to improve the food production and nutrition of smallholder farmers.

• Following the finalization of the post-harvest loss situation assessment, a final report has been submitted and its recommendations will be used to capacitate smallholder farmers in better managing food losses.

Source: World Food Programme