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WFP Lesotho Country Brief, September 2021

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In Numbers

21,530 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lesotho, including 655 deaths and 11,997 recoveries (16 October 2021)

44,000 people targeted for the lean season crisis response assistance

5,000 people assisted with cash in September through participation in homestead and community assets creation

Operational Updates

Activity 1: Crisis Response

• WFP received USD 1 million from the Government of Germany and USD 1 million from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). This will enable the country office to launch the lean season assistance from October-March 2022 targeting 44,000 people in Mokhotlong, Thaba-tseka, Maseru and Qacha’s districts. The targeting and verification exercises are ongoing to make sure that the assistance is directed to the most vulnerable people.

Activity 2: School Feeding

• WFP continues to provide financial support for the provision of school meals at pre-primary level to 50,000 pre-school children. Preparations are ongoing for fourth quarter deliveries of fortified maize meal and canned fish to 2,000 pre-primary schools across the country.

• As part of technical assistance, WFP initiated a virtual tour of the Brazil home-grown school feeding programme which took place in late September 2021. In addition, WFP is providing financial and technical support for the review of the private sector implemented school feeding programme and the report on the review is expected by mid-November 2021.

Activity 3: Strengthening technical capacity on early warning systems

• WFP continues to support the Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee with the development of a dashboard that will provide real-time data for evidencebased decision making for food security and nutrition interventions.

• WFP is also supporting the Disaster Management Authority (DMA) develop the Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee strategy and to carry-out capacity needs mapping which will enable development of the country strategic plan and prioritise immediate actions to ensure that DMA enhances coordination of disaster risk reduction interventions.

Activity 4: Nutrition

• In collaboration with the Food and Nutrition Coordinating Office, WFP conducted food fortification trainings across all the ten districts of the country and key stakeholders reached include government sectors in nutrition, health, law enforcement, health inspectors, education and local government.

• In addition, the development of the nutrition dashboard is underway as a graphical and interactive information management system to facilitate reporting of SBCC related engagements done by various partners.

Activity 5: Resilience

• In collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry, Range and Soil Conservation, WFP assisted 5,150 people in the three northern districts (Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek, Quthing) through engagement of community and household assets creation activities. This contributes to food production, preservation, and encourages local savings culture to finance income generating activities that build resilience and support adaptive capacity of communities to shocks.

• People benefitting under emergency response assistance in Thaba tseka, Mokhotlong, Maseru and Qachas’nek will be targeted with assets building skills to boost their resilience and adaptive capacity to future shocks.

Activity 6: Technical Support to smallholder farmers-

• In liaison with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security WFP, held a four-day market linkages forum for buyers and sellers. This is an initiative towards supporting the Government’s efforts to ensure that smallholder farmers have access to markets. Following the market linkages forum, markets aggregation will be established through formal groups to serve different buyers according to different requirements.