Photo: WFP/Malehloa Letsie/2021


The Situation

Lesotho is experiencing a major food security crisis as a result of the El-Niño induced drought. The situation has been exacerbated by successive years of crop failures, low incomes and high food prices that mean that 41% of rural families are spending over half their income on food. 57% of the population of Lesotho lives on less than $1 a day.

Lesotho also has a high HIV prevalence rate (25.6%: 30.4% for women and 20.8% for men ages 18 – 35). Around 80% of those living with HIV also have tuberculosis (TB). External care is needed for more than 250,000 orphaned children, most of whom lost their parents to AIDS.

WFP's Work

WFP has been present in Lesotho since 1962. Today, the UN agency’s work focuses on: 

  • Crisis response: Through food and cash assistance, WFP supports women, men, girls and boys affected by shocks like natural disasters. 
  • Nutrition and HIV: WFP provides capacity strengthening to the government of Lesotho and other actors in the coordination, planning, evidence building and implementation of equitable nutrition policies and programs.
  • Building resilience: WFP supports the design and implementation of assets that are nutrition-sensitive and that strengthen the livelihoods of communities affected by climate change. The agency provides technical support to small-scale farmers, particularly women, through climate-smart agriculture, skills trainings and access to financial services.