Lesotho Food Security This bulletin is being piloted to summarise the various issues related to food security in Lesotho in order to present Monitoring System a concise update on a quarterly basis. Information comes from Government, UN , NGO and WB/IMF Quarterly Bulletin reports. Participating agencies’ logos are on the back page. 2nd Quarter 2010 May 2010 Updates • The Disaster Management Authority (DMA) sup- ported by WFP conducted a Community and House- Summary for 2nd Quarter 2010 hold Surveillance (CHS) in March 2010. Summary of • In April 2010, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Lesotho results in this Bulletin. convened. The Committee discussed economic and financial developments with the goal of • The Bureau of Statistics (BoS) released it second formulating and monitoring implementation of monetary policy of achieving price stability. quarterly Bulletin on the • Increasing unemployment levels as a result of financial distress faced by some textile Continuous Multi-purpose firms. In February 2010, one textile firm closed business causing loss of 2,700 jobs. Household Survey. The main objective is to pro- • Lesotho Meteorological Services (LESMET) has indicated that during winter season, below vide a permanent platform normal to normal rainfall is expected. However, the temperatures are expected to for collection of data rele- range from normal to above normal. vant for computing social • Since January this year, fuel prices have been increasing gradually. Between January and economic indicators. • The Food and Nutrition April, petrol prices increased by 10 percent; while diesel and paraffin increased by 6 percent. Coordinating Office • March 2010 CHS results show that by livelihood zone, the Southern Lowlands had the highest (FNCO) and WFP in part- percentage of households with poor consumption at 11% followed by Mountains and Peri- nership with Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Urban at 4% each. (Family Health Division), • In addition, households in the Northern Lowlands had the highest monthly per capita Ministry of Agriculture and expenditure (M 227), followed by, the Senqu River Valley (M 163), and Peri-Urban (M125). Food Security (Nutrition Extension Division), Na- • The Oct-Dec 2009 NNSS Bulletin found the overall prevalence of underweight tional University of Lesotho ranged from 10.7% to 12.6 percent. The highest prevalence of underweight was in Decem- (Nutrition Department), ber in Qacha’s Nek (24.0%) while the lowest prevalence was in October in Maseru (3.3%). and UNICEF, have been undertaken a food con- • A joint proposal of the United Nations and the government of Lesotho to tackle malnutri- sumption study in the tion was prepared. The Lesotho Integrated Action Against Malnutrition aims to address im- Mountain Livelihood zone. mediate, underlying and basic causes of malnutrition in an integrated manner. Summary of results are presented in this Bulletin. Inside this issue: Update on Policy • Timothy Thahane, the Minister of Finance, presented the annual budget speech on February Economic 12th, noting a dramatic decline in domestic revenue as a result of decreased SACU payments. As 2 a result, the government plans to cut recurrent expenditure. Conditions • In February 2010, the African Development Bank and Lesotho signed a protocol agreement Agricultural Pro- on the Lesotho Poverty Reduction Support programme which aims at promoting transparency 2 and accountability in management and prudent use of public resources. The fiscal policy focus is duction to protect the poorest and increase overall revenues. Food • Consultations on the World Bank Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) were held in 3 consumption March 2010. The CAS provides a framework for World Bank Group support to Lesotho for the five years 2010–14. The CAS comes at a difficult time as Lesotho confronts macroeconomic and Markets and fiscal challenges arising from the global economic crisis and a projected sharp decline in fiscal 3 Prices receipts. The crisis highlighted the country's economic vulnerabilities and its slow progress in building the foundations for economic competitiveness and export diversification. Livelihoods 3 • On April 6, 2010, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Lesotho convened. The Committee discussed economic and financial developments with the goal of for- mulating and monitoring implementation of monetary policy of achieving price stability. Lesotho - Key • UNDP is organizing a consultancy is to assess the impact of the current global economic crisis 4 Facts on Lesotho’s economy with particular focus on its implications for the achievement of MDGs. It will include an analysis of the impact of dwindling revenues on programmatic interventions for Health and the poor and vulnerable groups in order to propose ways of mitigating the impact. The analysis 4 Nutrition will be grounded in the overarching principles of human rights, gender, equity and Vision 2020. Page 2 Lesotho Food Security Monitoring System Quarterly Bulletin Projected % Change Economic Conditions Annual inflation rate registered 4.2% 2010 2011 in December 2009, the lowest infla- Consumer Inflation Rate tion rate since December 2005. The 12.0% 10.7% low inflation rate in recent months 10.0% was driven by slowing food price 10.0% 8.0% 8.5% Real GDP 3 2.8 inflation which settled at 3.2% in 8.0% 6.1% December from a high of 18.5% in 5.3% 5.0% 6.0% 4.7% January 2008. The low domestic Consumer inflation is in line with trends in the 4.0% 5.9 5.7 region where CMA member coun- Prices 2.0% tries have seen falling inflation rates 0.0% in recent months. South Africa’s Source: World Economic Out- Inflation rate reached 6.3% in De- 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 look, April 2010 cember 2009. (Central Bank of Leso- tho, February 2010). As indicated in the chart, consumer inflation dropped in 2010 to nearly the 2008 levels but is till much higher than previous years. “The global Employment in the textiles and clothing firms has been volatile in the past three years, but overall showing a economic crisis negative linear trend and approximately 4,560 jobs lost. Employment in 2009 closed the year at its lowest since 2005 at 38,437. In February 2010 one big textile and clothing firm closed its operations resulting in a further affected the 2,700 job losses. (Central Bank of Lesotho, Economic Review, January 2010) domestic manufacturing sub- sector adversely. Agricultural Production Several firms • The chart below shows that production of maize has been decreasing since 2004/05 season; recently ceased however, the 2009/10 production appears to be an increase over the past 5 seasons (BoS, their operations 2009). • Information from the BoS indicates 122,808 ha of land had been planted to crops by end of and employment December 2009. This represents a decrease of 18,778 ha (13%) over the previous season. However, yield per hectare for maize was 90% higher than last season. Overall, there was a reached its lowest 72% increase in maize production, 177% increase in sorghum and 117% increase in wheat levels since production. • Government has instituted a 30-50% subsidy on seed and fertiliser, while FAO availed a range 2005…..” of inputs for 22,551 vulnerable farming households. CBL Economic Review, • LESMET has indicated that during winter season, below normal to normal rainfall is expected. No 114, Jan 2010 However, the temperatures are expected to range from normal to above normal. • Winter crops (wheat and peas) are likely to benefit from occasional passage of cold fronts that will result in enough soil moisture supply to sustain agriculture. “The findings Trends in Maize Production: 2003-2010 from the crop 120,000 assessment 100,000 undertaken by the 80,000 Bureau of Statistics were 60,000 100,723 98,035 85,032 released in June 80,998 76,908 40,000 60,312 59,651 57,126 showing nearly 20,000 72% increase in maize production 0 over last year.” 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2nd Quarter 2010 Page 3 Food Consumption Findings from the March 2010 CHS are presented in the chart on the right. Mohale’s Hoek had the highest per- poor borderline acceptable centage of households with poor consumption at 10%, 100% followed by Maseru (7%) and Quthing and Thaba-Tseka at 4 percent. Households in Leribe were the most likely to 80% have acceptable consumption (98%), followed by those in 47% Mafeteng (86%), Mokhotlong (83%) and Berea (80%). 70% 69% 60% 80% 78% 76% 86% 83% By livelihood zone, the Southern Lowlands had the highest 98% percentage of households with poor consumption at 11% 40% followed by Mountains and Peri-Urban at 4% each. North- ern Lowlands and Foot-Hills had the lowest proportion of 20% households with poor consumption at 1 percent. 0% By analysing the type of the food consumed in the past 7 days, cereal was found to be the mostly likely to be con- BB LER BER MAS MAF MH QUT MKN TT sumed on daily basis by 85% of the households, followed by oil (68%), fruit (65%), vegetables (58%), sugar (32%), and beans (3%). (March 2010 CHS). The high consumption of fruits can be attributed to the peach season in March. Markets and prices WFP monitors prices of basic food stuffs in rural and town shops on monthly basis . When analyzing price changes of 12.5kg maize meal between January and May 2010, it is noted that prices fluctuated slightly but were fairly stable. The cost of 12.5kg maize meal ranged from M27-38 in the north (depending on the brand) to M42-70 in other districts. In May, prices increased slightly from the previous month. On average, urban prices increased by 2 percent; while rural Petrol Diesel Parrafin prices increased by only 1 percent. However, on an an- nual basis, a decrease of 7 percent in rural shops and 4 14.0 percent in town shops from last May 2009 was noted. 12.0 Between May 2009 and February 2010, there was 5 per- 10.0 cent drop in wholesale prices. (WFP Price monitoring). 8.0 6.0 Between June 2009 and June 2010, petrol prices in- creased by 4 percent; diesel by 9 percent; and paraffin 4.0 increased by 8 percent. When June prices are compared 2.0 to January this year, there is an increase of 7 percent in 0.0 the price of petrol; 8 percent in diesel prices and 7 per- Jul Jul Mar Apr Mar Apr Mar Apr cent in paraffin prices. However, between May and June May Nov Dec May Nov Dec May Aug Aug Sept Oct Sept Oct Jan Feb Jun Jan Feb Jun Jan Feb Jun there is a drop of 4 percent in petrol, 2 percent in diesel 2008 2009 2010 and 3 percent in paraffin. Livelihoods The March 2010 Community and Household Surveillance (CHS) covered nine districts and collected information on main livelihood sources. Reliance on casual labour as a main source was most common in Leribe and Quthing by 48% of the households, while Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek were the least likely (13%) to rely on casual labour. The Northern Lowlands livelihood zones had the highest proportion of households relying on causal labour (40%). Households in Butha-Buthe district were the most likely to rely on food and cash crop production/sales as a main livelihood activity (47%), followed by households in Mokhotlong (32%), while households in Quthing were the least likely (3%). By livelihood zone the Southern Lowlands had the highest percentage of households relying on crop production as a main livelihood activity (40%), followed by the Moun- tains and Northern Lowlands (23%) while Peri-Urban (9%) livelihood zone had the least. Households in Leribe had the highest total monthly per capita expendi- ture (M 240), while Maseru had the lowest at M 70. By livelihood zone, households in the Northern Lowlands had the highest monthly per capita expenditure (M 227), followed by, the Senqu River Valley (M 163), and Peri-Urban (M 125). Mountains (M 145), Foothills (M 121), while households in the Southern Lowlands (M 74), had the lowest. LESOTHO—Key Facts THIS BULLETIN IS BEING PILOTE D T O SUM MARISE THE VARIOUS ISSUES RE LATE D T O FO OD SECU RITY IN LES OTHO IN ORDE R T O PRES ENT A CON CISE U PDATE ON A QU ARTE RLY B ASIS. INFO RM ATION COM ES F ROM GOVE RNMENT , UN , NGO AN D WB/IMF RE PO RTS. PARTICIPATING AGEN CIES’ L OGOS ARE ON THE BACK PAGE. 2008 Population, total (millions) 2.02 Population growth (annual %) 0.5 GDP (current US$) (billions) 1.6 Disaster Management Authority GNI per capita, Atlas method (current 1,080 US$) Maseru Roller Mills Building Plot 20/22 Moshoeshoe Road External debt stocks (% GNI) 33.7 Private Bag, A453, Maseru 100 Lesotho Surface area (sq. km) (thousands) 30.4 Tel: +266 28323135 or Agricultural land (% of land area)* 76.9 World Food Programme P.O. Box 301, Maseru 100, Life expectancy at birth, total (years)* 43 Lesotho Mortality rate, under-5 (per 1,000)* 84 Phone +266 22323989 Fax: +266 22 310 239 Malnutrition prevalence, weight for age (% Wahito.Kabaire@wfp.org 17% U5)* Prevalence HIV, total (% pop aged 15-49)* 23.2 School enrolment, primary (% net)* 72.4 Source: World Development Indicators *Most recent data available, 2001-2008 Health and Nutrition • HIV and AIDS have devastated sub-Saharan Africa. Lesotho has the third highest prevalence rate (23.2%) in the world after Swaziland and Botswana, and it is estimated that of a total population of 2.02 million, approximately 2,100 Basotho die from AIDS every month. Furthermore, more than 180,000 children have been orphaned and made highly vulnerable by HIV and AIDS (LSGPR, 2008- 2012) In 2000, His Majesty King Letsie III declared HIV and AIDS a national disaster, highlighting the seriousness of the epidemic and the government’s commitment to dealing with the impacts. • Malnutrition can occur even when access to food and healthcare is sufficient and the environ- ment is reasonably healthy. The social context and care environments within the household and the community also directly influence nutrition. Factors influencing nutritional status include feeding practices, maternal hygiene, morbidity and HIV and AIDS. • Nationally, for children 6-59 months 2.3% are wasted or suffering from acute malnutrition and 14% underweight as found in the November 2007 National Nutrition Survey. By district, the highest prevalence is in Mafeteng (3.8%) while the lowest prevalence is in Berea (1.1%) (NNS, 2007). • Stunting or chronic malnutrition was found to be around 42 percent stunting from the 2007 Na- tional Nutrition Survey. In addition, Global stunting prevalence is above 40% in the mountain dis- tricts and Berea with the highest global stunting found in Thaba Tseka at 54.9 percent (NNS, 2007). • The Oct-Dec 2009 NNSS Bulletin found the overall prevalence of underweight ranged from 10.7% to 12.6 percent. The highest prevalence of underweight was in December in Qacha’s Nek (24.0%) while the lowest prevalence was in October in Maseru (3.3%). Maseru had the lowest prevalence of underweight (below 5%) throughout the reporting period while Qacha’s Nek had the highest prevalence which averaged above 20% for the reporting period. Since 2007, Qacha’s Nek has consistently recorded the highest underweight prevalence. • The overall prevalence of low birth weight ranged from 11.0% to 12.5% with the highest preva- lence found in Qacha’s Nek (18.3%) during the month of December. This is considered high accord- ing WHO thresholds for low birth weight. • There were 84 overall admissions due to severe malnutrition from October to December. Of these cases admitted, 25 resulted in deaths. There has been a decrease in the number of admis- sions as compared to the last reporting period, where there were 108 admissions for severe mal- nutrition. The month of December had the highest admissions (30 cases) and November had the highest number of deaths; a total of 11 out of 25 admitted cases. Mohale’s Hoek reported the high- The Spanish Government is est admissions in this reporting period while Maseru reported highest number of deaths; 13 deaths providing financial support for out of 20 cases admitted which is likely due to the fact that it is a referral hospital. the strengthening of Food Secu- rity Monitoring Systems in Southern Africa.
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