The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) received the European Union (EU) contribution of M17 million which will help meet the needs of 14,700 households at the event held in Maseru on Monday.
This contribution will help families that are affected by the worst raising climate shocks and prolonged effects of COVID-19.
When receiving the contribution, the WFP Country Director, Ms. Aurorer Rusiga thanked the EU for continuing their support which allows the WFP and the government of Lesotho to provide much-needed assistance to vulnerable people that are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate shocks.
Ms. Rusiga said according to the latest results Lesotho Vulnerability report, about 470,00 Basotho are facing high acute food insecurity in the period from October 2021 to March 2022 and this require humanitarian assistance action to reduce food gaps, protect and restore livelihoods and prevent acute malnutrition.
She noted that this contribution comes at the right time and will help WFP to contribute towards changing people’s lives.
“This timely contribution will help WFP save lives by supporting those who are most at risk and change lives by improving the food security and nutrition of targeted people,” Ms. Rusiga explained.
She said the contribution is provided by the EU’s Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and will be used to reach 14,700 households that are worst affected by the impacts of rising climate change, food prices and the prolonged effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in urban areas of Maseru and Qacha’s Nek districts.
Moreover, she said this includes families that are badly affected by recent windstorms in Sehlaba-Thebe, Qacha`s Nek.
The WFP Country Director noted that each household will receive M714.00 in cash transfer per month for the period of six months which will allow them to buy food from the local markets.
She said WFP Lesotho, in its commitment towards “Changing Lives” appreciate how their partnerships are creating such a space to have real impact, saying now more than ever it is imperative as no single organisation can address today’s complex food and nutrition security challenges alone.
She stated that the WFP value its long-standing partnership with the EU which goes beyond humanitarian to include development efforts further calling on other partners to bring resources and help address the immediate humanitarian needs of the Basotho people.
The Ambassador of the EU Lesotho, Ms Paola Amadei said they are aware that the root cause of food insecurity in the country is due to climate change and this affects food production.
She said this contribution will help to reduce the effects that are caused by the climate shocks and COVID-19 pandemic in the household of vulnerable people.
Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Takatso Shale said the ministry provides assistance to over 50 000 households through cash funds, noting that with the support that the WFP and EU have declared, 14 700 households will receive the cash fund support.
He said the ministry has the responsibility to ensure that the money reaches the most deserving households, adding that the ministry has four classifications of households but their main focus is helping the two classifications namely the ultra-poor and poor households.
The M17 million come after the M42 million which was contributed in 2020 that enabled WFP to assist 42,500 vulnerable urban food insecure populations from urban areas of Maseru, Mafeteng, Quthing, Mohale’s Hoek, Qacha’s Nek
The 2020 launched WFP’s urban emergency assistance brought the improvements reported in food consumption of the targeted people
By Staff Reporter: Noliwe Velaphe