Speeches Shim

Key Developments

Efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) across the Southern Africa region—including in Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—have slowed economic activity and negatively affected livelihoods, restricting access to food and other essential goods and services, according to relief actors.

Nearly 30 percent of Lesotho’s total population— approximately 380,000 people — faced Crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity between July and September 2020 due to drought, high food prices, and reduced income-earning activities associated with COVID-19-related restrictions. This number is anticipated to increase to 582,000 people across all 10 districts of Lesotho from October 2020 to March 2021, largely due to the continued adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and drought.

USAID is also responding to disasters in neighboring Southern Africa countries.


Lesotho experiences erratic rainfall, recurrent droughts, and soil degradation, which can adversely affect food security. In addition to responding to urgent humanitarian needs, USAID supports interventions to build the capacity of people in Lesotho to withstand disasters. For example, USAID has supported programs to train emergency responders in Lesotho and supported initiatives to improve the land management and agricultural techniques of local farmers.

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