Lesotho

Key facts

Hazards covered by anticipation    

Cold waves | Drought | Heavy snowfall (in development)

Anticipation partners in country    

Lethoso Red Cross Society | German Red Cross | Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre | IFRC | 510 initiative of the Netherlands Red Cross | FAO

Inform Risk Index (2022)   

Hazard and exposure: 1.7

Vulnerability: 5.8

Lack of coping capacity: 6.8

Total: 4.1 (medium)

Rank: 79

 

Photo: Matthew Carter / IFRC

Country profile

A small and mountainous country, landlocked entirely by South Africa, Lesotho experiences a range of climatic hazards each year. It is severely affected by drought and consequently food insecurity. The country also experiences heavy snowfall and cold waves, which affect vulnerable highland communities and prevent humanitarian actors from accessing households in need of assistance. The population also suffers from hailstorms, strong winds, localized floods and early frost.

Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy with a population of 2.2 million, 75 per cent of whom live in rural areas. The top five INFORM risk indicators are: under-five mortality rate; people affected by drought; income inequality; adult prevalence of HIV/AIDS; and tuberculosis.

Projects

Forecast-based financing: closing the gap between disaster preparedness and emergency relief in Southern Africa

Since 2020, the Lesotho Red Cross Society has been working to establish forecast-based financing in Lesotho, with technical support from the German Red Cross and the Climate Centre, and funding from the German Federal Foreign Office. The project is now working on an Early Action Protocol for Drought, and will then move on to similar protocols for cold waves and heavy snowfall.

FAO is working on anticipation of drought in Lesotho.