With the support of the International Federation of the Red Cross Red Crescent (IFRC), Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) launched a Disaster Emergency Response on Friday the 14th June 2024 at Maseru.

The purpose of the project is to provide humanitarian assistance to 12 500 individuals (2 500 households) whose livelihoods are affected by drought. The support will be delivered through sustainable interventions including access to clean water, crop production initiatives and multipurpose cash transfers. This initiative is supported by IFRC to a tune of 16 Million and expected to run for a period of 9 months.

When officially opening the launch, the president of the Lesotho Red Cross Society Mr. Hareteke Nkhet’se indicated that today marks a pivotal moment in the collective efforts to address the urgent needs arising from the devastating effects of poor harvesting in Lesotho.

“As we gather here, we are reminded of the core principles and values that underpin the Red Cross Movement, which has been a beacon of hope and humanitarian assistance globally for over a century. As the Red Cross movement, our work is deeply rooted in the communities we serve, and we strive to build resilience and promote sustainable development.”

He further indicated that today is about launching of the Disaster Emergency Response, a critical initiative that will provide much-needed support to the five districts severely affected by the recent poor harvests. The recent poor harvesting has had a profound impact on communities, particularly in the districts of Maseru, Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek, Quthing and Qacha’s nek. Families are struggling to meet their basic needs, and the threat of food insecurity looms large.

“Following the 2023/24 El Nino event that caused widespread drought conditions across Southern Africa, characterized by late onset rains, extended mid-season dry spell and extreme high temperatures, Lesotho Red Cross Society made and assessment in collaboration with its stakeholders and then applied for the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF)from the International Federation of the Red Cross Red Crescent (IFRC) and the amount of 16 Million Maloti was allocated to assist people who had their livelihoods affected by drought.” Said Mrs. Sebongile Hlobi, the project manager.