Red Cross se­cures drought re­lief

Lesotho Times - - News - Lim­pho Sello

THE Le­sotho Red Cross So­ci­ety (LRCS) has se­cured M9 mil­lion for its emer­gency plan of ac­tion to ad­dress the food in­se­cu­rity chal­lenges fac­ing thou­sands of Ba­sotho.

Ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day, LRCS Pro­gramme Di­rec­tor Matšepo Mo­let­sane said the hu­man­i­tar­ian or­gan­i­sa­tion had made an ap­peal for fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to the Disas­ter Re­lief Emer­gency Fund (DREF) in light of the pre­vail­ing El Niño-in­duced drought.

DREF was set up by the In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Red Cross and Red Cres­cent So­ci­eties (IFRC) in 1985 to en­sure that im­me­di­ate fi­nan­cial sup­port is avail­able for Red Cross Red Cres­cent emer­gency re­sponse to dis­as­ters.

Ms Mo­let­sane said while they would have wanted to as­sist food in­se­cure peo­ple in all the coun­try’s 10 dis­tricts, they were un­able to do so be­cause of re­source con­straints.

“Based on the na­tional and rapid as­sess­ments that were car­ried out, the three dis­tricts found to be hard­est hit by the drought were Qacha’s Nek, Thaba-tseka and Mafeteng,” she said.

“The ar­eas and fam­i­lies cho­sen within the dis­tricts were found to be the most vul­ner­a­ble within their re­spec­tive vil­lages.”

LRCS Disas­ter Man­age­ment Co­or­di­na­tor, Maine Ma­pula, said the as­sis­tance of­fered to the ben­e­fi­cia­ries would be in the form of food and cash.

“Our ap­peal has been ap­proved to as­sist 9 000 food in­se­cure peo­ple in 1 800 house­holds re­ceive as­sis­tance in two ways namely, two months food dis­tri­bu­tion per house­hold over a pe­riod of two months from Fe­bru­ary and March 2016,” Mr Ma­pula said.

“There will also be a monthly cash trans­fer of M550 per house­hold per month for a pe­riod of four months.

“The trans­fer will be suf­fi­cient to meet the im­me­di­ate food needs of a house­hold of five.

“The cash trans­fer value has been cal­cu­lated based on the cur­rent prices of a stan­dard food bas­ket that is 50kg bag of maize, 7.5kg of beans and 4.5 Litres of cook­ing oil.”

He said the op­er­a­tion would use mo­bile money trans­fers in part­ner­ship with telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions providers.

“Free sim cards will be pro­vided and the se­lected sup­plier will train staff and vol­un­teers in the reg­is­tra­tion and trans­fer sys­tems. The cash trans­fers will be quick and cost ef­fec­tive,” said Mr Ma­pula.

He added that the pro­ject was sup­ported by IFRC, Bri­tish Red Cross So­ci­ety, The Nether­lands Red Cross So­ci­ety, Swedish Red Cross So­ci­ety and Nor­we­gian Red Cross So­ci­ety.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.