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Lesotho Country Office
Lesotho suffers from high infant mortality rates and levels of malnutrition, in addition to having a high prevalence of tuberculosis and an HIV/AIDS prevalence of 23.6 percent in 2009 (UNAIDS 2010). Decreased revenues from the Southern Africa Custom’s Union, due to the recent global economic downturn, have resulted in severe budget constraints for the government. One of the U.S. Government’s top priorities in Lesotho is strengthening democratic institutions prior to the next parliamentary elections, which are expected to be held in early 2012.
The vast majority of USAID’s work in Lesotho is related to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program, which totaled $17 million in FY 2013. Lesotho’s PEPFAR program is managed by USAID/SA’s Regional HIV/AIDS Program (RHAP) in Pretoria. Through the U.S.-Lesotho Partnership Framework on HIV and AIDS (2009-2013), the PEPFAR program focuses on the following four areas:
1. Reducing HIV incidence;
2. Reducing HIV/AIDS-related morbidity and mortality by providing treatment and care to people living with HIV and orphans and vulnerable children;
3. Improving human resource capacity to deliver HIV services; and
4. Strengthening health management information systems, labs, organizational capacity, and supply chains.
Other programs managed out of USAID/Southern Africa (USAID/SA) in Pretoria include a democracy and governance activity focusing on judicial independence and human rights, an economic growth activity that reduces obstacles to foreign investment and seeks to expand the textile and garment industry, a climate change initiative, and humanitarian assistance programs.
Health/ HIV AIDS
Strengthening Clinical Services
Implementer: Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) Lesotho
Duration: 02/16/2010 - 02/15/2015
Funding Amount: $10.2 million
AOR: Charles Ajayi
The Strengthening Clinical Services (SCS) in Lesotho project is a 5-year project to ensure that 100% of health facilities offer comprehensive prevention of mother-to-child treatment (PMTCT) services by the end of 2011, 100% of health facilities offer care and support (adults and children) and 90% of health facilities offer treatment initiation (adults and children) by end of 2013.
Joint Program-UNV Medical Doctors
Implementer: United Nations Development Program
Duration: 03/01/2009 - 03/31/2012
Funding Amount: $1.5 million
AOR: Ananthy Thambinayagam
Lesotho is currently facing a major shortage of medical personnel. This certainly impacts service provision for HIV/AIDS and TB treatment. With support from USAID, this program is deploying qualified medical staff through the United Nations Volunteer (UNV) Program as an effective stop-gap measure in support of capacity development efforts in the Ministry of Health. Placements of qualified medical staff will also go beyond this temporary objective through qualified training and supervision by the UNV Doctors of the medical professionals currently in situ.
Community Rapid and Effective Action to Combat HIV/AIDS (REACH)
Implementer: Pact Inc. (Lesotho)
Funding Amount: $5.7 million
AOR: Ananthy Thambinayagam
Activity Managers: Brenda Yamba, Makojang Mahao
The five-year program is designed to facilitate the efficient flow of grant funds and to deliver capacity building services to organizations contributing to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Lesotho. The local organizations being supported by Pact are those implementing key technical focus areas of HIV/AIDS prevention and OVC Care and support. In FY 2011, Pact aimed to reach 30,700 individuals with HIV prevention interventions and provide care and support to 14,000 orphans and vulnerable children.
Building Local Capacity
Implementer: Management Sciences for Health
Duration: August 2010 – August 2015
Funding Amount: $15,262,264 (estimated amount in Lesotho)
AOR: Karen Kasan
Activity Managers: Mpumi Mangqalaza
Building Local Capacity for Delivery of HIV Services in Southern Africa aims to strengthen African regional institutions with the provision of high-quality technical assistance; build the capacity of national and regional systems to respond to the care and protection of vulnerable children and adolescents; strengthen regional and bi-lateral prevention activities, with a specific focus on Migrant populations in regional programming; and also improve the delivery of palliative care—particularly community-based care—across the region.
HIV Prevention Among Youth and Adults in Lesotho (Lesotho Together Against HIV and AIDS (LETLAMA)
Implementer: Population Sciences International
Duration: October 2011 – October2015
Funding Amount: $17,000,000
AOR: Ananthy Thambinayagam
Activity Managers: Makojang Mahao
The objective of the Letlama Project is to increase the adoption of protective behaviors, with a focus on safer sexual behaviors, and support healthy social norms among adults and youth in Lesotho. In January 2013, PSI launched the “Pusha Love” a mass media program that promotes healthy living. It includes a radio magazine program called Pusha Love Blomas and S’moko Feela a radio drama. Over the coming months, Pusha Love will establish Youth Clubs to connect young people with the movement, engage communities and individuals in the conversation, and work with corporate clients to promote healthy options for their employees.
Democracy and Governance
Justice as a Right in Southern Africa: Regional Rule of Law and Human Rights Program
Implementer: Freedom House
Counterparts: Regional legal and judicial NGOs
Duration: October 2010-September 2015
Funding to Date: $8 million (regional)
Field AM/A-AM: Taylor Garrett
Field AOR: Eileen Derby
Through sub-grants administered by Freedom House (FH), this program seeks to strengthen respect for democratic institutions and ideals and demonstrate that the rule of just law can promote peace, stability, and sustainable development. The program’s approach is routinely adapted in order to take into account particular and emergent conditions in each of the target countries while also maintaining a regional consistency in promoting judicial independence and the rule of just law. In FY 2011, ten sub-grants are being administered by FH to local and regional organizations. Four large sub-grants were made to regional legal and judicial organizations namely: the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), the Southern African Legal Information Institute (SAFLII), and the Legal Resources Centre (LRC). These organizations work on judicial independence issues and train lawyers on HR litigation to improve the rule of law. Six small sub-awards support civil society organizations for small human rights and strategic litigation on human rights issues in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zambia. Five of these projects are Fixed Obligation Grants (FOG). Since women’s rights are a crucial part of any human rights program, special consideration is taken to prioritize issues of women’s rights in the sub-granting procedures under this activity. Through these sub-grants, FH seeks to build the capacity of civil society organizations to respond to human rights and rule of law challenges in their countries.
Southern Africa Trade Hub
Duration: September 2010-September 2014
Project Ceiling: $82.6 million (regional)
COR/AOR/AM: Rick Gurley/ Lynn Schneider
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub seeks to increase international competitiveness, intra-regional trade, and food security in the SADC region. The Trade Hub also supports energy planners to harmonize regional infrastructure planning and adoption of clean energy regulations through support to SADC Infrastructure and Services Directorate and the Regional Electricity Regulators Association (RERA). The Trade Hub promotes regional food security by addressing transportation and trade barriers along key regional trade corridors and by strengthening trade of key food security commodities, including maize, soybean, and groundnut. The Trade Hub is working with the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) to support Lesotho’s efforts to further integrate its apparel industry by securing investments to manufacture knit fabrics. The Trade Hub sponsors the annual Source Africa tradeshow event in Cape Town, South Africa, which brings over 100 African textiles, apparel and footwear exhibitors, including from Lesotho, together with leading buyers from across Africa, Europe and the United States to facilitate new sourcing relationships and networking opportunities. The Trade Hub also supports international buyers’ missions to Lesotho for textiles and apparel.
Africa Infrastructure Program (AIP) (AFR Bureau)
Duration: September 2010 – March 2014
Funding to date: $3,000,000 (regional)
Field AM/A-AM: Cleveland Thomas/Erin Pacific
Washington COR: Mary Morning Washburn/Jeff Humber
The Southern Africa region suffers from low access to electricity of around 30 percent of the SADC population, compared to the world average of 75 percent. Often, energy and power projects in Sub-Saharan Africa encounter barriers that prevent them from achieving financial closure. USAID's Africa Infrastructure Program (AIP) project supports capacity building, energy sector structural and regulatory reform, and transaction advisory service to foster deployment of clean energy technologies and projects. Through support, structural reforms result in the introduction of private sector independent power producers (IPPs), thereby diversifying the generation and transmission resource mix, particularly adding clean/renewable energy projects and technologies. USAID advisory support helped to establish South Africa’s Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) legislation and roll-out of the South Africa’s Renewable Energy-Independent Power Producer (RE-IPP) activity; as well as capacity building to host-governments and regulatory bodies to incorporate renewable energy into the regulatory frameworks in Mozambique, Namibia, and Lesotho. AIP program assistance is supporting these countries to establish their first private investments in 25-50 MW wind farm energy production. New activities will be developed in Angola, Swaziland, and Zambia to enhance investment in clean energy projects.
USAID/Bureau of Food Security: Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM CRSP)
Implementer: Virginia Tech/University of Tennessee
Duration: October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2014
Funding: 2.8 Million annually for the global program
Washington AOR: Kawa Samba, USAID/BFS
The Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM CRSP) is sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau of Food Security) and participating U.S. universities and host country institutions - University of Tennessee (lead), National University of Lesotho, Global Conservation Agriculture Program, Centro Internacional Para el Mejoramiento del Maíz y el Trigo (CIMMYT), Growing Nations - around the world. Subsistence farmers across Southern Africa struggle with food security and degraded soils that further limit crop potential. To address these challenges, this project will research the effectiveness of different no-till and tilled crop management systems. The goal is to find an appropriate cereal, grass, and legume cover-crop mix that protects the soil surface from erosion, builds soil organic matter, sequesters carbon, limits weed germination, enhances soil fertility, and increases yields and income through adaptation of conservation agriculture systems to local conditions. Research plots will be established in Lesotho as well as Malawi, and Mozambique. The project will include detailed collaboration and consultation so that researchers understand the farm family structure, including gender roles, the markets for purchase of inputs and sales of crops, and the reasons why certain technologies are adopted or abandoned.
Climate Change Adaptation in the Lesotho Highlands
Implementer: Institute of Natural Resources, Serumula Development Agency & GROW Lesotho
Duration: October 2010-September 2014
Funding: $1.1 million
Program Managers: Sesana Mokoana/Roopa Karia
The Lesotho Highlands capture and store water to support local people who rely on range and crop lands to support themselves. At the same time, significant water resources are transferred to South Africa to support industry and urban centers, with royalty payments helping to drive Lesotho’s national economy. Climate changes will influence this crucial water cycle, with far reaching impacts for the people of Lesotho and South Africa. USAID works with Lesotho’s government, civil society and local communities to strengthen their abilities to respond to potential impacts of climate change through better policies and practices. Maintaining a healthy, intact ecosystem, while adapting management of range and water resources, will promote a more sustainable future. To date, more than 650 people, more than one-third of whom are women, have new capacities to adapt to the impacts of climate variability in Lesotho.
Lesotho Mountain Integrated Conservation Agriculture II (MICA II) DRR Project
Implementer: CRS with CARE and Caritas as subawardees
Duration: 09/18/12 through 09/16/14
Funding Amount: $2,105,163
AOR: George Siasoco
The Mountain Integrated Conservation Agriculture Project II (MICA II) will strengthen rural mountain livelihoods through the promotion of conservation agriculture techniques, improved access to inputs, and capacity building for community-based disaster risk reduction. MICA II will be led by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and implemented in consortium with CARE. Through the project CRS and CARE will also support the integration of new voices - especially youth- into disaster preparedness, mitigation and management activities in order to identify and support new solutions and engage those whose futures are most affected into community planning and disaster mitigation efforts. MICA II activities will reduce the vulnerability of rural livelihoods to drought and soil erosion and increase sustainable agricultural production. In this follow-on phase of the previous OFDA-funded MICA project, partners will continue working in existing project catchment areas, with the targeted inclusion of new proximal communities and beneficiaries, to consolidate and build on gains from the project’s last phase. Through targeted technical support, facilitation of farmer-to-farmer learning, and a heightened focus on solidifying the evidence base for effective and appropriate conservation agriculture approaches, the project consortium will support the intensified integration of sustainable agriculture into local farming systems in Lesotho.
Lesotho Food Security Relief and Resilience Program (LFSRP) – Disaster Response Program
Implementer: CRS with CARE and World Vision as subawardees
Duration: 10/23/12 (PAL start date), one year duration
Funding Amount: $998,796
AOR: George Siasoco
Catholic Relief Services (CRS), in partnership with CARE and World Vision, will implement the Lesotho Food Security Relief and Resilience Program (LFSRP), thereby responding to immediate household non-food needs, while helping the same households recover from the recently declared food security emergency and build resilience necessary to reduce the impact of future shocks. With support from USAID/OFDA, LFSRP will reach 7,900 affected households in 27 Community Councils in six districts of Lesotho’s Mountain and Senqu River Valley Livelihood Zones. To ensure a productive 2012-2013 planting season for households which have depleted assets, CRS will provide agricultural inputs through seed vouchers and fairs to 3,244 households. These households will also be trained in conservation agriculture to sustainably improve yields and reduce the impact of future shocks. LFSRP will also help households diversify diets, especially for pregnant women, young children, and people living with HIV by supporting 4,800 households in homestead gardening (inputs and training) and strengthening existing systems that provide information to households on nutrition and dietary practice.
USAID/OFDA Regional DRR Programs including Lesotho - with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
Duration: 01/01/12 through 12/31/12
Coordination and Advocacy for Conservation Agriculture in Southern Africa
Through a regional conservation agriculture coordination and advocacy project in southern Africa, USAID/OFDA is working to increase awareness and adoption of conservation agriculture techniques—farming practices that promote soil and water conservation and reduce losses during drought. Demonstration sites throughout the region allow local communities, government and NGO staff, and policymakers to learn first-hand about the drought-mitigating benefits of conservation agriculture. FAO is also coordinating additional activities and conducting policy analysis on conservation agriculture.
Coordination of Food and Agricultural Emergency Preparedness and Mitigation
Through FAO, USAID/OFDA is facilitating coordination of food and agricultural emergency preparedness in southern Africa. This USAID/OFDA-funded project works to reduce countries’ vulnerability to disasters through improved preparedness and through integration of risk prevention and mitigation into national policies and interventions. The program enables partners to respond to food security crises more effectively and works with government officials and partners to improve the transition from emergency to recovery.
USAID/OFDA Regional DRR Programs including Lesotho – with Rescue South Africa
Rescue Program for National Development (RESPOND), Southern African Emergency Services Capacity Building Program
Implementer: Rescue South Africa
Duration: 09/10/12 through 09/10/13
AOR: George Siasoco
Through Rescue South Africa, USAID/OFDA is supporting the development of four target countries’ emergency and disaster response mechanisms to manage all-hazard rapid-onset incidents and mitigate/prevent additional injuries, fatalities and damage to both property and environment. Although first responders primarily handle the routine emergencies experienced in their community, region or country, the capability of these resources can be developed to the extent that they are able to deal with large-scale events as well. This USAID-OFDA-funded project will build local capacity, by providing accredited courses, in identified countries (Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia), over an initial period of 12 months. The RESPOND program is ultimately intended to be a 3-year initiative across multiple countries in Southern Africa and aims to have certified teams in the region able to both deal with emergencies in their own countries and also assist neighboring countries in the event of such incidents.
USAID/OFDA Regional DRR Programs including Lesotho – with CARE
Integrating Adolescent Girls into Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction in Southern Africa
Duration: 04/25/12 through 04/24/12
AOR: George Siasoco
CARE and NWU/ACDS will implement a regional learning and pilot activity in Southern Africa. Building on the successful Girls in Risk Reduction Leadership (G.I.R.R.L.) project conducted by NWU/ACDS in South Africa, CARE and NWU/ACDS will adapt the GIRRL approach for use in other countries in Southern Africa. The program aims to build a regional network to explore new ways of integrating marginalized populations, especially girls and youth, into the design and implementation of disaster risk reduction and risk mitigation programming. CARE and NWU/ACDS will provide technical assistance to four existing CARE country programs and partners (academic partners, local NGOs, and government entities) in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Malawi. Each country will implement an initial pilot of the GIRRL approach, adapted to their local context. Learning from the initial round of pilots will be shared amongst countries through regional workshops and exchange of pilot documentation. This award covers the costs of the technical assistance to each country, cross-visits between the GIRRL project in South Africa and the four target countries, and regional learning and documentation activities. The costs for the implementation of the pilot GIRRL interventions in the target countries are either integrated into country-specific pending proposals to USAID/OFDA or will be provided by CARE through own funding.