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Lesotho fears cash shortfall as food crisis deepens
by Staff Writers
Maseru, Lesotho (AFP) Nov 01, 2012

The Lesotho government fears it may not raise enough cash to avert a pending food crisis caused by two successive crop failures, the head of the country's disaster management authority said Thursday.

"We are far from reaching the amount required to bail the country out of the food crisis it's facing, we may not even get half of that money and we strongly appeal for more donors to assist us," said Mats'eliso Mojaki.

The tiny mountainous country is trying to raise 1.8 billion maloti, or around $200 million it believes is needed to avert disaster caused by unfavourable weather.

"We are in a dire situation and can only appeal to the international community to assist."

Mojaki indicated that the country has not developed alternative plans in case they fail to get the entire amount.

"At the present moment we do not have a plan B, but are however devising a long term prevention and adaptation plan.

UNICEF Deputy Representative Naqib Safi described the situation as "dire"

"More than two thirds of the country's population is facing a serious food crisis and we need assistance."

Around 725,000 people out of a population of 1.8 million are said to be at serious risk this year and next.

The kingdom relies on subsistence agriculture for income.


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