Key data for Lesotho

NCI39th HRCI34th HANCI40th
HANCI-Africa compares 45 African countries for their performance on 22 indicators of political commitment to reduce hunger and undernutrition. All the countries compared in the index have high rates of hunger and undernutrition. The comparative approach of the index means that country scores are calculated in relation to the political commitment of the other countries in the index.
Existing rates of: Stunting: 33.2% Wasting: 2.8% Proportion of population underweight: 2.8% Source: Government of Lesotho (DHS, 2014)

Strong Performance

  • Lesotho has devised a National Nutrition Policy/Strategy.
  • Policymakers in Lesotho benefit from regular nutrition surveys that are statistically representative at national level. The last survey was published in 2014.
  • The Government of Lesotho promotes complementary feeding practices.
  • In Lesotho 95.2% of women aged 15-49 were visited at least once during pregnancy by skilled health personnel in 2014.

Areas for improvement

  • Spending on agriculture (3.6% of public spending in 2016), does not meet government commitments set out in the African Union’s Maputo Declaration (10% of public spending).
  • Lesotho’s spending in its health sector (9.3% of public spending in 2015) does not fully meet (15%) commitments set out in the Abuja Declaration.
  • In Lesotho, the law gives women and men equal economic rights and equal legal access to agricultural land. However, these laws are not effectively enforced and discriminatory practices against women continue, increasing their vulnerability to hunger and undernutrition.
  • Lesotho does not have a separate budget line for nutrition; this prevents transparency and accountability for spending.
  • Even though Lesotho has developed a National Nutrition Policy/Strategy and clear time-bound nutrition targets, a multisectoral and multistakeholder policy coordination mechanism is still lacking.
  • The Government of Lesotho has not enshrined the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes into domestic law.
  • The Government of Lesotho has achieved two high doses of vitamin A supplementation for only 67% of children in 2014.
  • Weak access to improved sanitation facilities (43.8% in 2015) obstructs better hunger and nutrition outcomes.
  • In Lesotho, constitutional protection of the right to food and the right to social security is weak.
  • Social safety nets in Lesotho are basic and only cover few risks for a limited number of beneficiaries.

Hunger Reduction Commitment Index (HRCI)

Public Spending Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Public spending on agriculture as share of total public spending
?
3.6%201632nd
Public spending on health as share of total public spending
?
9.3%201514th
Policies Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Access to land (security of tenure)
?
Moderate2014Joint 19th
Access to agricultural research and extension services
?
Moderate2013Joint 21st
Civil registration system — coverage of live births
?
43.3%201434th
Functioning of social protection systems
?
Weak2016Joint 21st
Laws Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Level of constitutional protection of the right to food
?
Weak2016Joint 29th
Equality of women’s access to agricultural land
?
In Law, not in Practice2014Joint 1st
Equality of women’s economic rights
?
In Law, not in Practice2014Joint 1st
Constitutional right to social security
?
No2014Joint 29th

Nutrition Commitment Index (NCI)

Public Spending Score Year NCI rank of 45
Separate budget for nutrition
?
No2017Joint 33rd
Policies Score Year NCI rank of 45
Vitamin A supplementation coverage for children
?
67%201426th
Government promotes complementary feeding
?
Yes2012Joint 1st
Population with access to an improved water source
?
83.2%201516th
Population with access to improved sanitation
?
43.8%201515th
Health care visits for pregnant women
?
95.2%201413th
Nutrition features in national development policy
?
Moderate2013-201722nd
National Nutrition Policy/Strategy
?
Yes2014Joint 1st
Multisector and multistakeholder policy coordination
?
No2017Joint 35th
Time bound nutrition targets
?
Yes2017Joint 1st
National nutrition survey in last 3 years
?
Yes2014Joint 1st
Laws Score Year NCI rank of 45
Enshrine ICBMS in domestic law
?
Not Enshrined in Law2016Joint 33rd