Lesotho Red Cross contributing towards a paradigm shift in humanitarian Assistance

The Forecast Based Financing (FBF) project under the drought assessment conducted community consultations to understand the drought risks and their impacts and select possible early actions.
Alongside this, the Lesotho Red Cross Society conducted the Shock Responsive Social Protection feasibility study which aims to understand the possibility of linking existing social protection systems to be shock responsive to enable quicker humanitarian cash-based interventions.
The consultations were done in the following districts; Mafeteng (Qibing CC), Leribe (Maoamafubelu CC), and Thaba Tseka (Linakeng CC) through focus groups and key informant interviews. Four villages per district were consulted.
The field visits’ findings revealed that communities are prone to food insecurity, water shortage, and an outbreak of water-borne diseases.
The communities suggested an endless list of possible Early Actions (EA) that could be implemented. However, priority was put on food security whereby they suggested the provision of farming inputs and climate-smart implements.

                                     

According to Project Officer Mphonyane Ntuba; the climate-smart varieties take short time to mature and are disease resistant to drought.
He said the project was first introduced to the District Disaster Management Teams of the three mentioned districts. “As the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) focal point, the aim was to introduce the FBF approach and to find out from them relevant early actions that can be taken to minimize the impact of drought”, he added.
FbF is an approach that enables access to humanitarian funding for early action, that can be taken based on meteorological forecast information, combined with risk analysis, to prepare for extreme weather events. The goal of FbF is to anticipate disasters, prevent their impact, if possible, and reduce human suffering and losses. Central to the paradigm shift in the humanitarian world is emergency data inventory, analytics, and readiness for use before disaster strikes. The impact is reduced and the cost of response is minimized.
The project started in 2019 December (01.09.2019) and will phase out in 2022 December. It is financed by the German Red Cross to the tune of M3.1 Million.
The research team consist of the National University of Lesotho (NUL) and Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS)