Key data for Lesotho

NCI44th HRCI25th HANCI39th
HANCI compares 45 developing 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: 39.00% Wasting: 3.9% Proportion of population underweight: 13.50% Source: Gov. of Lesotho (DHS, 2009)

Strong Performance

  • Lesotho has devised a National Nutrition Policy/Strategy.
  • The Government of Lesotho promotes complementary feeding practices.
  • In Lesotho 91.8% of women aged 15-49 were visited at least once during pregnancy by skilled health personnel in 2009.

Areas for improvement

  • Spending on agriculture (1.72% of public spending in 2013), 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 (14.5% of public spending in 2012) is close to, yet not fully meeting government commitments set out in the African Union's Abuja Declaration (15% of public spending).
  • 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, clear time-bound nutrition targets and a multisectoral and multistakeholder policy coordination mechanism are still lacking.
  • Policymakers in Lesotho do not benefit from regular nutrition surveys that are statistically representative at national level. The last survey was published in 2009.
  • The Government of Lesotho has not enshrined the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes into domestic law.
  • The Government of Lesotho has only achieved two high doses of vitamin A supplementation for 66% of children in 2013.
  • Weak access to improved sanitation facilities (29.6% in 2012) obstructs better hunger and nutrition outcomes.
  • In Lesotho, constitutional protection of the right to social security is weak.

Hunger Reduction Commitment Index (HRCI)

Public Spending Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Public spending on agriculture as share of total public spending
Public spending on health as share of total public spending
Policies Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Access to land (security of tenure)
Access to agricultural research and extension services
Civil registration system — coverage of live births
Functioning of social protection systems
Laws Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Level of constitutional protection of the right to food
Equality of women’s access to agricultural land
In Law, not in Practice20144th
Equality of women’s economic rights
Partially Enforced20111st
Constitutional right to social security

Nutrition Commitment Index (NCI)

Public Spending Score Year NCI rank of 45
Separate budget for nutrition
Sectoral only201228th
Policies Score Year NCI rank of 45
Vitamin A supplementation coverage for children
Government promotes complementary feeding
Population with access to an improved water source
Population with access to improved sanitation
Health care visits for pregnant women
Nutrition features in national development policy
National Nutrition Policy/Strategy
Multisector and multistakeholder policy coordination
Time bound nutrition targets
National nutrition survey in last 3 years
Laws Score Year NCI rank of 45
Enshrine ICBMS in domestic law
Not Enshrined in Law201438th