Lesotho: Urban families feeling the pinch of soaring food prices
JOHANNESBURG, 6 January 2009 (IRIN) – Urban families in Lesotho, a small landlocked southern African country, are struggling to cope with rising food prices, according to a recent survey.
Practically every household interviewed in a vulnerability assessment reported being affected by escalating food costs; more than half of urban households admitted borrowing food to get by, and more than 40 percent said they had been forced to cut down on meals.
People living with HIV, pensioners and Basotho living off remittances and grants on the outskirts of urban centres were the worst affected, the Lesotho Urban Vulnerability Assessment Survey discovered.
“Food security is a chronic problem in Lesotho, but high food prices have hit people living in the peri-urban areas particularly hard,” said Bhim Udas, country representative of the World Food Programme (WFP), which was involved in the survey. “Most of the people with low incomes spend 75 to 80 percent of their money only to buy food.”