Agriculture and Food Security
Through the Southern Africa Trade Hub, USAID is lowering trade barriers and facilitating regional markets for important food products. In partnership with the University of Pretoria in South Africa, USAID trained representatives of various sectors in the skills necessary to wisely distribute agricultural resources. The training also addressed the development of national plans for food security. To make sure farmers can produce enough food, we support irrigation projects that will bring much-needed water to food crops for thousands of people. We also help communities construct gardens that can survive drought and other harsh conditions.
Democracy, Human Rights and Governance
Because of Lesotho’s history of struggles to maintain constitutional government, a top U.S. Government priority there is strengthening democratic institutions. USAID works with Freedom House to encourage respect for democratic ideals and show how democracy and justice can benefit the whole society. Activities include training lawyers on human rights laws and supporting civil society organizations to work on human rights issues.
Economic Growth and Trade
USAID funds the Southern Africa Trade Hub, a central point of access to international markets and business resources that benefits all countries in the region, including Lesotho. In addition to supporting food security, the trade hub contributes to the development of clean energy infrastructure and encourages private sector investments in regional businesses. In Lesotho specifically, the trade hub works to reduce the costs of doing business, improve the investment climate, reform customs practices and increase trade in textiles. We are supporting the government’s efforts to modernize customs processes in order to make cross-border trade easier. The trade hub also works closely with garment exporters in Lesotho to encourage international trade and investment.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic in Lesotho takes a staggering toll on all aspects of society.
Through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), USAID focuses its work in the following four areas:
- Reducing the rate of HIV infection;
- Reducing HIV/AIDS-related deaths by providing treatment for those living with HIV and caring for orphans and vulnerable children;
- Training local health workers to deliver better HIV services; and
- Improving health management, laboratories and health supplies.
Specific interventions include efforts to strengthen clinical services, place medical volunteers where needed and streamline the flow of funds to local organizations fighting HIV/AIDS. In partnership with the Millennium Challenge Corporation, we also work to strengthen health center infrastructure in Lesotho.
Water is a critical resource in Lesotho. It is necessary for local farming and brings money into the economy when sold to South Africa. Climate change has the potential to disrupt the water cycle and interfere with these activities. USAID supports efforts to prepare for the effects of climate change. We encourage better policies and practices that will result in sustainable management of water resources. In partnership with the Millennium Challenge Corporation, USAID helps to improve the provision of water to both industries and households. This strengthens businesses and improves health.
Last updated: May 10, 2013