LESOTHO* (13 February)
Although early-February rains brought some temporary relief from the prolonged dryness, severe drought is developing due to delayed and below-normal precipitation. The food supply situation, especially during these lean months, remains very tight due to below-average cereal production in 2003 and the total failure of winter crops. The Prime Minister of the country declared a state of emergency on 11 February 2004 on account of this drought, appealing for an additional 57 000 tonnes of food aid to help feed 600 000 people until the 2005 harvest as part of an emergency measures package. FAO and WFP are currently (8-26 February 2004) undertaking a mid-season rapid assessment of the current agricultural season.