In June, a report from the UN Development Program estimated that approximately 93,000 people had returned to Lesotho as a result of COVID-19. The implementation of strict measures in neighbouring South Africa, which impacted the livelihood of migrant workers, helped spur this influx. Since October, migrant workers holding a permit are allowed to travel outside the country, and several restrictions were lifted.
The prime minister had urged prison officials to “minimise congestion” in March. However, in September, the conditions in Maseru prison were denounced by two former prisoners. They described the overcrowding and the lack of sanitary measures.
The GDP was unable to confirm if any measures had been taken for asylum-seekers during the pandemic.
- United Nations Development Programme, “Assessment of the Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the Kingdom of Lesotho,” June 2020.
- IOM, “IOM Southern Africa Covid 19 Response – Situation Report 2 (22 May – 4 June 2020),” 10 June 2020, https://migration.iom.int/reports/iom-southern-africa-covid-19-response-situation-report-2-22-may-4-june-2020
- OCHA, “Lesotho Key Message Update: Sharp Increase in Confirmed COVID-19 Cases a Concern to Livelihoods, July 2020,” 31 July 2020, https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Lesotho%20-%20Key%20Message%20Update_%20Fri%2C%202020-07-31.pdf
- Lesotho Times, “Improve Prison Conditions,” 23 September 2020, https://lestimes.com/improve-prison-conditions/
- B. Mpaki, “Lesotho: Govt Relaxes Covid-19 Restrictions,” All Africa, 7 October 2020, https://allafrica.com/stories/202010070535.html
- Ethiopian Airlines Plane With Millions of Medical Supplies Donated by Jack Ma Arrives in Lesotho, (Supplied, “Lesotho Receives Covid-19 Tests Kits from Billionaire Jack Ma,” EW News, 23 March 2020, https://ewn.co.za/2020/03/27/lesotho-receives-covid-19-test-kits-from-billionaire-jack-ma)