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CRS in Lesotho

Catholic Relief Services plans and coordinates programs in three of Lesotho’s four dioceses, bringing public and private sectors together for community-based development.

Our programs involve partnerships with stakeholders such as the Government of Lesotho, local non-government organizations (NGOs), international NGOs, public- and private-sector partners, and Church partners. Our current work in Lesotho focuses on livelihoods, climate change and natural resource management, emergency response, education, microfinance, HIV, and information and communications technology for development.








People served: 292,673

Population: 1,958,042

Size: 11,720 sq mi; slightly smaller than Maryland

CRS' History in Lesotho

Catholic Relief Services began working in Lesotho in 1976 but left in 1988 following a period of economic growth. In response to a request sent by the Lesotho Catholic Bishops' Conference to CRS in 2002, CRS returned to provide support to Caritas Lesotho's response to a region-wide food crisis that also affected Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The growing HIV and AIDS-related needs of the country prompted the agency to consider making CRS Lesotho an independent country program. In late 2005, the CRS Board of Directors approved the separation of CRS Lesotho from CRS South Africa.