Lesotho - Public finance

Proceeds from membership in a common customs union with South Africa form the majority of government revenue. Lesotho receives aid from myriad sources, including the US, World Bank, United Kingdom, EU, and Germany.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that in 2000 Lesotho's central government took in revenues of approximately $76 million and had expenditures of $80 million including capital expenditures of $15 million. Overall, the government registered a deficit of approximately $4 million. External debt totaled $715 million.

The following table shows an itemized breakdown of government revenues and expenditures. The percentages were calculated from data reported by the International Monetary Fund. The dollar amounts (millions) are based on the CIA estimates provided above.


Tax revenue 74.0% 56
Non-tax revenue 20.8% 16
Grants 5.2% 4
General public services 17.5% 14
Defense 6.3% 5
Public order and safety 10.0% 8
Education 26.3% 21
Health 8.8% 7
Social security
Housing and community amenities
Recreation, cultural, and religious affairs
Economic affairs and services 21.3% 17
Other expenditures 3.8% 3
Interest payments 3.8% 3
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