Over 1 million people in Nepal could go hungry unless UN agency gets passage for food

15 November 2006

More than 1 million people in impoverished Nepal could go hungry unless the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is able to freely transport aid, the agency warned today, while appealing to the Nepalese transport union to allow convoys to deliver assistance to over 50,000 drought-affected people and over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees.

More than 1 million people in impoverished Nepal could go hungry unless the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is able to freely transport aid, the agency warned today, while appealing to the Nepalese transport union to allow convoys to deliver assistance to over 50,000 drought-affected people and over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees.

“Over 50,000 hungry people in Humla, Jumla, and Dolpa are waiting for our helicopters to arrive so that they can receive desperately needed food rations,” said WFP Representative, Richard Ragan.

“Both the refugees and the people of the mid-west have suffered enough. We need those trucks through – and our helicopters full, so that we can continue to provide humanitarian assistance to hungry families. WFP provides food assistance to the most vulnerable men, women and children. Without the ability to freely transport food aid across Nepal over one million people could go hungry.”

The Nepal Transport Union has been disrupting the flow of transport trucks across Nepal for the past week.

WFP is in its third phase of emergency operations to provide a two-month ration to over 225,000 drought-affected people in mid- and far-western Nepal. Over 265 helicopter flights are planned out of Surkhet to deliver 730 metric tons of food to these remote communities. In the east, WFP provides food for all seven of the Bhutanese refugee camps.

With an annual budget of nearly $30 million for Nepal, WFP will provide food assistance to over 1.7 million Nepalis, and more than 106,000 Bhutanese refugees by the end of this year.

WFP’s humanitarian support targets the most vulnerable populations living in 31 districts with inadequate food supplies across Nepal. In addition to food aid for the Bhutanese refugees and drought-affected families, WFP’s programmes provide school feeding to students, nutritional support for pregnant and nursing mothers and their young children, and livelihood support to poor, food-insecure households, through food-for-work activities.

 

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