UN food agency launches $49 million programme to aid struggling Nepalese
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Nepal is launching a $49 million programme to assist over 1.2 million people who continue to struggle daily with the effects of the recently ended 11-year conflict between the Maoists and the Government.
“Our goal is to provide immediate assistance so people can begin rebuilding their lives and be better prepared to participate in the historic process of reshaping Nepal as a peaceful, democratic and inclusive State,” said WFP’s Country Representative in Nepal, Richard Ragan.
The programme represents one of the largest UN initiatives to support the people of Nepal during the transition to a new democracy, and offers donors an opportunity to contribute to saving lives and improving livelihoods, he added.
Despite the political, social and security progress of the last six months, Mr. Ragan said that over 1 million people in Nepal are still struggling with the effects of the conflict. This is on top of food insecurity exacerbated by three years of drought and conflict-related market disruptions.
Under the year-long programme, WFP will provide food aid to some of the most conflict-affected communities in 28 districts across Nepal. Programme activities will aim to improve market access, create short-term employment, and facilitate basic service delivery.
“This is a critical period in Nepal’s peace process – expectations by the people are high. The challenge faced by the interim Government – to address the root causes of the conflict while at the same time laying the foundation for a new democracy – is arduous,” Mr. Ragan stated.
“With WFP’s deep field presence and experience at running emergency operations in Nepal, we are in the unique position to deliver immediate recovery assistance to remote,
conflict-affected populations who have yet to benefit from the peace process.”
The agency’s projects in Nepal benefit approximately 1.4 million people, including food assistance to over 108,000 Bhutanese refugees and emergency assistance to those affected by drought, as well as food for work, school feeding, and mother and child health care activities.
As a result of the 11-year conflict, over 13,000 people have been killed, an estimated 200,000 displaced and thousands of cases of critical infrastructure damage have been reported, WFP said.