U.N. to resume critical food aid to 600,000 Nepalis

U.S. and Britain will help U.N. resume critical food aid to more than 600,000 Nepalis, the World Food Programme said.

U.N. to resume critical food aid to 600,000 Nepalis

The United States and Britain will help the United Nations resume critical food aid to more than 600,000 Nepalis who lost their rations last month due to a funding shortfall, the World Food Programme said on Friday.

The agency halved the number of Nepalis receiving food aid from 1.2 million to 600,000 in December as the financial downturn hit donors.

On Friday, the WFP said it had received $14 million from the United States and Britain, enough to feed 1.2 million people for three months.

"The timing of the contributions couldn't have been better with so many people in need of critical food assistance," said Richard Ragan, WFP Country Director in Nepal.

The agency said it urgently needed an additional $45.6 million for food programmes through to next December.

Under the food for work programme, the WFP gives food or cash to poor people in exchange for work in micro-hydro projects, trail construction, building irrigation systems, small-scale plantations and nurseries.

Nepal has just emerged from a decade-long civil war that caused more than 13,000 deaths and devastated its impoverished economy.

Sustained high food prices, erratic monsoon rains and a 400,000-tonne cereal deficit have forced thousands of poor families to reduce food intake, sell off assets, borrow money and take children out of school in order to survive.

Reuters

Last Mod: 30 Ocak 2010, 11:17
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