WFP launches international appeal for US$49 million to support Nepal's peace process
10 Jul 2007 13:23:00 GMT
WFP in Nepal is launching a US$49 million recovery programme to assist over 1.2 million people who continue to struggle daily with the effects of the recently ended eleven-year conflict between the Maoists and the Government.
According to WFP’s Country Representative in Nepal, Richard Ragan, this 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 support a rapid, field-based approach to saving lives and improving livelihoods.
“Despite the political, social and security progress of the last six months, over one million people in Nepal are still struggling with the effects of the conflict – damage to critical infrastructure, and unequal access to basic services.
This is on top of food insecurity exacerbated by three years of drought, conflict related market disruptions and the ongoing tensions in the Terai,” said Ragan.
“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,” Ragan added.
The aim of the programme is to support Nepal’s peace process by providing the most conflict-affected communities with quick-impact economic opportunities and local assets that will serve as a tangible peace dividend, and contribute to longer-term food security in Nepal.
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 focus on three areas: critical infrastructure, return and reintegration, and non-formal education. The objective of community-based activities will be 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.
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,” Ragan said.
Conflict death toll
As a result of the eleven-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 projects in Nepal benefit currently approximately 1.4 million people, including food assistance to over 108,000 Bhutanese refugees. Operations include emergency assistance to drought-affected people in Mid- and Far-Western Nepal, and food for work, school feeding, and mother and child health care activities.
Deputy Director Communications
(ISDN line available)
WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41-22-9178564