Kathmandu, August 10:

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that long-term relief and recovery efforts will be needed for many of the estimated 25 million people that have been affected by severe flooding across south Asia, including Nepal, India and Bangladesh.

The WFP has emphasised its readiness to provide emergency food assistance, if and when requested. The agency has been providing immediate assistance from existing food stocks. “Even after the flood waters subside, millions of poor families will remain devastated from the loss of their crops, livestock and in some cases, family members,” a WFP statement quoted WFP executive director Josette Sheeran as saying.

He has pledged assistance with food and logistical support, urging donors to step forward with funding for early recovery programmes.

“The WFP’s food-for-work projects can quickly help rehabilitate destroyed houses and roads, while school meals are essential to getting children back to school, and back to a normal life,” Sheeran added. The release has also said that the only country to request international food assistance has been Nepal, where the WFP has launched an emergency operation to feed 60,000 of the worst-hit people for three months.