$6.8m US assistance for conflict-hit

Kathmandu, October 17:

The US, through USAID’s Office of Food for Peace and the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, has provided $6.8 million to the UN World Food Programme’s operation to support the peace process and to provide food, aid and livelihood support to the conflict-affected people in Nepal.

“This $6.8 million assistance demonstrates the continued support of the US for a more peaceful and prosperous Nepal,” said US Ambassador Nancy J Powell. “Through the World Food Programme, the amount will be used to improve the lives of Nepalis who continue to suffer from the effects of years of conflict,” she added. At a cost of nearly $49 million, WFP’s peace and recovery operation aims to provide food aid and livelihood support to over 1.2 million conflict-affected people here.

As a part of this effort, the US contribution will provide in-kind food aid to over 160,000 people and essential cash resources needed to kick-start the operation.

The press release, jointly issued by the US Embassy and the WFP, quoted Richard Ragan, WFP Country Representative in Nepal, as saying, “Despite efforts made since the end of the conflict last year, many people have yet to receive any tangible benefits from the peace process — they are still hungry, they still lack access to basic services and critical infrastructure, and opportunities to rebuild their lives. This critical support from the US will enable us to reach out and provide a safety net to these vulnerable populations during this uncertain time in Nepal’s peace process.”

WFP’s peace and recovery activities will be implemented in 28 of the most food-insecure, conflict-affected districts in Nepal. Programme activities include rehabilitation and construction of critical infrastructure, return and rehabilitation packages, and civic education training.