WFP warns of humanitarian crisis in Nepal

KATHMANDU: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Saturday warned that the continuing obstruction of supply at Nepal's southern border could create a serious humanitarian crisis.

“If trade remains restricted and food prices continue to rise, a serious humanitarian crisis will be hard to avoid,” David Kaatrud, WFP Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement. “People are struggling to feed their families as the cost of food rises beyond their grasp. In addition to the recent earthquakes, this humanitarian crisis could severely test people’s ability to cope, and may lead to an increase in malnutrition," he warned.

The WFP further stated that the prices of lentils, pulses and cooking oil have increased by more than 30 per cent since August and more than 50 per cent since last year.

"WFP urges all sides to once again allow the free flow of food items across the border to ensure that Nepalis, especially those who struggle on a day-to-day basis to feed their families, are not the ones who bear the burden of this protracted political stand-off,” said Kaatrud.