WFP begins programme for vulnerable groupsWorld Food Programme (WFP) has launched a three-year development programme focusing on vulnerable groups including female-headed households and ethnic minorities in the country.
World Food Programme (WFP) has launched a three-year development programme focusing on vulnerable groups including female-headed households and ethnic minorities in the country.
Issuing a press statement on Thursday, on the occasion of the one year anniversary of the Gorkha Earthquake that falls on April 25, the WFP stated that despite improvements in food security in quake-affected areas, due in part to humanitarian assistance, significant pockets of vulnerability remain. WFP’s work will support the government’s livelihood recovery strategy in the sectors of community infrastructure, food security and agriculture, nutrition, and disaster risk reduction, the statement reads.
“People who were worst off before the quake are the ones who lost the most,” said Pippa Bradford, WFP representative and country director. “Ensuring that support targets these households is vitally important so that no one gets left further behind.”
A quarter of people in Nepal live on less than USD1.25 a day, and on average spend 60 percent of their income on food, making it hard for them to cope with shocks such as disasters and soaring food prices.
Within six weeks of the earthquake, WFP provided food assistance to 2 million people and has been using food assistance to support early recovery work by paying people with food or cash to rebuild community infrastructure. Likewise, irrigation systems were built or repaired on 546 hectares of agricultural land, 729 km of feeder roads were repaired, and 1,714 km of mountain trails were fixed in the past one year. Furthermore, as lead of the logistics cluster, during the emergency response WFP coordinated the transportation of relief materials for more than 160 organisations, from entry into the country through to delivery by foot or mule to the remotest areas.
The statement also reads that WFP will also expand its emergency preparedness measures. WFP established a Humanitarian Staging Area (HSA) next to the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, which became the hub for emergency aid in the early response, just a month before the Gorkha earthquake last year. “We cannot afford not to invest in emergency preparedness,” said Bradford. “Disaster can strike Nepal at any time, and we need to be ready.”