‘No cut in food supply to needy Bhutan refugees’The World Food Programme (WFP) has said despite lack of funding it will continue to provide full rations to the most vulnerable refugees from Bhutan.
The World Food Programme (WFP) has said despite lack of funding it will continue to provide full rations to the most vulnerable refugees from Bhutan.
In a press statement issued on Thursday, the UN food agency said WFP has been compelled to reduce the amount of food provided to less vulnerable Bhutanese refugees starting in January 2017 due to a severe lack of funding but it will continue to provide full rations to some 3,100 of the most vulnerable refugees.
The most vulnerable group includes the elderly, people with disabilities and single mothers.
“Full rations consist of a monthly supply of around 17 kilograms of food, composed of a daily ration of 440 grams of rice,” the UN body said. “Ninety grams of varied pulses, 25 grams of vegetable oil and salt and the food supplies for February will be distributed to these people next week,” it added. At present, there are around 11,000 refugees from Bhutan who depend on humanitarian assistance.
“With the remainder of the funds available, WFP will continue to provide monthly rations of 10 kilograms of rice to the remaining 7,700 refugees,” WFP said in the statement.
“WFP acknowledges the concerns expressed by some members of the refugee community. The decision to reduce the amount of food to non-vulnerable groups is not taken lightly,” the statement quoted Pippa Bradford, WFP representative and country director, as saying. “WFP will continue to provide full support to the vulnerable refugees who are the most food-insecure.”
WFP has been providing food assistance to Bhutanese refugees living in camps in eastern Nepal since 1992. “The original population of around 117,000 people has decreased steadily since 2007 as people have been resettled in other countries.”