Bhutanese refugees accept WFP foodBhutanese refugees have started to receive rice provided by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Beldangi camp, Jhapa.
Bhutanese refugees have started to receive rice provided by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Beldangi camp, Jhapa.
Earlier, they had refused to accept the rations from the WFP after the latter announced reduction in food provision, citing a severe lack of funding. The WFP had said that it would be able to provide full rations to only the most vulnerable refugees.
Chief District Officer of Jhapa, Uttar Kumar Khatri, said the Bhutanese refugees agreed to accept the WFP rations following an assurance that he would find donors willing to provide them sufficient food. Khatri has urged the refugees to wait for one and-a-half months.
Bhampa, chairman of the Bhutanese Refugee Representatives Committee, said the government should ensure that the refugee families get adequate meals.
The WFP has been providing food assistance to the Bhutanese refugees since 1992. It was forced to reduce food rations starting January because of fund cutbacks with the world witnessing the largest refugee crisis since the World War II, and the donor agencies scrambling to meet the humanitarian needs.
The UN food agency has pledged to provide full food rations to 3,100 of the most vulnerable refugees consisting of a monthly supply of 17kg foodstuffs, including rice, pulses, vegetable oil and salt.
The non-vulnerable refugees, on the other hand, could get 10kg of rice every month following the fund cutbacks.
Unhappy with the reduction in food rations, 8,294 Bhutanese refugees in Beldangi camp had refused to accept food assistance from the WFP starting January 23.
Sanchahang Subba, secretary of Beldangi Camp Management Committee, said they accepted the rice distributed by the WFP only after the local administration assured to address their concern.