Refugees request WFP not to stop food assistanceThe Bhutanese refugees living in Beldangi camp, Jhapa, have expressed dissatisfaction over the decision of the World Food Programme to discontinue food assistance to the refugees by the end of 2018.
The Bhutanese refugees living in Beldangi camp, Jhapa, have expressed dissatisfaction over the decision of the World Food Programme to discontinue food assistance to the refugees by the end of 2018.
They have urged the WFP to continue the food support until their problems are resolved.
“We want a permanent solution to our problem before the food assistance gets discontinued,” said Tikaram Rasaili, secretary of Beldangi camp. “If the WFP stopped distributing food, those of us here could starve.”
Champa Singh Rai, secretary of Morang Sanischare camp, said they will not accept the WFP decision.
“The WFP decision to discontinue its assistance is against humanity,” he said.
The UN food agency had notified the refugees about its decision through a statement on November 16.
According to the refugee leaders, senior citizens, disabled and children will be hit hard if food assistance is discontinued.
Sudeep Pathak, a member of the National Human Rights Commission, said the WFP should reconsider its decision.
“There could be a serious crisis if the refugees stopped receiving food from the WFP. It will be tantamount to death sentence,” he said.
The WFP has been providing food assistance to the Bhutanese refugees since 1992. According to the organisation, $86 million has already been invested for food assistance and cash in various camps in eastern Nepal.
After more than 113,000 refugees left for various countries as part of thrid-country resettlement programme, the WFP has announced to stop food assistance Little over 2,000 refugees remain in Jhapa and Morang these days. They have turned down the third-country resettlement programme and demanded that they should be allowed to return to Bhutan.