Date Published: 25 August 2017
Food aid distributed to thousands affected by flash floods in Nepal
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)1 has started distributing food to approx. 180,000 people affected by severe flooding in Nepal. The current extreme weather conditions in the area have affected 1.7 million people so far, and displaced around 461,000 people from their homes. The Nepalese government's Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM), which is part of the Ministry of Population & Environment, has also warned that further flooding is expected in the coming days.
Within 48 hours after the floods, Nepal Food Security Monitoring System (NeKSAP) supported by WFP, issued an initial assessment of the damage, helping to determine the extent of food insecurity in flood-affected districts. According to the latest report2, almost half a million people in the affected areas are food insecure while 300,000 people have so little access to food that they are in urgent in need of food assistance.
" Many people whose homes have been washed away were extremely poor already, living in rudimentary shelters and struggling to make ends meet. Families that have lost food stocks have nothing to fall back on," said WFP Representative and Country Director Pippa Bradford.
" WFP is working around the clock to provide food to the poorest to ensure that they have enough to eat," she added.
According to the WFP, the Nepalese Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA, www.moha.gov.np) has stated that over 80% of land in the Terai has been inundated. People living in these areas have lost their homes, food stocks, livestock and crops. It is expected that the floods will impact the rice and wheat harvests in this area, which is the 'bread basket' of Nepal, thus resulting in expected food shortages in the coming months. The area already has high rates of malnutrition, with 14% of children aged 6-59 months acutely malnourished. These children, along with pregnant women and nursing mothers, are particularly vulnerable to water-borne diseases and food insecurity after disasters.
To prevent malnutrition, WFP, the Government of Nepal and its partners, will provide 200 MT of fortified food to 19,500 pregnant women and nursing mothers and about 27,700 children aged between 6 to 23 months, across 13 flood affected districts of the Terai. The WFP has already started distributing two-week rations of rice and yellow split peas to people in Saptari, Bardiya, Banke and Rautahat districts. A further 40,000 displaced people in areas of Rautahat where the local markets have been restored, will receive cash to help them buy food.
The Nepal Food Security Monitoring System (NeKSAP) is continuing to study the impact of the floods and has been issuing updates. The WFP takes food quality and safety seriously and only distributes food that meets stringent food quality standards in line with the regulations of the Government of Nepal.
- wfp.org (World Food Programme)
- un.org.np/sites/default/files/Report_Nepal_Flood_Version1 _20170821.pdf