WFP vows to continue support
After the parliamentary committee and government sought the explanation on a high UN official’s comment on Nepali media, the WFP came defensive today and said it would continue supporting the people of Nepal, even though it has been dragged into controversies over the alleged supply of substandard foods in the earthquake-hit districts.
“WFP has been in Nepal for over 50 years, bringing essential food to the most vulnerable,” a press note quoted the WFP country director Pippa Bradford.
“WFP will stay at the side of the Nepali people, working hand in hand with the government to support the ongoing recovery efforts, and ultimately to assist in the construction of a stronger and more prosperous Nepal,” he said, adding that WFP will stay at the side of the Nepali people, working hand in hand with the government to support the ongoing recovery efforts, and ultimately to assist in the construction of a stronger and more prosperous Nepal.
Earlier, director of Coordination and Response Division, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) John Ging has blamed Nepali media for the ‘non-sense report’ – in his own word – on substandard rice distributed by the WFP. Ging – claiming that WFP never distributed rotten rice in Gorkha – even threatened to pull out of Nepal. However, he did not mention anything on the pictures of substandard rice – that has been distributed in Gorkha – which has been widely circulated in the social media, and the government’s food quality control division’s report on WFP distributed rice in Sindhupalchok, and other earthquake hit districts.
The media and civil society has been criticising the WFP for distributing the substandard rice in the earthquake hit districts off Nuwakot, Sindhupalchok, Dhading and Gorkha.
Without mentioning anything about Ging’s comments and media reports, Bradford today expressed the organisation’s commitment to continue to work in Nepal.
WFP has launched a second phase, which has already reached 440,000 people with rice, pulses and oil in 10 districts, and distributed nutrition supplements to prevent acute malnutrition to 12,700 children aged under two and 1,400 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, the WFP said in the press note. “Additionally, some 37,000 people in two districts have received cash assistance in exchange for light recovery work such as removing rubble and rehabilitating fields.”
“Every person employed by WFP is working very hard on behalf of the earthquake-affected people,” the statement quoted Bradford, adding, “This is even more true for our Nepali colleagues, who are entirely focused on their work, in spite of having to deal with the consequences of the disaster on their homes and among their family members.”
Though, UN WFP is in the media always for the wrong reason, and also replaced substandard rice from Gorkha, it has not yet made public the supplier or the procurement process of the rice it has been distributing.
WFP has to date reached over two million people with food, the statement read, adding that porters have been hired to bring essential food supplies and building materials to extremely isolated locations, which cannot be reached by vehicle or helicopter.